Sen. Jeff Flake issues a ransom note in the The Arizona Republic(an)

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

A new New York Times/CBS News poll today finds that:

* Eighty percent of Americans, including 83 percent of independents and 75 percent of Republicans, say threatening a government shutdown is not an acceptable way to negotiate.

* Americans say overwhelmingly that Republicans are not trying to work with Obama by 70-23. By contrast, 51 percent say Obama is trying to work with Republicans.

Which is to say that the Tea-Publican economic terrorism act of taking America hostage to extort concessions from the Democrats to defund "ObamaCare" and to give them a grab bag of their wish list items in exchange for not destroying the American economy is opposed by 80 percent of Americans, who don’t see this as a fundamentally acceptable way of governing.

And yet . . . this morning Sen. Jeff Flake issued a ransom note to the American people in the The Arizona Republic(an). Delay 'Obamacare' to kill it:

[This] is why we have introduced legislation that would delay all
Obamacare provisions and taxes for one year. H.R. 2809 and S. 1490 seek
to postpone all provisions of the Affordable Care Act taking effect on
Jan. 1, 2014 or later by one year from the date of enactment.

Delaying Obamacare is a necessary step in our efforts to get this law
off the books and replace it with real health-care solutions that work
for American families and businesses. It builds on efforts already taken
by the House and Senate to delay both the individual and employer
mandates. In fairness to American taxpayers, the best thing we can do
right now is to implement a one-year delay so we can continue to chip
away at this disastrous law.

Postponing Obamacare gives us the best chance to defund it. If we
delay the law, the administration will be unable to collect new taxes,
provide subsidies or expand Medicaid — all things that put taxpayers
further on the hook.

As Republicans continue to work to implement real health-care
solutions for Americans, our legislation is the right step to take. In
fairness to taxpayers, our best option today is to delay Obamacare's
implementation for one year and continue to work to enact policies that
put patients and doctors in charge of health care and do not require
trillions of dollars of taxpayer money.

Per usual, this radical ideological extremist is full-o'-crap. Jonathan Bernstein points out that the GOP has no alternative to "ObamaCare," despite the recent GOPropaganda in The Arizona Republic(an). 5 GOP alternatives to 'Obamacare'. Bernstein writes in Mainstream Republicans in worse shape than Ted Cruz:

The truth is that it’s totally legitimate to bring up problems with
health care reform on a budget bill, and use it to pressure the White
House to make changes to improve the system. Republican constituents
really are complaining about problems with the Affordable Care Act,
which like every government program ever won’t be perfect.

But Republican politicians aren’t (contrary to what Cruz says)
listening to those constituents. They’re not preparing fixes for real
problems with Obamacare; indeed, they’re mostly trying to undermine the

[A]s I argued over the weekend, a large part of why [Cruz] is successful is because the would-be reasonable politicians in the party have largely given up on policy. The
reason that Cruz’s phony shutdown threat has everyone’s attention, and
that the House went along, is because there was no Republican
alternative that might have actually improved — at least from their
point of view — the legislation

* * *

[U]nless there’s some alternative — a real one, that would really make the
insurance market run better and would yield better results for those
constituents who are complaining to them — then the Cruz strategy is
really all they have.

As Greg Sargent frequently says, the GOP is the “post
policy nihilism
” party. This is not a fundamentally acceptable way of governing. "[T]he GOP’s continuing crusade against Obamacare is unmoored from basic constructive governing norms and is completely disconnected with the American people’s conception of the same."

Steve Benen warns of the next step, A debt-ceiling ransom note takes shape:

[I]n the larger context, the shutdown crisis has never been the crisis
that should keep you up at night. If the shutdown threat was the
appetizer, the debt-ceiling threat is the main course. If the shutdown
was the opening act; the debt ceiling is the headliner.

late yesterday, we started getting a sense of what congressional
Republicans will demand in exchange for doing their duty. I put together
this image to help summarize:


The legislative package, which House GOP leaders will unveil to their members [Wednesday] and which may get a vote as early as Friday, will agree to raise the debt limit and prevent a default. In exchange, they'll expect Democrats to "delay for a year further implementation of the Affordable Care Act" and accept "construction of the job-rich Keystone XL pipeline." The same report added that the bill "could include a variety of GOP-friendly economic proposals, including tax reform, Medicare means testing, medical liability reform, an overhaul of the federal employee retirement system, elimination of the Dodd-Frank bailout, the easing of Environmental Protection Agency rules, restrictions on federal regulators and an expansion of offshore energy production."

* * *

If you're not worried, it's probably time to reconsider. Ezra Klein's analysis this morning rings true: "[T]his isn't 2011. It's potentially much worse."

[This year] the parties don't agree on anything…. There is, quite
literally, no shared ground for a deal. Democrats and Republicans
disagree on everything from the principle of negotiations to the
potential objective of those negotiations. And "disagree" is almost too
light a word. They hold mutually exclusive positions that neither can
abandon without sparking an overwhelming backlash from their base and
seriously harming their credibility in negotiations going forward. […]

Most in Washington and on Wall Street hold to a serene faith that the
two parties will figure something out. And that's probably right. But
in interviews with both Democratic and Republican staff from the House
and Senate leadership, as well as the White House, I have yet to hear a
plausible story for how they figure something out.

Every time I write about this, I hear from plenty of
folks who tell me Republicans are bluffing; Boehner has already told
Wall Street he won't push the nation into default; and the GOP has
already shown, just five months ago, that it's willing to talk tough
before backing down on the debt ceiling.

Perhaps. But the deadline
is weeks, not months, away and instead of looking for a way out of this
crisis, House Republicans are poised to vote on a plan that would make
matters much worse.

[The New debt limit deadline is Oct. 17.]

* * *

It's important to understand what [this] means. A government shutdown
would be bad; but a breach of the debt ceiling is likely to be catastrophically
bad. When Republicans say, "Meet our demands or we'll shut down the
government," they think they have some leverage. But when they say,
"Meet our demands or we'll trash the full faith and credit of the United
States," they figure they have lots of leverage.

On the
former, GOP lawmakers are threatening to do some deliberate harm to some
Americans. On the latter, Republicans are threatening to do
harm to nearly every American.

It also helps explain why the ransom note is so ridiculously
one-sided. If unhinged Republicans ask for everything under the sun,
they may not get everything, but they figure if Democrats give them anything, they'll be better off than they are now.

the while, the political world doesn't see it at all scandalous that so
many elected American officials, all from one party, are so willing to
hurt the country on purpose

In particular, The Arizona Republic(an), a critical cog in the conservative media entertainment complex, which publishes Sen. Jeff Flake's ransom note to the American people rather than calling for his resignation or removal from office for his act of economic terrorism against the American people.

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