The wild ones

Martin Stutzman and the GOP House in movie form:

(A side note: I never knew the band Black Rebel Motorcycle Club took their name from this movie til now.)

I got to get my props

The kind of winger who’s built to last (via):

“We’re not going to be disrespected. We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.” — Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN)

Like a vine that keeps climbing higher

Ron Fournier asks:

Before I get to my answer of who broke Washington (which you can probably guess), let me do a little set-up. Maybe you’re a little more cool-headed than I am — that certainly wouldn’t surprise me — so maybe this way of thinking doesn’t work for you. Suppose that every time you had an argument for a while, you told the other person “fuck off”, and everyone agreed that both sides had done it and perhaps commented that this just showed the strength of your convictions, the unity of your caucus, and the fact that we live in a center-you nation. What would you do next? You might be emboldened to start slugging the other person in the face. And imagine that the reaction was all the more “both side do it”, center-you nation etc. If you were me, it might stop there — I was raised by totebaggers after all — but I’m not sure it would stop there for everyone, especially not for the sort of borderline sociopaths that national politics attracts.

I don’t know anything about the more violent and chaotic parts of the world, but I suspect that once people figure out they can stab/shoot whoever they want without negative repercussions and even be lauded as tough-minded principled Burkeans for stabbing/shooting….

So I think what broke Washington was the realization, on the part of much of the Republican party, especially its far right flank, that there would never be any negative consequences for anything it did, no matter how irresponsible and, yes, treasonous. Both sides do it, and if you do it harder, then that just proves this is a center-right nation. So why not default on the debt?

Once upon a mattress

As we get closer to the debt ceiling deadline, I have to ask (seriously): it it time to sock all of our savings under a mattress, at least for a few months?

I can’t be the only person asking this, right?

Get pissed, destroy

I hadn’t noticed that, but according to Jon Chait, a lot of mainstream conservative pundits are against the shutdown…because they think the debt ceiling makes for a better hostage situation:

Meanwhile, former Bush administration speechwriter Marc Thiessen urges the party to release the government hostage and instead jack up its demand for the debt ceiling. “[O]ne of the first things they teach you in Hostage Taking 101 is that you have to choose a hostage the other side cares about saving,” Thiessen complains. By contrast, a debt-ceiling breach would potentially destroy millions of jobs, making it the perfect threat…

Many of you have said (and I agreed) that big business would freak and force the Republicans to give in if a debt default seems imminent. There may be less truth to this than we think:

When Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., was asked if he had heard business groups express fears of a government shutdown’s economic impact, he replied: “No. And it wouldn’t make any difference if I did.


A changing environment has given conservatives plenty of tools to challenge establishment Republicans by using new technology and social media to organize and mobilize highly motivated voters. Campaign finance laws have also given donors a greater playing field that is not limited to the political parties.


“Now it’s more of a bottom-up model, where you see these grass-roots organizations and grass-roots voters are now empowered and they feel they have a stronger voice,” he said. “There is less of an emphasis on the parties. They used to have much more outsize control over who the candidates were and what party discipline was. Now a lot of that is gone.”