This @RyanLizza on the House's suicide, er, excuse me, "Freedom" caucus is amazing. https://t.co/0UEp6iU6NA pic.twitter.com/1FBElqKw7T
— Noah Shachtman (@NoahShachtman) December 9, 2015
DougJ already extracted another jaw-dropping quote, but the whole article is well worth reading. Ryan Lizza, in the New Yorker, on “How a radical group of Republicans pushed Congress to the right”:
… [T]he House Freedom Caucus [is] an invitation-only group of about forty right-wing conservatives that formed at the beginning of this year. Since 2010, when the Party won back the chamber, the House has been engaged in a series of clashes over taxes and spending. Two years ago, House Republicans brought about a government shutdown over the Affordable Care Act and nearly caused the United States to default on its debt. This week, as Congress raced to meet a December 11th deadline to pass the annual legislation that funds the government, the members of the Freedom Caucus had new demands: they wanted to cut funding for Planned Parenthood and restrict Syrian refugees from entering the United States, policies that, if attached to the spending bills, could face a veto from Obama and, potentially, lead to another government shutdown.
To the general public, these fights have played out as a battle between President Obama and Republicans in Congress. But the more critical divide is within the Republican Party, as House Speaker John Boehner discovered. Boehner, who is from Ohio, was elected to Congress in 1990 and rose to the Speakership in 2010. His tenure was marked by an increasingly futile effort to control a group of conservatives that Devin Nunes, a Republican from California and an ally of Boehner’s, once described as “lemmings with suicide vests.” In 2013, to the bafflement of some colleagues, Boehner supported the shutdown, in the hope that the public backlash would expose the group as hopelessly radical. It didn’t work. The group continued to defy Boehner. He tried to regain control as Speaker by marginalizing its members, and they decided that he must be forced out…
Boehner’s troubles and the rise of the Freedom Caucus are the product of resentments and expectations that the G.O.P. leadership has struggled for years to either address or dismiss. In 2009 and 2010, Democrats, who then controlled both the House and the Senate, pushed through the most aggressive domestic agenda since the Great Society. In response, during the 2010 midterm elections Republicans promised to overturn Obama’s entire agenda—the Affordable Care Act, financial regulation, stimulus spending, climate-change regulations—and dramatically cut government. Just before the election, the three House Republican leaders, Boehner, Eric Cantor, and Kevin McCarthy, promoted a manifesto, called “A Pledge to America,” that, among other things, promised to cut a hundred billion dollars from the budget and return spending to pre-Obama levels. The Republicans won sixty-three seats, taking control of the House, and expanded their ranks in the Senate. In November, 2010, House Republicans unanimously elected Boehner Speaker…
In January of 2013, when Boehner was reëlected as Speaker, a dozen Republicans withheld their votes. In August, Meadows sent a letter to Boehner recommending that he offer Obama a trade, which read more like a threat: if the President agreed to defund the Affordable Care Act, House Republicans would continue to fund the government.
The idea had little currency inside the House, but it found an eager audience among activists and conservative media outlets…
The public face and strategist for the Freedom Caucus is Raúl Labrador, from Idaho, who was elected in the wave of 2010 and revels in the mischief-making that has characterized the House since then. In early October, we talked in his office, which was decorated with Idaho-potato merchandise. Labrador noted that the Idaho Potato Commission, a state agency established in 1937, had successfully turned a local product into a global brand. “It’s a marketing thing,” he said. “It’s been amazing.”
He insisted that the strategy behind the government shutdown was sound, but that its subtlety was lost when Senator Ted Cruz, who positioned himself as an ally of the House rebels, seized the credit for it. “Ted Cruz was out there saying, ‘Defund Obamacare or we’ll shut down the government,’ ” Labrador, who has endorsed Rand Paul for President in 2016, told me. “Our position was more nuanced,” he added, insisting that he and his fellow hard-liners were willing to settle for a one-year delay of Obamacare….
Unlike many Republicans, Labrador did not see the shutdown as a permanent stain on the Party. He grabbed one of two large poster-board polling charts leaning against his desk; it was titled “Before /After 2013 Shutdown” and showed the Republican Party’s approval ratings quickly recovering. “Within a couple of months, people forgot what happened,” he said. “So our favorables went back up, and our unfavorables went back down.” Boehner’s lesson was meant to make the rebellious members listen; instead, they learned that they didn’t need to.
Labrador then pointed to another chart, which showed that the G.O.P.’s favorable ratings this year dropped from forty-one per cent, in January, to thirty-two per cent, in July. “This is what happens when we do nothing,” he said. “This is the new G.O.P. majority in 2015, when we stand for nothing.” The problem, in his view, was that the Party was “governing,” he said, adding air quotes to the word. “If people just want to ‘govern,’ which means bringing more government, they’re always going to choose the Democrat.”…
These guys ain’t here to, air-quote, govern! These guys just wanna fvck stuff up!
This Vox article suggests that it really was Boehner who was bad at his job, and that Ryan is already doing better.
Just as Malki gets twitchy whenever someone spells his hometown of San Bernardino with one “r”, my old-man-yells-at-clouds side gets crabby when reactionaries are called “radicals”.
Reactionary is a perfectly good word that deserves to be used when it is appropriate.
(Who hasn’t read the article yet.)
GET THE GOVERNMENT OUT OF OUR POTATOES!
Bunch of lunatics. I hope the prediction that they may eventually drive some moderate Republicans to cooperate with Democrats on legislation comes true (because they are really happy they got rid of Boehner and will no doubt be emboldened to overreach).
@Baud: I haven’t read the article, but it seems likely to me that Ryan is enjoying a honeymoon period. not that I could ever disagree that Orange Boehner was bad at his job. Really bad.
I’m not sure anything can work to even marginalize the “freedumb” caucus. The are true believers, in the idea that government is always the problem, so let’s end government and no more problems.
To be somewhat silly for a moment, It must be difficult to see any thing but shit when your head is that far up your own ass.
How do you counter this? No logical argument will work, logic is not an understood concept by people this far out there. How do you appeal to them? What alternative is there that counterbalances NO government? (Remember at the same time many of the far right depend on SS/Medicare just to live.)
I’m lost here.
You can sway me with a good logical/factual argument, if you use good sources and reason. But the words, just because, only bring laughter.
Just because is a valid reason for them.
“He (Labrador) insisted that the strategy behind the government shutdown was sound, but that its subtlety was lost”
Those subtle government shutdowns work how exactly?
@I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: “radical” (Lat. “from the root”) simply means “[advocating] fundamental or revolutionary, as opposed to superficial or incremental, change”. It does not point in any particular direction. A reactionary may well be radical, even with the connotation of restoring a past state, as in most cases the “past” state never existed and in every case the effort to restore it involves fundamental change. Even if the game is breakage for the sheer bloody sake of breakage, “radical” is the right adjective.
@WaterGirl: I agree. But if they can get appropriations passed, then they will hopefully be distracted by the election next year. Gets us through to 2017.
Unify against them and GOTV. The only thing they respect is power.
The only thing they respect is their own power to marginalize everyone else.
Wonderful how things flip and flop around. A hundred years ago the anarchists were lefties.
They would respect the loss of their own power. The question is whether there are enough people out there who are focused enough to fight them.
Legislators who despise the very idea of legislating to govern. The mind doth boggle.
Beg to differ. They’ve seen themselves with power, and without. Their numbers are small, they are a minority and they don’t have any respect now. They can’t just be beaten politically, they have to be shown to be the enemies that they are to the vast majority of citizens. They have to be marginalized.
@Amir Khalid: I’m boggled that Labrador has his two charts: one showing that no matter how much the GOP fucks up, they’ll be forgiven and the other showing the burn it down contingent is not happy when shit is not on fire.
That the reporter & the interview subject see no problem whatsoever with that is also boggling.
Disagree. They are children of Nixon and Reagan and then the Gingrich revolution. They have seen setbacks but they have seen persistent, sustained, dedicated opposition.
When you’re the only one keeping the brown hoards at bay, you’re entitled to certain indulgences.
@efgoldman: Speakers used to do that with earmarks, they got rid of earmarks. What’s an Orange Man to do?
ETA: Earmarks used to be the carrot, of the carrot and the stick. The stick being that’s they’d primary you. The House Freedumb caucus has no fear of primaries. As I said, what’s an Orange Man to do?
I think the members of the establishment part of the GOP were overconfident in their ability to control and bend the rabble to their will. I think Karl Rove still thinks he can bring them in line.
@efgoldman: Yep. A speaker who has no control of his caucus is no speaker at all!
@Frank Wilhoit: Fine. Ruin a perfectly good rant.
@Baud: And smoke.
@BillinGlendaleCA: Also a Speaker could threaten to withhold financial support for the next election, that ended with Citizen’s United.
@WaterGirl: Pelosi isn’t the best in front of the camera, but she’s a master at House politics. It’s a national tragedy that she wasn’t the speaker for most of Obama’s term.
I still beg to differ. This is not old school politics. As @BillinGlendaleCA: noted the speaker now has a lot less power, with no earmarks. Yes earmarks were abused but that also kept the power generally out of the hands of the idiots, morons and raving conservatives (but I repeat myself). That’s gone. The game has changed, we are now being held captive by what, 40 members of the house who are politically stark raving mad. If we hold the WH and take back the senate we will probably be OK for a while. But these 40 could become a bigger number if they can convince enough others that the power is in their hands.
This isn’t old school politics any more. It is a new era for our country. The rules of engagement have changed.
they let them run crazy….they get the results of that.
Unfortunately so will we. Some of us a lot worse than others.
Snooze hour was very complimentary to Paul Ryan yesterday. So tired of the Republican media lackeys.
Hmm, how about not get rid of earmarks? Boehner cooperated in that. It’s one of the reasons he was a bad Speaker.
@schrodinger’s cat: Keeping the government solvent is a major accomplishment of you’re a Republican.
@Baud: Say hello to the new boss,
Same as the old boss.
Only four days left until HAMMER TIME.
And the take-down of Trump will be just a warm-up for the epic takedown of Billary. She’s going to take a beating the likes of which has never been seen in American politics. EVERYTHING from the ’90s forward is going to be brought back up.
Since I’m not in the mood for Republican toddler antics today, a few TCM alerts for tonight:
At 10:00 pm EST, Ernst Lubitsch’s “Heaven Can Wait,” with Don Ameche as a lifelong lothario and Gene Tierney as his long-suffering wife. One of Ameche’s best performances.
At 12:00 am EST, Michael Powell’s “A Matter of Life and Death” (sometimes also known as “Stairway to Heaven”), with David Niven as a WWII pilot who ends up surviving a plane crash because his guardian angel lost him in a fog.
And for the insomniacs, one of my favorite Boris Karloff movies at 3:30 am EST, “The Walking Dead,” which is a strange combination of Warner Bros gangster picture and mad scientist movie.
@Relax: Good. I’m still rooting for Jeb!
@OzarkHillbilly: When I’m elected, we can finally retire that saying.
@OzarkHillbilly: Say hello to the new boss,
Same as the old boss.
Link fail, sorry ’bout that.
Rooting for him to what?
Oh damn, the pie filter stopped working again.
@debbie: Continue being Jeb!
Ah, then continue rushing to the bottom!
@debbie: Yes. But hopefully after winning the nomination. He’s the most beatable.
@NeenerNeener: Thank dog Cleek has a new version posted already. Whew!
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
@BillinGlendaleCA: And weep.
Do you really think the Freedom Caucus will continue this “nice guy” routine for much longer? It seems as if guys like Steve King are really grinding their teeth while saying nice things about Ryan.
@a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): And drink.
If quoting the song, shouldn’t that be “Meet the new boss …”?
@Baud: Long past time. Sadly, i don’t think it will ever be inaccurate. Not really.
@Relax: Those tunes have been in heavy rotation on right-wing radio for more than 20 years yet still haven’t become crossover hits. Obviously, this problem can be overcome if they’re played some more at louder volume.
Meet the new Baud!
It took down Gore in 2000. Remember “restoring honor to the White House?”
Gore was so embarassed he didn’t dare campaign with Bill after Monicagate.
Another bimbo eruption and the Billary campaign is done for. And no doubt Bill is still scewing around, with hefty doses of illegally purchased ED drugs aiding him as I understand it.
@Amir Khalid: Yes. (shrugs at loss of functioning brain cells)
@debbie: To be honest, I don’t pay much attention to all these RW caucuses. I know they are dicks and want to stick it to me and skip the lube,
@Relax: Is that what you call your goat orgy?
First Frankie Goes to Hollywood, and now MC Hammer. Do you think you’ll ever join us in the 21st century?
As long as there are voters who would rather starve than have brown people eat their crumbs, we’ll only get more of these Freedumb Caucus type House members elected.
@Relax: Oooh, now you’re talking about tactics that are only 16 years old. And required Nader making a third-party run and stealing the result in Florida to be successful. Can’t see why suck ratfucking won’t work again. Anything to remind the voters of the impeachment fiasco, or, for a more recent example, the endless, pointless Benghazi hearings.
If the minds behind the GOP are as dim as yours, Hillary has nothing about which to worry.
Wait, Bill Clinton is a horndog? Why has no one ever mentioned this in the past 20 years, perhaps through a bogus lawsuit that led to an equally bogus impeachment?
Time to join us in 2015, Rip Van Winkle. You’ve got a lot of catching up to do.
Conservatives will always be a century or two behind the times. It defines who/what they are.
Use the “Whitey Tape”. You’ve been threatening to since forever.
@GoBlue72: True story: After spending a week chopping Mexican jungle we went to a ***** Hotel (or what passed for one in the late 80s) and my room mate and I walked into our room and perused our accommodations. “Nice.” was all he said.
Then he picked up the phone and said, “Si, operadora? Habla englais? No? Will you please send up a shaved goat and a gallon of Crisco? Muchas Gracias.”
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
@Mnemosyne (tablet): Everything old is new again? Is that the motto of the Brinks truck brigade?
Just One More Canuck
@Relax: have you got a copy of Hillary’s long form birth certificate?
@a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): The wonders of the conservative bubble. On top of it all, they’re sure voters will reject a female candidate for the twenty-year-old sins of her husband. I’m sure the polls showing that both Bill and Hillary are vastly more popular than any Republican running for president must be skewed!
Thread needs moar Red Army.
This is all ancient history. Ain’t nothing there, man. Nothing. As for Jeb, he sucks donkey balls at candidating. That’s why his campaign is dying. His super Pac can run Hillary-bashing ads all year, and it will be nothing but money wasted.
We all knew who Relax was straight away. He never even tried to hide that he used to be RtR. As I recall, his tone was, “Your puny Banhammer cannot smite me! BWAHAHAHAHA!”
How can we be sure? Has he mentioned Brinks trucks in Reverse (a perfect symbol for Boy Blunders dumber brother)? Has he explained how finishing 5th in Iowas and New Hampshire is good news for daddy’s special boy? I think we have to take a wait and see attitude. Ignore him & we’ll see.
@Relax: Your thrice-divorced frontrunner brags about how fuckable his daughter is. Please proceed with the Air Fuck One jokes.
You may be on to something.
I mean The Big Dawg is looking a bit frail after all his health issues and certainly even an “adventure” would have to be toned down. It would have to be a very passive, even sub-servant, completely meek sexual partner.
It must be. Bet the cuddle talk is interesting, if a bit one sided.
@Relax: And you’ve already moved onto the general. I find your lack of faith in Jeb . . . . actually not at all surprising.
@Keith G: Heh.
The latest Des Moines Register poll has Jeb! At 6%, up 1 (one) over the last poll. At this pace, he could be a contender in, what, 2017?
@Relax: Oh, and while we are on the topic of what a fucking dumb ass you are, what this bit about illegally purchased ED drugs?
Why would a man with access to tens of millions of dollars have to illegally buy a legal drug that is legally prescribed without limit?
We might also have a discussion about the limits to use of ED drugs for man with serious cardio vascular issues, but there obviously is no sense in going further.
@Debbie: Jeb is learning that it’s harder to be a contender with the worst president in history as his brother than it is with Rod Steiger in that role.
It’s quiet this evening, but I hope there is a post tomorrow about the climate deal.
I wonder how Obama will have to save his legacy next week.
@Debbie: Remember, Relax told us the jeb? is a ‘happy turtle’.
I hear it doesn’t fix everything RIGHT NOW, so it’s worthless.
I don’t think his heart’s in it. He’s got to be the lowest-energy candidate in recent history.
Test 2. Having problems commenting.
@BillinGlendaleCA: Same old. Same old. I actually think I respect Republicans more.
@GoBlue72: No, it’s what he tells his partner is happening when he’s trying to horndog, and he’s in a “permaflaccid” status. (Hence why he’s so jealous of Bill).
It was easier than calling his member a Norwegian Blew.
At least Santa could bring us better trolls.
He wouldn’t, of course, but the alternative scenario naturally makes for much-better copy for the sleaze tabloids (and their online cousins) – screaming headlines like “I WAS BILL CLINTON’S ILLICIT V**GRA CONNECTION!!!” always catch the eye at the supermarket checkout aisle. The troll is probably right, though: we’re probably going to subjected to an incredible shitstorm of recycled Clinton-bashing should Hillary get the Democratic nom: it’s just that like any cheap whine, it doesn’t age well….
The late Fred Thompson was pretty low energy as well, but he had some charm about him. He didn’t engage very heavily in the daily back and forth of the campaign, but he also didn’t embarrass himself the way Jeb does.
@Baud: I blame Obama.
@Mnemosyne (tablet): Republicans have enough trouble getting to the 19th or 20th Century.
@BillinGlendaleCA: He probably sold me out to get the Paris deal. Bastard.
Yeah, he pretty much makes Perry Como seem animated. And Como’s been dead nearly 15 years.
@Thor Heyerdahl: Well, with Failgunner Ted, make that the 13th century.
@Tokyokie: Perry Como’s dead? How could you tell?(h/t old SNL skit).
@BillinGlendaleCA: If he gets elected, we can, for once, expect the Inquisition.
@efgoldman: Kinda also describes St. Ronnie of Reagan.
Latest Iowa polling: Ted Cruz is up at 31 percent, with Trump at 21. Toss in Carson’s 13 percent, and Team Overtly Crazy has 2/3s of the Iowa Republican voters. Team Hidden Crazy really needs to up their game here.
@dmsilev: Iowa always goes fundie.
@BillinGlendaleCA: Some of them are still pissed that Ravenna took over from Rome.
@Baud: The Romneytronic 3000 came within a hair’s breadth of winning the caucuses last time round.
@dmsilev: He was the only one with money in 2012.
@Baud: Well, that’s fair enough.
I see our pet troll has assured us that this debate will be the one when !Jeb finally cuts loose. Just like he predicted before the previous debate, and the one before that, and…
Lewis Hamilton won’t be racing until March.
@Debbie: ahem, you are forgetting Fred Thompson.
Iowa Old Lady
@dmsilev: I’m looking forward to seeing how Trump deals with being a loser.
@Mike J: No, no, he means that in the talent section of the debate, !Jeb is going to favor us with a rendition of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D played on the marimba.
@Iowa Old Lady: It’ll be YUUUUUGEEE. But not classy.
@dmsilev: Still less cringe inducing than the swimsuit competition.
@Baud: More of that, and I’m going to start drinkin’ again.
@Baud: Santorum’s choice of a pair of Speedos was risky, but it paid off.
Somebody thought to show Jeb which end of the hammer is the handle, right? Anybody?
Gin & Tonic
@OzarkHillbilly: Did you get the goat? Inquiring minds want to know.
@dmsilev: Stupid sexy Santorum.
@Gin & Tonic: NO WE DON’T!
@Ruckus: In a sane world, the Congressman’s comments would ensure he was not re-elected next year.
But we don’t live in a sane world, do we?
@BillinGlendaleCA: That’s SCTV, dammit!
I didn’t spend my entire adolescence howling along with Count Floyd (while wearing my $26.95 3-D glasses), and wondering why everyone else liked SNL, to mix the two up.
Just One More Canuck
@ThresherK: where else but Monster Chiller Horror Theatre could you see such classics as Dr. Tongue’s House of Cats
@ThresherK: 3-D glasses? Anaglyph?
/3-D, infrared geek
@Just One More Canuck: Ahhh! We just watched that classic!
For total geeks in training (this is for the young ‘uns) SCTV has a very complete YouTube channel.
Obligatory “I used to wear an onion on my belt, which was the fashion at the time” story: On one of my two trips to NYC when I was able to get to the Museum of TV and Radio I spent two hours watching nothing but SCTV. That’s the only place you could see them if your local PBS station or some cable channel (Nick at nite?) didn’t buy the rights to broadcast.
@ThresherK: I think I’m a bit older than you, I watched SCTV in grad school.
ETA: The morning crowd knows about my 3-D projects, such as the 3-D Abbey Road cover. Unfortunately I can’t show it to anybody since they don’t have any way to see it. I have a video card and anaglyph glasses that will display it.
@efgoldman: I’ve got onions and I’ve got a belt.
Decades ago, it was called the “Museum of Broadcasting” and when I lived on the Island, my father used to take me and my sister into the City to go there. I watched Laugh-In and Ernie Kovacs, which my dad introduced me to. He would go into the radio section and listen to the old radio shows like “The Shadow.” It’s good to know that it’s still there, even with a different name.
@efgoldman: I thought you were the old man who yelled at clouds.
@efgoldman: Not really, it is possible see it. Another method to view 3-D is the modern equivalent of the view-master. My software will create the left-right pair of images and they could be viewed on a cell phone with a VR viewer.
Just One More Canuck
@ThresherK: as good as SNL could be at its best (that was a long time ago), SCTV was consistently great
@Baud: With an onion on his belt.
ETA: I sit corrected, onion on his braces.
@Just One More Canuck:
But didn’t some of the SNL players come from Second City?
@BillinGlendaleCA: Cool. I was wondering why I never remembered “Anaglyph” from SCTV.
I am waiting for the conservatives to claim SCTV as “theirs” because it’s “politically incorrect” (a phrase which no longer has meaning). For one thing, Guy Caballero was fully ambulatory and rode around in a wheelchair for sympathy.
@Karen: Yep. MT&R, then MofB, now the “Paley Center for Media”, now. By the time I pass on, it may be the “Paley Brainwave Transmitter of Nostalgia “, and we might not even have to travel to it.
@efgoldman: You should consider suspenders. Truly, a look only a man who once wore an onion on his belt can pull off.
@Karen: Of course they did.
(1971) John Belushi (SNL, Animal House, The Blues Brothers, Neighbors)
(1973) Gilda Radner (SNL, Gilda Radner Live from the Winter Garden Theatre)
(1973) Bill Murray (SNL, Groundhog Day, Lost in Translation, Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, Meatballs, Stripes, Where the Buffalo Roam)
(1973) Tino Insana
(1973) John Candy
(1973) Dan Aykroyd (SNL, Ghostbusters, Driving Miss Daisy, The Blues Brothers)
Tino wasn’t on SNL, he was a friend of mine in high school and was good friends with Belushi.
Just One More Canuck
@Karen: I think a lot of them came out of the Chicago Second City – SCTV was done by the Toronto troup
Gin & Tonic
@redshirt: That’s what “braces” are. He wasn’t talking about his teeth.
@Just One More Canuck: Right
@dmsilev: Whenever Jeb? says he’s about to get all butch I just can’t help but think of this.
@Gin & Tonic: I’ve learned two things today!
@efgoldman: Ah, so “braces” are fancy suspenders.
Class war now!
@redshirt: No, braces are suspenders, fancy or not.
@redshirt: I have a pair of extremely warm wool pants – forrest green.
and a black and red check wool coat, and red suspenders. I now live less than 30 miles from Interstate 10. But I have worn those suspenders on those pants. Maybe twice.
Even if I have never worn an onion.
I have been told that’s another one you don’t want to mix up in England — when they say ‘suspenders’, they mean what we Americans call garters. Braces hold up mens’ pants, suspenders hold up ladies’ stockings.
Villago Delenda Est
This is how you deal with fascist assholes.
What always amazes me is that the “anti-government” clan is running for jobs in government – which according to them – doesn’t work, because they make it not work. Completely devoid of the irony gene, they are.
Devoid of many more things than just irony.
They are children of Nixon and Reagan and then the Gingrich revolution. They have seen setbacks but they have seen persistent, sustained, dedicated opposition.
It helps that no matter what the setbacks are, their financiers have enough money to keep the movement afloat until the next time the electorate gets tired of the Democrats.
Yep, I’ve always noticed that too.
@Jay C: Why would a man…?
Ask Rush Limbaugh.