Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Today the House GOP caved in to demands from hedge fund billionaire-funded conservative organizations and the insurrectionist economic terrorists of the Tea Party, led by an interloper from the Senate, demagogue Sen. Ted "Calgary" Cruz, and collectively jumped off the cliff together like lemmings to commit political suicide. Only one Tea-Publican, Rep. Scott Rigell (VA), stood at the edge of the cliff and said "Wait a minute . . something feels wrong." House passes budget defunding health-care law:
The House passed a short-term spending plan Friday morning that would
continue funding government operations only through mid-December but withhold
funding for President Obama’s signature health-care law,
firing the opening salvo in what promises to be a contentious 10 days
of debate on Capitol Hill over extending government operations by only
The legislation would fund federal agencies at an annualized rate of
more than $986 billion but would also leave in place automatic spending
cuts known as sequestration, set to take effect in January. It would
include language to prohibit any funding going to implementing the
health-care law and, additionally, authorize the Treasury to pay some
bills and not others in the event that no deal is reached in October on
increasing the country’s debt limit. [Something which is practicably impossible, but Tea-Publicans believe this fantasy.]
House Republican leaders declared victory Friday after the vote, and
they immediately ramped up pressure on the Senate to take up the fight.
The House bill is, of course, dead on arrival in the Senate. This is all Kabuki theater to appease the GOP crazy base and the conservative media entertainment complex which feeds their delusions and escape from reality. Already on Thursday, Ted
Cruz unmasked his own confidence game for the Kabuki theater that it is:
House Republicans and Senate conservatives are in the midst of a full
blown war over who will get saddled with the blame when Republicans
ultimately admit they don’t have the leverage to defund Obamacare.
It’s unclear how exactly we’ll get to that inevitable point or how
much blood will be left on the floor along the way or who will end up
spilling most of it. But one thing that seems clear is that the scam
perpetrated by Senate conservatives is running out, and Ted Cruz is the
The short version of what’s happening is that House Republicans
finally agreed to give Senate conservatives what they wanted — a bill
funding the government at sequester levels while defunding Obamacare.
Whereupon Cruz immediately allowed
that Republicans won’t be able to get it through the Senate, and
renewed the demand that House Republicans (who, after all, are in the
majority) keep up the fight. House Republicans understandably erupted in
fury last night, accusing Cruz of surrendering and of engaging in a bad
faith effort to deflect blame on them for the inevitable failure of a
scheme that was always going to fail anyway.
Here’s Ted Cruz trying to clean up the mess on Hannity last night, arguing that he and his fellow defund-Obamacare charlatan Mike Lee will keep the fight going as long as they can:
“I guarantee you one thing, Mike and I are going to fight
with every breath in our body,” Cruz said. “As Churchill said, we will
fight on the beaches, we will fight in the streets, we will fight at
every step to stop the biggest job killer in America.”
Now, historians would probably see Cruz’s comparison of his vow to resist Obamacare to Winston Churchill’s call for full resistance to the Nazis as a tad strained. But that aside, this raises a number of interesting questions.
We know Senate Democrats will probably take the House CR and strip
out the defunding of Obamacare in hopes of kicking it back to the House.
But as Brian Beutler lays out,
there are a number of procedural moves Senate Republicans can take to
stall or slow this process — such as a Rand Paul-style drone filibuster —
and conservative activists will presumably be expecting them to pull
out all the procedural stops. As Beutler notes, if they don’t this whole
thing will be exposed as the scam it always was.
What will be particularly interesting to see, though, will be how
Cruz and company manage to blame the GOP establishment for the failure
of their scheme. [Because the GOP establishment is the Tea Party's real enemy in this internecine civil war.]
* * *
Mitch McConnell has always been cool to the defund-Obamacare scheme, and
it’s unclear how far he’ll go in trying to procedurally stall against
the inevitable — or, indeed, whether there’s actually all that much he
can do. And so one imagines McConnell — fairly or not — will be blamed
by the Cruz brigade for failing to prevent the clean CR from getting
through the Senate.
At that point, House Republicans will be back in the position they’ve
always been in — they’ll have to choose between alienating
conservatives by passing a clean CR funding the government with the help
of a lot of Dems, or taking the blame for a government shutdown.
Presuming Boehner opts for the former, the defund-Obamacare smoke
machine will simply crank up again and blame Boehner and the
establishment for selling them out again.
* * *
[T]he swift denunciation from House Republicans suggests they aren’t going
to lie down and take it anymore if and when that happens. They will
push back with the reality-based argument that House Republicans have
done all they can to prop up this scam — giving Cruz and company exactly
what they asked for — and that ultimately it’s unworkable. And they can
use Cruz’s own words to do so. In the end Cruz’s own suggestion that
this will all be on House Republicans fatally undermines his whole
confidence game, because it’s effectively an admission that the scam
ultimately can’t be made to work.
The question is, "why is anyone following this nihilistic dangerous demagogue from Calgary?" Only the foaming at the mouth rabid teabaggers, who see this dangerous demagogue as one of them, are his supporters. Everyone else hates him. The media, if we had an Edward R. Murrow left among the bunch of clownish yahoos we are stuck with today, would destroy this dangerous demagogue before he can do serious harm to this country.
What do we do when one political party has become so dysfunctional that it is no longer a responsible party capable of governing? And what do we do when that political party is led by the intellectually bankrupt and morally depraved conservative media entertainment complex? They are unaccountable to anyone.
As the high priests of "centrism," Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein, recently wrote in “Brighter future for politics and policy requires a different Republican Party”, this dysfunctional political party must suffer a massive electoral defeat in order to restore any semblance of governance. Kick 'em all out.
NB: Two Democrats, Reps. Jim Matheson (Utah) and Mike McIntyre (N.C.), decided to jump off the cliff with the GOP.
UPDATE: Awesome quick take by Josh Marshall for a report by Sahil Kapur: "We have arrived at the moment where the flying shark eats Ted Cruz whole in his self-produced movie Defundnado."