Thursday, October 17, 2013

Last Call For The Same Old Nonsense

As I've said, Republicans have learned precisely zero from the last 16 days.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on Oct. 24 to examine the rollout of Obamacare's health insurance marketplaces.

The committee has called for Health and Human Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to testify, though it notes that the Obama administration "has rejected" previous requests to publicly answer questions about the troubled launch. 
The committee has also asked for the input of software contractors. The marketplace's technological infrastructure has reportedly been one of the main causes of problems that website users have faced.

Fred Upton and Marsh Blackburn run that particular bunch for the GOP, so it should make for a not so gentle reminder of why the Tea Party crashed and burned this week.  They just can't help themselves, Obama Derangement Syndrome is all they have.

Mitch's Mouth Writing Checks His Party Can't Cash

Mitch The Turtle promises this time, no more shutdowns.  Nope.  He promises, folks.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell says he will not allow another government shutdown as part of a strategy to repeal ObamaCare.

McConnell (Ky.) told The Hill in an interview Thursday afternoon that his party learned a painful political lesson over the past 16 days, as its approval rating dropped while the government was shuttered.

He said there’s no reason to go through the political wringer again in January, when the stopgap measure Congress passed late Wednesday is set to expire.

“One of my favorite old Kentucky sayings is there’s no education in the second kick of a mule. The first kick of a mule was when we shut the government down in the mid-1990s and the second kick was over the last 16 days,” he said. “There is no education in the second kick of a mule. There will not be a government shutdown. 
“I think we have fully now acquainted our new members with what a losing strategy that is,” he added.

I've got another Kentucky saying for you, Mitch.  There's no educating a Tea Party Republican.  Because Ted Cruz isn't going to make that promise, and neither are his buddies in the House.   In fact, Cruz is already back to the same old hostage-taking tactics, and it hasn't even been 24 hours since the last crisis ended.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has placed a hold on President Barack Obama's nominee for Federal Communications Commission chief, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. 
Cruz will hold the nomination until Tom Wheeler states that he will not push for disclosures from political ad sponsors, Sean Ruston, a spokesman for Cruz told the Journal. 
Cruz asked Wheeler about his stance on the Disclose Act, which would require tax-exempt groups that run political ads to reveal their top donors, in June, and is waiting for a detailed response. When asked about the bill in June, Wheeler, a former telecomm lobbyist, said he needed to look at the issue more closely.

Looks like Ted Cruz hasn't learned a goddamn thing, Mitch.  He especially doesn't want people finding out who his donors are, as he's immediately blocking yet another federal job.

And on and on it goes.

The Crying Game

The blogs on the right are pretty depressed after last night's humiliating defeat, and deservedly so:  America now knows that the Tea Party is basically only capable of ineffectual tantrums that do nothing to achieve their stated goals and instead only harm voters in both parties.  Republicans won precisely nothing, other than a lesson to be learned about how irrelevant they really are right now.

Some are learning this.  Jonah Goldberg has thrown in the towel over at NRO:

The core promise of Ted Cruz and Mike Lee wasn’t “We’re going to fill the leadership vacuum in a branch of Congress we weren’t elected to!” Nor was it, “We will educate the public on how bad Obamacare is!” Their core promise was that they were going to defund Obamacare (without needing Democratic votes!) and that their legislative brinksmanship was worth the risks because after October 1, there was no chance of getting rid of it. I bring this up not to relitigate the fight, but to be simply honest about where I am coming from.

Paul Mirengoff at Power Line notes that while Goldberg wants to move on (and I think the concept of Goldberg being honest about anything is nearly hysterical, personally) the question of the shutdown will loom large in 2014 and especially 2016:

But in 2015, campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination will begin in earnest. Most, if not all, of the candidates will have taken a position on the CR/shutdown. Some who were front-and-center in this controversy will probably be candidates.
At that point, the question of who was right and who was wrong about the shutdown will not be academic. If, for example, the shutdown turns out to have been a win in the fight against Obamacare, big government, and/or Democrats, this outcome will weigh heavily in favor of Ted Cruz’s candidacy (if it materializes). And vice versa. 
Until then, it would be nice to move. But with a high-stakes debate looming over who was right and who was wrong, there’s probably no way it will be deferred.

On the other hand, there's a lot of outright rage at the losers right now to go around, as Jeff Goldstein at Protein Wisdom states:

I won’t live as a subject. So if I’m forced to, I plan to make some of those who forced us into accepting such a fate my own personal prison bitches.

Bryan Preston at Pajamas Media blames the squishy RINOs who sold out Ted Cruz:

In the Republicans’ case, the divisions within their ranks didn’t help. “Wacko bird” didn’t help. Peter King spending more time assaulting Republicans than Democrats didn’t help. It also didn’t help to rant “you support Obamacare!” if you didn’t happen to agree with the strategy to stop Obamacare. A divided force will just about always lose to a unified force. The Republicans failed to divide the Democrats, while they went into the fight divided themselves.

And William "Col. Mustard" Jacobson at Legal Insurrection?  Well, he's still Col. Mustard.

At least some Republicans are on record as being willing to do just about anything to stop Obamacare although not as much as Obama and Democrats were willing to do to save it. If there were hostage-takers and suicide bombers, they weren’t Ted Cruz and Mike Lee or the conservatives in the House.

The awesome whirlwind of blame will continue for a while, but it's important to remember that Democrats still have a lot of work to do, and December 15th most likely means we're going to go through all of this again soon.   Whether or not Dems will go to the polls and start tossing out Republicans remains to be seen.

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