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Will the Kamikaze Caucus Doom the GOP?

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  • Will the Kamikaze Caucus Doom the GOP?

    Will the Kamikaze Caucus Doom the GOP?

    When congressional insiders say John Boehner could lose his speakership if he moves to end the confrontations over the federal budget and debt ceiling, it provokes an obvious question: How could he tell?

    Embattled throughout his nearly three-year tenure, Boehner has never seemed more a SINO—that's Speaker In Name Only—than during this crisis. He's allowed the House Republicans' most conservative members to repeatedly escalate the confrontation despite his doubts about their strategy, if that word applies. At times lately, Boehner has hinted he might isolate the Right by building a coalition of Democrats and more pragmatic Republicans before allowing the federal government to default on its debts. But, so far, he's effectively thrown up his hands and surrendered the wheel to the Right's insatiable demand for collision.

    It's another question whether anyone else could have done better at taming the unruly passion of the tea-party-allied caucus in both chambers that has goaded the GOP into this brawl. One lesson of the grueling standoff, as I noted recently, is that when Congress devolves into perpetual conflict, each party's more militant voices gain influence at the expense of its deal-makers.

    That dynamic is evident in a Democratic Party that has coalesced around a hard-line, no-negotiations strategy meant to lastingly delegitimize threats of government shutdown or default as a lever for exacting policy concessions. "We have to break the cycle of this, and it has to happen now," insists one senior White House aide.

    But the shift of power from the center to the fringe has been most vivid in a Republican Party that precipitated this clash. Although Boehner's hapless performance surely has ironfisted predecessors like Joe Cannon and Sam Rayburn spinning, it's not as if Senate Republican leaders, despite their own abundant doubts, have more successfully controlled the most belligerent voices in their own ranks.

    The reason the most confrontational congressional Republicans have seized the party's controls is that they are most directly channeling the bottomless alienation coursing through much of the GOP's base. That doesn't mean Republican voters have broadly endorsed the party's specific tactics: In this week's United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll, even GOP voters split fairly closely on the wisdom of seeking concessions on President Obama's health care law through the debt and spending showdowns (while almost every other group preponderantly opposed that idea).

    But the kamikaze caucus, by seeking to block the president by any means necessary, is reflecting the back-to-the wall desperation evident among grassroots Republicans convinced that Obama and his urbanized, racially diverse supporters are transforming America into something unrecognizable. Although those voters are split over whether the current tactics will work, they are united in resisting any accommodation with Obama.

    Veteran Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg, who has studied the two parties' coalitions since the 1980s, recently conducted several focus groups with GOP voters that probed this passion. He concluded that the roaring sense of embattlement among the almost all-white tea party and evangelical Christian voters central to the GOP base draws on intertwined ideological, electoral, and racial fears.
    "There are four lights!"

  • #2
    A different take on the issue where the battle is drawn between the brown and the gray.
    "There are four lights!"

    Comment


    • #3
      BWAHAHAHAHAAHAHAAHAHAAA!!!

      Oh, this is absolutely hilarious!


      About National Journal

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      LMFAO!! Whoinaell do they think they're kidding claiming that? LOL!
      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
        Will the Kamikaze Caucus Doom the GOP?

        When congressional insiders say John Boehner could lose his speakership if he moves to end the confrontations over the federal budget and debt ceiling, it provokes an obvious question: How could he tell?

        Embattled throughout his nearly three-year tenure, Boehner has never seemed more a SINO—that's Speaker In Name Only—than during this crisis. He's allowed the House Republicans' most conservative members to repeatedly escalate the confrontation despite his doubts about their strategy, if that word applies. At times lately, Boehner has hinted he might isolate the Right by building a coalition of Democrats and more pragmatic Republicans before allowing the federal government to default on its debts. But, so far, he's effectively thrown up his hands and surrendered the wheel to the Right's insatiable demand for collision.

        It's another question whether anyone else could have done better at taming the unruly passion of the tea-party-allied caucus in both chambers that has goaded the GOP into this brawl. One lesson of the grueling standoff, as I noted recently, is that when Congress devolves into perpetual conflict, each party's more militant voices gain influence at the expense of its deal-makers.

        That dynamic is evident in a Democratic Party that has coalesced around a hard-line, no-negotiations strategy meant to lastingly delegitimize threats of government shutdown or default as a lever for exacting policy concessions. "We have to break the cycle of this, and it has to happen now," insists one senior White House aide.

        But the shift of power from the center to the fringe has been most vivid in a Republican Party that precipitated this clash. Although Boehner's hapless performance surely has ironfisted predecessors like Joe Cannon and Sam Rayburn spinning, it's not as if Senate Republican leaders, despite their own abundant doubts, have more successfully controlled the most belligerent voices in their own ranks.

        The reason the most confrontational congressional Republicans have seized the party's controls is that they are most directly channeling the bottomless alienation coursing through much of the GOP's base. That doesn't mean Republican voters have broadly endorsed the party's specific tactics: In this week's United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll, even GOP voters split fairly closely on the wisdom of seeking concessions on President Obama's health care law through the debt and spending showdowns (while almost every other group preponderantly opposed that idea).

        But the kamikaze caucus, by seeking to block the president by any means necessary, is reflecting the back-to-the wall desperation evident among grassroots Republicans convinced that Obama and his urbanized, racially diverse supporters are transforming America into something unrecognizable. Although those voters are split over whether the current tactics will work, they are united in resisting any accommodation with Obama.

        Veteran Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg, who has studied the two parties' coalitions since the 1980s, recently conducted several focus groups with GOP voters that probed this passion. He concluded that the roaring sense of embattlement among the almost all-white tea party and evangelical Christian voters central to the GOP base draws on intertwined ideological, electoral, and racial fears.
        He is the CEO of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, a polling and consulting firm, and co-founder (with James Carville and Bob Shrum) of Democracy Corps, a non-profit organization which produces left-leaning political strategy.
        Makes me really warm up to whateverthefuckyou'retryingtosay.

        Comment

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