Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
The Tea-Publicans' favorite economic terrorism tactic is to manufacture a crisis to take the country hostage and threaten to kill the hostage unless their extortionary demands are met. They have done this time and time again, without apparent consequence to them for their seditious conduct. The corporate "lamestream media" dismisses insurrection and sedition against the government of the United States as "The new normal" and simply a negotiating tactic. It is not. It is economic terrorism and is not to be tolerated.
I warned you about this back in April, Tea-Publican economic terrorists threaten to take the country hostage, just because they can, quoting Jonathan Bernstein:
The plain truth here is pretty obvious: Republicans love the idea of
extorting concessions in exchange for agreeing to a debt limit hike, and
are determined to do it even when they don’t actually have any real
policy demands. It’s just extortion for extortion’s sake.
That’s what a “post-policy party” really looks like.
The latest Tea-Publican terrorism threat is the “kill Obamacare or else” demand: the GOP will refuse to continue to fund the government and force a governnment shutdown in a last-ditch attempt to coerce Democrats into surrender to their 39 votes (and counting) to kill "ObamaCare."
Steve Benen writes, Mike Lee pushes government-shutdown threat:
With the end of the fiscal year approaching, Congress will need to
approve a temporary spending measure — called a "continuing resolution"
— to prevent a government shutdown. Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ted
Cruz (R-Texas) have recently said they'll push for a shutdown unless Democrats agree to defund the Affordable Care Act — a demand Dems will never accept.
But they're not the only ones. As Robert Schlesinger has noted, there's a third, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who's pushing the same line. The far-right Utahan made his case on Fox News [where else] yesterday.
"Congress of course has to pass a law to continue funding government
— lately we've been doing that through a funding mechanism called a
continuing resolution," Lee said. "If Republicans in both houses simply
refuse to vote for any continuing resolution that contains further
funding for further enforcement of Obamacare, we can stop it. We can
stop the individual mandate from going into effect."
Now, other than simply sabotaging
the federal health care system, it's not entirely clear what's driving
the GOP's obsession with "stopping the individual mandate from going
into effect." The individual mandate is, after all, a Republican idea. For that matter, if it doesn't go into effect, the result would be 13.7 million Americans without any health care coverage at all, and by Republicans' own admission, higher premiums and gaps for Americans with pre-existing conditions.
even if we put the substance aside, note the nature of the political
threat: if Democrats refuse to take health care benefits away from 13.7
million Americans, Republicans say they'll shut down the government.
Indeed, according to Lee, this idea has the backing of "13 or 14" Senate
Republicans and dozens of House Republicans.
t's worth noting that Lee's plan is slightly different than Cruz's.
The latter wants to shut down the government unless the entirety of
"Obamacare" is scrapped, while the former says he's willing to leave the
popular provisions in place while gutting the elements that make the
popular parts possible.
But the right-wing lawmakers are effectively making the same pitch/threat: gut health care or the lights go out.
What's less clear is whether these folks have thought through this genuinely horrible plan.
* * *
One of two things is going to happen. Either (a) these Republicans will
back down, signaling weakness in advance of their likely national
campaigns; or (b) Republicans will shut down the government, insisting
that it's Democrats' fault for not taking health care benefits away from
millions of Americans.
Ed Kilgore adds at the Political Animal blog,
Alternatively, of course, Republicans could make passage of a debt limit
increase rather than appropriations the hostage for an Obamacare
defunding, but GOP business allies won’t let that tactic go too far, and
debt-limit ultras have already become accustomed to linking that issue
to a balanced budget amendment containing some sort of vicious and arbitrary limit on federal spending.
I’m not sure congressional Republicans really want to enter a promising
midterm election year just having engineered another phony crisis, but I
also don’t know if they can put this particular genie back in the
* * *
At a time when major elements of the GOP’s conservative “base” are
already convinced—because they hear it constantly from conservative
media gabbers—that the only thing standing in the way of total victory
for The Cause is the weakness of GOP lawmakers, the “kill Obamacare or
shut down the government” war cry could quickly get way out of hand. It
doesn’t help that so many conservatives continue to believe,
notwithstanding all the evidence to the contrary, that a government
shutdown would show Americans how little they actually miss Big
If Mitch McConnell and John Boehner don’t like the idea, they’d
better come up with an alternative strategy for dealing with the autumn
fiscal “crisis” and give it some momentum. Otherwise the thrill of
imagining themselves denying government-enabled health insurance to 25
or 30 million people could so excite conservative activists that there
will be no stopping them.
Arizona's Senator John McCain is trying to halt the Tea-Publican insurrection's descent into madness. McCain to Republicans: Forget about any more crazy debt ceiling hostage taking:
[It's] noteworthy that in an interview, McCain has now said the American
people will not put up with another round of GOP debt limit and
government shutdown “shenanigans.” McCain also bluntly warned House
Republicans against using the debt limit fight to gain the repeal of
Obamacare, which he said “is not going to happen.”
McCain made the claims in an interview with radio host Michael Medved
late Friday (audio was sent my way by his show). Asked for his take on
the coming debt limit battle, McCain said:
“Some of my Republican colleagues are already saying we
won’t raise the debt limit unless there’s repeal of Obamacare. I’d love
to repeal Obamacare, but I promise you that’s not going to happen on the
debt limit. So some would like to set up another one of these
shutdown-the-government threats. And most Americans are really tired of
those kinds of shenanigans here in Washington.”
Asked if he would demand any concessions in exchange for a debt limit hike, McCain continued:
“What I would like to see is serious negotiations to
eliminate the sequester, and progress on facing up to this deficit that
is sooner or later going to harm our children and our grandchildren.”
This confirms that McCain — and perhaps a few more Republican Senators who seem to have joined the new Compromise Caucus
— are heading for a direct collision with House Republicans over the
coming debt limit and budget battles. Democrats are hoping to win over
McCain and others in the Compromise Caucus to support a
no-strings-attached debt limit hike, or at least to enter into real
negotiations to replace the sequester.
McCain, of course, was already inclined to enter into talks to
replace the sequester, since he’s a “defense hawk” who wants to protect
the military from sequester cuts. But since McCain and others broke with
the GOP leadership over the filibuster, Dems have been increasingly
optimistic that a real bloc of Republicans can be induced into serious
budget talks — enough to create a GOP schism. McCain’s suggestion that
he hopes the debt limit crisis can be defused by real negotiations to
replace the sequester will likely be greeted well by Dems. It dovetails
with what they’ve been saying publicly.
“There is a group of Republicans — led by Senator McCain — who are
very interested in ending the gridlock and working together to solve
problems,” Senator Patty Murray, a key member of the Dem leadership, said the other day.
She added that Dems are “really hopeful” that there will be a gain in
influence within the party among Republicans “who prefer common-sense
bipartisanship over chaos and brinkmanship.”
It is up to the old guard Republicans to defeat the insurrectionist Tea Party economic terrorists in their Caucus.
UPDATE: It's not going well. Weeper of the House John Boehner told reporters this morning that congressional Republicans are
"not going to raise the debt ceiling without real cuts in spending. It's
as simple as that." He added, "I believe the so-called Boehner Rule is
the right formula for getting that done." Boehner's dangerous incoherence on the debt ceiling:
Given how important this is — we're talking about a crisis that could
crash the economy and destroy the full faith and credit of the United
States — it's important to appreciate the extent to which the Speaker
is dangerously incoherent. The man simply has no idea what he's talking
about, but when he plays with fire he doesn't understand, it's all of us
who get burned.
"This is, for lack of a better word, madness."