Thursday, October 03, 2013

No End Game

So we're in Day 3 of shutdown mode and I wonder about a few things.

I wonder if any of the Republicans in the House, and Cruz and Lee and Paul in the Senate, had an end-game in mind.  That is, allowing members a couple days of spittle-flecked rage at one another, do they have a plan to get from where we are to a functioning federal government again?  From the looks of things, I kind of doubt it. In fact, from the looks of things, they aren't bright enough to have had a game, let alone an end-game.  There is no way any of this ends well for the Republican Party.  If you play a high-stakes game like this without some inkling of what the conclusion will be, then you're screwed.  That no one seemed to believe a plan for an end-game was necessary tells me just how ridiculous these folks are.  They had to know the country didn't really want this, and would blame them, and would continue to blame them more as time goes on.  Believing their own rhetoric about the unpopularity of the ACA, that it doesn't work, blah-blah-blah, they refused to consider reality in their plans.

The result is the clusterfuck before us.

I wonder why people keep talking about John Boehner as if he is either (a) cowering before an alleged rump of his own party; or (b) secretly wishing for a light that illumines his way out of the tunnel in which he finds himself.  It seems pretty clear to me that the Speaker of the House, like the rest of the far right nincompoops in the House of Representatives, actually believes that the ACA isn't working; that the heroic stand he and the members of his Party are taking will be seen for what it is and praised by the American people soon enough as they clamor for release from affordable health care.  In other words, there is no actual evidence that John Boehner is secretly sensible and attuned to reality.  Rather, he is as delusional as the allegedly small group who is leading him and his party in the House over the cliff (even if the country doesn't follow, which isn't necessarily the case).

In the real world, John Boehner is the one person who can end this by doing the one thing he refuses to do.  That he refuses to do it is evidence enough that he isn't so much cowed by some small group, but a member of them.

Finally, I wonder about the repeated reports that there is only a small group of Republicans insisting on a die-hard position regarding tying a Continuing Resolution to repeal of the Affordable Care Act.  If this is true, why didn't a majority of Republicans vote with Democrats on Monday against that kind of bill, forcing the Speaker to bring a clean CR to the floor of the House?  For years I've been hearing about "moderate" Republicans, reading anonymous quotes in the press complaining about the right-wing of the party.  Where the rubber meets the road - in roll-call votes on the floor of the House of Representatives - I see zero evidence there's some huge war going on in the Republican Party.  The fact that over the past couple days former IRA fellatist Peter King (R-New York) is held up as a "moderate" tells me that, in fact, there are no moderates left.  There is no small group of fire-breathers holding the rest of the Party hostage.  This is what the Republicans want to do.  This is what the Republicans said they would do.

Did the Republicans believe the President would cave before allowing a shut-down of the federal government?  It's certainly possible they believed that.  That they didn't plan for the contingency with which we're now faced shows, as I said above, we are in the hands of morons.  They cannot save face.  They cannot escape responsibility.  Regardless of what they and their allies think or believe - this is disastrous for the country; this is disastrous for millions of Americans who are and will continue to suffer very real harm because of this; and this is disastrous for their Party, much worse than the 1995 shutdown.

So we coast or float or drift with no end in sight because there was never an end planned.

Virtual Tin Cup

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