Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Betrayal of a Mandate

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs. That’s what John Boehner promised. Unfortunately, he didn’t tell us that his primary contributions would be towards their loss. And if the Debt Ceiling deal doesn’t go through before we default? We stand to lose at least 2.5 million jobs, if not more than that, if we fail to pay our bills. As it is, If you hadn’t elected Boehner Speaker of the House, we would have about 2.1 million more jobs than otherwise.

We've lost about half our growth, thanks to the consequences of the uncertainty and the consequences of the cut in discretionary spending. Unemployment could have been cut considerably just by the recovery of the economy, if they had just left things alone!

As it is, the deficit was decreased sharply this year, and most of that was due to new revenues- economic growth, plus an increase in taxes. The two strategies that worked before, worked now. And if they had been left to themselves, they'd be working even better!

Conservatism used to mean being careful. Even Republicans would be careful not to cut unemployment benefits, or take sharp fiscal turns when the economy was down. But at some point, people started taking the rhetoric too seriously.

Rhetoric has a way of mutating. Free trade as in lowered trade barriers becomes the masochistic willingness to watch as other nation's take advantage of us. Free Markets go from being markets where a central authority isn't dictating prices (You know, like the Soviet Union had?), to being markets where the market is expected to carry the weight on preventing abusive or risky behavior among its participants. High taxes don't get defined by rates as we knew them in the Reagan era, which could be over fifty percent, but instead get defined by the Clinton Era, where they're in the high thirties.

I can remember plenty of folks accusing me and my party of indulging in relativism, but it seems like there's been a kind of creep, over the years, in the memetic character of what is true blue conservative policy. The insurance mandate, Bob Dole and Newt Gingrich's answer to HillaryCare, gets turned into a model of Marxism. Efforts to save the Capitalist Economy get turned into socialism, and saving the Domestic Auto industry becomes a sin against the American economy. The Conservatives have been stampeded to the right.

Unfortunately, they're not questioning the place they've ended up, even with Tea Partiers being the only people enjoying this shutdown in the majority. Okay, so you've pleased your loudest, most energized faction, the base of your base. But they've led you to a place where you are far from where the rest of the public wants you.

Again, if they had left things to themselves, they might have done better. They had a decent shot at the Senate. The prospect of a wave election going against them was a remote chance. Obama had his share of problems. Now Republicans wonder why the focus isn't more on him.

They shouldn't. The damage that's being done is an obvious result of their policy decisions. They can talk about Obama and the Democrats being at fault, but when you have a letter like this (PDF) suggesting using the power of the purse to defund Obamacare, in legislation including CRs, there's not much you can do to shake ownership of the crisis. The fact that the power of the purse lies with the GOP, and that this kind of Shutdown and Debt Ceiling thing has been done before, in their first Congress as House Majority, makes it fairly clear that they chose this course, as nobody else could chose for them, constitutionally speaking.

They've also been the party that's been most visible in its prioritization of debt and deficit over all other matters, even to the counterproductive detriment of the economy.

The study I link to first thing in this entry helps to quantify the damage that has been done, the growth foregone, the unemployment rate that's higher than it ought to be, the recovery made more shallow, if not, as this coming default crisis may provoke, counteracted.

The Republicans swept 2010 in the house by saying they'd be better at creating more jobs. However, their fiscal policy has completely reversed that expectation. They've kept 2 million people out of work with their policies, and may end up bringing the total cost in jobs up to about 5 million or more. That's a hell of a difference, and nowhere near in the right direction.

Compare that to Obama's record, one of reversing and surmounting the bad hand he was dealt. Rather than kill two million jobs, he created three through his policies. Rather than encumber growth, he created it. Rather than undermine America's ability to pay its debts, he improved it, by dealing with one of the most important drivers of the huge deficit: the stricken economy. Republicans may regard the stimulus as a failure, and their own policies as successes, but the hard evidence argues the opposite.

If Americans want relief from uncertainty and worries about the debt, if they want greater employment and stronger growth, it's time to undo the mistake we made by handing the keys back to the folks with the bad driving record. We gave them a chance to do better than before. It seems to me that they've squandered it. America can't afford to give the GOP this many second chances. The time has come to stop renewing the Republican's political fortunes, and to start renewing our prestige and reputation.

It's time to make America a sound investment once again, to oppose policies which seem bent on turning America back into the rural backwater it was a century or two ago.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at October 15, 2013 4:01 PM
Comment #372785

End of the report:
“One can only hope that our policymakers will implement more sensible policies in the future but, in surveying today’s political landscape, it is easier to be pessimistic than optimistic about the possibilities.”

We don’t have a financial problem in paying our debts, we can manage the payments as they are now, and our economy can generate the revenues necessary to fix the deficit over the long term. We are still one of the most powerful economic powers in the world.

Our basic problem in dealing properly with our debts is a political one. We have a misinformed, anti-social faction leading around the rest of its party by the nose, because of the degree to which their power as a majority rests on the numbers those critical members provide.

America will not be able to rest from this nightmare until the majority that is based on this ill-tempered, uncooperative lot is dissolved. The Republicans can either primary these extremists, and take the political cost for that, or Democrats can take the House back and return it to the function we prefer it to have.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 15, 2013 5:18 PM
Comment #372786

Daugherty, I read your link and couldn’t find that highlighted remark.

Here are two opposing quotes from Daugherty separated only by a new paragraph.

“We’ve lost about half our growth…”

“As it is, the deficit was decreased sharply this year, and most of that was due to new revenues- economic growth, plus an increase in taxes.”

Sorry but which “fact” is correct”

Sorry, but I can’t read the rest of your comment with confidence.

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 15, 2013 5:20 PM
Comment #372787

“Sorry but which “fact” is correct””

Be careful RF you might me harged with a personal attack

Posted by: tom humes at October 15, 2013 5:36 PM
Comment #372788

Royal Flush-
There’s a PDF link on the report. This is the full report.

I’m quoting from its end.

As for the quotes you’re dealing with, there is no contradiction. The first one reflects reduced growth, while the second one talks about the good that even that reduced growth did for us.

My essential argument is that if we hadn’t messed it up with the fiscal uncertainty and shutdown, our growth would be greater, and so the good effects we have seen this last year would have been better. Our best move would have been to let economic recovery do its good, even stimulate it a little bit, and then start paying things off with the engine of our economy running full speed.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 15, 2013 5:39 PM
Comment #372789

“The U.S. is the most heavily indebted ‘AAA’ rated sovereign, with a gross debt ratio equivalent to double that of the ‘AAA’ median.”

Daugherty writes; “As for the quotes you’re dealing with, there is no contradiction. The first one reflects reduced growth, while the second one talks about the good that even that reduced growth did for us.”

LOL…does anyone read a definition of “hyperbole” or “spin” in this comment?

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 15, 2013 5:43 PM
Comment #372790

Be careful RF you might me harged with a personal attack
Posted by: tom humes at October 15, 2013 5:36 PM

Not to worry tom…you can come back as humes tom…lol

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 15, 2013 5:45 PM
Comment #372791

tom humes-
I think he can take care of himself.

Royal Flush-
The real trouble is that nothing moves forward until a deal is made with Democrats that Democrats don’t have to commit political malpractice to pass, and the Tea Party Caucus refuses to acknowledge this simple fact.

They’ve been denied almost forty times, but they though they could take a confrontation like this and win it. No deal.

They won’t acknowledge this. The likely outcome would force reliance on the Democrats in the minority in one way or another, and that itself is politically problematic for the Republicans. Republicans are damned if they end the shutdown, damned if they don’t. That’s the conflict here, the real one.

Read your Robert McKee, a good screenwriting teacher: the real conflicts aren’t good vs. evil, they’re between irreconcilable goods, and the lesser of two evils. The Republicans are faced with the prospect of absorbing much of the blame for the shutdown and the potential default, but at the same time, they’ve got this unbearably angry base that will punish them for ending this confrontation without their unrealistic goals realized.

The GOP is being squeezed, essentially, by the very constitution it professes to love, with the power to create the confrontation pitted against the impotence in terms of resolving it their way. It doesn’t help that expectations and requirements for victory have been set so high. No satisfaction with half-measures, yet no full measures achievable.

I’m almost ready to paraphrase Morticia Addams in the first movie: Don’t torture yourself, Republicans, that’s our job! But they’re actually succeeding at doing more harm to themselves than we could, as we were. All we have to do is just refuse to negotiate the budget under duress, refuse to bargain for raising the debt ceiling. Your party is making it too easy for Democrats to win long term.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 15, 2013 5:56 PM
Comment #372793

The fact that the power of the purse lies with the GOP means that liberals shouldn’t force through huge government programs before the people can have their say.

Talk about trying to please the extreme wing of your Party.

Posted by: kctim at October 15, 2013 5:57 PM
Comment #372794

Royal Flush-
AAA credit is still AAA credit. It means they trust us to pay our debts without question. Heavily indebted or not, we gain nothing from losing that rating.

As for my “spin”. My spin is a basic truth: the recovery, which has restored millions of jobs, would be millions of jobs better if it hadn’t been for the fiscal chaos of the last few years.

The Republican Party seems to be doing its best to convince people that their dominance in the House and economic stability are mutually exclusive.

They weren’t the majority when Obamacare was passed. As for pleasing the extreme wing of the party, I think there’s plenty of evidence, if you go through liberal sites that the Public Option or the Single-Payer program were the preferred mechanisms for covering those that insurance wouldn’t, not the mandate. The mandate was a concession to Republicans in Congress, who unfortunately failed to register the gesture of using their preferred Healthcare Reform idea, and negotiate in good faith.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 15, 2013 6:04 PM
Comment #372797


Had we elected Romney last year, we would be cruising toward prosperity. Obama is a very bad president. He promised us no sequester. He promised growth. He promised harmony. He delivered division and unhappiness.

Posted by: CJ at October 15, 2013 6:18 PM
Comment #372799

“Barack Obama has taken the Democratic Party left of Clinton. He left blue-dog, centrist Democrats to be punished for his sins and they were wiped out in the GOP’s 2010 Congressional landslide. All the while, the Internet has empowered and organized the party’s remaining and most extreme elements. The Democratic Party can’t go left. It is left, in entirety. They already occupy America’s left fringe.

Bill Clinton’s New Democrats are dead. This is not Hillary Clinton’s Democratic Party. Today’s Democratic Party belongs to Elizabeth Warren. It is the party that just nominated a Sandinista trainee who returned from Nicaragua with “a vision of unfettered leftist government” for mayor of New York City, according to the New York Times.

Once, Obama may have campaigned as a centrist, but that was long ago. He has since governed as an old school economic liberal from the ’60s. As Fred Thompson has noted, Barack Obama has been “George McGovern without the experience.” Obama’s answer to every economic challenge has been top-down. Our governing class knows best, he believes, especially since Washington’s elite now includes him.

If the world has changed in eight decades, our President hasn’t noticed. His view of government is cast from the bronze of Franklin Roosevelt and the ’30s. He puts our big, dumb, inflexible public sector at the top of American life, to mandate redistribution and prosperity.”

Read more, it gets even better.

And today’s Democrats think this is a good thing.

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 15, 2013 6:26 PM
Comment #372807

When Congress persons choose to damage the economy, the nation, and millions upon millions of Americans, TODAY, rather than simply vote to fund the government and pay our debts, more than all others, these Congress persons deserve to be voted out of office. If they wanted to represent their local constituency, they should have run for State or County government.

The U.S. Congress is charged with representing the interests of ALL Americans and their nation as a whole. These extremists sabotaging our nation are NOT representing America, or its national interests. Their actions are Anti-American. Al-Queda must be thrilled that these radicals are about accomplish what Al-Queda wished they could, bring the American economy to its knees.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 15, 2013 6:54 PM
Comment #372808

“His view of government is cast from the bronze of Franklin Roosevelt and the ’30s.”

Royal Flush,

Well, that probably is a good thing. Your quote reminds of a quote from the conservative columnist, George Will: “Americans are conservative, what they want to conserve is the New Deal.”

Posted by: Rich at October 15, 2013 6:58 PM
Comment #372809

If you have evidence and an argument for your several claims, I’m all ears. Otherwise, I think I have more evidence that we’re fortunate to have Obama in charge, because he at least didn’t promise further revenue sapping tax cuts, or economy dragging austerity. Obama’s also proven a much better counterweight to the idiocy of the Tea Party Republicans in the house. Romney would be their pet dog.

Royal Flush-
Castellanos, right? The Republican consultant. Wow. I would think he’d be the last person to criticize Obama.

America needs more stability and wisdom than the Republican majority in the House is prepared to lead with.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 15, 2013 7:00 PM
Comment #372812

Daugherty writes; “Royal Flush-
Castellanos, right? The Republican consultant. Wow. I would think he’d be the last person to criticize Obama.”

What? Criticizing the writer rather than the message?

Remember when Corporatism was Fascism?

“Big business played no small role in creating this (ACA) Frankenstein’s monster. Despite popular mythology, the pharmaceutical and insurance industries do not fear health care reform, certainly not of the variety that President Obama proposed. They welcome it with open arms. The so-called reforms were not passed over the strident objections of fat cats but rather with their generous financial assistance.

I can remember when plenty of liberals thought collusion between big business and big government was more than just dangerous, it was fascism.

Actual industrialists are lined up around the corner with their tribute offerings to the new chief executive. There’s a reason Barrack Obama was the best funded candidate in the history of the world, two election cycles running, and it isn’t because he eschews corporate money. He relishes it. PhRMA is on his team. BP gave more money to Obama than they’ve ever given to any other candidate. His inaugurations were funded by AT&T and Microsoft. He’s the corporate kid.

So where’s the outrage? Corporations are getting a sweet deal with Obamacare while the rest of us are getting the shaft.”




Posted by: Royal Flush at October 15, 2013 7:14 PM
Comment #372813

“In fiscal 2013, because of the low interest rates, the government paid out only $224.695 billion in interest on its securities. But if the average interest rate on these securities were to rise to the level they were in January 2001 (3.34 times as great as they were this September), the Treasury would need to pay about $750 billion in interest on just its current volume of marketable debt.

However, because the government is running a deficit—by spending hundreds of billions more than the tax revenues it collects—the only way the Treasury could pay that higher level of interest would be to borrow that much more from new investors.”

- See more at:

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 15, 2013 7:23 PM
Comment #372818


Obama is just a bad leader. He has been unable to get congress to do much of anything. Even his own party is not particularly cooperative.

Obama said of the sequester. “The sequester is not something I proposed, it’s something that Congress proposed. It will not happen.”

Of course, he was lying about not proposing the sequester, but he was promising it would not happen. It did.

Then we have the Obamacare rollout. What a mess!

I am not sure what Romney could have done, but he could not have done worse than Obama.

Actually, I suppose we would have those 2.1 million more jobs you talk about.

Posted by: CJ at October 15, 2013 8:10 PM
Comment #372820

Royal Flush-
Your comments these days seem to be mostly other people’s comments. You might do well to include more text that counts as your own words, rather than quoting people wholesale. This does count as one of the conditions for posting here.

As a conservative, you should have respect for copyright protection, for intellectual property.

As for my criticism? I know who the pundits are on CNN, and I’m aware of his political alignment.

Let’s run through some of his claims, just for your sake.

1) That Obama left Blue Dogs to be punished for his sins.

In truth, the blue dogs did their best to distance themselves, and they didn’t get targeted because Obama abandoned them, they got Targeted because Republicans were looking for the easiest Democrats to pick off.

2) The party’s gone way to the left.

Not half as far as the GOP’s gone to the Right. Obama is not holding the nation’s economy hostage in order to repeal the sequester cuts, or get single payer passed. Additionally, you have to realize some things. First, the Republican Party’s election strategy pillaged the ranks of the conservative Democrats, guaranteeing a shift towards the new left. Second, without a consistent flow of opportunities for bipartisan Democrats to show their deal-making skills, even those Democrats who remain are grudgingly left without much to offer compromise on. The Democrats HAVE to tack harder to the left to do much of anything to please the voters. Voters aren’t going to reward suckers who just beat their heads up against the obstructions of the Republicans. Third, after years of basically being the losers in the political game, Democrats have begun to win more elections, and win them more handily when they act like the Democrats they are. This pundit doesn’t quite know how to handle that, I think!

And that feeds into the next paragraph.

My theory? When the Republicans started really pushing the partisan warfare in 2002, using the advantage of Bush’s Commander in Chief popularity, they made it very difficult to occupy the middle ground. That’s stage one. Then they started screwing up the policy, so many of the DLC were caught straddling the fence, trying to support fiscal policy that was ballooning deficits, a war policy that was quickly becoming unpopular, and economic and regulatory policies that were difficult to justify to even casual Democrats.

It didn’t help that Republicans punished the Democrats when they came around to opposing or winding down the war. As they increasingly defined the area of acceptable politics further and further to the right, they found themselves beloved by nobody.

Defeating Kerry, I think, spelled the end. By successfully taking even the hawkish Democrat out, the logic of being Republican lite became difficult to defend.

Obama, though, wasn’t without his affection for reaching across the aisle. However, several years of slapping that hand away has made it difficult to impossible for Obama to sell his constituents on the logic of being accommodating.

In essence, as Republicans have insisted on being more and more partisan, more and more zealously opposed to liberals and Democrats, they’ve burned many of the bridges that this pundit wished Democrats would cross.

I could go on , but the point is this: Alex is ignoring all the ways in which Republicans have made it unrewarding to be an old school Democrat.

Even more importantly, I think it’s worth pointing out that there’s an embryonic movement on the right to be more compromising, a role reversal that the pressures of having only one chamber of Congress and no White House are forcing to happen. As Republicans in outlier districts try to hold on to their seats, they become more willing to adjust to their centrist districts. Whether that ends up getting them primaries or not, it means they have to become more moderate, more liberal, in order to survive, or, if they don’t survive, it’s not the Tea Partier that’s going to replace them.

The cost of not being good coalition builders inside or outside of the party is showing more and more each day, and since many in the Tea Partiers simply don’t care about preserving the party, they’re actually doing much of the job of both relieving Democrats from the political pressures to go right, and the need to expend energy to inflict damage on the GOP.

On the subject of interest rates, yes, we need to avoid seeing them run higher. But why then do you want to default, which would force investors to demand higher yields for their cooperation? You’re causing the very problem you’re worrying might occur in the future.

Your Congress is dominated by people who punish even the slightest bit of compromise or cooperation with the Democrats. The Republican majority in Congress pushes red meat legislation again and again to keep this farce going. Why do expect the cooperation and compromise you scorn?

Obama would not have implemented a sequester policy on his own. If we had kept the House, the rollout of the ACA would have been much smoother, because we could have fixed things and appropriated things ahead of time.

And Romney? Romney would have basically been a doormat to the Tea Party. He already renounced or denounced his moderate history, trying to pretend that he was severely conservative.

And where do you suppose all those jobs would come from? The tax cuts you said would create them would likely follow the Bush Tax cuts in being a dud on that count. He wouldn’t do a fiscal stimulus other than that, not with the Tea Party calling the shots. And let’s face it, much of the Republican idea of a job bill simply amounts to letting businesses do what they want.

Magic hypotheticals do not compete well with evidence-based studies of the costs of the fiscal insanity we’ve been afflicted with.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 15, 2013 9:34 PM
Comment #372823

SD, you know things are getting bad when former water-carriers-for-Obama AND the Washington Post publish stories such as THIS.

Posted by: Kevin L. Lagola at October 15, 2013 10:25 PM
Comment #372828


They may not have been the majority, but everybody and their dog knew they would be after the people had their say in the 2010 elections. The least the liberals should have done was to have waited and see how the election played out, instead of forcing it through before.

Yep, the extreme left want government health care and they will do anything to force it onto all of us against our will. That is why they consider the ACA with its mandate and control to be nothing more than a ‘stepping stone’ to their selfish desire for government provided health care.
Republicans tried to negotiate, but liberals wanted nothing that didn’t give them that mandate and control.

Fact is, the liberal agenda to get their government health care is so important, they are willing to defund and default the country to get it.

Posted by: kctim at October 16, 2013 9:34 AM
Comment #372832

Kevin L. Lagola-
The funniest thing is, they’re seeing fewer problems from the places where the states set up the exchanges. So, ironically, the net effect is that Republican interference with the setting up of the insurance market places has both federalized and made the initial set up worse for people in their states!

The thing I would say, though, is that it’s easy to knock something for not working when it starts out. Fact is, any complex project will develop problems, especially when it’s being treated as a political chew toy.

It’s the law of the land, and that’s not changing anytime soon. I would welcome, though, efforts to improve the system. After all, it’s the GOP’s system to begin with. If anybody wants to prove that market economics can play a primary role in improving healthcare, it would be them.

I’m afraid that after 2006 and 2008, Republicans taking the majority was not such a foregone conclusion for the politicians, much less folks like me. You can claim hindsight is 20/20, and that Obamacare was the primary reason for the political losses (rather than the high unemployment and ongoing economic troubles)

But really, I think your suggestion of waiting on dealing with the healthcare law until after the elections is problematic, and I can back that reasoning with an example: the budget, and the tax cuts.

While I admire the concessions that Obama was able to wring from the Republicans after the election, during the lame duck session, I can’t help but wonder how things would have been if Democrats had dealt with the budget and the reduction of the tax cuts for the rich during the summer or spring of 2010, back when they had overwhelming numerical strength. If we had gotten that stuff done before the elections, despite the politics of it, there wouldn’t have been a debt ceiling crisis or a threatened shutdown, neither of which, I would advise you, turned out to be that popular.

And I don’t think a process that lasts an entire year, more or less, from March 2009 to March 2010 qualifies as rushed. We actually might have been better served by pushing things through quickly, because the delays we allowed so that Republican Senators could have their negotiations turned out to give the Republicans the opportunity to push those ridiculous town hall travesties. Trouble was, we thought in the wake of the 2008 election, Republicans would be more accommodating.

The irony is this: it might have been better for them if they had. By building up Obamacare as this existential threat to freedom, Republicans not only oversold the hysteria, they obligated themselves to oppose it no matter how ridiculous the means of doing so. It got made into a litmus test. Giving up was almost tantamount to giving up to a military enemy.

As for selfish desires? Healthcare is a need in modern society, and healthcare coverage has to be a strong defense against medical bills undermining people’s fortunes. If all it is a racket where the young and healthy are ensured, while those who really need the care are marginalized, then there’s a fundamental wrong at work.

People will not be satisfied with paying much to gain little. You might think of it as selfish, but really, it’s self interest, and as Adam Smith would tell you, self-interest is entirely natural for people. You can’t expect the average person to work just for the sake of paying a Healthcare company’s CEO big bucks, or building huge palatial hospitals that don’t even keep many of their rooms filled. But since healthcare is a need, people have less power, less leverage to punish hospitals with.

And that last part? Look, we didn’t do what Bush did with his Medicare reforms, creating huge new benefits without offsetting it through cuts and new taxes. We did our due diligence on that. Meanwhile, Republicans posted a letter, linked to in my article, basically saying that this CR was their big opportunity to use the power of the purse to defund Obamacare.

We didn’t pick this fight, nor did we want it. And really, resisting their attempt to use that power to force the end of Obamacare is less about Obamacare in particular, and more about this economically destabilizing and endangering tactic of using government shutdowns and the threat of default to undermine the power of the Senate and the Presidency to serve as a check on the House. We will not reward the intentional infliction of dysfunction, the hostage taking. There are more subtle and less broadly destructive ways to achieve the same ends. Trouble is, the Tea Party and the other Republicans have to perform for their voters.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 16, 2013 11:46 AM
Comment #372834


The people who showed up to vote out ‘moderate’ Democrats did so because of their Reps vote for the ACA, not because of high unemployment or the economy.
IF liberals would have concentrated on stealing more from the successful, the turnouts might not have been as they were.

The problems the ACA has had since 2010 shows that it was rushed in order to beat the elections. Liberals knew damn well they would lose the House and they knew damn well that such intrusive government programs are impossible to get rid of once they are put in place.

Of course you believe the pro individual town halls were travesties, you also believe the “give me” OWS riots were righteous.

The protests against the ACA are valid. I takes away a persons freedom of choice, will raise taxes, people are losing the doctor of their choice, premiums are still rising and jobs are being lost.

“Free” government healthcare is a selfish desire of those on the left.
85+% of Americans were satisfied with their current healthcare status, but you are willing to disregard that to achieve your dream of government healthcare. That is selfish.

The vast majority of Americans did not have major problems when dealing with their healthcare needs. Yes, they thought it was too expensive and that there was way too much paperwork, but all of that could have been worked on without more government mandates.

I am not so shallow as to care about what other people make or how hospitals choose to pretty themselves. My ‘self-interest’ never has, and never will, be based on what others have.

“We didn’t pick this fight, nor did we want it.”

Would there be a fight if you would have work with the right to come up with reforms BOTH sides could live with? No. Would there be a fight if you would have respected the results of the 2010 elections and addressed the concerns of the people? No.

Gotta love all this leftist blather about ‘hostage taking.’ Tea (Taxed Enough Already) Party people elected reps to address our excessive spending problem. Leftists are demanding more excessive spending to pay for more government and have shutdown government and are willing to default, to get that money. Republicans caved and said fine, you can have your money, but no ACA. You said no. Republicans caved again and said fine, you can have your money, but delay the ACA and get it fixed. You said no. Republicans caved again and said delay the mandate. You said no.
YOU are the one creating the bills that need to be paid, but yet those not willing to GIVE YOU the money to pay those bills are the the ones holding YOU hostage? Give me a break.

“There are more subtle and less broadly destructive ways to achieve the same ends.”

Must not be that destructive, seeing how you are willing to ignore the majority of Americans and go there if you don’t get your way.

“Trouble is, the Tea Party and the other Republicans have to perform for their voters.”

That’s how you represent the people who elected you to represent them.

Posted by: kctim at October 16, 2013 1:00 PM
Comment #372838
Leftists are demanding more excessive spending to pay for more government and have shutdown government and are willing to default

Does the Senate’s “clean CR” appropriate money anywhere near the level requested by Obama’s budget? Or does more closely align with GOP spending priorities?

The people who showed up to vote out ‘moderate’ Democrats did so because of their Reps vote for the ACA, not because of high unemployment or the economy.

False! According to exit polls, concerns regarding the economy were the top issue. Concerns regarding health care ranked a distant second.

Posted by: Warren Porter at October 16, 2013 3:39 PM
Comment #372841


The ACA costs money and the left shutdown government and was willing to default to get it. They had plenty of opportunity to get what they wanted if not for that.

Re exit polling: The point you missed is where I said “The people who showed up to vote out moderate Democrats”

Posted by: kctim at October 16, 2013 5:59 PM
Comment #372843

“the law of the land” . Is that what is passed in WDC and sometimes the law gets repealed. So that phrase “the law of the land” is nonsinsical.

A clean CR? There is nothing clean about the Senate CR. It is loaded with pork and sausage along with some eggs.

The dimocrats will pay the price for this corruption and will do it in short order.

Posted by: tom humes at October 16, 2013 6:48 PM
Comment #372845

We are witnessing what happens when a political party is divided by ideology. Since the Speaker will allow a vote on the latest Senate proposal, the chances are excellent that it will pass in the House. The government will reopen and the debt limit raised.

Republicans were openly, harshly, and continually criticizing each other. Mostly it was moderate and liberal R members in the Senate doing the heavy lifting for the benefit of the D party and obama.

A fractured R party is toothless and impotent. Capitulation to the united liberal D party was inevitable.

The “Inside the Beltline” Washington Republicans may as well change their party affiliation and join the D’s.

Conservatives are taking a beating at the hands of both D’s and many R’s. If this continues we will soon become in reality a one-party nation.

Liberals are celebrating today as our nation goes deeper in debt, as our nation continues its spendthrift ways. And why wouldn’t they celebrate…they have a victory over rational governance that has lost its appeal to many. The slogan has become…if you can’t beat them, join them. At least in that way one can temporarily feed on the carcass of what was America.

Can conservatives attract enough votes in the next election to defeat the R and D liberals? I don’t know, but I will certainly do my best to make that happen.

Posted by: Royal Flush at October 16, 2013 7:24 PM
Comment #372848

No, Royal, conservatives aren’t being beaten by liberal Ds and Rs. It is radical ideological conservatives that are being beaten.

You guys don’t seem to understand that your radical fringe snatched political defeat from the jaws of victory. Republicans had basically won the budget CR battle until Cruze decided to hold it and the Republican party hostage to Obamacare. You let a rookie take the snap in the last seconds and he screwed it up.

Posted by: Rich at October 16, 2013 8:54 PM
Comment #372856
The ACA costs money and the left shutdown government and was willing to default to get it.

The fact remains that the quantity of money appropriated is only marginally greater than what the GOP preferred. The Republicans’ objection are clearly not with the quantity of government spending.

“The people who showed up to vote out moderate Democrats”

So what? In 2010, moderate Democrats lost their reelection bids because of voter concerns regarding the economy, which is exactly what the poll says.

Posted by: Warren Porter at October 16, 2013 10:01 PM
Comment #372857

Booker won in New Jersey.

Posted by: Marysdude at October 16, 2013 10:15 PM
Comment #372861

Look, the threat they made was one they had too much to lose, and not enough public support to actually carry out. As such, it lacked the leverage that it appeared to have, because Democrats could wait them out, and they’d have to settle.

You blame the Republicans for caving, but they really didn’t have a choice, not if they wanted to be eligible for anything higher than dogcatcher. You could not deliberately crash the American economy and hope to extend your career.

And by the way: Republicans helped create those bills, because they are the first part of the process that makes the appropriations. That’s what the shutdown was about!

As for “performing for voters?” I didn’t mean performance in the sense of doing well at their jobs, I meant something more along the lines of political theatre, which Republicans tend to engage in all too much in lieu of performing well the other way.

tom humes-
The fact is, you have to pass a law to undo a law, and the Republicans couldn’t do that, not by themselves. As for a Clean CR? You can bandy the rhetoric around, but we needed it to get the government operating again.

As for who will pay the price? Who forced this? Who just cratered completely while pleasing nobody? This is one of the worst, most poorly led House majorities in American history. I can’t believe the Democrats won’t get a net gain in the House.

Royal Flush-
The Problem for Republicans is that they chose a suicidal tactic with a divided majority, crippling their ability to make good on the threat twice over. Nobody but a psychopath could make good on this threat, and they’d still probably lose the next election over the economic fallout.

You matched willpower against the structures of Constitutional government, and Constitutional government, as it was designed to do, won.

And there’s no carcass. America is alive and well, and we did what we did to make sure it would remain so. It’s time to quit trying to provoke an apocalypse. American needs stability, certainty, and level-headed, strong leadership.

What are the Republicans capable of providing in Washington at this point?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 16, 2013 10:57 PM
Comment #372862

“The fact is, you have to pass a law to undo a law,”

Dont talk so condescending to me. You sit there on your royal throne and think that I don’t have sense or knowledge of what is going on. I can run circles around you on Constitutional Law and I am not an expert. I do have the common sense to understand the Constitution. You sit on your editorial podium and try to dictate to me your charges that I was out of line on another post and you proceed to do exactly what you think I am guilty of, whatever the unspecified charges were. I am thinking that I hit a sore spot on your thin skin, but I did not degrade you. If using the word ignorant bothers you, then re-examine your own character.

Posted by: tom humes at October 16, 2013 11:25 PM
Comment #372863


“The fact remains” that the ACA is more government that requires more excessive spending and liberals were willing to shutdown and even default to get it.

“In 2010, moderate Democrats lost their reelection bids because of voter concerns regarding the economy”

Believe that is you wish, but you are wrong.
First, you are looking at all voters, while I am talking only about those with the intention to get rid of their moderate Dem rep.
Second, you are a smart enough guy to know that certain issues bring out people who don’t vote on a regular basis, and that these votes more often turn elections. The 2nd Amendment is a good example.

If those people weren’t worried about the government intrusion and cost that comes with the ACA, the elections would have probably had different results.

Posted by: kctim at October 17, 2013 10:03 AM
Comment #372864


The ACA does not have the support of the majority of the public. IF Republicans were smart, they would have told the left that they could have everything they wanted, except for the ACA, and stuck to it. The left could either accept the majoritys rejection of the ACA, or “deliberately crash the American economy.”

It’s all moot now anyway, the Republicans were not united, spineless, and ended up caving. The Dems now have free reign to pretty much do whatever they want. They have a blank checkbook.
I will not be surprised one bit if Republicans lose big time because of more and more people on the right now deciding not to show up at the polls.

“I meant something more along the lines of political theatre”

Sad that you, and even alot of Republicans, see standing up for ones principles and representing ones constituents as “political theatre.”

Posted by: kctim at October 17, 2013 10:24 AM
Comment #372868

tom humes-
Don’t take it personally. You said, in responding to my talk about the law of the land that laws could be repealed. Well, yes. But it takes either judicial review (which ACA mostly survived) or the passage of another law to achieve that repeal.

So, no matter what, The House needed the cooperation of the Senate to do this, and they failed to either gain it by compromise, or gain the majority in it so they could directly force the issue. They also failed to get the White House.

The economy is a pretty unifying issue, especially just a couple years after the crash. The ACA wasn’t the primary issue you thought it was. It might be what helped motivate a bunch of Republicans, but other voters were brought in by talk about improving the jobs market and the economy

As for the ACA?
The problem with both the Shutdown and Debt Ceiling threats is that The threats is that they had no leverage that the other side didn’t have. The tactics proved almost universally unpopular, and the Republicans, irregardless of their twisted rhetoric couldn’t shake ownership of the hostage situation.

You can talk about folding and capitulating, but their real mistake was being spineless in the face of the Tea Party Caucus. If they had the courage, they could have made the cause that taking back the Senate took precedence, and would get them much further in that direction, but instead they worried about the extremists in their party taking their jobs.

As for representing Constituents? First, are Tea Partiers even the majority in most of these districts, even if they’re Republican? Second, does it really represent people well to attempt a whole bunch of repeals and rewrites that never go anywhere or do anything? Third, in the end, it does political movements good to remain grounded, to learn from experience. The last few confrontations with the President, with similar threats, ended up as bad or worse. And why? Because in each situation, both sides had something to lose if things didn’t get resolved.

You might think it’s awful charming to practice politics like a suicide bomber practices warfare, but it’s not a sustainable strategy.

If people don’t show up at the polls, it’s because they’ll have seen their party going crazy, or because they have impossible expectations that their people simply aren’t in a position to fulfill.

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