As the GOP spends its time pissing on each other on Twitter and Fox, while Ted Cruz winds up to filibuster the bill that defunds Obamacare , it’s starting to look like a good day to be a Democrat. Wise up, libtards, because austerity is the real enemy, and nothing that’s going to happen in the Senate this week is going to change that:
Senate Democrats could, for example, push for a spending measure that scraps the House GOP’s Obamacare plan and simultaneously fixes the sequestration policy that’s hurting the country. No one can defend the sequester — it was designed, after all, to impose mindless hardship nationwide — so some Senate Republicans might even go along.
If the Senate minority balked and mounted a filibuster, they’d be responsible for a government shutdown. If Senate Republicans backed off, Democrats could pass a better bill — better for economic growth, better for job creation, better for struggling families, better for law enforcement, better for medical research, better for firefighters, etc.
And at that point, House Republicans would face an interesting dilemma.
That’s Benen, and his basic point is that there’s a core of House Republicans who will say “no” to anything that doesn’t defund Obamacare, no matter the details. To avoid a shutdown, Boehner is going to have to deal with that crew by violating the Hastert suggestion and bringing whatever the Senate passes to the floor of the House. The question is whether 20 or so Republicans would vote to end the sequester if the alternative is a government shutdown. Benen guesses yes, and I agree. But they probably won’t get that opportunity, because Senate Democrats are going to play it safe and concentrate on saving Obamacare.
Yes, Democrats could propose it. No, it would not change people’s views of the parties no matter if they proposed something bold, or if Republicans blocked it. The big problem is that Republicans are not actually paying any price with the voters for acting like Republicans.
c u n d gulag
The worst thing about shutting the government down, is that when finally it re-opens, it’ll still have the same cast of Republican assholes and douche-canoes in both chambers of Congress.
If we could close it down, and hold elections immediately, I might not be as opposed to shutting it down, as I am.
Here is the problem: You’re guessing. Negotiation is a fiddly business, and those Republicans are still assholes who don’t give a damn who’s hurt by a shutdown and would like the economy to turn bad so that Obama looks bad. They’re only not so insane that they want to drag the country into the chaos of a lengthy shutdown. We’ll never know what Obama tries to get out of them or what could be gotten, only the end result.
It would be entertaining if the Senate decides that it really wants to shove a spike into a Cruz-orifice, and it could happen:
I don’t expect it, but we shall see.
Yeah, my money’s on the side that fucking hates each other. Hate Fucks FTW!
What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?
I contacted both my Senators on Friday to advocate for this, plus told them to attach a rider that raises the debt limit high enough that it won’t be an issue for the rest of Obama’s second term. I’m calling today to advocate the same thing by phone. If they hear from enough of us, maybe this makes some headway.
Cruzism is ascendant because the Republicans no longer have any ideas. They no longer have any intention of building anything, just destroying the current government, and promising their followers that something glorious and unspecified will rise from the ashes. It’s just a Cruz Smash! primal scream form of aspirational governance. They don’t have any idea how to fix anything, they just want to break everything.
As well they should. Play the long game and protect a piece of legislation that will forever change the relationship between the American Public and our insurance industrial complex.
The sequester can wait until after the first of the year. Once Obamacare is in full force it will be impossible to repeal.
Saving it? Pretty sure it’s about as safe as it gets already. Obama’s veto is the King of All Backstops.
I can’t believe Cruz is planning on this happening.
@MattF: John McCain has been living off of his bile reserves for about the last ten or twelve years now. It is kind of hilarious to watch when he temporarily decides that some Republican is a more worthy target than That One in the White House.
@MattF: Heh. One thing that I find interesting in this imbroglio (among others) is the way personal animosity toward Cruz is manifesting itself. If I had a nickel for every time a Congress shnook said “gee, guys, I don’t know if we have the votes to do this” in public, I’d be spending every other month at my villa on the French Riviera. The reaction to messages like that in the past — on both sides — has been along the lines of “I respectfully disagree with my distinguished colleague” at worst, and usually more along the lines of “well then, how can we change the bill/message/approach/hearts-and-minds so that this thing does pass.” Not this time, boy oh boy. This time the reaction was a swift and hearty — and absolutely unmistakable — “FUCK YOU TED CRUZ.” Presidential aspirations, my ass. This little buttwipe is going nowhere as long as the big-money guys are around, and I don’t see big money going anywhere, at all, at any point, ever.
Jack the Second
I think there’s a relatively simple solution to this problem.
Write the bill as Benen describes, and then add the following text to “SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE AND TABLE OF CONTENTS”:
Check and mate.
The little Canadian dude is quite the charmer. Two years in the Senate and he’s already worn out his welcome.
I’m rooting for injuries.
Finally, something that Americans can agree on!
It will be said that the nation is taking its medicine now after a long bout of binge drinking and all of those government workers who aren’t being paid are a common sense solution and better than a surgeon’s knife. And a majority of the middle class will praise this development. That’s my fair prediction.
What? Nothing on how this could be our chance to get single-payer?
@Suffern ACE: I think the first thing that should be cut during a government shutdown is Social Security disbursement, and instead of a check, every recipient should be sent a slip of paper that says ‘”Sorry, you aren’t receiving your social security check this month because Congress refused to fund the government.” Let’s see how long that lasts.
@Mark B.: and republican voters will vote their reps back in because they feel social security is immoral, while dem voters will respond by voting out their reps in the hopes that a change of pace might break the gridlock.
@Suffern ACE: Sadly, that’s very plausible. Either way, it’s Obama’s fault.
so it seems that a common thread among Obama-haters is an inability to understand how the Senate works.
@Shakezula: Unless the single-payer is Ted Cruz, it doesn’t sound like we’re going to get agreement on that right now.
Mike in NC
How many Idiot-Americans would think that Social Security had nothing to do with the federal government? 27% at a minimum?
Crash McCain may hate Cruz, but Palin stands with Ted (and Rand), so there’s that. Nothing says VICTORY like an endorsement from The Undefeated Sarah Palin. So suck it Libs. You got nothing to counter this juggernaut.
@cleek: You’re just trying to squelch their passion and vision with that Eeyorish nitpickery.
@Belafon: The big problem is that Republicans are not actually paying any price with the voters for acting like Republicans.
That strikes me as a tautology. As I always say, the Republicans are fervently supported by the people who fervently support them.
@Frankensteinbeck: Negotiation is a fiddly business, and those Republicans are still assholes who don’t give a damn who’s hurt by a shutdown and would like the economy to turn bad so that Obama looks bad. They’re only not so insane that they want to drag the country into the chaos of a lengthy shutdown.
Funny you should mention that. The Republican Party has also given the matter some thought:
The difficult here though is that the government shutdown is opposed even by people like Karl Rove and the Chamber of Commerce.
@Citizen_X: Finally, something that Americans can agree on!
Cruz is such an asshole that even the assholes think he’s an asshole.
Ben Cisco (onboard the Defiant)
@priscianus jr: If an asshole had its own asshole, and THAT asshole had a cyst, and the cyst was infected, Cruz would be the infection.
@Ben Cisco (onboard the Defiant):
it’s assholes all the way down.
I think there are still way too many people who don’t understand we’re dealing with nihilists. It’s not like negotiating with NAZI’s or Stalin’s USSR. It’s worse.
Say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, dude, at least it’s an ethos.
White Russians all around! Teh Cruz abides?
Yes, well. The problem there is that the voters, especially their voters, aren’t paying a noticeable price for electing Republicans. For one thing, the existence of the Democrats in the Senate and White House means their crazier bills get watered down or blocked, so things like the Ryan Budget don’t get passed. For another, whatever Republicans cut at the state level, they do in the full knowledge that the feds will pick up the slack – e.g. I think it was Colorado or Texas (maybe both) that gutted their fire departments, then ran to the federal government to demand help with major fires this summer.
No matter how bad things get, they’ll never have to experience the full blast of the consequences of their policies the way their great grandparents did. Which is why unlike their great grandparents who eventually realized they were being scammed, they’ll continue to believe in these policies heart and soul.
Benen’s idea is terrible because it gives Democrats ownership of the shutdown, and oh, yes, there will be one.
@Ben Cisco (onboard the Defiant):
Austerity cat explains why austerity. The intertoobz seem to agree with Austerity Cat, since he has got the most hits on my blog evah, which BTW now has 100 posts.
@Bobby Thomson: Uh, no. The Republicans have been campaigning for a shutdown for months and they’ll own it if/when it happens. Obama and the Dems have been warning against it for weeks and, while they’ll share some blame because the media will say that “both sides do it”, they won’t own it the way the Republicans will.
@priscianus jr: It’s not. And when they shut down the government the last time, the voters only punished Republicans by giving them control of the house until 2006 and the next two presidential elections. Yeah, those voters. They’re really going to go after those Republicans this time.
The problem is not that we don’t have a “centrist” party in this we country. We do. Its called the Democratic Party.
What we don’t have is a progressive party with the political clout to offset the Tea Party fanatics.
@Mike in NC:
Considering that there were signs at the teabagger rallies saying “Keep the government off my Medicare” I am sure that the 27% is a low number. These people are not only hypocrites, they are also dumb.
Isn’t it amusing that these selfish/hypocritical people want to defund the ACA, but refuse to defund Medicare (which most of the teabaggers rely on)?
@chopper: I’m SURROUNDED by asshole!
Amen! Congress has had a low approval rating since forever. But who voted them in there? Maybe at some point the voters and those people who are not interested in voting will look themselves in the mirror for what’s going on in Washington? But I doubt it. It is so much easier to blame somebody else…
@Roger Moore: After further consideration, I concede to your point.
People hate Congress but love their congressman.
It’s all those other congresspeople who are unreasonable extremists. It’s because of them, and their selfish constituents, always posturing to leech from hard-earned taxpayer money for their excessive subsidies, that the poor, hard-working, salt-of-the-earth people in this district don’t have the money they need for their essential and desperately needed subsidies.
@What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?: Great suggestion. I’ll contact my MD Senators to do the same.
@Suffern ACE: Overheard on the street yesterday. Literally on the street. 2 older guys discussing the possibility of shutdown, etc. Both of these guys are 60 something but artistically inclined ( the AFB guy was auditioning for a role in a play) and one of them is a long time self employed quite well-known painter (homes and businesses), a biz he inherited from his Dad. Not so long ago he was a Dem. The other guy is a long term engineer employed at the nearby AFB as a civilian with a great deal of input about the planes the Air Force uses. He also apparently travels to various defense establishments around the world. His wife is a teacher.
Just before the political conversation, which I only overheard, he was discussing with another person about his Mom and Dad being in a “cadillac” care facility in Memphis, and thank goodness, he said, his Dad, a retired Air Force Colonel, had invested well and could provide this care for himself and his wife, who’s got dementia.
When their conversation veered towards the eminent shutdown, the AFB civilian employee was lamenting that we didn’t have Democrats and Republicans i.e. like previous decades, and there was no longer an LBJ who could twist arms in a smoke filled room. Each of the two was obviously faulting Dems as much as Repubs and the AFB guy went on to say that this country shouldn’t be an “entitlement” country; that we used to be a country about individual initiative and responsibility. I was in no position to point out to the guy that if there’s an entitlement society, (who provides his healthcare?) he pretty much defines it.
Plus, this brought home to me how in red states voters don’t see how truly dreadful the GOP is. They obviously don’t read the NY Times, but they do read Erick Erickson in the paper and listen to talk radio. They have bought into the “each side does it” meme that the media promotes so successfully and the poor and the vulnerable and the unemployed continue to suffer.
his Dad, a retired Air Force Colonel, had invested well and could provide this care for himself and his wife, who’s got dementia.
There is no one, and I mean NO ONE, with a greater sense of entitlement than a career or retired military person.
Uh, no. The Republicans have been blaming Obama for a shutdown for months and the media have been carrying their water with both sides do it. Once Democrats actually start “doing it,” that will be ratcheted up to eleventy. People have short memories and less intelligence, and there is no reason to think Republicans would get more than half the blame, at the very worst.
It reminds me of the Iraq war. It will in the end cost far more than a trillion dollars. It amuses me when people like the guy quoted complain about entitlements, yet I had to pay for the idiotic war in Iraq. Please spare me their crocodile tears.
My Dad was retired military and he did not feel entitled. He did, however, enjoy is retirement due in no small part to his 50% base pay as a Commander in the Navy and his generous medical benefits. I do not begudge his good fortune (after all he survived WW II as a submarine officer). I do wish more of the military realized how well taken care of they are by the government they served.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
Is it my imagination or are we hearing the end of Cruz 2016? It’s hard to believe a politician could get the nod from when so many members of his own party are that openly hostile to him.
@Enhanced Voting Techniques: Why? The Republican voters hate so many things, including their own party betters. Hell, I hate Republican Senators, so if they don’t like Cruz, I’m thinking Republican voters will go for him all the more.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
@Mike in NC:
Let me reinforce Mike here – I know from personal experience 27% of Defense Industry workers don’t understand the Federal Government pays for the DoD. We’re dealing with people who believe underpants gnomes are real.
Josh Marshall has a funny post about Cruz at Princeton and at Harvard Law:
@gogol’s wife: Funny in the sense that it confirms Marshall’s general lack of observational skills.
@azlib: Exactly the thing I wanted to say to this guy. Both he and his father are beneficiaries of the taxpayer’s largesse and who’s he to criticize the lesser among us? Truly they all need to start reading about the Jesus they claim to worship.
My MILis in a nearby retirement center with hospice care and now with round the clock sitters. She’s 93, doesn’t have Alzheimers, but did develop some dementia about 4 years ago and then became frail. Her husband, who came from nothing,( his family had nothing), enlisted in the Army during the depression, then served in WWII and made a career as an enlisted man. He saved but was also the beneficiary of an army retirement pension, a civil service retirement pension, and Social Security, plus they had TRi-Care and Medicare. The monthly expenses for her care will pretty soon exhaust all her husband’s savings (who died 12 years ago), which have lasted as long as they have partly because she gets 1/2 of his Army pension and 1/2 his Civil Service pension.
But, an amazing number of these sorts of folks are Republican in outlook and voting. It simply boggles my mind.
What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?
@Patricia Kayden: Hey that’s where I live too. Cardin and Mikulski heard from me this morning.
What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?
@Bobby Thomson: You’re not going to win many fights if you refuse to come out of your defensive crouch that throw a few punches.
some of those republicans are as dumb as they come. they want to defund the operations of the government, in an attempt to defund “Obamacare”. That should go over well with all those 1%ers who own corporations which are on contract to the federal government. No cheques this week. O.K. lets see how long they stay on the job. No pay cheques for the military, FBI, CIA. This ought to be good.
If the U.S.A. doesn’t pay its bills it joins the ranks of Argentinia and iceland. Now they had a reason. Even Greece is trying its best to pay its bills. The U.S.A., not so much. Why? Because a group of politicians who have a very nice medical plan, do not want working women and men and their children to have affordable medical care. Kind of sounds like the late 1890s.
The politicians were elected to serve the people of the country. Not to serve the corporate interests of the country. it is obvious to me, these republican politicians don’t care about anyone. Perhaps when they don’t receive their next pay cheque we will see how they like it.
@cleek: Yeah, one of my leftier-than-thou FB friends posted something about Obamna being just another Republican (you know one of Republicans who favors higher taxes, ending the Iraq War, social services, Universal Healthcare, abortion, green energy, gun-control etc.) and how he’s going to continue voting for Jill Stein. I was bout to ask him precisely where (in the bizarro world where Stein wins the Presidency) her more progressive agenda would get votes from, with this Congress. Apparently all the Blue Dogs would go right along with single-payer etc., if it came from Not-Obama.
@Bobby Thomson: Uh no. The Republicans have not been united in their messaging because of Ted Cruz and others focusing almost exclusively on the Affordable Care Act. You clearly haven’t been watching if you think the Republicans have been hammering home a message that Obama would be responsible for Congress failing to pass a budget or raising the debt ceiling. They have instead been cheering on an impending government shutdown – just like they did in 1997. Yeah, the media is worthless and won’t report fact, but the Republicans have been off message on the impending shutdown and Obama’s message has been pretty clear. The Republicans (and Cruz specifically) will own the shutdown.
@gogol’s wife: Yeah, the knives are really out for Cruz to the extent that it’s the Republicans that are sending out the oppo research – not the Dems. Marshall is on point here.