I should really stop apologizing; as I did yesterday, and just embrace my inner conspiracy theorist. Wave it around like a rainbow flag at a Gay Pride rally. Wear it around my neck like some nineties gangsta bling. Force people to look at it, acknowledge it, confront me about it. I used to roll my eyes whenever Hillary Clinton would refer to the ‘vast right-wing conspiracy’ but it turns out she was a lot further ahead of the times than me. Leave it to Rachel Maddow to put it all into perspective in a nicely done segment on her Monday June 27th show. You should check it out on the link below even if you’re a flaming conservative. It’s a prize winning segment of some sort. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Rachel Maddow Show – Pretending to Care
Okay, you didn’t check it out so I’ll give you the synopsis. Consider all the examples of Republican sponsored bills and measures in the past couple of years. Start with Pay-go or, basically, pay-as-you-go. In other words no amount of spending can be approved without revenue coming in to pay for it. This worked pretty well during the Clinton administration and four Republicans decided it would be a good idea to try it again. President Obama agreed it was a good idea. Suddenly, those four Republicans abandoned the idea.
Then there was the bi-partisan deficit commission that seven Republican Senators voted to establish. Once again, Obama said ‘sounds great’ and suddenly all seven Senators headed for the exits. How about Cap and Trade? A Republican idea, until Obama agreed to it then Republicans were against it. Or the individual mandate in health care reform. Republican idea until Obama said, ‘sure’ then they were against it.
Seeing a pattern yet?
Republicans were all for trying terrorists in the US under President Bush but when Obama brought it up Mitch McConnell‘s head nearly exploded. He claimed it was dangerous and irresponsible even though he had no problem with it during the Bush years. How about the DREAM act introduced by Republicans to deal with illegal immigration in 2001? Once it came up for a vote in 2009 all of those Republicans ran for the border. And does anybody really buy into the ‘outrage’ Republicans feel about Libya?
Now we’re facing a potentially damaging crisis with the debt ceiling. Republicans voted to raise the ceiling seven times during the Bush administration without blinking an eye, but a peek at the chart below shows that almost unanimously they have voted against it under Obama. Republicans know they are playing a dangerous game and their Wall Street buddies are probably going to yank their leashes before ever letting it happen because there is just too much money to lose by not raising the ceiling.
And now Eric Cantor and other Republicans are staging walk-outs on the debt ceiling because Democrats want to cut subsidies to oil companies. Oil companies that continually make more profits than God. Subsidies that Republicans have previously talked about cutting and oil companies have said they really don’t need.
And of course you may recall the chart on filibusters.
Those last two lines are the Obama Administration. This is the most filibuster threats ever in American history.
Rachel’s overarching message is that it’s fine if you do not care about policy or lawmaking but if you do not care about such things then you have no business getting involved in it.
The kindest way to understand this is as disgusting hypocrisy. [It’s] Shameless, craven, unprincipled partisan hackery. The less nice way to see this is that Republicans in Congress care about policy and believe in it…but the worst possible thing you can think about them in this game of chicken they’re playing with the economy and the debt ceiling…that will cause another global catastrophe and maybe a deeper recession is that they believe what they say about policy…then they know that what they are doing will guarantee bad economic outcomes.
Her guest, The Nation’s Chris Hayes, points out that that negotiations with Republicans presumes that both parties are going in with good faith that a compromise will be the outcome. It appears that the Republicans no longer have any good faith but they want us to think that they do.
The sole goal of the Republican Party is to stop the Obama administration at any cost. Even if it means burning dow the entire world in the process in order to make that happen. It isn’t even relevant to argue about what their reasons for it are anymore. To quote Newt Gingrich, who on occasion makes coherent statements, observed in 2006 that the Democratic campaign slogan should be “had enough?”. That mantra has never been more appropriate than it is today in light of the absurdity taking place on Capitol Hill. So, HAVE YOU HAD ENOUGH YET?
I think you may want to refrain from signing on to conspiracy theories. Your last one didn’t work out so well. A month ago you believed the Rep Weiner twitter hack was simply right-wingers trying to detract from the Congressman’s attempt to get Justice Thomas recused from any health care ruling. How did that one work out for you? 🙂
Your entire article above is simply what I call politics. Unfortunately, IMO, most elected officials are more worried about re-election than doing the country’s business.
With blinders firmly on, you cite several examples of the Rs changing their mind simply cause the Ds are now on board. Your entire premise, that only the Rs play politics, is taken apart by the following quote:
The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies.
That was of course, then Senator Obama before he voted *against* raising the debt ceiling.
You simply can’t have it both ways. I totally agree that if the Rs don’t care about policy or lawmaking, they should stay out of the way. But the same applies to the President.
You simply can’t have it both ways.
Actually, I think I can. I can’t purport to know the motives behind President Obama’s decisions except for the fact that more often than not I agree with his decisions. That leads me to conclude that I can accurately ‘guess’ his motives. And had I been in his shoes when he was a Senator, I would have been alarmed at the willy nilly spending combined with the lack of revenue from the Bush tax cuts, too. I would have demanded that we balance our budgets more responsibly and voted against a debt ceiling raise without addressing the budget. There is another chart that compares the number of times we’ve raised the debt ceiling prior to Bush. It’s a staggering contrast.
Now fast forward to becoming President just after arguably the second biggest economic collapse in the nation’s history. Everyone agrees we ned to address the budget, the debt, and deficit. There are ways to do that but the problem didn’t happen overnight and neither will the solutions, particularly when you’re fighting a group of people intent upon presenting solutions that benefit only the top tier of our society. Plus you have a limited window of opportunity to fix a problem that we, as a civilized nation, surprisingly have never been able to address. So you fix health care which as we go along should bring exponentially escalating medical costs under control in the future.
Next, do something about these bloody wars. Steps are being taken to bring those to a conclusion and that will represent savings in the defense budget. But that’s going to take a couple of years, too.
Next, take steps to address the budget. One way to help it is let the Bush tax cuts expire (yes, I know. He let the rich people have it for two extra years as a hostage trade off for some other beneficial things). Once that happens, revenue will rise. And certainly make some sensible budget cuts but not budget guts.
Then cut ridiculous subsidies to Big Oil and corporations. I think he’ll get that one, too.
But in the meantime, we are nearing a default situation. So yes, now IS the most appropriate time to raise the debt ceiling because the alternative would be much worse.
I predict that President Obama will leave office in 2016 with a surplus just like Clinton did. And perhaps we can stop raising the debt ceiling every year, particularly if we keep tax cutting Republicans out of office. That the President voted against raising the debt ceiling before was appropriate then as a means to protest the runaway spending. That he is advocating for raising the debt ceiling now to prevent a default is completely warranted and will buy us time to rein in the budget.
Today President Obama called upon Republicans to show some leadership and sit back down at the table to solve the budget problems.
A month ago you believed the Rep Weiner twitter hack was simply right-wingers trying to detract from the Congressman’s attempt to get Justice Thomas recused from any health care ruling. How did that one work out for you?
At the time I posited that the full extent of Congressman Weiner’s indiscretions had not yet come out. Given Brietbart’s history of creating false contoversies it seemed like a logical conclusion. And I still think it was what motivated Breitbart in the Weiner scandal. There is absolutely nothing altruistic about that man. Weiner certainly made his crusade a lot easier. How did it work out for me? I’ll let you know if Thomas refuses to recuse himself.
I don’t know the answer for sure, but I have an idea…are you saying voting against raising the debt ceiling, when then Senator Obama did it a couple years back, would be significantly less catastrophic then it would be now. If the answer is yes, voting against a few years back, would not be an issue, then yes, you indeed can have it both ways. But if it would be almost just as significant, then yes, you are trying to have it both ways. Sorry, I’m not a fan of hypocrisy…from either side!
Thanks for conceding you were wrong on the Weiner issue. Once the facts did come out, any of those conspiracy theories, such as the one you purported, were rebuked. You can dislike Breitbart all you want, but he actually had this one right. You didn’t.
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Interesting article. And true, I’m sure: the Republicans really don’t care about the country, all they care about is crippling Obama.