Spot the elision, kiddies! Carl Hulse, in the NYTimes:
WASHINGTON — After the shutdown, the filibusters and years of stalled bills, it was the actual passage of legislation this week that revealed the true depth of congressional dysfunction.
The House vote to raise the debt limit and stifle the budget wars was remarkable not only for its lack of brinkmanship, but for the vote count itself. The 28 members of the Republican majority who voted for the bill — a meager 12 percent — was the lowest percentage for a majority on passage since the House began publishing electronic data on votes in 1991. It has to rank among the lowest ever for a body defined by strict majority rule.
Not to be outdone, the Senate on Wednesday flirted with a market crisis as Republicans were initially reluctant to provide a handful of votes to overcome a procedural hurdle before clearing the way for the Senate to send President Obama legislation that takes the debt limit off the table until March 2015…
For a bill to pass the House with such scant support from the party in control, most members of the Republican majority had to quietly want it to pass to avoid the real-world consequences — an economy-rattling default — while being able to vote against it to dodge a backlash from conservative activists threatening repercussions. It was the purest incarnation yet of what has become known as the Vote No, Hope Yes Caucus.
The Senate vote was similar. Most Republicans badly wanted the debt limit to be raised — particularly since the House had already left town and Wall Street was unlikely to look kindly on a potential default. They just did not want their fingerprints on it.
The implications for governing are obvious. If many lawmakers are unwilling or refuse to vote for legislation that they understand to be necessary, and even beneficial, out of fear of retribution from an empowered and outspoken wing of their party, reaching agreement on major policy like immigration becomes difficult if not impossible….
Yes, that’s right: Somehow the intransigent ignorance of the Republicans in the House & Senate becomes a problem where “many lawmakers” fear “congressional dysfunction.”…
A specimen of Media Village Idiocy that should be mounted under glass, for those distant-future anthropologists exploring how our mighty civilization fell so hard and swiftly.