Open Thread: Falling for Their Own Con

gop terrorists new guy sargent
(Ben Sargent via GoComics.com)
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Roy Edroso at Alicublog explains the GOP terrorists’ “Emotional Shutdown“:

… You have to remember that during the Reagan era, a lot of conservatives thought the party, so to speak, would never end — that they’d created not only an Administration but an Age, a historic era in which every citizen was taught from birth that nothing couldn’t be fixed with a tax cut and the poor had no one to blame but themselves. (You can see it in the way they still invoke His holy name, especially in extremis.)

Then Clinton got in. He was a DLC trimmer and almost as bad as the Reaganauts, and you might say his victories were at least a partial tribute to Reaganism. But Clinton’s yak also included some of the old Democratic equities as a point of distinction, and his lines about working hard and playing by the rules must have hit conservatives like a gut-punch — here they’d been selling America a survival-of-the-fittest gold rush, and Clinton was giving them home and hearth — and getting away with it!

A saner opposition would have appreciated this turnabout philosophically, as a grifter might laugh ruefully upon discovering someone had managed to grift him. Certainly some of them did. But the true believers simmered and stewed, because for them it was not just a reversal of fortune, but of their whole way of looking at the world. And when they got their chance, they came up with both the 1995 shutdown and the Lewinsky Impeachment — kamikaze missions of the sort that make no sense unless you actually believe that God is with you, and that the seemingly unconvinced American people will follow once they realize it (which they never do).

In the Obama years these folks have been no less crazy, but much busier. As I’ve detailed in these pages and at the Voice, they’ve devoted so much time and energy to developing unflattering caricatures of the POTUS — he’s a socialist! He’s a crony capitalist! He’s two slurs in one! — that they can no longer actually see what he’s doing, nor why anyone would vote for him, leading to their great confusion in 2012 when their “unskewed polls” turned out to be total bullshit…

This doesn’t make sense to a normal person; none of their arguments do. But they don’t have to. They may as well put Because Reasons in all their column spaces. They’re not trying to convince outsiders that their cause is just; they’re just adding some stuff that looks like arguments to the furnishings of their Reagan Dream House to better resemble their increasingly vague memories of reality.

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191 replies
  1. 1
    maye says:

    it’s amazing how they are falling in line in just these last few days. The Republicans do propaganda so much better than the Democrats. It kinda makes your head spin.

  2. 2
    David Koch says:

    I watched ABC Nightly News tonight and the GOP got hammered.

    The focused on how commissaries at military bases are closing. The grocery bill for Military families and veterans are about to skyrocket.

    Food prices >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> memorial

  3. 3
    David Koch says:

    Perusing twitter, Rafael Cruz’s suicide bombers are attacking Grover Norquist.

    I love the smell of GOP in disarray in the morning.

  4. 4
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @David Koch: Michelle Bachmann and Steve King will save our national parks from the Kenyan Socialist!!11!!1

  5. 5
    The Dangerman says:

    @David Koch:

    Food prices >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> memorial

    I’m beginning to think that the WWII Memorial closure was a ratfuck (see Brooks Brothers riot).

  6. 6
    spudvol says:

    @David Koch:

    For Republicans-

    Faux Patriotism>>>>>>>food prices

  7. 7
    billB says:

    But sadly the entire disaster is in the hands of the corporate media. If they get better ratings stretching out the insanity, then they will force-feed the sheeple, ‘both sides do it’
    For Shame Every Øne of You Media Whores.

  8. 8
    Redshirt says:

    Eating our own seed.

    Also, Anne Laurie is a bot.

  9. 9
    Hill Dweller says:

    @maye:

    it’s amazing how they are falling in line in just these last few days. The Republicans do propaganda so much better than the Democrats. It kinda makes your head spin.

    Huh? The Republicans are flailing.

  10. 10
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    Day 2 America Held Hostage

  11. 11
    different-church-lady says:

    Are you all enjoying your weird extension of the regular season?

  12. 12
    maye says:

    @Hill Dweller: they are all talking off the same page.

  13. 13
    geg6 says:

    Anybody catch the interview at Salon with Culbertson, the “let’s roll! guy? OMG, it’s even more clueless than this stupidity. Funniest thing I’ve read in years, except my horror when I realized this guy is a member of the US House of Representatives.

  14. 14
    Suffern ACE says:

    @The Dangerman: yes it was. Seriously, there were more congressmen there than actual veterans.

    And even if it wasn’t, I couldn’t give two rats behinds that that tourist attraction was closed.

  15. 15
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    This is one of the results of the incestuous relationship between the Republicans and the libertarians. For as long as they’ve been on the political scene the libertarians have remained convinced that they’ll triumph as soon as people realize how groovy they are. The wingnut brigade seems to suffer from the same notion. When their earlier stunts failed to establish their grooviness they simply figured that they hadn’t gone far enough and that their next escalation would do the trick. They’re now playing with catastrophe and if that doesn’t work then they’ll have to go back to jerking each other off and ineffectually carping from the sidelines.

    Let a thousand Ron Pauls bloom in the compost that remains of the Tea Party.

  16. 16
    Hill Dweller says:

    @maye: The “Obama won’t negotiate” line is laughably stupid, considering Republicans spent the last year refusing to participate in a budget conference.

  17. 17
    Randy P says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    Huh? The Republicans are flailing.

    Yes, but in perfect unison. Like a big synchronized swimming routine.

    It is kind of amazing how they get the marching orders out so fast and so completely. Or maybe they’re all just one big Borg mentality and there aren’t any such things is “individual Republicans”.

  18. 18
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Hmmm, moderation? Okay;

    Moderation can be fun,
    Join the holy moderated bin everyone…

  19. 19
    Redshirt says:

    @Randy P: We are Wingnuts of Teabaggia. Resistance is Liberal. You will be wiped out rather than assimilated.

  20. 20
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    The Tea Party congressmen reminds me of the movie Gremlins, and John Boehner is Phoebe Cates serving them in the bar. Oh btw the way to the Shamber of Commerce and Wall Street, the worlds smallest violin is weeping for you because you got shived in the back by these nuts. As a matter of fact I got section of sad trombones playing for you.

  21. 21
    fuckwit says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: Maybe you were talking about pen 15. Or John B0000ner. Or anything relating to things one might take to make an illness better. There are quite a few Forbidden Words that are FYWP-bait.

  22. 22
    maye says:

    @Hill Dweller: but the public doesn’t know that or understand that. I wish the White House would come out every day and say how many people have signed up for healthcare, and share all the personal stories, and end the daily report with “and this is what the tea party faction in the House is trying to stop by shutting down the government.” DO IT DAILY and get it on the air!

  23. 23
    Anne Laurie says:

    @maye:

    they are all talking off the same page.

    Yes, but that page is written in crayon and… well, I hope that’s finger paint…

  24. 24
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @fuckwit:

    Yeah, and it’s ironic considering that I try to be as immoderate as possible.

  25. 25
    khead says:

    How to explain the shutdown to your non-political, both-sides-do-it friends:

    When Luca Brasi put the gun to the bandleader’s head and told him that either his signature or brain was hitting the paper, they were not “negotiating” with each other. And when the bandleader signed the contract he wasn’t “compromising”.

  26. 26
    fuckwit says:

    @maye: BTW, this would explain why the markets are pretty damn happy. Not because of the shutdown, but because of Obamacare starting up.

    Thanks to Obamacare, expect a great deal of new economic activity to happen as new customers (myself included!) sign up for medical insurance, doctors and hospitals suddenly get new patients and more work, and talented people leave their misereable fucking jobs to start new businesses.

    Also, becasue Obama and the Dems didn’t blink, Obamacare is already rolling, and the Rethugs look especially stupid now trying to stop something that already exists and people are excited about.

  27. 27
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    Obama won’t negotiate….

    Of course he will. He’s holding out for the introduction of CPI in calculating SS increases, that’s all.

    Open your eyes, people!

  28. 28
    Hill Dweller says:

    @maye: The President made remarks last Friday in the briefing room, yesterday in the Rose garden, and today on CNBC/NBC. He made it abundantly clear we can get out of this by Boehner putting the CR up for a vote, but he is scared of the wingnuts in his party.

    Furthermore, Democrats have been all over the place pointing out Republicans have refused to participate in a budget conference.

  29. 29
  30. 30
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    I’m free! Thanks, Anne Laurie.

  31. 31
    maye says:

    @fuckwit: I know, but they need to get the message out!!!

  32. 32
    David Koch says:

    @Davis X. Machina: I went to GOS yesterday for the first time in ages to see if they had any coverage that I couldn’t find here or on twitter, and I was shocked at their decline in readership and traffic.

    They did it to themselves.

  33. 33
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @Davis X. Machina: God that’s stupid. Obama has been telling the GOP to go pound sand, and I’m sure he has to know it’s politically stupid to suggest a ‘Grand Bargain’ when he’s got the GOP each other at the stake right now.

    Stupid firebagging posts like these are not worth the oxygen.

  34. 34
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @David Koch: It’s kind of sad. I have a UID there in the 300’s and remember when Markos started the place up….

    The denizens are impervious to the voice of reason.

  35. 35
    joel hanes says:

    @David Koch:

    Wanna see decline ? Go to Corrente.

  36. 36
    piratedan says:

    @maye: he tries to maye, after all we have a government website, Navigators have been trained to help people sign up and choose coverage but when you have 85% of the MSM playing the both sides do it tango and the non-stop messaging on Faux and Hate radio there’s only so much push back that can be done. Besides, I think people talking to people and using things like Facebook and personalizing it is the best way to reach people who aren’t part of the hypnotoad network.

  37. 37
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Dang you’re old school. I have one in the 22000s (joined up in mid-2004) and I feel ancient compared to all the noobs who are there now.

  38. 38
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Same here. I was astonished to see how little time it took the denizens of the place to begin marching in lockstep.

  39. 39
    The Pale Scot says:

    I think that the truth that we rationalists and the MSM are avoiding for the hope that compromise is available somewhere down the road is that the the opposition sees politics as an existential religious fight against evil, compromise is not an option. The 80 “radicals” ensconced in districts that are becoming whiter are all Calvinists, their theology is that if one suffers misfortune, they’re not right with god, indeed at best, they’re just thoughtless dupes of Satan. ANY effort on the part of government is preventing the chance that these people might suffer enough to see the light is an evil. Google “spiritual warfare” along with Palin, Bachman or Rushdoony, these fanatics believe that everything that happens in the world is part of the battle between Yahweh and Satan, despite their claims of being christian, Calvinism had little to do with the gospels except as lead in to Leviticus.

    R.J. Rushdoony, a far-right theologian who advocated replacing the US Constitution with biblical law. “God’s government prevails,” Rushdoony wrote, “and His alternatives are clear-cut: either men and nations obey His laws, or God invokes the death penalty against them.” Those eligible on Rushdoony’s long list for execution included disobedient children, unchaste women, apostates, blasphemers, practitioners of witchcraft, astrologers, adulterers, and, of course, anyone who engaged in “sodomy or homosexuality.””

  40. 40
    lamh36 says:

    Just an FYI, I remember talking about hiphop/rap and the attitude about LGBT community.

    Well I can’t speak for the community as a whole, but here in NOLA, one of the biggest if not THE bigest Bounce rap artist is Big Freedia, who just happens to be a gay man.

    Freedia is the REAL deal and a big time celeb in the bounce genre and she’s been doing big things outside of NOLA. She currently has a reality show on FUSE network. Ya’ll should check her out.

    Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce

  41. 41
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @David Koch:

    The GOP civil war is on!

    Norquist is one of the founders of modern “movement conservatism”. One of the plotters who sought to take over the GOP and purge it of ideological imperfections.

    I can’t wait for Thermidor. This is going to be good!

  42. 42
    Suzanne says:

    Allergy season hit me like a train last week, and I have just had the hardest time not flinging myself into the Pit of Despair about it. Can’t sleep, so I’m exhausted all the time, can’t focus…. FEH. Can’t even muster up much mockery for the Weeping Cheeto on Capitol Hill.

  43. 43
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    the libertarians have remained convinced that they’ll triumph as soon as people realize how groovy they are. The wingnut brigade seems to suffer from the same notion.

    Not Groovy, When everyone realizes that they were right all along, preferably just before the realizers are wiped out by Armageddon.

  44. 44
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: he’s been attacked before. Over gays and his Muslim wife.

    Anyone turn in their pledge card?

  45. 45
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    Heard the latest demand from Republicans is a thousand pounds of cocaine, eighty underaged prostitutes and a plane to Dominican Republic. Apparently Rush Limbaugh is advising them now.

  46. 46
    fleeting expletive says:

    Serious question: If the ACA was passed by reconciliation as I heard today( and I don’t remember) does that mean it sunsets after ten years?

  47. 47
    Felonius Monk says:

    In connecting the dots as to how we got into this political mess, Mr. Pierce turned a wonderful phrase today that IMO should be enshrined in Blogdom Hall of Fame:

    The reign of morons began with the triumph of bullshit.

  48. 48
    SectionH says:

    I’ve just finished driving ~2500 miles by myself in 3.5 days, and I’ve gotta say, Balloon Juice and an unlimited-data cell phone (the one with practically no music on it, sigh) will get you through a lot more boooooring miles than most of the rest of the Net.

    I’m going back to catch up on comments here before I fall over.

  49. 49
  50. 50
    Hill Dweller says:

    @fleeting expletive: The ACA initially passed with 60 votes, but they went back and made some changes(student loan reform, removing the Cornhusker Kickback, etc.) using reconciliation. No, it will not expire in 10 years.

  51. 51
    MikeJ says:

    @fleeting expletive: ACA didn’t pass under reconciliation. the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, which amended the ACA, did.

    Bills passed by reconciliation sunset after ten years if they would affect the deficit. The tricky bit here is that Obamacare could conceivably make the deficit smaller, so if the Byrd rule applied, it could affect it. However, since the bulk of the ACA didn’t pass under reconciliation, it’s as moot as me telling Jesse’s girl I love her.

  52. 52
    John Weiss says:

    Gods! I’m sick of all this shit. I’m – really! – retiring to my mountain fastness. Tired of all the ‘phone calls. Tired of the emails. Tired of all the bickering and whickering. If I had the money, I’d donate to ever Dem, but I do not have that cash. I’m going to go to the Brookings Dem Headquarters once a week, be polite and have some sushi and a a couple of beers, that’s about all I’m willing to do. I don’t give a fuck about what the idiots in Washington are doing. Less than a fuck.

  53. 53
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @MikeJ:

    it’s as moot as me telling Jesse’s girl I love her.

    That makes it probably mute.

  54. 54
    MikeJ says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: It may make it a moo point.

  55. 55
    SectionH says:

    @Redshirt: Um, wut?

    Anne Laurie posts great cartoons I’d otherwise never see. If that’s being a bot, fine. She also posts late night and early morning Open Threads, with amazing reliability. I srsly hope that “bot” is a compliment to her.

  56. 56
    Emma says:

    @John Weiss: Going Galt?

  57. 57
    mdblanche says:

    For anybody who believes in omens, here are two ominous ones for you.

  58. 58
    xenos says:

    @SectionH: Some of us live a long way away, and are just getting out of bed when the evening discussion wrap up. These AL threads are greatly appreciated.

  59. 59
    nineone says:

    @maye: Yours is obviously.

    but the public doesn’t know that or understand that

    You mean “the public” that elected him twice, and would do it agaian and again if they could. Sorry, fail.

    @Randy P:

    It is kind of amazing how they get the marching orders out so fast and so completely

    Yes, that they are all able to read a memo and then projectile spew shit simultaneously really is “amazing”.

    Jesu Christe, why do summa y’all still treat these assholes with the same reverence that Ash had for the Xenomorph, but act too cool too give Dear Leader and the Nevada Nightmare props for standing up to them? SMDH.

  60. 60
    different-church-lady says:

    @David Koch: Did you catch the one today where one of the regular freaker-outers tried to freak everyone out about a “drone” crashing in NYC, and everyone said, “Uh, dude, that thing is like a $500 toy you mount a Go-Pro to”?

  61. 61
    👾 Martin says:

    I’m now in day 2 of a running conversation with a GOP rep. I’ve had brief conversations with members of congress, but usually Dems and never this long. He’s not a tea partier, but he’s pretty solidly behind Boehner here. I don’t want to say who just yet (I have my reasons) but he’s not my Rep. What I’ve learned so far:

    1) He admits that they really have no standing on their demands to repeal ACA because they didn’t bother to come up with an alternate health care policy. With that they could have negotiated some of their elements in for ACA elements. Repeal just comes off as nihilistic.
    2) He truly believes they are negotiating in good faith.
    3) When I noted that they weren’t negotiating in good faith in their refusal to talk to House Dems and find a solution with them – such as voting on the Senates clean CR, he seemed genuinely taken aback. I think he was under the impression that they had fooled the public on that and was fully aware that a clean CR would pass.
    4) His attitude is very much like Stutzman’s. They must get something, anything, to back down.

  62. 62
    piratedan says:

    @👾 Martin: well for fuck’s sake, give him an entertainment book and tell him that there are millions of Americans that would also like to get something, like a GODAMMNED PAYCHECK and take his butthurt self back to work and make it happen.

  63. 63
    Suffern ACE says:

    Frankly I think they should just repeal the taxes that pay for ACA and get rid if the individual mandate so that the only people who sign up initially are predominantly sick people with preexisting conditions. A one legged unfunded stool is better than nothing. Perhaps we can replace the funding down the road with a tax on food stamps and a repeal of the eitc.

  64. 64
    Hill Dweller says:

    @👾 Martin: Why does he think the House refused to participate in the customary budget conference with the Senate, despite both chambers passing their version of a budget?

    Doesn’t the Republicans unwillingness to negotiate prove they had always planned to use the threat of shutdown and default to extort policy concessions they couldn’t get in the normal appropriations/budget process?

  65. 65
    fleeting expletive says:

    Thank you all for clarifying. I appreciate it because it was worrying me.

  66. 66
    The Dangerman says:

    @👾 Martin:

    They must get something, anything, to back down.

    OK, my final offer: a six-pack and Playboy.

    ETA: No? OK, a 4-pack (2 for me), a slightly used Playboy, and the missing mustard.

  67. 67
    👾 Martin says:

    @piratedan: I am. More politely, mind you, because I’m enjoying this conversation and don’t want to poison it. And he is more introspective than I expected. He’s revealing a fair bit in his answers to me.

  68. 68
    Suffern ACE says:

    @👾 Martin: I don’t see what lifeline they are expecting? Their only alternative plan is going back to the failing healthcare structure that has cast off the poor already and is poised to cast off middle class workers next. Or is it the “reward the already insured with a tax break” plan?

    How is it negotiating in good faith to bring nothing to the table?

  69. 69
    Roger Moore says:

    @billB:

    But sadly the entire disaster is in the hands of the corporate media.

    No, it isn’t. This is the key flaw in the Republicans’ strategy. People experience the government shutdown firsthand without media intervention. Maybe it’s because they depend on a government program or service, or maybe it’s just because they have a trip to a National Park planned. This will happen to people who are not obsessive news watchers and who aren’t paying attention to the stories on TV. And then the Republicans’ decades of messaging that the Democrats are the party of big government and the Republicans are the party of small government will take over, and they’ll believe that it’s the Republicans’ fault.

  70. 70
    David Koch says:

    @different-church-lady: Obama’s predator drones are taking out targets in Manhattan!

    http://tinyurl.com/kep429e

  71. 71
    piratedan says:

    @👾 Martin: not a problem Martin, it’s just exasperating how myopic these guys are and it’s like arguing with a teenager that if you break the rules and lie to Mom and Dad, the Trust Bank isn’t just magically refilled after incident number nine of the same duplicitous behavior.

  72. 72
    👾 Martin says:

    @Hill Dweller: It only passed the House by 4 votes. There’s no room to compromise with the WH or the Senate and maintain the Hastert rule, which Boehner is bound by. In short, their budget is the best offer they can live with.

    A great deal of everything they are saying here assumes the Hastert rule as inviolable. That is, the House GOP deserves a greater veto power as Obama. I think he knows that the public would view that as wrong and dishonest – which is why he seemed a bit rattled when I brought it up. They really are relying on the public being ignorant here. But so long as they keep winning the narrative that excluding House Dems from everything is normal and reasonable, they’ll keep backing that approach. He seems to now be wondering if I’m an outlier or if there are more people out there that are aware of this.

  73. 73
    fleeting expletive says:

    The Dangerman—cute. Very cute.

  74. 74
    different-church-lady says:

    @David Koch: Oh, I haz a sad because of Tunch look like.

  75. 75
    Mandalay says:

    Some good news (IMO):

    Gov. Jerry Brown announced on Tuesday that he had signed Senate Bill 255 by Sen. Anthony Cannella, R-Ceres, that outlaws what’s commonly called “revenge porn” — maliciously posting graphic images or footage of someone “with the intent to cause serious emotional distress,” in the bill’s language.

    Doing so now qualifies as a misdemeanor carrying penalties of six months in jail or a $1,000 fine, both of which would double for a second offense.

    About time. Two states down and 48 to go.

  76. 76
    Suffern ACE says:

    @👾 Martin: I don’t think the public is going to buy that compromise involves one party in one chamber and excludes the Senate. Although I guess if the press continues to run with the “Showdown – Obama vs Republicans” – line they could hold out that hope.

  77. 77
    Roger Moore says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    Doesn’t the Republicans unwillingness to negotiate prove they had always planned to use the threat of shutdown and default to extort policy concessions they couldn’t get in the normal appropriations/budget process?

    I don’t think so. I think they genuinely didn’t expect the Senate to pass a budget this year, which would let them criticize the Democrats for not being able to pass a budget in the house they control and use the Ryan “budget” as a starting point for negotiations. Refusing to go to conference was an emergency backup plan that they had to implement when the Senate actually passed a budget.

  78. 78
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @👾 Martin: tell this motherfucking idiot that if he wants to change the law regarding health care he can, you know, draft a fucking law regarding health care, and persuade others to support it, and pass it, LIKE WE WENT THROUGH FOR A FUCKING YEAR AND A HALF 3 YEARS AGO. Get over it. This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen in politics.

  79. 79
    Mandalay says:

    @👾 Martin:

    There’s no room to compromise with the WH or the Senate and maintain the Hastert rule, which Boehner is bound by.

    Nonsense. You sound like the MSM. Boehner is only “bound” by the Hastert rule if he chooses to be. He’s already ignored it four times in the past year FFS.

    Boehner could end the shutdown simply by allowing the House to vote on a clean bill. It’s not the Hastert rule stopping that; it’s Boehner’s lack of spine.

  80. 80
    Roger Moore says:

    @fleeting expletive:
    To give a bit more detail, the House and Senate passed slightly different versions of PPACA. Normally, that would result in a conference committee to iron out the differences, followed by votes in each house on the final version. When Ted Kennedy died and Scott Brown was elected to replace him, the Democrats lost their ability to block filibusters, which meant they’d never be able to pass the version from conference. Instead, the House passed the Senate version without amendment and then wrote a separate bill to iron out the differences. It was the second bill that was passed through reconciliation.

  81. 81
    Ash Can says:

    @👾 Martin: This is fascinating info. Thanks for doing this, and reporting back to us. In fact, you should write all of this down the way you have here and guest-FP it! (Are you listening, AL?)

  82. 82
    👾 Martin says:

    @Suffern ACE: I think the GOP is negotiating with something that is invisible to everyone outside the GOP. I really think this is along the lines of Johnson’s “We have lost the South for a generation” moment. The Dems gave up a big part of the electoral future in order to make Civil Rights happen. There was a huge cost to the party that is clearly measurable even today, and he massively underestimated how long the South would be lost.

    Now, the GOP has a serious problem on their hand. The deficit is dropping way faster than they expected. Their leverage on crises is diminishing fast, as those crises are coming less and less often. And their ability to negotiate on the budget is getting a lot harder because the rationale for slashing spending was all leveraged against the deficit. What happens when the deficit gets smaller than their spending cut demands? And this is happening with ACA going live, which they predicted would destroy the economy and explode the deficit. It’s going to be a hugely popular program. Now, these are all past failures of the GOP – they gambled that they’d have leverage in late 2013 and they really don’t, and if things keep playing out as they are, the GOP are going to get hit electorally really damn hard. Voters aren’t recoiling against Obama’s tax hikes. The economy keeps improving. People are getting healthcare. Medicare spending is slowing. And the GOP fought every inch of it. And now, on top of all that, they had their little tantrum, shut down the government and if they get nothing out of it there’s no conclusion to draw other than they were spoiled brats.

    So we look at this fight and see that the GOP are giving up nothing, but they see it as them giving up their electoral prospects for some time. Now, it’s their own damn fault, so it’s not like the situation during Civil Right, but it’s similar in that it’s an self-acknowledgement that they’re fucked, and they just want something for their trouble. The deserve nothing, of course, but I think they feel like they’re being kicked while they’re down. They’re not allowed to articulate that though – that’d be an even worse admission of defeat than just shutting down the govt and getting nothing in return.

    There’s been little comments from him here and there that lead me to that conclusion. He’s admitted in a few places that they really fucked up, and that demographically they’re ruined, and they have no strategy as a party to get things back on track. You can appreciate why I want to keep this conversation going – I’m loving the sense of defeat radiating off of him.

  83. 83
    Mandalay says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen in politics.

    Just so. And its ridiculousness is matched by the media’s portrayal of the situation as one in which all sides are to blame.

  84. 84
    👾 Martin says:

    @Suffern ACE: So far the media is doing a perfectly lazy job of noting that House Dems are excluded. To regular people, it looks like a legitimate stalemate between the House and Senate, and it’s not. If every bill had to be voted on, up-r-down, this never would have happened. That’s how Democracy actually works. But the media isn’t clarifying that at all – even a lot of left-leaning reporting is leaving that out.

  85. 85
    Bob's Had Enough says:

    it’s Boehner’s lack of spine

    It’s Beohner hanging on to his title.

    Screwing with the lives of millions just so he can be somebody special.

  86. 86
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Roger Moore: I agree the Republicans never expected the Dems to pass a budget, but their refusal to participate in a budget conference was strategic. They have always wanted to use the shutdown and/or default as leverage.

  87. 87
    fleeting expletive says:

    Thank you, Roger Moore. I remember it as being terribly complicated and I got lost trying to remember which bits were passed through reconciliation. Was it a miracle that the House passed it at all? All I remember from that day was that I was at my regular liquor store and they were unloading their supply truck, and i was buying champagne. The delivery guy, big burly black guy said something cute like can I come to your party and I said I promised myself that if health care passes I am gonna drink me some champagne. Then he and I danced in the aisle, between the scotch and the bourbon.

  88. 88
    piratedan says:

    @👾 Martin: well that regret is all well and good now that they’ve stolen Grandma’s car and run it into a tree, but how in the hell is Grandma going to get around? They’ve fucked up the car, destroyed the tree, ruined Mom and Dad’s insurance and they’re still craving for Dad to tousle their heads and tell them that it will be alright. This ain’t the Brady Bunch and these are the same sycophantic shills still performing their interpretive dance in front of the media hoping to inspire some deluded shithead to get a rifle and help them Take America Back!

    They want redemption, start acting like they give a shit about people who don’t vote for them as much as they do about the folks that finance their campaigns

  89. 89
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Thank you for taking time out of your busy national security role to work with our legislators, Martin.

  90. 90
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    I couldn’t give two rats behinds that that tourist attraction was closed.

    That thing is ugly. But more to the point, do they really expect people to believe that these vets’ dying wishes were visiting a monument that only opened a few years ago? I could see the USS Arizona or Iwo Jima or something like that. I predict more vets have a trip to the Grand Canyon or the Statue of Liberty on their bucket list.

  91. 91
    Redshirt says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Martin’s gonna drone your ass, if you keep trollin’ him.

  92. 92
    Roger Moore says:

    @fleeting expletive:

    Was it a miracle that the House passed it at all?

    No. The Democrats had a solid majority in the House, and Nancy Pelosi had things well in hand. The Senate was always the weak point. There was quite a bit of wrangling in the Senate to make sure all the Democrats were on board, since they needed them all to get cloture, and there were some fruitless and probably misguided attempts to get a few Republicans on board (as they had for the stimulus) to give them a more solid position against a filibuster and give it a patina of bipartisanship. That stalled things for a long time, long enough that Kennedy was dead by the time it would have been time to pass the version that came out of conference.

  93. 93
    👾 Martin says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    tell this motherfucking idiot that if he wants to change the law regarding health care he can, you know, draft a fucking law regarding health care, and persuade others to support it, and pass it, LIKE WE WENT THROUGH FOR A FUCKING YEAR AND A HALF 3 YEARS AGO. Get over it. This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen in politics.

    I did. And he admitted they really fucked up by not drafting an alternate, along with at least hint that they know there is no alternate, that ACA incorporated just enough of the elements from the conservative think tanks that there’s no room for them to build a distinctive alternative they could take credit for. So some of this is them actually being pissed that Obama is going to get credit for successfully implementing the GOP’s ideas. Granted, they could have supported those ideas (and some did prior to the summer 2009 tea party revolts), but they miscalculated, and now their only alternative is either to go WAY left and argue for single payer for the sake of being distinctive (not going to happen) or arguing for repeal. The Dems trapped them, and they know it.

    But asking the GOP to get over this is (somewhat, to them) asking them to commit suicide. I think a lot of the rank and file guys, having been screwed over by the tea party (consider how pissed we get at the kill-the-bill firebaggers – and we WON. Some of these guys must be apocalyptically pissed at the tea party now) and the screwups with the summer of rape comments, and the 47%, and all of that against the backdrop of Obama managing to make real progress on gay rights, on women’s rights, on healthcare, on the economy, on winning Latinos, on getting OBL, on ending Iraq, on Libya, and now facing a notable victory on Syria and possibly a breakthrough on Iran – they’re done. They’re fucked. So they need to fight for some victory and they get some fleeting victories here and there, but nothing really notable, nothing lasting. What did they do these last 8 years? Nothing – sand in the gears. And I think they know the window of opportunity is closing. Obama’s last 2 years are going to look like a fucking victory lap, and worse, he might get a Dem House to help him along.

    It’d be sad if it wasn’t so goddamn destructive.

  94. 94
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @SatanicPanic: I would guess that a lot of 90+ year olds aren’t necessarily up for a flight to Hawaii, Iwo Jima, or France/Belgium.

  95. 95
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Fair enough. I’m just skeptical of the idea that people are all that attached to the idea of visiting that thing.

  96. 96
    joel hanes says:

    @Bob’s Had Enough:

    It’s Boehner hanging on to his title

    Prezactly.

    However, if the Orangeman goes down, we’re looking at Speaker Cantor, I think.
    It’s my impression that Cantor actually drinks the Koolaid and is more seriously deluded than Weeping John.

  97. 97
    SFAW says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    Moderation can be fun, Join the holy moderated bin everyone…

    Wow, you MUST be an old fart to remember that song. Maybe not as old as efgoldman, of course, but at least as old as I.

  98. 98
    Roger Moore says:

    @👾 Martin:

    And I think they know the window of opportunity is closing.

    I think this has been a major part of the GOP thought process at least since Clinton. They can see that today’s kids aren’t like them, so they’re running out of time. They’re trying to lock in as much of their preferred policy as they can while they still have any power. Since Obama took over, they understand that their time is really short, and the best they can reasonably hope for is to keep the Democrats from implementing policies they dislike. All they have left is standing astride history shouting “No!”.

  99. 99
    johnny aquitard says:

    That was probably one of the most cogent synopses of the last 2@👾 Martin:

    He admits that they really have no standing on their demands to repeal ACA because they didn’t bother to come up with an alternate health care policy.

    And yet they shut down the NIH and other places where people’s live literally depend on those services.

    More and more I am sickened not by the Tea Baggers, for we already have a sense of the depths of their moral and ethical shortcomings, but by these sane ones who have some understanding of the consequences of what they are doing, even as they acknowledge they have no justification for it.

    Who is more despicable? The sociopaths who make the evil policies or the little Eichmanns who are insturmental in helping them carry them out?

  100. 100
    👾 Martin says:

    @Mandalay:

    Nonsense. You sound like the MSM. Boehner is only “bound” by the Hastert rule if he chooses to be. He’s already ignored it four times in the past year FFS.

    That’s what I’m saying, he chooses to be because his caucus is insisting he be bound by it. Make no mistake, this is Boehner and that subset of the GOP that are putting their job and near-term power ahead of the country. It’s completely craven. That’s why I said “A great deal of everything they are saying here assumes the Hastert rule as inviolable.” They are asserting that it is inviolable in this case, at least up to this point. I’m not defending that position, merely noting what I’ve picked up here. I’ve asserted that if we hit the debt limit that Obama will defy Congress even if it leads to his impeachment. I don’t think he’s as willing to let the country burn in order to protect his legacy as Boehner is, but neither will Obama give in to their demands. This is looking like the biggest game of chicken since the Cuban Missile Crisis.

  101. 101
    The Other Chuck says:

    @Davis X. Machina: The GOS was going downhill already, but the eye-searing redesign was enough to keep me out for good. Maybe the new software was great, but they could have rolled it out without such a withering aesthetic assault on typography.

  102. 102
    Bob's Had Enough says:

    Here’s a novel idea he could try on for size.

    Let the sanest among them admit that they screwed up by allowing the Tea Party to control things. It has a resulted in a major defeat.

    Throw in with the Democrats in the House and start working on making the government more efficient. Find real waste and honest ways to save money that don’t hurt people. Find some laws that are a big out of tune and help fix them.

    I’m sure that Pelosi and Company would be more than happy to cooperate with honest improvements and might even toss in a few sweeteners from time to time. Just to get the extremists kicked well to the curb.

    Start rebuilding the Republican Party as a party of fiscal responsibility. Reinvent responsible conservatism, leaving the hate issues behind.

    Sure, it might take a few election cycles to get back to speed, but their option is?

  103. 103
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @👾 Martin: Republicans managed quite well at being assholes before there was a health care law to demagogue. They could have gotten by in their tried and true way of being lickspittles to filthy lucre.

  104. 104
    amk says:

    @👾 Martin: with all that ratfucking they received from their batshit crazy teabagger caucus, which resulted in loss of retaking senate and presidency, the so called moderates voted yet again in toto for the latest teabagger initiated ratfuckery. All his so called regretful meaculpa is just a show.

  105. 105
    SFAW says:

    @👾 Martin:

    4) His attitude is very much like Stutzman’s. They must get something, anything, to back down.

    OK, how about this: If you and your idiot/traitorous caucus pass a clean CR, we won’t arrest you for Treason or Sedition.

    Works for me.

    Well, actually, I’d still arrest a few of them – Cruz, Cantor, Rokita, Culberson, Preibus – just to make a point. Maybe execute a few, too. Something about “You fuck with the bull, you get the horns.”

  106. 106
    👾 Martin says:

    @piratedan:

    They want redemption, start acting like they give a shit about people who don’t vote for them as much as they do about the folks that finance their campaigns

    Here’s their problem on that: the only way to earn redemption is to eliminate the tea party. Individually they could switch to D, but that doesn’t save the party – it merely turns it over to the extremists, and the depressing fact is that the extremists are winning elections, so they have the backing of the public, at least in some areas. There aren’t enough non-tea party Repubs to carry a majority, and the Dems are so unified that the rank-and-file Repubs can’t peel any Dems away. The blue dogs are effectively all gone now. So they either live with the tea party or they sign onto Dem majority legislation. And it’s the latter prospect which is causing the tea party to force the Hastert rule – they’re using it as much to keep their own guys in line. The dynamics here are really damn ugly.

    And I think it’s worth noting that one big dynamic that has changed is the elimination of earmarks. There’s no graft with which to use to cut across this ideological purity. Time was you could bribe enough guys in one direction or another by dumping money in their district. There’s nothing practical left for them to negotiate with.

  107. 107
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Bob’s Had Enough:

    honest ways to save money that don’t hurt people.

    There’s the problem, right there.

    They WANT to hurt people.

  108. 108
    Little Boots says:

    this will kill the republican party, finally.

  109. 109
    johnny aquitard says:

    @johnny aquitard: Sorry. The first sentence was about Edroso’s piece. It got cut off. I thought it a fine summary of the last 20 years. Either FYWP or FY my own clumsy fingers. Not one to cut WordPress any slack, however, I suspect the latter.

  110. 110
    SFAW says:

    @Bob’s Had Enough:

    Let the sanest among them

    You realize, of course, that the mythical “sanest among them” is someone who would order tire rims and anthrax on a dinner-date with Cole.

  111. 111
    Little Boots says:

    not that there’s really a party anymore. just a few klansmen, and a few desperate clowns harking back to reagan.

  112. 112
    Ash Can says:

    @👾 Martin:

    It’d be sad if it wasn’t so goddamn destructive.

    It’d be a relief if it weren’t so goddamn destructive. These vandals, charlatans, and worthless tools should never have been allowed anywhere near elected office, let alone given the power they’ve had, for so long. And it still will be a relief, in the long run, if in fact they’re purged from the House majority.

    I’m struck by the confirmation this guy is giving you, and us through you, that the less-delusional Republicans really do know damned well what’s going on, and how they’ve painted themselves into a corner while their political opponents are the ones who are actually governing, and doing it successfully. It’s great that he’s talking to you and being so forthcoming, but he and all his “reasonable” colleagues all need to be fed into the political/electoral woodchipper for failing to stand up to the hardcore lunatics and being so willing to enable all the bullshit — not to mention the very real pain and suffering being inflicted upon very real people as a result of their pettiness.

  113. 113
    Suffern ACE says:

    @👾 Martin: honestly, I didn’t think the earmark ban would hold this long. And with the sequester, those funds were not going anywhere anyway.

  114. 114
    Roger Moore says:

    @Bob’s Had Enough:

    Sure, it might take a few election cycles to get back to speed, but their option is?

    Play to the teabaggers to win the primary, stay in office because they’re in safe districts, do just enough to keep the country from falling apart, and retire to a cushy job with a government contractor when they’re finally forced out of office by reality biting. I think that’s their current plan.

  115. 115
    SFAW says:

    @Bob’s Had Enough:

    Just to get the extremists kicked well to the curb.

    For all practical purposes, that’s their entire Party.

  116. 116
    👾 Martin says:

    @The Other Chuck:

    but they could have rolled it out without such a withering aesthetic assault on typography.

    And yet you’re here. My mind boggles. :)

  117. 117
    Mandalay says:

    @johnny aquitard:

    Who is more despicable? The sociopaths who make the evil policies or the little Eichmanns who are insturmental in helping them carry them out?

    There are a handful like Cruz who really believe the shit they spout. There are even fewer like King who speak out. And the rest are the herd who believe in whatever is most convenient to believe in at the time.

    If we could mete out justice, King would lose his pension, Cruz would be running for president from a padded cell, and the little Eichmanns would be lined up against the wall, with hoses at the ready to wash their blood into the gutter.

    I’m not sure what to do with big Eichmann Boehner.

  118. 118
    Ash Can says:

    Also, @johnny aquitard:

    Who is more despicable? The sociopaths who make the evil policies or the little Eichmanns who are insturmental in helping them carry them out?

    This.

  119. 119
    piratedan says:

    @👾 Martin: then they’re faced to confront the hard truth(s)….. either a) they don’t control their party anymore and that fight is over, fait accompli or B) believe that their party is still salvageable and unite behind a focal point and take it back from the Teahadii’s and begin to legislate like a responsible political organization or c) do what’s best for the country, vote for the CR, and take their chances in the primary or d) form a new party or e) sit back in horror and watch it all burn

    If they keep this shit up, the country WILL see blood and it will be because they put tribal affiliation over the needs of the country and that makes them cowards….

  120. 120
    handy says:

    @Mandalay:

    I’m not sure what to do with big Eichmann Boehner.

    I say let his liver handle things from here.

  121. 121
    johnny aquitard says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    They WANT to hurt Those people.

    Fix’d the way I know you meant.

  122. 122
    Roger Moore says:

    @Mandalay:

    I’m not sure what to do with big Eichmann Boehner.

    Make him dig the grave for the little Eichmanns, then throw him in before their bodies.

  123. 123
    joel hanes says:

    Martin :@👾 Martin:

    They really are relying on the public being ignorant here. But so long as they keep winning the narrative that excluding House Dems from everything is normal and reasonable, they’ll keep backing that approach. He seems to now be wondering if I’m an outlier or if there are more people out there that are aware of this.

    If you want to gently increase his angst on that point, you might point out that they’ve completely lost Andrew Sullivan, who is widely read, and can usually be counted on to provide rationalizations for Republican ideas.

  124. 124
    RareSanity says:

    @Ash Can:

    It’s great that he’s talking to you and being so forthcoming, but he and all his “reasonable” colleagues all need to be fed into the political/electoral woodchipper for failing to stand up to the hardcore lunatics and being so willing to enable all the bullshit — not to mention the very real pain and suffering being inflicted upon very real people as a result of their pettiness.

    Not that I agree with anything that the GOP has done over the past…several decades, but really think about the position that the “reasonable” (whatever that number is) find themselves in.

    They signed on to what was going to be a relatively long term political strategy, and by the time it started to become apparent that not only was it not going to work, it was going to destroy the party, they were in too deep to just stop.

    I have no pity for them, of course, they signed on to a plan that was specifically designed to be destructive to the country. They’re going to get exactly what they deserve.

  125. 125
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Bob’s Had Enough: democrats took fiscal responsibility from them. Voters have not caught on yet.

    Seriously, their campaign is “defund Obamacare”. How is that fiscally responsible? They are selling the idea that repealing the taxes that pay for something somehow will make the expenses disappear.

    Next month, I plan to defund my electric bill.

  126. 126
    priscianus jr says:

    @Davis X. Machina: The denizens are impervious to the voice of reason.

    It’s that wonderful feeling of “Ha! You can’t fool me, authority figures, I wasn’t born yesterday!” when in fact you were born yesterday as far as having a fucking clue what’s going on.

  127. 127
    Mandalay says:

    @Little Boots:

    …and a few desperate clowns harking back to reagan.

    Since the last Republican presidential nomination race it seems to me that Reagan has lost some of his allure and lustre for the party faithful. I guess some worshippers have simply died, but during the campaign nobody really wanted to invoke Reagan much, and now the public may be realizing that Reagan had more in common with Obama than the current GOP.

  128. 128
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Suffern ACE: it’s because they think “Obamacare” is “welfare.” Free goodies for dark-skinned layabouts that make weak-minded, soft-bodied bleeding-hearts feel better about themselves.

  129. 129
    Bob's Had Enough says:

    @👾 Martin: It sounds like you’re talking with someone who, while conservative, isn’t crazy. Is that your take? If so, how many others like him does he think are in the House now?

    If the true Tea Party Reps are 30 – 50 as some are claiming then it would seem that there are enough ‘others’ to take back their party. Yes, they would need to partner up with the Democrats in the short term. But I think most Democrats in the House would be open to helping them rebuild the party if it looked like it would be a sane party.

    I’d bet they could negotiate some really sweet plum that would make them look good at home.

    What’s their option? Let the Tea Party take the Republican Party down in flames? Wait until after the 2016 election and start a new party?

    Worst case, they fail and things run as they are and the Republican Party destroys itself. It won’t destroy the country, there are too many decent people who vote Republican who will start to peel off if things get much worse. The number of people who identify/vote as Republicans is larger than the 27%.

    Worst case, they lose in the 2014 and move to cushy jobs which corporations will give them in exchange for them making an honest effort. (Big business is not enjoying the Tea Party any longer from what I can see.)

  130. 130
    priscianus jr says:

    @SectionH: I’ve just finished driving ~2500 miles by myself in 3.5 days, and I’ve gotta say, Balloon Juice and an unlimited-data cell phone (the one with practically no music on it, sigh) will get you through a lot more boooooring miles than most of the rest of the Net.

    What, you were reading BJ while driving 2,500 miles? That could be dangerous.

  131. 131
    👾 Martin says:

    @amk:

    All his so called regretful meaculpa is just a show.

    What alternative did he have? It’s not like the Dems in his district would have rewarded him for those votes, and the tea party in his district would have punished him for them. Yeah, our elected officials should be sufficiently noble as to put principle above their job, but let’s be honest here – that’s rare. And we’ve all violated that out of a notion that we could fight for change better from inside the system. And we demand that very thing out of the Dems and Obama as well. We’re all flawed here.

    I’m not defending any of his votes here, but my criticism only goes so far. We were pissed at the Blue Dogs for their shit, but we still demanded the rest of the party compromise in order to win those votes. If we had a left flank we’d demand they negotiate with them as well for the same reasons, even if we knew it would carry long term costs for the party, because losing also carries costs.

    Bottom line, we have a voting and party system that forces binary choices. We’ll never get any reasonable period of political diversity in this country, especially now that there are no local politics. What happens in NC carries national consequences. We need IRV and a parliamentary system, or at least rules of order in Congress that permits some similar approach. If the Speaker/Majority Leader didn’t have the power to keep bills off the floor, and no permanent filibuster, Congress and politics would be radically different. Maybe not better, but definitely a lot different.

  132. 132
    Suffern ACE says:

    Man, I hope I don’t need to redeem my savings bonds. They seemed like such a good instrument at the time.

  133. 133
    Bob's Had Enough says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    democrats took fiscal responsibility from them

    It’s something they can take back, if they do it carefully. For a while be the party that wears a green eyeshade and sleeve garters. Reshape themselves into a party of problem solvers and national stability.

    They’ve got to leave the hate issues behind. The people they’ve been hating on outnumber them and the most reliable haters are dying of old age.

    Work on solid, non-controversial issues. Infrastructure. Facilitate manufacturing.

    They would have to accept a period of rebuilding in which they would be a minority party, but their option is?

  134. 134
    Mandalay says:

    @joel hanes:

    they’ve completely lost Andrew Sullivan

    Sullivan makes a good point in your link:

    Those who keep talking as if there are two sides to this, when there are not, are as much a part of the vandalism as Ted Cruz.

    Actually they’re worse. It is the job of fuckers like Wolf Blitzer and David Gergen and John King to accurately describe what is happening. But those dirtbags clutch their pearls and assure us that there is plenty of blame to go around on all sides. Absolutely vile and worthless scumbags.

  135. 135
    priscianus jr says:

    @Ash Can: failing to stand up to the hardcore lunatics and being so willing to enable all the bullshit

    Not only did they fail to stand up to them, not only were they willing to enable the bullshit, they thought it was an absolutely brilliant idea!

  136. 136
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Little Boots: unfortunately not quickly enough. A lot of those districts are really safe for them. It takes time for people to move around. It’s great that a few hundred thousand more people turn 18 each month, but they then all need to start moving ASAP to boehner’s district.

  137. 137
    Radio One says:

    despite the breaking bad finale, are we still on the same page when saying that Badfinger is probably the most depressing 70s band of all time.

  138. 138
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Mandalay: Krugman makes the same point:

    But let’s also be clear that these positions are not symmetric. Liberals favored health reform both because it would work and because it might enhance their ability to push for other policies; conservatives were and are determined to kill health reform even though it would work — in fact, precisely because it would work — because it might weaken the rest of their agenda. Basically, liberals wanted to do something good that would enlighten the public; conservatives want to prevent something good because they want to keep voters in the dark.

  139. 139
    amk says:

    @👾 Martin:

    What alternative did he have?

    He did have the alternative of voting against his crazy caucus. If his intention was redemption. Whether he would get reelected? Well, that’s the gamble or even price for such redemption.

  140. 140
    👾 Martin says:

    @Ash Can:

    and how they’ve painted themselves into a corner while their political opponents are the ones who are actually governing, and doing it successfully.

    I get the sense that in private, they view the tea party as their real political opponents, not the Dems. And if you for the moment accept that as true (not too hard to see how the party has spilled over the banks lately), then at least some of their actions make sense. Doing the right thing would mean ceding the GOP to the tea party, which would either radicalize more of the country, or lead to either a GOP party split, or a defeat so crushing that it would lead to such a large Dem majority that the Dems would be fighting a split. I’ll take the last option, certainly, but these are big consequences.

    I will also note a sense of desperation from him regarding the effects of gerrymandering that his own party has engineered. I don’t understand yet why he seems troubled by that, though. Trying to figure out a clever angle to get him to reveal that. I don’t know if it’s because it’s bringing more tea partiers into the House, or because he fears that those small margins of victory for the sake of winning more districts will be their undoing. I will note that he’s in a relatively safe district himself, but one steadily trending blue.

  141. 141
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    Representative David Schweikert of Arizona: The government shutdown is “My idea of fun“.

    My idea of fun would be a bolt out of the blue striking him straight on the head, while a crocodile chomps him in the junk.

  142. 142
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Radio One: no. That would be Chicago. Because you listen to their stuff in the 70s and wonder “what the hell happened to them in the 80s”. Then of course you are reminded of how exciting you once were and how you’ve dropped your horns and replaced them with keyboards and sigh.

  143. 143
    Bob's Had Enough says:

    I will note that he’s in a relatively safe district himself, but one steadily trending blue.

    A Republican Party that has a national future may have to be colored purple.

  144. 144
    Redshift says:

    And when they got their chance, they came up with both the 1995 shutdown and the Lewinsky Impeachment — kamikaze missions of the sort that make no sense unless you actually believe that God is with you, and that the seemingly unconvinced American people will follow once they realize it (which they never do).

    This sort of thinking always reminds me of Timothy McVeigh…

  145. 145
    Mandalay says:

    @priscianus jr:

    Not only did they fail to stand up to them, not only were they willing to enable the bullshit, they thought it was an absolutely brilliant idea!

    I would have agreed with that a couple of weeks ago, but now I question the support for Cruz and co within Congress. It’s not that it’s crumbling, but it’s not wide and deep. There seem to be very few Republicans who are willing to go on air to explain and justify their actions. Most of those guys really just want a paycheck and a pension, and don’t want to take a stand on anything if they can avoid it. They neither agree nor disagree with Cruz. They’re amoral. They’re empty suits.

    I don’t think it’s going to happen, but if Boehner could get a bunch of them in a room the GOP’s opposition to reason might crumple like a cheap suit.

  146. 146
    Chris says:

    A saner opposition would have appreciated this turnabout philosophically, as a grifter might laugh ruefully upon discovering someone had managed to grift him. Certainly some of them did. But the true believers simmered and stewed, because for them it was not just a reversal of fortune, but of their whole way of looking at the world. And when they got their chance, they came up with both the 1995 shutdown and the Lewinsky Impeachment — kamikaze missions of the sort that make no sense unless you actually believe that God is with you, and that the seemingly unconvinced American people will follow once they realize it (which they never do).

    It’s even simpler than that. Clinton was On The Other Side, and he beat them. Republicans had a plan for the White House – that Bush would get another turn – and the big messy world, in the person of William Jefferson Clinton, denied them that plan. That’s why they got mad. The “Age” that Reagan ushered in was supposed to mean they’d control the government in perpetuity, or at least the White House (since the Presidency is the only job that matters), and Clinton’s election shocked them into realizing that wasn’t true.

    It’s that line from The Social Network about the Winklevoss twins flipping a shit because “for the first time, things didn’t work out exactly the way they wanted them to.” Sure, the fact that Clinton used some old Democratic memes and even Democratic policies pissed them off, as did a few other things about him – but honestly he could’ve been a 100% clone of Reagan instead of just 60 or 70, and they’d still have gone bananas. They’re control freaks. It’s what they do.

  147. 147
    johnny aquitard says:

    @👾 Martin:

    What alternative did he have?

    That essentially is the same rational Eichmann gave. He was just doing what he had to do to keep his job.

  148. 148
    Chris says:

    @Randy P:

    It is kind of amazing how they get the marching orders out so fast and so completely. Or maybe they’re all just one big Borg mentality and there aren’t any such things is “individual Republicans”.

    Ironic that the Rugged Individualists are the ones running on a hive mind.

  149. 149
    joel hanes says:

    sense of desperation from him regarding the effects of gerrymandering that his own party has engineered.

    Does gerrymandering increase the influence of the rightmost flank in primaries ?
    Because I have the sense that all these guys are terrified of being primaried from the right, even if their seat is R+20.

  150. 150
    NotMax says:

    The weasels at Fox have been very busy.

    Fox News is trying to downplay the effects of the Republican-led government shutdown by replacing “shutdown” with “slimdown” in Associated Press reports posted on FoxNews.com. The changes have appeared in headlines, a photo caption, and story ledes. Source

  151. 151
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @NotMax:
    Can I play too? Pol Pot was just running fat camps.

  152. 152
    NotMax says:

    @Mandalay

    Most of those guys really just want a paycheck and a pension

    Have mentioned it previously, but this short, still funny scene from “Murphy Brown” was, it turns out, almost eerily prescient.

  153. 153
    Chris says:

    @Redshift:

    And when they got their chance, they came up with both the 1995 shutdown and the Lewinsky Impeachment — kamikaze missions of the sort that make no sense unless you actually believe that God is with you, and that the seemingly unconvinced American people will follow once they realize it (which they never do).

    It makes sense from the point of view of throwing red meat to the rubes, especially nowadays. As long as you show that you’re doing everything you humanly can to fight the Kenyan Muslim in the White House (or, back then, Clinton), your ass is covered against the threat of being labeled a RINO and primaried in the next election. (And the bar for what it takes to be labeled a RINO keeps getting lower).

  154. 154
    scav says:

    @joel hanes:

    Does gerrymandering increase the influence of the rightmost flank in primaries ?

    Not necessarily. That depends on the spatial distribution of the hard right. There’s no reason to believe they are perfectly smooshed throughout the Repub population, so the mandered gerries to separate the Rs from the Ds don’t necessarily take the R distributions into consideration. Some districts get lucky or unlucky with higher and lower concentrations of of the rabid. While in theory they could play with boundaries to address both issues A) that’s a lot of variables on the plate and B) they’re moving variables. How many of these loons were considered important enough to be dealt with during the last go-round of redistricting?

  155. 155
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @joel hanes:

    Because I have the sense that all these guys are terrified of being primaried from the right, even if their seat is R+20.

    I’ve made that point myself. I already saw that very thing happen in here in California. Our lege couldn’t do its job because a lunatic Republican minority opposed every last thing thing that the Democratic majority was in favor of. The voters finally became so sick of it that redistricting was taken out of the hands of the legislature. I wouldn’t look for it to happen anywhere else, but it sure worked here. We’ve gone from a huge budget deficit that was the joy of doom-sayers to a modest surplus. All it took was de-fanging the asshole Republicans.

  156. 156
    NotMax says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate

    How they managed to resist naming the bill stripping out food stamps the Arbeit Macht Frei Act remains puzzling.

    /semi-Godwin

  157. 157
    👾 Martin says:

    @Bob’s Had Enough:

    It sounds like you’re talking with someone who, while conservative, isn’t crazy. Is that your take? If so, how many others like him does he think are in the House now?

    These guys are all individuals, but on most subjects, he’s flat-out bonkers. You guys probably will excoriate me for defending him in any capacity should I decide to reveal who it is – I want to see where this ends before I decide. But take him off of the real hot-button stuff, and he seems fairly reasonable and self-aware.

    One part of my job is political and persuasion. I’m the guy they go to in order to build coalitions and get things done. And you learn that people reveal themselves very selectively depending on their audience. So it’s hard to gauge these guys on TV because they’re speaking in different, and calculated ways to different audiences, and a lot of it is frankly telling people what they want to hear. They’re guarded actors in most respects. (Not saying it should be this way, but it is).

    But this is a conversation between two people. He’s not shifting his positions because his audience (me) isn’t changing, and he’s much less guarded in this situation because I’m working very hard to have a respectful and productive dialogue, and I’m genuinely not interested in embarrassing him or scoring points off of him – I don’t benefit from doing that. And I’m being honest about my viewpoints here, and not going off of Democratic talking points, so hopefully he’s getting something out of it as well. I was a bit shocked that he volunteered to continue it into a 2nd day – I thought I lost him.

    But in this private conversation he’s being a lot more revealing about things. Open on some things like the flat-out admission that they fucked up by not having an alternate health care plan and now have to rely on repeal, and unintentionally revealing on a lot of other things – getting him off of his talking points has been interesting. But his answers on more pedestrian issues suggests that he’s not completely out there – I think outside of party politics I could probably pull him around to points of agreement on things that he appears to be bonkers on, because there’s actually a fair bit there to work with. But you’ll never see him drop his guard on TV. But within party politics, he’s pretty hopeless.

  158. 158
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @NotMax:

    Willst du essen? Dann Arbeit!

    /Full Godwin

  159. 159
    2liberal says:

    The Brothers of Alpha Sigma Phi Beta Gamma Chapter would like to thank everyone who participated in our fund raiser and announce the winners of the Omaha Steak Raffle. First winner: Bev Lough Second Winner: Mark Johnson Third Winner: Suzanne Kroll Thank you again for your support, Cory Yarrington Treasurer, Alpha Sigma Phi Beta Gamma Chapter

    results of the raffle are out. i got this by email i guess i will ask how much the bothers cleared.

  160. 160
    Bob's Had Enough says:

    @👾 Martin: Does he see that the Southern strategy has run its course, that the divisive social issues won’t win national elections any longer?

  161. 161
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @2liberal:

    Ah, the joys of frat life. One of the highlights of my college years was being a member of I Phelta Thi.

  162. 162
    Chris says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    We’ve gone from a huge budget deficit that was the joy of doom-sayers to a modest surplus. All it took was de-fanging the asshole Republicans.

    How about that.

    Most of our government’s “can’t do anything right” inefficiencies are due to the fact that there’s a political faction within it working overtime to monkey-wrench everything. It’s kind of like what they think unions do to corporations in terms of destroying them from the inside, except it’s actually real.

  163. 163
    johnny aquitard says:

    @NotMax: Nah. I’d godwinned the hell out of it already.

    The key thing to notice is, nobody called godwin. Because it’s true.

  164. 164
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    If there’s anyone else from California who’s looking to use it, is the Covered California site actually broken for everyone, or is it just me who can’t log in?

  165. 165
    NotMax says:

    OT:

    Coming up at 7 a.m. (Eastern) on TCM is “Christopher Strong.”

    Doesn’t hold up well, but worth it just for the scenes with Kate Hepburn in that oh so slinky silver lamé moth costume.

  166. 166
    Thor Heyerdahl says:

    @Davis X. Machina: I have a 3-digit UID at Markos’ place in the 200s and followed him since January 2003 – so not quite from the start. It was a great refuge during the bullshit of the Bush years. But I haven’t been back for more than a couple quick looks since the election. The place has gone off the rails. I read info here or at LGF now since it seems much more rational.

  167. 167
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @Thor Heyerdahl: I have a low-4 digit UID there, and actually sent them the money to get a permanent no-ads subscription, when I had a well-paying job, and I rarely look at it any more either. There wasn’t anything in particular that drove me away, but when I look back at the place now, it doesn’t make me want to re-engage with them. I am still a “trusted user”, though, somehow.

  168. 168

    Shameless self-promotion. Juicers, i am on tour down south this week with Izzy and the Catastrophics. Thursday night we will be in Charlotte NC at the Double Door Inn. Here’s a nice video.

    We’re touring as a trio (electric guitar, upright bass, trombone) and we;d sure like to see you. For fans of swing, jazz, rockabilly, honky tonk, rock-n-roll, gypsy jazz, satan

  169. 169
    Yatsuno says:

    @2liberal: I know who the second place winner is at least. I do believe he agreed to donate his prize but I’m certain he’ll let us know in the morning.

  170. 170
    piratedan says:

    @Thor Heyerdahl: I wouldn’t be surprised if the great descent of GOS and FirePuppyPond isn’t due to some very specific ratfucking/trolling designed to splinter folks into tangents. It’s funny how the Dems seem to fraction on shades of grey while the R’s tend to do such a great job of staying on message, but perhaps that’s a feature of the fascist mindset rather than a bug, also helps if you have an entire network narrative establishing what your talking points are, whereas Dems can be just as passionate about Environmental issues as they are about LGBT rights but have little in the way of a matching subset as the environmental folks can get all caught up in internecine warfare over geothermal versus nuclear and green (solar/wind) energy and how those folks can be all over the map on LGBT issues or women or civil rights, so it’s easy to drive wedges.

  171. 171
    NotMax says:

    @brendancalling

    Satan gets bottom billing?

    How the mighty Fallen have fallen.

  172. 172
    MomSense says:

    @SFAW:

    Either you have to be old or had hippie parents. I remember singing along to that album even though I didn’t know what all the words meant.

  173. 173
    charmtrap says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass: Works for me. It takes 15-20 seconds to load, but it comes up fine.

  174. 174
    Hill Dweller says:

    @NotMax: I just watched The Collector, starring a very young Terence Stamp(Zod) and Samantha Eggar, and directed by William Wyler.

    Stamp was credibly creepy, but Eggar got the Oscar nomination.

  175. 175
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @piratedan: I think you’re largely correct. One difference between the Left and the Right, from my perspective, is that you need to go much, much further to the Right to find people who will crap on the GOP, than you need to go on the Left to find people who will shit on the Democrats.

  176. 176
    fuckwit says:

    @Redshift: It’s a common problem with criminals: THEY ARE CONGENITALLY UNABLE TO THINK SHIT THROUGH. If they did, really did, then they wouldn’t be criminals in the first place, they’d go “I should rob this bank, they got lots of money…. nah… too much risk and I’d get caught and then what?”. They’d start thinking through all the contingencies and soon get overwhelmed with it and realize it’s just not worth the effort; leave the bank alone.

    The more successful ones who don’t get caught (because they quit while they’re ahead) or take a long time to get caught DO think things through– though not completely otherwise they wouldn’t do it in the first place–, the really stupid ones definitely don’t even try. Cops and detectives know this; it’s pretty much the only way they can do their jobs. Criminals always leave something not thought through, and smart police work will find them out eventually.

    Terrorists are notoriously unable to think shit through, they’re even more short-sighted than criminals. That’s why so many of them end up as suicide attacks. It’s like underpants gnomes but with the ??’s at the end instead of PROFIT. The Rethugs are exactly those kinds of terrorists.

    Look at the Tsarnaevs as an extreme example of this stupidity: they had no, ZERO plan, for what to do after the bombing. They did it, then they just kind of… didn’t know what to do. Their thrashing around hijacking people’s Mercedes was so stupid and futile. They litereally had no plan for what to do, how not to get caught, what to do in case they got found out, nothing. McVeigh did the same thing, had no real plan, just started driving, and got stopped for something random and unrelated.

    The Neocons did this same stupid stunt with Iraq: invade the country, then…. ????

    The Rethugs in the House are cut from the same nihilistic stock. They just want to destroy, they have no plan for what to do after.

    It’s like when a stupid fucking dog chases a car. What do they do once they catch the car? Umm….

    If you take the long view, in my opinion, you will almost always end up doing the right thing, because once you start really thinking then you have to take the common good into account and also your long-term well-being. It’s short-sightedness that not only leads to evil, or is a product of evil, or is correlated highly with evil, but might really be the same thing as evil. A conscience and the ability to think long-term might really be the same thing. I’m not sure.

  177. 177
    NotMax says:

    Pretty good David Horsey cartoon on the ‘defunders.’

  178. 178
    👾 Martin says:

    @Bob’s Had Enough:

    Does he see that the Southern strategy has run its course, that the divisive social issues won’t win national elections any longer?

    I think so. He’s from a district where that’s that’s not really a winning direction, and he knows which way the wind is blowing.

    But marketing is about differentiation, and the Dems are choking off the GOPs ability to differentiate on positions that aren’t toxic with the public. The Dems have gotten, through a combination of very good strategy from people like Obama and Pelosi and others before them, and favorable demographics, and a pattern of missteps from a frightened old, white GOP have really put the GOP in an almost unwinnable spot.

    They needed the Dems to fuck up, and they haven’t. They compromised when they needed to (often to our dismay) and Obama ran flat-out fucking brilliant campaigns, but this fiscal crisis presented an opportunity for the GOP to exploit, and they’ve worked damn hard at it, but this year in particular due to Obama winning the expiration of the Bush tax cuts is going to put a real stake in the heart of the GOP. There’s no place to differentiate on economic policy so long as Obama is making things clearly better (the downside to things having been so bad is that it’s hard to argue that things aren’t better). Obama is just fucking killing them on foreign policy – the tough call on the Mersk hijacking with the SEAL sniper, OBL, Libya, now possibly both Syria and Iran. Not tough enough, reckless – they just don’t stick. That’s why they’re so desperately bonkers over Benghazi. There’s just nothing to attack. And gay rights, women’s rights, immigration – really popular positions not just with large demographic groups but *growing* demographic groups. And the tea party on the other side just fucking things up left and right.

    So yeah, I think he knows the Southern strategy is a loser. What else do they have? Pretty much everything that will get them in good standing with growing demographics would be an admission that the Dems are right. Well fuck, might as well just switch parties if you’re going to do that.

    There are a few areas that they could go – ending the war on drugs, going against the MI complex, which the Dems really aren’t that willing to do, going against the domestic surveillance stuff. That puts them all behind Rand Paul though, and that’s a really challenging shift to pull off. They had a shot at immigration and fucked it up. There’s just nothing to work with.

  179. 179
    NotMax says:

    @Hill Dweller

    Been a fan of Stamp’s since first saw him in The Mind of Mr. Soames.

    Should that ever show up, worth making time to watch. Stamp plays a 30-year-old brought out of a coma he’s been in since infancy.

  180. 180
    piratedan says:

    @fuckwit: good post and I agree with most of it, but there are indeed some real Machiavellian sorts over there pulling some strings and causing folks to dance to their tunes (i.e. the folks like Murdoch and the Kochs) and others who are very savvy political operators who know how to wield and use power. That’s why I think that Obama’s election really floored those folks, he outgameplanned them and while the GOP has a nasty nativist streak I also get the sense of real outrage that some “black kid” wet behind the ears politically has outmaneuvered them and forced the mask to have been dropped for all to see.

  181. 181
    MikeJ says:

    @fuckwit:

    The Neocons did this same stupid stunt with Iraq: invade the country, then…. ????

    I’ve heard many of them quote that saying about no plan surviving first contact with the enemy. They seem to think the lesson to be learned from that is to not bother planning. In fact, you need to have a deeper understanding of the situation.

  182. 182
    joel hanes says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass:

    I managed to create a Coverage California userid and log in just a few minutes ago.

    It’s extremely cranky about data formats for SSN and phone, etc,
    and the format hints are misleading/wrong.
    Hit the ? to the left of the field you’re having problems with, and it autoformats.

  183. 183
    piratedan says:

    @👾 Martin: well the other thing that is killing them is that the younger demographics and minorities are relying less and less on the MSM for their information. Hell, I can’t tell you the last time I sat thru a 30 minute MSM national news program outside of Al Jazeera Network, simply because the spin is so easy to spot and the failings of the reporting in front of the camera can be undone with a couple of clicks on a keyword. The reason that it’s changing is the recognition that the playing field isn’t fair and there are other online sources where people are getting what they want to know, unfiltered or with fewer filters than ever before. Hence, the bullshit is left on the table and the purveyors of such bullshit aren’t trusted again.

    If a bunch of oldsters like us can smell the bullshit, I imagine my son’s generation (who aren’t even being talked to by the GOP, they’re just cannon fodder and fast food employees in their eyes, nothing more than furniture) has little patience for them as well.

  184. 184
    Paul in KY says:

    @lamh36: Think she will be at Voodoo Fest in a month. Hope to catch the act.

  185. 185
    aimai says:

    @👾 Martin:

    Martin, I came late to reading this but it is fascinating. If you are still hanging around reading this thread–I’m guest posting this week at a friend’s political blog and I would love to have permission to extract some of your posts for consideration there. Write to me at aimaiami at comcast dot net if you would be willing, or if you want to write up a condensed version of your high points and see if we can publish them as a standalone piece.

  186. 186
    Paul in KY says:

    @Little Boots: I hope so, but I wouldn’t count on it. There’s a Mencken quote about many Americans that would fit, I’m sure.

  187. 187
    Paul in KY says:

    @Suffern ACE: Terry Kath accidently killed himself while being a drunk stupid fuck with a gun. That’s what happened to them.

  188. 188
    Paul in KY says:

    @johnny aquitard: Which was a lie (coming from Eichmann). Eichmann was a hardcore anti-semite who was enthusiastic about The Final Solution.

  189. 189
    Paul in KY says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: Makes me want to move to Cali.

  190. 190
    The Other Chuck says:

    @👾 Martin: Well, I did write a custom stylesheet to smooth out BJ’s look some, but my grief against FYWP isn’t about the theme. I probably could have done something similar with GOS but for the fact that the content was no longer worth it.

  191. 191
    opiejeanne says:

    @SatanicPanic: I took my dad to see it in 2005, so it’s been open for more than 8 years. He wanted to see it before he died; at that time he was 86. He died a year ago at age 94.

Comments are closed.