Kevin Drum points out a pretty compelling reason to doubt that Harry Reid and John Boehner can resolve this with a handshake: they utterly despise one another. So even if John Boehner had the balls to work around his suicide caucus then next step, at least from his perspective, would be tea with Hitler.
In short, this pooch will not unf*ck itself, no matter how many imaginary summits Tom Friedman holds with the world leaders in his head. Meanwhile real people are hurting right now. We need to treat Boehner as a lost cause, and that means 218 members of the House need to sign a discharge petition to bring a budget to a vote.
Democrats have 200 House members, so they need 18 Republicans if they can stick together. They can’t, of course, but at least some of them could come around with some help from you. If any of those names sound familiar to you, pick up a phone and help them do the right thing.
Jim Matheson (Utah)
Mike McIntyre (N.C.)
Ron Barber (Ariz.)
John Barrow (Ga.)
Steven Horsford (Nev.)
Dan Maffei (N.Y.)
Sean Maloney (N.Y.)
Raul Ruiz (Calif.)
Krysten Sinema (Ariz.)
Even in the best of cases that leaves eighteen Republicans to do the right thing. A lot of you would call that a lost cause. I think that these are interesting enough times that all kinds of things could happen; mostly bad, but with a few good possibilities that with a little work we could help to realize.
Steve Peter King (R-NY) (apologies to both) has taken the lead on corralling the vanishing ‘moderate’ caucus. At one point King thought he had 25 GOP members ready to defy the GOP’s salafi faction. He managed two, with four Bachmanites voting against Boehner because he ‘compromised’ too much.
Maybe King should stop hitting the crack pipe. Though I can’t prove it, I hope he was on to something. I prefer to think that a significant bloc of Republicans wants to put this embarrassment behind them but does not yet feel ready to stick their own neck out quite as far as King has.
These are the non-Bachmanites who have defied Boehner so far. Gibson and Hanna only voted against some of Boehner’s CR bills, but it’s a start. While we need to ring every GOP office today I think we should take special care to give these guys some encouragement for risking the wrath of Rush, Hannity, the tea party, the Club For Growth, Heritage Action, FOX, the NRA, the Wall Street Journal, the League of Doom, the KKK and the Space Nazis from Iron Sky.
Pete King (R-N.Y.)
Charlie Dent (R-Pa.)
Mario Diaz-Balart (Fla.)
Kay Granger (Texas)
Mike Rogers (Ala.)
Chris Gibson (N.Y.)
Richard Hanna (N.Y.)
No matter who represents you, pick up the phone and do your bit as a citizen. Democrats need props and you know what Republicans need.
One final thought while you warm up your dialing finger. This whole idea of ‘compromise’ is complete bunkus. It is not a Democratic ‘position’ to pay the government’s bills. Congress spent the money and now Congress has to pay for it. A Democratic ‘position’ would be if Harry Reid demanded single payer health care or he’d close Yellowstone forever. Since people love personal finance analogies, it is like a wife holding up a mortgage bill unless everyone agrees to let her sell the car and spend the proceeds on booze. 1) paying the mortgage is just something you do, not an occasion to debate policy, 2) the policy sounds arbitrary, counterproductive and like someone might get hurt, and 3) losing the house is a lot to risk just to win an unrelated argument.
Speaking really, really selfishly: I don’t mind if the shutdown lasts a bit longer if it means the debt ceiling will not face a similar debacle by the suicide caucus.
Very aware of the little businesses that depend on government workers, and how they have fixed expenses whether the government is in session or not, though. No one is going to be giving them deferred paychecks.
O/T, and perhaps noted in comments on an earlier thread, but thriller writer Tom Clancy has died, age 66.
It’s like a raging fever, and I would rather it plays itself out, rather than use some aspirin to reduce the temp, only to find it returning ad infinitum.
The longer this plays out, the greater the chances 2014 could result in a bumper-crop of Dem seats in the House.
Let it ride…….
aye, got on the phone and called Barber’s office and asked that he get on board the discharge position train and stated politely that it would be nice if he acted like a Democrat for a change.
I already tried calling my rep yesterday and got voicemail telling me his offices were all closed. He’s one of the 14 Republicans willing to say “this is stupid and we look like assholes” but he’s not publicly challenging his leadership or their tactics. Until there are 18 Republicans willing to reject the politics of hostage-taking publicly we’ll just see a repeat of this strategy every time they think they can extract concessions.
I just wonder what they think will happen if and when they ever have power again. I will expect the same tactics from the Democratic party if they are in the minority in the future. Anything else would be unilateral disarmament.
Assume a 5% crossover rate. That is still less then 30 R’s needed to end this thing.
The narrative getting pushed (even around here) that the extremists are holding the rest of the GOP hostage is utter bullshit. This would be over today if that was the case.
David in NY
Chris Gibson (R, NY-19) claims to be against the shutdown, but also sort of blames it on Obamacare etc. I wrote two e-mails to his office, after hours and after each vote, saying I didn’t think he should be voting for a shutdown. I called one of his district offices (Kinderhook) and got a startled lady who said she thought he agreed with me. I bet more calls would be good if anybody’s from around there.
I like the analogy you make at the end.
John Cole remarked on the whole bipartisanship the media pines for in a post 4 years ago.
“I really don’t understand how bipartisanship is ever going to work when one of the parties is insane. Imagine trying to negotiate an agreement on dinner plans with your date, and you suggest Italian and she states her preference would be a meal of tire rims and anthrax. If you can figure out a way to split the difference there and find a meal you will both enjoy, you can probably figure out how bipartisanship is going to work.”
Peter. Definitely Peter.
I called Sinema yesterday. I don’t even understand this woman’s position. Whatevah.
As far as a personal finance analogy, it’s actually more like holding up the electric bill to sell the family vehicle for booze being that you get the electric bill after you have already used the electricity. The mortgage payment you’re paying for living in the house the month following the payment.
Tom Clancy’s dead. The only thing I know about Clancy was when I watched Diane Rehm being interviewed and she was asked who was the toughest interview she had and her answer was Tom Clancy because he was apparently super rude to her during the interview for no apparent reason.
If John McCain were president, he could just sit both sides down and tell them to stop the bullshit.
@Marc: Hahaha – Steve King’s the Iowa birther nutjob who’s basically against anything that makes common sense.
@kc: And Sarah Palin would take the whole lot of them moose hunting, liquor them up and get them to agree on an awesome budget agreement. Also too, she would show them Russia from her backyard.
I think EriK Paulsen (MN-3rd Dist) might be gettable. Not an easy one, but the wester suburbs of Minneapolis are not as diehard as La Bachmann’s cray-cray land to the north.
Star Trib says he’ll “vote for anything to get a resolution.”
Rep. Paulsen’s MN dist. office: (952) 405-8510
@David in NY: Done!
Unfortunately, for his Presidential aspirations, no one in (or out of) their right mind wants to follow Peter Fucking King. Unless someone else leads this effort, it is dooooooomed. Too little too late, nutbag.
All the interviews I’ve seen with him, he was kind of an asshole. Who thought that because he could keep making money off of technothrillers, he must know something about the military in real life (let alone other things).
Ah well. I did read all his books as a teenager and enjoyed them then. RIP, I guess.
@kc: Chris Christie too. All this leadership just rising to the top here in Crisisland. Who knew?
I wonder if part of the problem is that the Democrats don’t stake out positions like that.
This may have been posted by a commenter in one of the other shutdown or open threads, but I’ll put it up here anyway. In fact, I may put it on every new shutdown or open thread that pops up if someone doesn’t beat me to it.
The White House website’s Page on which agency or program is affected and how. Here are some highlights:
Social Security retirement and disability benefits are funded through their trust funds and are not affected. SSI (Supplemental Security Income) benefits are finded through the first quarter of fiscal year 2014–that is, the last three months of 2013. .pdf; SSA’s website.
USDA has a .pdf on food stamps (SNAP), WIC, school lunch, and ther programs. Basically, WIC is down for the count unless a continuing resolution gets passed; SNAP and school lunch programs should be good through October.
The VA will be able to keep hospitals and clinics open; benefits will be paid through October, and possibly longer if they can find the money, but they aren’t making promises.
There are planty of other agencies, programs, and services which are affected; if the link at the White House site doesn’t clarify things, i suggest checking that department or agency’s website; many will have a front-page item on the shutdown, USDA went all the way and turned off their website completely, sending people over to the White House page. Homeland Security’s website is up but not updated, although you can reads the president’s letter to government employees concerning the shutdown there. Immigration is up, with a note indicating their offices are open. Justice, like Homeland Security, has note indicating the website will not update.
If this goes on, and you are in a position to donate to local food banks and similar services, they may need your help more than they usually do. If there are food drives at your church or workplace, it might be time for more than a couple of cans of vegetables…
May I mention that the Belgians went 500 days without anything but a caretaker government, and still managed to pay their bills?
fidelio is being moderated
It was a post with a lot of links in it, all to US Government websites explaining their plans for coping with the shutdown. No drug scam or investment scam ads at all, honest!
Just called Synema, to whom I contributed a couple of bucks last cycle. Will do more.
@Elizabelle: @Ben Franklin: I just contacted my congressman to let him know that while I want this (and the sequester) over it is more important that it be ended properly – without ridiculous concessions – than speedily even though it is certainly effecting me and mine. If they force the Republicans to end this cleanly we may not have to repeat this endlessly.
Ron Barber, my God. Really. Who the hell do you think dragged in those 2487 votes you won by? NRA members in Tombstone? Grr.
Ted & Hellen
Help me out here: Is it or is it not true that Harry Reid could unfuck this entire situation simply by changing Senate rules to eliminate the ridiculous 60-vote filibuster threshold?
Not would some Republicans say mean things about him as a result, but could he do it if he wanted to?
I just called the D.C. office of my congresscritter, Kay Granger, and suggested that if she is unwilling to do the job for which she is being paid that she step aside in favor of somebody who is.
I just got off the phone with a staffer at a federal prison. He has to show up for work, but isn’t getting paid, and doesn’t know when he will get a paycheck.
@Ted & Hellen:
These budget situations are not subject to filibuster. Simple majority rules. That’ how the ACA was passed as part of a budget reconciliation bill. It’s also how the Bush tax cuts were passed.
So… the accepted story is that there exist moderates in the Republican party, that resent the Tea Party’s willingness to damage the country in the pursuit of ideological purity, but voted to go along with it because they felt they had to.
But why would they feel they have to? Only for purely selfish political reasons. Voting their conscience, even as a protest vote against the TP, is a personal political liability should the Tea Partiers seize control of the party proper. (A thing that seems more likely than not, as the TP effectively controls policy and their policies are *accelerating* the erosion of any moderate base).
So what we really have, is a group of extremists who are advancing a philosophy they believe is better for the country, and a group of sociopaths nakedly admitting that they’re enabling extremists to explicitly harm the country just to protect their personal ambitions.
And we’re calling these sociopaths “moderates”? If they exist, they seem worse to me than the extremists.
@Ted & Hellen:
How does eliminating a Senate rule make the House vote any differently? The Senate isn’t the problem here.
Ted & Hellen
Well, that’s why I asked. I get confused. :P
I think he started off with some interesting books, then drove straight into Wingnutville and decided he didn’t need no stinkin editor. The military stuff in the early books looks reasonable to me as far as it goes, but when he got to Russians he had no idea what he was talking about and I guess he didn’t care. (Why he thought Russians would refer to Denver as “Densva” I have no idea.)
I’m going to make an additional donation to Feeding America. The SNAP defunding is the real cherry on the asshole cake, and is hurting the most vulnerable.
Because the default position is that Democrats Suck, and It’s Always the Democrats’ Fault. Therefore, it’s Harry Reid’s fault that the House is a disaster, because It’s Always A Democrat’s Fault.
My rep,Yoder of Kansas, has taken his office phone numbers off his website.
I guess the whole “people will be happy with a smaller government!” notion isn’t working out as well as the Republicans hoped.
There’s a real profile in courage!
The hilarious delusion that a bunch of little pissant ordinary people can affect this trainwreck with some phone calls is really cute. It’s so typical of American self-deception. Maybe if we all clap our hands, Tinkerbell will come back to life!
In reality, this steamroller results from gigantic forces over which the average American has no control whatsoever. But by all means, play your little games. Make your little phone calls. Write your cute little letters.
History shows that pols respect only one thing: force. When millions of Americans swarm the streets and shut everything down to the point where Army troops gets called out but even the troops are overwhelmed and outnumbered, then the pols pay attention.
Until then, it’s all just kabuki theater.
That’s because the Republicans don’t actually believe in smaller government and have no interest in smaller government.
As I predicted, funding for the U.S. war machine will continue during the so-called “shutdown”: Obama signs bill ensuring servicemembers’ pay.
The Republicans adore big government. They want DHS agents swarming over everyone in America. They want giant NSA data centers recording and collating everyone’s bank account and phone calls and emails and texts and tweets. They want the biggest employer on earth, the U.S. military, continuing to run bases in 700 countries around the world, with “police actions” and assassination squads and covert ops going in more than 100 different countries as we speak, in addition to the “hot” wars in Afghanistan and Syria.
Republicans are the biggest big government freaks out there. They just want to make sure that all that big big big government gets used to burn brown babies and blow up wedding parties in third world hellholes.
By all means, do this. But also contact your local faith-based organizing group (extensive resource list PDF at link) or your social justice committee and have them do a little outreach/messaging work. “We stand ready to meet this short-term need created by figures in Washington who are too intent on stalling democracy and leaving people to suffer.”
Church boards may freak out thinking it will impact their tax exempt status. It won’t, as long as it is a neutral statement like the above, avoids advocating a partisan solution, and sticks to the issues of hunger, need, and gridlock. Leave the precise assessment of cause to others.
Charity is usually best done quietly. But when it is necessitated by furloughed jobs, inaccessible benefits, and all the other shutdown (and sequester) impacts, we’re allowing the right-wing message that private works can do the jobs of government.
Tim, the name of John Barrow does sound familiar to me as he represents the nearby 1st District of Georgia. And although he’s a true Blue Dog Democrat he’s managed to survive strong GOP opposition the last 3 election cycles. So, not sure that he belongs in your list. Plus he actually didn’t vote for the CR that included the defunding of Obamacare. The 2 Dems who did that were from North Carolina and Michigan, I believe.
Thanks for that list. Wasn’t familiar with the names, so started looking them up and I now have a huge politi-crush on Krysten Sinema.
@piratedan: I’d really like to be represented by a Democrat again, yeah. Getting one from the Democratic wing of the party would be a bonus. At least even the Red Star is noticing, Front Page teaser for the local political reporter was about how many Dems are rather displeased with Barber for that ‘I”ll vote like a Republican’ stunt yesterday.
The ACA was NOT passed as a reconciliation bill. It couldn’t be. Only provisions just affecting the budget can be passed by reconciliation.
The ACA was passed by the Senate with 60 votes (substituted in a house bill shell) and was accepted by the House with the proviso that the Senate then pass a bill modifying some aspects of the ACA and with the Student Loan program added to it.
The Reconciliation addition is in the 111th congress HR 4872. The ACA was HR 3590. see http://www.Thomas.gov