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Inside the Republican Suicide Machine

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  • Inside the Republican Suicide Machine

    Inside the Republican Suicide Machine

    The day before Congress broke for its August recess, on an afternoon when most of official Washington was tying up loose ends and racing to get out of town, Sen. Ted Cruz was setting the stage for the chaos that has consumed the nation's capital in recent weeks.

    The tall Tea Party-backed Texan – the state's junior senator, with less than a year in office – worked his mischief in a windowless Capitol basement, where dozens of the most radical members of the House had gathered for a meeting of the Republican Study Committee. Once a marginal group known for elevating anti-government dogma above party loyalty, the RSC now counts among its members 174 of the 232 House Republicans.

    "Father, we thank you," says Rep. Michele Bachmann, opening the meeting. "You are the most important presence in this room." In a pinstriped suit and yellow tie, Cruz sits at the center of a long conference table, flanked by RSC chair Steve Scalise and by the group's most powerful member, former chair Jim Jordan of Ohio – who has routinely marshaled House rebels into battle against leadership. Jordan flashes the visiting senator a conspiratorial smile.

    Soft-spoken but passionate, Cruz derides the work of House leadership, who this same week have scheduled a 40th, futile bill to roll back Obamacare. Instead of "symbolic statements" that "won't become law," Cruz says, the time has come to force a real fight – one that Republicans can "actually win." It's imperative to act now, Cruz warns, before the full benefits of Obamacare kick in and Americans get "hooked on the sugar, hooked on the subsidies." His plan: Yoke the defunding of Obamacare to the must-pass budget bill the House will take up in September. The endgame? To force a government shutdown so painful and protracted that Barack Obama would have no choice but to surrender the crown jewel of his presidency. "As scary as a shutdown fight is," Cruz insists, "if we don't stand and defund Obamacare now, we never will."

    With those words, Cruz fired the first shot in a civil war that has cleaved Republicans in both chambers of Congress – a struggle that threatens the legitimacy of the Grand Old Party and the stability of the global economy. The fight has little to do with policy, or even ideology. It pits the party's conservative establishment against an extremist insurgency in a battle over strategy, tactics and, ultimately, control of the party. Each side surveys the other with distrust, even contempt. The establishment believes the insurgents' tactics are suicidal; the insurgents believe the establishment lacks the courage of its alleged convictions – while its own members are so convinced of their righteousness that they compare themselves to civil rights heroes like Rosa Parks. The establishment is backed by powerful business concerns with a vested interest in a functioning government. The insurgents are championed by wealthy ideologues who simply seek to tear down government. Both sides are steeled by millions in unregulated, untraceable "dark money."

    Having backed the GOP into a shutdown fight that congressional leaders never wanted, the insurgents are winning, and establishment leaders are running scared. America is now careening toward a catastrophic voluntary default on our debt because no one in the Republican Party with the authority to put on the brakes has the guts to apply them, for fear of being toppled from power.

    "I've never seen anything like it, and neither has anybody else around here," says the House's eldest statesman, 87-year-old John Dingell, who has represented Michigan since 1955. "It's a grave misfortune for the country."

    When Republicans took control of the House in 2011 – fueled by the passion of the Tea Party and the virtually unlimited funding of donors like the Koch brothers – casual observers of American politics saw a House GOP united in the politics of the extreme right. But inside the Capitol, the story was more complicated. The leadership that the Tea Party had vaulted to power – Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor – were members of the GOP's tainted old guard. Although divided by a generation and by an often fierce political rivalry, both Boehner and Cantor abetted the budget-busting "compassionate conservatism" of Karl Rove. Cantor rubber-stamped the "Bridge to Nowhere"; Boehner was a frequent flier on corporate jets. They teamed up to steer the passage of TARP in the face of fierce opposition from grassroots conservatives – a moment that Tea Party leaders cite as the birth of their insurgency.
    "There are four lights!"

  • #2
    A long read on the internecine conflict in the Republican Party but not bad. It has some bias, and it can be a bit surface in its analysis, but has some good bits on the timeline of this debacle.
    "There are four lights!"

    Comment


    • #3
      Another Leftist kook spilling his fevered imagination about conservatives, showing just how completely ignorant he actually is.

      I do get a kick out of Leftists telling conservatives how they can "improve" themselves, though.
      Bask in the warmth of the Deep South
      No one will be denied:
      Big law suits and bathroom toots;
      We're all getting Dixie-fried.
      But somewhere Hank and Lefty
      Are rollin' in their graves
      While kudzu vines grow over signs that read "Jesus Saves."

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Billy Jingo View Post
        A long read on the internecine conflict in the Republican Party but not bad. It has some bias, and it can be a bit surface in its analysis, but has some good bits on the timeline of this debacle.
        Some bias???? You really typed that with a straight face?

        And quoting John Dingell does nothing to add any veracity to the argument. He has held the office since almost the time I was born and its only his pork delivery that has kept him there that long.
        The Dingells of Congress are not the solution, they are the problem.
        We are so fucked.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by gary m View Post
          Some bias???? You really typed that with a straight face?

          And quoting John Dingell does nothing to add any veracity to the argument. He has held the office since almost the time I was born and its only his pork delivery that has kept him there that long.
          The Dingells of Congress are not the solution, they are the problem.
          Since it was a quote about how bad things are, wouldn't being there a long time actually help his argument? Or are you saying that he cannot be trusted to tell the truth which means everything is fantastic?
          "There are four lights!"

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Billy Jingo View Post
            Since it was a quote about how bad things are, wouldn't being there a long time actually help his argument?
            What I am saying is that seeing as I live in his home state, I have heard Dingell ramble on for decades in the national and local media and has been the epitome of "our guys good, their guys bad" for as long as I can remember. He will tell the truth when the truth serves his or the party's political ends. When it doesn't, he won't lie, he'll just evade for the most part.

            Or are you saying that he cannot be trusted to tell the truth which means everything is fantastic?
            And when did you stop beating your wife?
            We are so fucked.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by gary m View Post
              What I am saying is that seeing as I live in his home state, I have heard Dingell ramble on for decades in the national and local media and has been the epitome of "our guys good, their guys bad" for as long as I can remember. He will tell the truth when the truth serves his or the party's political ends. When it doesn't, he won't lie, he'll just evade for the most part.
              I suppose.

              But his quote was rather pointless, in my opinion, and is just used to advance the obvious. I can see things are bad. Some guy there for a long time agrees. Regardless of his veracity on tax policy or the snail darter, it's not really that controversial of a statement.


              And when did you stop beating your wife?
              When she realized that the United States really couldn't do much damage to the Axis for awhile and concentrated on crushing the Soviets early.
              "There are four lights!"

              Comment


              • #8
                It's becoming crystal clear that "this problem" isn't being perceived as a Republican problem so much as it is a "governmental problem". Polls are show ing a big a disaffection by the Independent voters from both parties and all business as usual.

                That's not a catch for the Republicans but it's not a pass on the Democrats, either. Fiscally conservative governors have made positive changes in their own states over the past 5 years and small business people are noticing. That doesn't mean that people are willing to embrace socially conservative policies (although the abortion tide looks to be turning).

                I think it means that government is starting to hurt a lot more than it's helping and people are being personally impacted.

                It's starting to dawn on ordinary working people that neither party has their best interests at heart. The Republicans are callow and the Democrats are radical; oddly enough, they end up at the same place for practical purposes. The middle class ends up getting the pointy-end of the stick.
                "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Gingersnap View Post
                  It's becoming crystal clear that "this problem" isn't being perceived as a Republican problem so much as it is a "governmental problem". Polls are show ing a big a disaffection by the Independent voters from both parties and all business as usual.

                  That's not a catch for the Republicans but it's not a pass on the Democrats, either. Fiscally conservative governors have made positive changes in their own states over the past 5 years and small business people are noticing. That doesn't mean that people are willing to embrace socially conservative policies (although the abortion tide looks to be turning).

                  I think it means that government is starting to hurt a lot more than it's helping and people are being personally impacted.

                  It's starting to dawn on ordinary working people that neither party has their best interests at heart. The Republicans are callow and the Democrats are radical; oddly enough, they end up at the same place for practical purposes. The middle class ends up getting the pointy-end of the stick.
                  All government, All the time. Get in the appropriate line and wait for your fucking cookie, naive.

                  Comment

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