Friday, July 11, 2014

Last Call For The Price That Won't Be Paid

Doug Mataconis makes an honest attempt to fathom what the GOP is up to with impeachment:

Among the Tea Party and the hardcore GOP base, though, it seems as though impeachment is well on the way to becoming yet another one of those articles of faith, right along with absolute belief in the fact that Fast & Furious, Benghazi, and the IRS targeting story are the worst Presidential scandals in American history. In fact, notwithstanding the fact that the leadership opposes impeachment and knows that it would be a political disaster, it remains to be seen whether this impeachment talk remains something confined to the fringe of the GOP and the conservative or if it starts to become a more mainstream idea to the point where the leadership in Congress finds itself forced to “do something” in response to pressure from the base. That pressure could increase if the GOP captures the Senate in November and the base of the party finds itself energized in the manner it was after the 2010 midterms. It could also become an issue if and when the lawsuit that the House of Representatives intends to file against the President ends up going nowhere, as I fully expect that it will.

It will.  Expect the last two years to be nothing but chaos.  Your semi-regular reminder:  for all the damage that Republicans did to their "brand" in 1998, two years later Bush was President, and then two years after that, he allowed 9/11 to happen on his watch and America rewarded the GOP with total control of the government for 4 years, which led to the financial crisis of 2007-2008.

Republicans didn't exactly lose when they impeached Clinton.  They won, and handily.

Method To The Madness

Orange Julius's stupid stunt suing President Obama for not implementing the ACA employer mandate quickly enough seems not only moronic, but specifically designed to piss everyone off on both the left and the right.  I'm pretty confused about it too as nobody on the right will be happy without Boehner pulling a Mola Ram and ripping Obama's heart out on live TV, and the rest of us are just pretty much disgusted with Boehner's complete loss of control over his asylum patients as they loot the country.

Steve M looks for answers among the insanity and figures Orange Julius has managed to survive this long for a reason (where Cantor after all has not).

So Boehner's announcement that the suit will be just about the employer mandate lands as an intentional damp squib, making the whole thing seem like harmless stunt politics, while the draft resolution enables the House to participate in any Obamacare suit. And I do mean "participate in" -- the language of the resolution says that the House "may initiate or intervene in one or more civil actions on behalf of the House of Representatives" regarding Obamacare. So joining someone else's suit is a distinct possibility (or even joining multiple suits attacking multiple aspects of the law). 
The point is that the legal eagles of the conservative movement are attacking Obamacare from a lot of different angles, any one of which could be the Roberts Court's way of finally killing it. Unlike most liberals, I continue to think that Obamacare might ultimately be overturned -- though I think the strategy on the right at this point is to let the courts do it, rather than elected officials. The party as a whole probably doesn't want to run on the "accomplishment" of having thrown millions of people off the employment rolls -- but maybe members of the House, with their gerrymandered, blood-red districts, wouldn't mind running reelection campaigns after being parties to the suit that made Obamacare fall.

So that's where we are now on this front. I imagine the crazies will amend Boehner's legislative draft and add a few crazier provisions to it -- but he's started with a bid that lowballs the crazy. As I keep saying, he's got enough low cunning to have kept his job in this crazy environment, so I continue to think he knows what he's doing.

I admit I hadn't thought of this particular angle, mainly because on the scale of 1 to 10, the plan is completely bonkers with a side of crackpot.  If the goal was to have to courts destroy Obamacare, Chief Justice John Roberts had his opportunity to do so last summer when he had four SCOTUS votes calling the entire bill unconstitutional.  For whatever reason, he didn't do it.

Maybe Boehner's trying to force his hand again or something, but the plan seems to now be, as with abortion, to weaken the laws so badly through Congress and SCOTUS that it does collapse, and maybe then Roberts will come to bury it.

And then the GOP comes in with a 95% identical plan that doesn't have the GOP trying to destroy it, and lo and behold, Republicans fixed Obamacare.  I think that's the real, final plan.

Drawing The Lines, Then Crossing Them

In a giant case of "Well no kidding" a federal judge has determined that the completely GOP-controlled Florida state legislature purposely and illegally created congressional districts in order to benefit Republicans when they were redrawn in 2012.

In a ruling released late Thursday, Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis blasted the Republican establishment that created Florida's congressional map, saying they "made a mockery" of transparency, allowed for "improper partisan intent" and he ordered that two of the state's 27 districts drawn in 2012 violate the Fair District standards. 
In his 41-page ruling, the judge rejected challenges to districts in South Florida and that Tampa Bay but said that District 5, held by Democrat U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, and District 10, held by Republican U.S. Rep. Dan Webster, "will need to be redrawn, as will any other districts affected thereby."

Pretty straightforward stuff here.  You give one side all the power, it does what it can to maintain that power, through illegal means.  For all the screaming and whining from Republicans about DEMOCRAT TYRANNY and other such nonsense, it's Republicans who cheat to win.

Lewis blasted the role of the political consultants saying "they made a mockery of the Legislature's transparent and open process of redistricting" while "going to great lengths to conceal from the public their paln and their participation in it. 
"They were successful in their efforts to influence the redistricting process and the congressional plan under review here,'' he wrote. "And they might have successfully concealed their scheme and their actions from the public had it not been for the Plaintiffs determined efforts to uncover it in this case." 
He concluded, however, that the circumstantial evidence proved that the political operatives "managed to find other infiltrate and influence the Legislature." He drew no conclusions that legislative leaders were aware of the scheme, but he noted that Legislative leaders destroyed almost all of their emails and other documents related to redistricting, as did the political operatives.

So there was most likely a conspiracy and e-mail evidence was destroyed.  Yet, you won't see this on FOX News.  Remember, Florida voted for President Obama in 2008 and 2012, but 17 of 27 districts --63% --have Republican representatives and registered Democrats outnumber Republicans in Florida 39%-35%, with 23% independent.

Somehow, like Ohio, and Pennsylvania, Florida has way more Republicans in the House than it should, and a judge finally called them on it.

Lewis also concluded that the trail of emails and secret documents, which GOP operatives fought to keep out of the record, proved that "Republican political consultants or operatives did in fact conspire to manipulate and influence the redistricting process. 
"They accomplished this by writing scripts for and organizing groups of people to attend the public hearings to advocate for adoption of certain components or characteristics in the maps, and by submitting maps and partial maps through the public process, all with the intention of obtaining enacted maps for the State House and Senate and for Congress that would favor the Republican Party."

So yes, the whole point is to win, regardless of what the people of Florida actually want.  This is what real "voter manipulation schemes" look like,a dn when it's done, it's done by Republicans, time and time again. Getting fair districts is the only way to get these clowns out of the House and out of our hair so we can get back to governing this country rather than setting it on fire.


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