And They’re Done

Robert Costa pens the obituary for the 113th Congress:

After a tumultuous week of party infighting and leadership stumbles, congressional Republicans are focused on calming their divided ranks in the months ahead, mostly by touting proposals that have wide backing within the GOP and shelving any big-ticket legislation for the rest of the year.

Comprehensive immigration reform, tax reform, tweaks to the federal health-care law — bipartisan deals on each are probably dead in the water for the rest of this Congress.

“We don’t have 218 votes in the House for the big issues, so what else are we going to do?” said Rep. Devin Nunes (Calif.), an ally of House Speaker John A. Boehner (Ohio). “We can do a few things on immigration and work on our principles, but in terms of real legislating, we’re unable to get in a good negotiating position.”

Obviously, the cure for this is more bipartisan outreach from Democrats.

51 replies
  1. 1
    maximiliano furtive, formerly known as dr. bloor says:

    work on our principles

    Once you nail down the thing about doing the bidding of the 1% and the other thing about establishing a Christosharia culture, what else is there to work on?

  2. 2
    evolved beyond the fist mistermix says:

    @maximiliano furtive, formerly known as dr. bloor: 82 votes to repeal Obamacare.

  3. 3
    slippytoad says:

    When I hear Republicans say “work on our principles” I just laugh. What fucking principles?

  4. 4
    Belafon says:

    Obviously the cure is to kick them out of office. Have to figure out how to replace a number of them here in Texas.

  5. 5
    Schlemizel says:

    The interesting part is the one you hit at the very end: How will our wonderful librule media assign blame to the Dems for this failure? Its getting harder and harder but they keep coming up with new and novel ways.

  6. 6
    hildebrand says:

    @slippytoad: What ‘work’?

  7. 7
    Corner Stone says:

    Boehner should not be let off the hook. Congress could pass almost any initiative he brings to the floor.
    But when his statement is to judge them not on passed laws but laws they repealed, I guess passing no laws is a close second best.

  8. 8
    Baud says:

    Why can’t Obama lead?

  9. 9
    Schlemizel says:

    @slippytoad:

    I don’t post much political crap on my FB page because I find it annoying. But I did just post a picture yesterday of some redneck family squatting in the dirt with their assault rifles surrounded by their urchins. The caption reads “I ain’t got much but I’ll always vote Republican because they’ll make sure that there are others who got less.”

    Thats a principle, kinda

  10. 10
    Corner Stone says:

    but in terms of real legislating, we’re unable to get in a good negotiating position

    The funny thing is that this quote isn’t talking about Democrats.

  11. 11
    Schlemizel says:

    @Baud:

    I think you may have answered the question I suggested just up thread of you! I’d thank you for getting it if I were not crying over how obvious and useless it is.

  12. 12
    Corner Stone says:

    @Baud: Man, when Obama has lost even the liberal Baud…that’s a crisis level lack of leadershipping.

  13. 13
    Baud says:

    @Corner Stone:

    It’s time to repeal the two-term limit on presidents so we can primary Obama from the left.

  14. 14
    Redshift says:

    To these clowns, unable to hold the country hostage so we can demand everything we want in return for nothing equals “unable to get in a good negotiating position.” Even though the hostage-taking repeatedly failed.

  15. 15
    Corner Stone says:

    @Baud: DiFi/Bayh 2016!

  16. 16
    Redshift says:

    @Corner Stone: It helps that his base is too stupid to understand that you have to pass a bill to repeal a law, so he’s a failure by that measure, too.

  17. 17
    Baud says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Only No Labels can save us now.

  18. 18
    Mark S. says:

    I’m beginning to wonder if our system of government might be a tad dysfunctional.

  19. 19

    And yet these clowns will probably hold the House and pick up a couple of Senate seats. I plan to do all I can down here in Florida to prevent it, but meanwhile I’m kinda hoping Canada will annex Monroe County (the Keys) so I can live in a sane country, vote out Stephen Harper, and still be warm.

  20. 20
    Cassidy says:

    How will our wonderful librule media entitles WATB suburban liberals assign blame to the Dems for this failure?

    If only that unaccomplished brown guy would just listen to them….

  21. 21
    Corner Stone says:

    Obviously, the cure for this is more bipartisan outreach from Democrats.

    Dem Leadership: “Damn. This Congress is just flat stymied. What can we do to get some momentum going? Break the logjam?
    DL#2: “Hmmm…maybe offer some more SNAP cuts? It is, after all, a tough choice and a hard decision. We could show the public we’re serious about governing and that both sides can actually work together!”
    DL#1: “SNAP cuts, eh? I mean, couldn’t hurt to try, right?”

  22. 22
    JPL says:

    @Baud: Silly Baud, don’t you read Politico. It has something to do with a bully and a pulpit.

  23. 23
    Corner Stone says:

    @Baud: At this point I just want a politician with a good set of shoulders. Bonus if he hates teh gays and can’t publicly say the word “vagina” out loud.

  24. 24
    Cassidy says:

    Has Greenwald weighed in yet to tell our emoprogs and FPers what to think yet? What happens when he takes a break? Does CS, Keith G, some guy, etc. just sit and play in their own shit until he comes back?

  25. 25
    JPL says:

    @Corner Stone: He’s running for Senate in GA.

  26. 26
    C.V. Danes says:

    “We don’t have 218 votes in the House for the big issues, so what else are we going to do?” said Rep. Devin Nunes (Calif.), an ally of House Speaker John A. Boehner (Ohio). “We can do a few things on immigration and work on our principles, but in terms of real legislating, we’re unable to get in a good negotiating position.”

    If you dance with the Devil, the Devil doesn’t change…

  27. 27
    NotMax says:

    Math Legislatin’ is hard.

  28. 28
    Corner Stone says:

    @JPL: I was surprised to read how well Nunn polls against the various whackjobs running for the R nom.
    It would be scary to see Kingston noted as, “He is also techno and media savvy and is the most successful fundraiser in the group.” except to see all the other candidates are full on levels of hateful crazee.

  29. 29
    Fester Addams says:

    So does “work on our principles” mean having a few more meaningless votes to repeal the ACA?

  30. 30
    JMS says:

    if you don’t think congressional republicans are doing a good job then vote for a democrat in the next election. of course then maybe stuff like obamacare will get done. I suspect that there are people who think”if nothing gets passed at least no scary new obama laws will get passed”

  31. 31
    Geeno says:

    @Mustang Bobby: I’d be delighted if Canada could annex all counties named Monroe, even mine in NY.

  32. 32
    Poopyman says:

    @Schlemizel:

    How will our wonderful librule media assign blame to the Dems for this failure? Its getting harder and harder but they keep coming up with new and novel ways.

    Well, it’s their job, and they’re professionals.

  33. 33
    Keith G says:

    Obviously, the cure for this is more bipartisan outreach from Democrats.

    Your snark aside, you are, inversely, on to something.

    Bipartisan outreach from Democrats has been the guiding star of this administration from day one. Although probably several years too late, this administration is finally beginning to act as if they “get it”. Unfortunately, since they are calm and reasonable, they probably will not go to war against the GPO in the same way that the GPO has been going to war against Obama..

    Too bad. Talk about opportunity cost . Aside from the true believers who are already lined up, there are very many of the original “Obama coalition” of 2008 who know in their hearts that the current GOP is a toxic manifestation that needs to be isolated and diminished. They are begging (in so many words) to be led – to be given a spark and a focus.

  34. 34
    gene108 says:

    The only way to stop bad legislation, is with good legislation with a gun.

  35. 35
    Waspuppet says:

    “Work on our principles”?

    Who talks like this?

    Did anyone ask what he meant by that? Of course not.

    If a Democrat said that, would the reporter hesitate before deriding it as a symptom of scary, stupid groupthink? Of course not.

    Etc.

  36. 36
    Nate Dawg says:

    So tired this morning, I read “Bob Costas” instead of Robert Costa.

  37. 37
    Rathskeller says:

    I, for one, hope that they get a few more overturnings of Obamacare up for vote. Nothing so perfectly encompasses futility as that.

  38. 38
    TooManyJens says:

    @Corner Stone:

    But when his statement is to judge them not on passed laws but laws they repealed, I guess passing no laws is a close second best.

    This is apparently a theme among Congressional Republicans. Marsha Blackburn on Meet the Press, talking about the action Republicans have taken on climate change:

    Well, I think the president should realize Congress has taken action whether it was cap and trade or Boiler MACT or any of these regulations. We have said no to that.

    Well, thank God you’ve taken action. And here I was worried you guys were just going to sit around with your thumbs in your asses while the planet heated up.

  39. 39
    elmo says:

    Rep. Issa (R-Car Thief) has flat-out demanded that his party cease to be anything other than opposition. “Republicans have to stop talking about…solutions,” he said. (Yes, the quote is a little unfairly truncated, but tell me the Republicans wouldn’t do the same kind of editing if the shoe were on the other foot.)

  40. 40
    Mike in NC says:

    But still time to vote themselves a pay raise, right?

  41. 41
    EconWatcher says:

    @Keith G:

    I’ll accept that there may have been an element of naivete in Obama’s approach. But the reality is that for a Democrat–and maybe especially for the first AA president–there was no choice but to appear conciliatory and bipartisan and get visibly kicked in the teeth for it on multiple occasions for enough of the public to get the message.

    I’m not saying you’re one of these folks, but for the people who think he could have won by coming out swinging from the get go, I don’t think you’re realistic about where the center of gravity is in this country. I’m not saying we’re a “center right” country exactly, but most people want bipartisanship and couldn’t accept that one of the parties was nuts. Many still can’t. That’s the reality. Obama gets that.

    He could have and should have gone tougher in the 2011 debt-limit fight. At least in retrospect, there’s no doubt about that.

    But overall, sitting here in the cheap seats, I think the guy has done amazingly well keeping his cool and getting what was there to be had in the midst of some real insanity. If he’d badly lost his cool, even once, he would have been done. The other guys know that, and I think at least part of their strategy was to provoke that. And in that, they failed.

  42. 42
    rikyrah says:

    it’s February 18th…and they’re done?

    huh?

    not shocked in the least.

  43. 43
    Corner Stone says:

    @EconWatcher:

    If he’d badly lost his cool, even once, he would have been done. The other guys know that, and I think at least part of their strategy was to provoke that. And in that, they failed.

    That might have been some part of their overall thinking, IMO. IOW, they would’ve run with it if it had happened.
    But, IMO, the strategy they have employed has been largely successful. And I don’t believe anyone thought Obama would have entered the office with bared fists (as opposed to bare chest, as a real man like Putin would have done it). I also would never ascribe the word “naive” to President Obama, either.
    So, that leaves us to evaluate at what point the pivot could have/should have come. From an honest and earnest desire to engage and look for common ground, to the efforts that could have been made to clearly demarcate the parties.
    Our nation is populated with an overwhelming majority of low information voters, by design, and comity or nuance do not bring them onboard.

  44. 44
    Corner Stone says:

    @elmo: I don’t like Issa, but the truncation is unnecessary. The statement he makes in its entirety is just as damning, and tells the public all they need to know.
    “Republicans have to stop talking about new solutions that come with new government programs.”
    Freedom!!

  45. 45
    NorthLeft12 says:

    The House Republicans have inspired me to attempt this same strategy here at my job. I can see it now……at my upcoming goal setting meeting with my supervisor……

    Me: So, since it will be nearly impossible to get everything done the way I want it to be done this year, I propose doing nothing but working on my 2015 goals until November or until those dopes who don’t agree with me retire or die.

    Boss: That is an interesting proposal. How about you try it out on the unemployment line?

  46. 46
    Keith G says:

    @EconWatcher:
    .

    ..the people who think he could have won by coming out swinging from the get go, I don’t think you’re realistic about where the center of gravity is in this country.

    Sounds a bit close to the fallacy of bifurcation – either this or that.

    The adamant and aggressive enunciation of ideals and then championing their spread and implementation can be done in ways short of bare knuckle fist swinging – though having that as a possible fallback at the right time can be a help.

    I have never made the argument that Obama has not been successful overall. It does seem that he has rather consistently been reluctant to confront the “crazy” in the hope of forging opportunities that have never lived up to their imagined benefit.

  47. 47
    Paul in KY says:

    @Cassidy: We’re waiting. Glenn is a busy man…

  48. 48
    Paul in KY says:

    @Mike in NC: Doesn’t take long, already have bill ready & in right committee, etc.

    They are pros when it comes to voting themselves more goodies.

  49. 49
    Paul in KY says:

    @EconWatcher: Good points.

  50. 50
    Paul in KY says:

    @Keith G: I think the reason is that he’s not a ‘partisan’ Democrat in the manner of FDR or Truman.

    Those guys loved being hated by Republicans & loved to get under their skin & point out (using red meat language for Democrats) exactly what the Repubs were up to & how they wanted to screw over the working man.

    Both those guys were whitey-white, so Pres. Obama maybe feels he can’t go at it like the two above did.

  51. 51
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Two-year House terms are now an active impediment on democratic governance. When the federal legislature is functionally inoperable every other year, even without idiots holding the balance of power, then you go backward just as much as a kid who takes every other year off school.

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