President Obama speaks on the government shutdown and Obamacare, starting at minute 29. Before that, you can enjoy 20 minutes of Chuck Todd milling around.
"Of all the responsibilities the Constitution endows to he Congress, two should be fairly simple," President Obama began in his speech about the imminent government shutdown. "Pass a budget and pay America's bills."
The Congress is about to fail at the latter one of those and tomorrow the government will shut down. Obama would later return to that theme of simplicity, noting that all that has to happen to avoid a shutdown would be for the House to wish it away.
After explaining what parts of government will continue to operate--social security, medicare, the postal service, national security and public safety operations will all continue--Obama explained in detail the harm that will be done by a government shutdown, and he did so making a populist appeal for sympathy toward the government workers who will suddenly be handed an unpaid vacation.
"It's important that people understand that the federal government is America's largest employer. 2 million civilian workers and 1.4 million active duty military serving in all fifty states and all around the world. In the event of a government shutdown, hundreds of thousands of these government servants will do so without pay. And several hundred thousand more will be immediately and indefinitely furloughed without pay. What of course will not be furloughed are the bills they have to pay. Their mortgages, their tuition payments, their car bills."
Obama then gave a brief summary of America's economic progress since the Great Recession before pivoting toward a criticism of the Tea Party faction in the House of Representatives:
"The idea of putting the American economy at risk is the height of irresponsibility. And it doesn't have to happen....All of this is entirely preventable if the House chooses to do what the Senate has already done, and that's the simple act of funding our government without making extraneous and controversial demands in the process."
Much of the government shutdown demands from the Republican Party have focused on Obamacare, so Obama noted that the Congress passed Obamacare, the voters chose not to repeal it (by not voting in Mitt Romney), the Supreme Court voted to uphold Obamacare...it's the law, get over it. Then he explained why Obamacare is a very good law, finishing with:
"Tens of thousands of America die every single year because they don't have access to affordable healthcare."
And if you don't like it, sorry, you don't have the votes to change it:
"One faction of one party in one house of Congress, in one branch of government, does not get to shut down the entire government just to refight the results of an election."
That's honestly the most infuriating thing about this fight: Obamacare has survived more challenges than just about any other law in history, and it has survived. It will survive this fight too, but the government might shut down because the Tea Party won't accept that.