Friday, August 2, 2013

Last Call For Canceling The Apocalypse

Meanwhile, just another gentle reminder that the eliminationist/militia movement/sovereign citizen/end of the world types are now mainstream, acceptable members of the Republican Party, at least in states like Washington.

An Eastern Washington legislator, speaking at a “Self-Reliance Rally” of Tea Party activists and survivalists, predicted last weekend that the United States economy is going to collapse and told activists to stock up on ammunition and stay in top physical condition for when that happens.

We need to prepare for the inevitable collapse that is going to happen: You know it’s going to happen. That’s right, I am a politician and I am standing up here and saying that,” said state Rep. Matt Shea, a Republican from Spokane Valley. The lawmaker’s remarks were reported in the Coeur D’Alene Press.

“When it happens, we need to look at this as an opportunity, not a crisis,” Shea added. “Whose job is liberty? That’s our job.”

Lovely sentiment from an elected lawmaker:  the country will collapse, and I'm with the anarchists.  And this Shea joker is a real piece of work, too.

Shea is no stranger to controversy. The Spokane Spokesman Review reported an incident, about two years ago, in which he pulled a loaded gun on another motorist in what was described as a road rage incident. He was cited for having a loaded handgun in his pickup truck without a concealed weapons permit.

While a defender of traditional marriage, Shea was also in the news for his recent divorce. The lawmaker’s wife sought two temporary restraining orders and a protection order, and claimed to have been treated like a “possession.” She claimed that Shea insisted that she walk on his left side “because his sword, if he had one, would be on his right side.”

Washington State, out near the Idaho border, is kind of a scary place.  These are the people they elect to send to represent them in the state.  To represent them in DC?  Cathy McMorris Rodgers, chair of the House Republican Conference and author of a lovely guide for House Republicans to use during the five-week August recess to bash the hell out of the federal government they work for.

This doesn't surprise me in the least.  More than a few people out there east of Spokane who are hardcore survivalists and would happily see the government burn.

And remember, McMorris Rodgers is the number 4 Republican in the House, behind Orange Julius, Eric Cantor, and Majority Whip Kevin "Aptly Named" McCarthy.  She's not fringe, she's leadership.

Food for thought.

Mitch Turtles Up

How terrified is Mitch McConnell right now?  Looks like the one-two assault from both the left in Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes and the right in GOP primary challenger Matt Bevin has got the Turtle holed up in his shell and calling for reinforcements.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s chief of staff is stepping down from his position to focus exclusively on the GOP leader’s reelection campaign and the national Republican effort to take back the majority next year.

The move, Republicans say, is a reflection of the growing belief — and concern — that 2014 could be the last opportunity in years for the GOP to recapture the Senate after blowing their chance at the majority in the past two election cycles. So McConnell is moving a key aide out of his official Washington office to work entirely on campaign politics.

Josh Holmes, who has run McConnell’s personal office handling Kentucky-centric issues since December 2010, will now work in a dual role as a senior political hand to the National Republican Senatorial Committee and to help advise the GOP leader’s difficult reelection bid in Kentucky. In his new NRSC role, Holmes will work as a conduit to the downtown fundraising community as the GOP seeks to keep pace with Democratic fundraising.

Holmes’s departure comes as two other senior leadership aides have announced they are leaving the Senate, albeit for different reasons. Dave Schiappa, who serves as McConnell’s floor general and is perhaps the most important Senate Republican staffer, is leaving the chamber after nearly three decades of work to take a job as vice president at the Duberstein Group, a downtown lobbying firm. And Rohit Kumar, a top policy aide to the leader who helped negotiate key deals including the fiscal cliff accord, is also stepping down for personal reasons.

When your senior staff is running for the hills and scrambling for lobbyist jobs this early in the cycle, something is badly, badly wrong.  It's even worse when your senior staff is heading over to run the party Senate campaign machine so they can funnel as much cash and other resources as possible to stave off the very real possibility of defeat of the party's Senate leader.

The fact that all of this is happening with nine months and change before the May primary is a really, really big hint that priority one is saving Mitch's turtle ass in 2014.  Yes, Republicans are very, very worried.

They should be.

Crashing To The Ground With A THUD

Brian Beutler details the rapidly disintegrating "House GOP budget plan" to force Senate Democrats and President Obama to the table to talk about just how much austerity Americans will be facing.  There's only one problem with the plan, and that's the fact that Republicans are stuck in an increasingly uncivil war among themselves and can't pass anything in the House when it comes to Paul Ryan's budget.

Indeed, Paul Ryan’s entire reputation rests upon these kinds of abstractions. His budgets imagine huge cuts to Medicaid and food stamps and Medicare and so on, but they have no binding force. His allure to the conservative movement as a vice presidential nominee was that he’d be uniquely suited to turn these abstractions into reality.

But many close Congress watchers — and indeed many Congressional Democrats — have long suspected that their votes for Ryan’s budgets were a form of cheap talk. That Republicans would chicken out if it ever came time to fill in the blanks. Particularly the calls for deep but unspecified domestic discretionary spending cuts.

Today’s Transportation/HUD failure confirms that suspicion. Republicans don’t control government. But ahead of the deadline for funding it, their plan was to proceed as if the Ryan budget was binding, and pass spending bills to actualize it — to stake out a bargaining position with the Senate at the right-most end of the possible.

But they can’t do it. It turns out that when you draft bills enumerating all the specific cuts required to comply with the budget’s parameters, they don’t come anywhere close to having enough political support to pass. Even in the GOP House. Slash community development block grants by 50 percent, and you don’t just lose the Democrats, you lose a lot of Republicans who care about their districts. Combine that with nihilist defectors who won’t vote for any appropriations unless they force the President to sign an Obamacare repeal bill at a bonfire ceremony on the House floor, and suddenly you’re nowhere near 218

And the fact of the matter is when it comes to taking full responsibility for cutting trillions of dollars from already crumbling bridges and roads, already strained schools, already overloaded SNAP food benefits, and of course Medicare and Medicaid, House Republicans don't want anything to do with the plan.

So pull up a chair, kids.  The House GOP is about to come crawling to Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats in order to get yet another spending extension passed, and it will be on the Democrats' terms.  The Republicans have nothing, and they now know it.  And now, so does everyone else.


Related Posts with Thumbnails