Saxby Chambliss on the failure to govern

Saxby ChamblissSaxby Chambliss, asked by the New York Times for observations and advice as he leaves the Senate, offered the following recollection of his early days in Washington:

“We were all ultra right-wingers, but we figured out right quick that when you are in the majority, you have to govern,” he said of the 1994 class of House Republicans. “If you are going to govern in this country you are not going to govern on the far right or the far left. You’ve got to figure out a way to somehow get pretty close to the middle, otherwise you are going to do what we did — that is shut the government down. And we paid a heavy price for it. And you saw that again just a year ago.

“We need to find the best solution that is not a political solution and that requires hard and tough votes to be made,” Mr. Chambliss said. “And nobody around here has been willing to make hard and tough votes the last four years.”

The time frame specified by Chambliss is telling. Four years ago, in 2011, he joined Democrat Sen. Warner of Virginia in championing a bipartisan, long-term approach to the budget that would have required compromise by members of both parties.

“For a Republican to put revenues on the table is significant,” Chambliss said at the time. “For a Democrat to put entitlements on the table is significant. The only way we’re going to solve this problem is to have a dialogue about all these issues, because there is no silver bullet.”

Following those principles, Warner, Chambliss and other members of the so-called “Gang of Six” put together a plan that included $1 trillion in new revenues and almost twice that in spending reductions, including changes in how Social Security cost-of-living increases are calculated. It was an approach endorsed by President Obama.

“We have a Democratic president and administration that is prepared to sign a tough package that includes both spending cuts, modifications to Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare that would strengthen those systems and allow them to move forward, and would include a revenue component,” Obama said at the time. “We now have a bipartisan group of senators who agree with that balanced approach. And we’ve got the American people who agree with that balanced approach.”

Of course, the plan went nowhere, largely because of intransigence in the Republican House. Or as Chambliss put it, “nobody around here has been willing to make hard and tough votes the last four years.” One way or the other, the effort also marked the end of Chambliss’ career in the Senate.

I can’t say what drove that decision. Maybe he had already made up his mind that he wouldn’t seek re-election in 2014, a decision that freed him to take the political risks inherent in courting compromise. Maybe he realized that by backing compromise, he had guaranteed himself a tough primary challenge back home in Georgia because of his alleged betrayal of conservative “principle” and willingness to entertain the notion of a tax hike.

Chambliss himself disputed that reading, claiming that he was confident of victory had he decided to run again. But after the failure of the “Gang of Six,” he had given up hope of change.

“Instead, this is about frustration, both at a lack of leadership from the White House and at the dearth of meaningful action from Congress, especially on issues that are the foundation of our nation’s economic health,” he said of his decision. “The debt-ceiling debacle of 2011 and the recent fiscal-cliff vote showed Congress at its worst and, sadly, I don’t see the legislative gridlock and partisan posturing improving anytime soon.”

I don’t either. Back in 1994, when he was elected to Congress as part of the “Gingrich revolution,” Chambliss was indeed an “ultra right-winger,” and from my perspective that didn’t change much. What did change are the standards by which such things are measured within the GOP. The ultra right winger of those days would be a mere RINO by today’s standards, and that right-ward swinging pendulum shows damn little sign of swinging back the other way.

 

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1038 comments
Bill OrvisWhite
Bill OrvisWhite

Sorry, but Taxby lost his mojo. BUH-BYE! Amen, Bill 

Yes_Jesus_Can
Yes_Jesus_Can

A University of Michigan department chairwoman has published an article titled, “It’s Okay To Hate Republicans,” which will probably make all of her conservative students feel really comfortable and totally certain that they’re being graded fairly.

“I hate Republicans,” communications department chairwoman and professor Susan J. Douglas boldly declares in the opening of the piece. “I can’t stand the thought of having to spend the next two years watching Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Ted Cruz, Darrell Issa or any of the legions of other blowhards denying climate change, thwarting immigration reform or championing fetal ‘personhood.’”


Republicans now, she writes, are focused on the “determined vilification” of others, and have “crafted a political identity that rests on a complete repudiation of the idea that the opposing party and its followers have any legitimacy at all.”

Extremely funny! 

vil·i·fy


/ˈviləˌfī/


verb

verb: vilify; 3rd person present: vilifies; past tense: vilified; past participle: vilified; gerund or present participle: vilifying

speak or write about in an abusively disparaging manner.

"he has been vilified in the press"

synonyms:

disparage, denigrate, defame, run down, revile, abuse, speak ill of, criticize, condemn, denounce; More


 

Normd
Normd

Common,

About your 15 degree comment down below.  Back in the day I was going to an advanced electronic "C" school at Great Lakes Naval facility.  There had been a couple of sailors being rolled so the Brass decided to set up a 24 hour watch bill around the campus.  I drew the mid watch (0000-0400hrs).  It was -15 degrees and I was walking a beat.  No self respecting robber would be out in that kind of cold.  It was so cold that if you took a pee, you'd have to break yourself off of the frozen stream.  It was not fun.  Fortunately the Brass came to their senses and dropped the night watches. 

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

demanding all sorts of people be fired

Jeez louise, now that I think of it--when my kid was around that age, there was a Christmas show featuring a bunch of traditional carols, and my kid was in the school chorus.

As it turned out I think they were all entirely secular, but I'm pretty damn sure that if Jesus were mentioned I wouldn't be petitioning the principal to fire or reprimand anyone.


TBS
TBS

"I will give him a week or two to hand out justice evenly or I will start including the editor and others on what he allows progs to get away with but enforces on conservative bloggers. "


Been at least a year but I remember a blogger say he was going to Jay's boss and as far up the ladder as it took regarding whatever issue that had him all up in arms.

That blogger left for a few weeks to Kyle's.  Told everyone at Kyle's how he was done with Jay and the bloggers here blah blah blah.

You guessed it.  He is back here blogging as if nothing happened.  When asked did he get an answer he would just get mad and say it didn't matter.

Brosephus
Brosephus

Okay, my idiot droning is done for a while...  LOL!!!

Doggone_GA
Doggone_GA

"which purportedly is devoted to politics"

Since when?  It's a blog devoted to whatever subject Jay chooses to put up.  It's not always politics

LeninTime
LeninTime

@Doggone_GA

Well I think it's dedicated to politics in the broadest sense, which includes the political aspects of economic issues, cultural issues, religious issues, etc., and the ideologies underlying political debates.. 

Normd
Normd

Well, glad that's over...It be cold outside.

LeninTime
LeninTime

Just the very fact that I bet not a fifth of the posters on this blog - which purportedly is devoted to politics - have even heard of the Trans-Pacific Partnership is an amazing feat of our corporate media in hushing up issues of the greatest significance to the majority of the population. 

KUTGF
KUTGF

Yes, my friends, that's David Duke holding up an image of President Obama with Bill Ayers, embellished with the words "Communist Terrorist Murderer" in large type above the photo.

Lost in the din of David Duke's insane hate: Steve Scalise didn't just fraternize with Duke and his racist pals. He agreed with them. He agreed with them, he spoke to them, he inspired them, and he tailored his speech to fire them up.

Both sides do not and did not do that. This lying scum can spout off on Faux Hate News all he wants, but this is not a debate.

Scalise should go, because Scalise is just like David Duke.  http://crooksandliars.com/2015/01/david-duke-insists-hes-not-white

_____________________________ 


BillO and Fox love their false equivalents. 

fiftythreepercenter
fiftythreepercenter

"Your butthurt over those kids singing a song in class, all these years later, will never not be funny to behold."


If the kids were being asked to sing a song about Jesus, you would be blowing a gasket demanding all sorts of people be fired.  Why?  Because you're a first class hypocrite. 

Normd
Normd

@fiftythreepercenter 

Singing a song in class to the President is not illegal...Sing a song in class about Jesus is...just sayin'

Brosephus
Brosephus

@SFM_Scootter 

Nah, it's idiot drones that like posts!!

[Edit] and since I've been slacking on my duties, it's time to click a few likes..

[Second Edit] That's about 20-30 more likes than were there previously.  I consider that a job well done!!

LeninTime
LeninTime

So to the folks here of a "right wing" orientation - I won't call you trash - who regularly claim that Barack Obama refuses to compromise with Republicans on anything, ever, how many of you are even aware of what the Trans-Pacific Partnership is? 

I'm just curious to know.

Crossbreed
Crossbreed

LT- We are collectively talked down to that "we can't rush to judgement"  of course unless it is politically expedient to do so- then we must be in 6th gear shifting to 7th.

_GodlessHeathen_
_GodlessHeathen_

PTC  C.O.P.'s story is getting harder and harder to believe.


Claims that while asleep, he moved his Glock 17 and the durn thing shot his wife.


I understand sleeping with a gun nearby, but all cuddled up with it?

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@_GodlessHeathen_

I understand sleeping with a gun nearby, but all cuddled up with it?

Given the unbridled la-la-love for all things bang-shootie that I read and hear, I'd assume that's SOP for many.

And leaving the safety off is "riding bareback."

TBS
TBS

@fiftythreepercenter @TBS @td1234 @_GodlessHeathen_


Says the guy who came on ranting the other night then had to back peddle because he  was spewing stupidity and wrong as usual

You forget already?

I can show it to you if you like. 


Now answer the question


FYI: GH brought up the issue

straker
straker

Yes_Jesus


God does not appreciate you insulting the leader of our country by calling him "bamster" and "bam-dog".


Better call your fundamentalist youth minister over and the two of you can pray for your forgiveness.

Yes_Jesus_Can
Yes_Jesus_Can

Obozo: Not a man. Not an American.

-------------------------

Lil Barry,

Could we standardize?  I think that bamster, (uncapitalized) appropriately trivializes our national community organizer.  We can have, for example, bamster and his bots, which minimizes the mental durability of the whole obama regime.  They are incurable lightweights shielded from reality only by the protective media phalanx around him. 

I was also thinking bam-dog because he has said, I've heard somewhere, that he's the big dog, the mack-daddy, obama mmmmm mmmmmm mmmmmmm. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3TKMKbifgQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Xv6Xq9N1HE

Your thoughts?   

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Yes_Jesus_Can

I should say, though, that I do appreciate the overall thrust of your post, YJC, and its subtle rebuke of what must be, for right-leaners here, a truly tiresome-to-behold riff from our LBB.

It really, really doesn't make your side look very enlightened to have some silly, repressed little twerp going on about the President being a "girl."

KUTGF
KUTGF

@Yes_Jesus_Can  Oh why not consider the words of the North Koreans in your childishness.  I saw the glee that TD had in quoting those terms to reference the President and its what so many TPers do.  WWNKD?