Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Monday, September 30, 2013

Walter White Was A Piker

So the House GOP is engaging in "anarchism", "extortion" and "lemming" like behavior.

It is also clear that a clean continuing resolution could pass in 15 minutes, if Boehner let it.

The question is: will enough GOP House members force a vote on a clean CR through a discharge petition (then again, I don't know enough about House rules to know if you can apply the discharge petition here).

The American people voted for Obama and his agenda in 2012.  The American people returned a Democratic majority in the Senate.  The American people voted - by about 1,300,000 more votes - for a Democratic House.  But the nature of House districts - both the gerrymander and the rural skew of them - means that we are stuck with a bunch of anarcho-extortionists.

I give you two quotes:

First from Chait:
The first element of the strategy is a kind of legislative strike. Initially, House Republicans decided to boycott all direct negotiations with President Obama, and then subsequently extended that boycott to negotiations with the Democratic Senate. (Senate Democrats have spent months pleading with House Republicans to negotiate with them, to no avail.) This kind of refusal to even enter negotiations is highly unusual. The way to make sense of it is that Republicans have planned since January to force Obama to accede to large chunks of the Republican agenda, without Republicans having to offer any policy concessions of their own.

The Second from Fallows:
  • As a matter of substance, constant-shutdown, permanent-emergency governance is so destructive that no other serious country engages in or could tolerate it. The United States can afford it only because we are -- still -- so rich, with so much margin for waste and error. Details on this and other items below.*
  • As a matter of politics, this is different from anything we learned about in classrooms or expected until the past few years. We're used to thinking that the most important disagreements are between the major parties, not within one party; and that disagreements over policies, goals, tactics can be addressed by negotiation or compromise.

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