GOP whipping itself into a self-destructive frenzy

(MGM)

“Which is better — to have rules and agree, or to hunt and kill?”

— “The Lord of the Flies”

—————-

So where does all this end? No one seems to have an answer to that one.

Nobody believes that John Boehner’s forced departure as speaker resolves any of the tensions within the Republican Party or between the Republicans and Democrats. Quite the contrary, the scent of blood is in the water and the sharks are looking forward to their next feeding. (Mitch McConnell, anyone?) In addition, nobody expects that Boehner’s presumed replacement, Kevin McCarthy of California, will be able to guide his caucus through challenges that caused the more wily and experienced Boehner to throw up his hands in frustration.

In the short term, Boehner indicated on “Face the Nation” Sunday, the government will be funded and we’ll avoid a Oct. 1 shutdown over Planned Parenthood funding. He’s willing to put together a temporary coalition of Democrats and more mainstream Republicans to ensure that at least that much is accomplished before heading to the golf course. “I don’t want to leave my successor a dirty barn,” he said. “I want to clean the barn up a little bit before the next person gets there.”

While that’s laudable, it’s an understatement to describe this as a “dirty barn.” With its 14 percent job-approval rating and inability to perform even basic functions, Congress has become a veritable Augean stables, and no Hercules is available to cleanse it. With a month left in office and his power waning, for example, it’s uncertain whether Boehner will have the time or the votes needed to also raise the nation’s debt-ceiling, the next looming crisis on the Washington calendar with the potential to cause immense damage. Even if he does, the rogue Republican minority would soon grasp some other opportunity to bring the whole thing crashing down, as appears to be their goal.

In his “Face the Nation” appearance, Boehner gave us a pretty good idea of just how small that minority is, and also why it wields such disproportionate power. We get into a bit of a numbers game here, but hang with me, it’s important:

Boehner told John Dickerson that if he had decided to stay and fight for the speaker’s gavel, he would have won easily, garnering some 400 of the 435 total votes in the House. Even if we assume that Boehner’s prediction is a little self-serving, he’s almost certainly correct that he would have had considerable padding above the 218 votes needed to remain speaker.

The problem is, where would those votes have come from? The only way Boehner could even approach 400 votes would have been to ask Democrats to join mainstream Republicans in supporting him. A lot of Democrats probably would have been willing to do so — Boehner and Nancy Pelosi had clearly discussed the possibility. And if Boehner had taken that course, the 35 to 50 anti-Boehner conservatives in the House would have been left fuming, exposed and abandoned as the rump minority that it really is.

Yet that was also the step that Boehner dared not take, because he understands that by abandoning his party’s hard-core right he would have split the GOP caucus and split the party.  He felt he had no choice but to remain loyal to an element in his party that takes pride in showing no sign of loyalty in return, and that refusal is the source of their power: They are willing to risk the destruction of their party while Boehner and others are not. So to keep some semblance of peace, the rebels are allowed to set the agenda. As U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-NY) put it, “the crazies have taken over the party.”

As Boehner also explained Sunday, he recognizes that those Republicans who dared to publicly support him as speaker would have been castigated as traitors by conservative media and interest groups that have been driving this process all along, a spectacle that he also wanted to avoid.  “Why do I want to make my members, Republican members, walk the plank?” as he put it.

However, Boehner went on to sharply criticize those in his own party and movement whom he called “false prophets.” As he noted, “we have got groups here in town, members of the House and Senate here in town, who whip people into a frenzy believing they can accomplish things that they know — they know — are never going to happen.”

Those “false prophets” range from politicians such as Ted Cruz, radio hosts such as Rush Limbaugh, media outlets such as Breitbart and Fox News and activist groups such as the Tea Party and Heritage Action.  Together, they have created a perpetual frustration machine that cannot ever accept compromise or agreement because compromise and agreement would destroy their business model. It’s what they feed upon. They exist to create expectations that can never be met, then reap the benefits of that frustration. That will not change, and they are not going away.

What must and will change, eventually, is the power that they wield. The trajectory that they demand of the Republican Party is unsustainable, and the split that Boehner avoided by stepping down has only been temporarily delayed. At some point, important elements of the party will decide that they can no longer pay the blackmail that is demanded of them by the ultra-conservatives, and at that point we’ll learn how this will end.

 

 

 

Reader Comments 0

1015 comments
freezboy
freezboy

You can't get a decent thread on the sports blogs...after looking the Politics blogs over I can see why....the insanity of it all...Go Dawgs


Steady....Respectfully Mates...

lvg
lvg

Jay B. """"At some point, important elements of the party will decide that they can no longer pay the blackmail that is demanded of them by the ultra-conservatives, and at that point we’ll learn how this will end.""""""""""""""


Not in this state- look to Trump and /or Cruz to carry the mega primary in the Southeast and  Georgia in particular.

Grover is treated like a God to be worshiped by the Georgia GOP hayseeds  in Congress.


Who are the important elements Jay is referring to? Rinse Prepus??

RoadScholar
RoadScholar

Let the repubs "abandon " the far right nuts. The Repub party would be stronger discharging the uncompromising, do nothing right wingers. They could call their new party the futile party since some would not like the name idiot party!

ByteMe
ByteMe

 After declaring that he would boycott Fox News last week, Donald Trump is set to appear on the Bill O'Reilly's show on Wednesday, the New York Times reported.

And that's how a President should negotiate with China and Iran as well, right td?  Right?

US_Patriot
US_Patriot

"I have no idea what your rambling about but........right on anyway! " ~ breckenridge ~


CLASS DISSMISSED!


To funny!

LeninTime
LeninTime

@Doom Classical liberal 

Yep- as north atlanta pointed out going from 10,000 to 75 is largely disappearing.

***

Whether Code Pink has a double standard or not when it comes to protesting Republican vs. Democratic administrations or not is a legitimate question. 

But in general to focus entirely on the 10k to 75 number is highly misleading. The 10k march took place on the eve of the Iraq invasion of 2003 at the height of the international wave of anti-war protests protesting the US war drive in Iraq. There were massive protests similar to it all over the world, Code Pink was hardly the only one. So the 10k march has to be viewed in that light.

Doom Classical liberal
Doom Classical liberal

@LeninTime


I disagree. The fact that they demonstrated against Rs far more often is a legit point. 


And I get what you're saying about them being part of the anti-war movement. But that in no way, shape, or form changes my argument- which is that they've largely disappeared from the scene since W was in office. 


The reality is that Bro just wants to argue with me any chance he gets. I think I've gotten under his skin and that of the other automatons one too many times. 

LeninTime
LeninTime

@Doom Classical liberal @LeninTime 

which is that they've largely disappeared from the scene since W was in office

***

To a certain degree their decrease in size parallels the general demise of the anti-war movement since the departure of Bush and the entry of Obama, which has seen a turn away from major ground invasions and a greater focus on drone warfare and 'below the radar' destabilization strategies (think: last year's Kiev coup in Ukraine in the 'color revolution' mold, or the CIA funding and training of anti-Assad forces in Syria). Hard for Code Pink to stage large protests against such events when scarcely 1 in 500 people are even aware of them, even if they wanted to. 

They've made some noises about Israeli criminal offensives against Gaza and against the drone wars, but nothing like the scale of the Bush years. To what extent the reason is less of a desire to attack Democrats and what is due to the above reasons, I'm not sure, but those reasons play a significant role.

Doom Classical liberal
Doom Classical liberal

To be fair to Brocephus it did look like 10, 20 or perhaps even 30 code pink ladies showed up to heckle Ted Cruz. Oh. Wait a minute. We still went from 10,000 to about 10, 20, or 30 protesters. I guess we're right back to the "largely disappeared" truism. 

JKLtwo
JKLtwo

Another day, another Cardinal victory.

Best wishes for Stephen Piscotty.

US_Patriot
US_Patriot

@JKLtwo Card's should go all the way. Hope so.  'Cause the Braves absolutely sucked this year.


Anybody but the Yank's or the Met's.

Doom Classical liberal
Doom Classical liberal

Yep- as north atlanta pointed out going from 10,000 to 75 is largely disappearing. 

Kamchak
Kamchak

"Boom boom acka-lacka lacka boom"

-- Thomas "Was (Not Was)" Jefferson

Doom Classical liberal
Doom Classical liberal

@Kamchak


You need the video Spam, you know, the one with the hotties and the dinosaurs. Still mad that ya can't plagiarize wonkey spam anymore cause you got busted on it? Well of course you are. Of course. 



RoswellDickie
RoswellDickie

Mr Bookman is right- which I guess is bound to happen from time-time. A GOP Moderate like John Kasich cant break thru the din; Trump just came out and said the wealthy have to pay more- so he's effectively DOA to the Tea Party and Ted Cruz is only liked by the tea Party. The GOP has no real leadership so no one has an incentive to find the middle ground. The Dems however have spent us into oblivion the last 8 yeas by doubling the National Debt with plans to spend even more money. And Sanders is going to give Hillary a real tussle and pull her far to the left.


We The People are screwed. And we did it to ourselves.

LeninTime
LeninTime

@RoswellDickie 

The Dems however have spent us into oblivion the last 8 yeas by doubling the National Debt with plans to spend even more money

**

False. 

Actually the Democrats were eager co-partners with the Republicans in imposing sweeping austerity agenda ("sequester") during the 2013-14 debt showdown spectacles.

Barack Obama essentially cemented the bulk of the Bush tax cuts in place, so if you're wondering about the debt, you might be half-right there. 

But in general the deficit has stabilized since the 2007-9 recession. 0

Btw, it's funny you don't mention our gargantuan defense budget, a major contributor to the defecit. 

You're also wrong about Sanders pulling Hillary Clinton to the left. 

No one gets pulled to the left in this system. And certainly not Hillary Clinton.

Brosephus
Brosephus

Y'all have fun...

Lights out time here.

td1234
td1234

I see the paulbot is attempting to get out of his anti social conservative rants and take on conservatives on any issue tonight. 


It will not work because you are still a paulbot with nothing to offer. 

Doom Classical liberal
Doom Classical liberal

@td1234


I haven't even seen Paulbot on but for a short time today. He posted that usual drivel about 97% of scientists believe in global warming. I just about died laughing over that one. 

td1234
td1234

@Doom Classical liberal I think you missed my point brother. The paulbot (Ron Paul robot) is Breck. He is still butthurt over being kicked out of the GOP on his head. 

Doom Classical liberal
Doom Classical liberal

@td1234


Oh. I thought you were talking about Paul. Breck lost his wits with me tonight which was pretty funny. But I looked back and I think that he thought a post or 2 that  I directed at 2 of the progs was directed against him and then he just lost it. I think he left when he realized that. No biggie. 

Brosephus
Brosephus

"They largely disappeared the day W left office. They weren't nearly as much anti-war as they were anti -W. 


If they were they were mostly anti-war, pro human rights, they woulda had a field day protesting Obama's drone bombing of civilians."

Becomes.....


"There ya go yet again Bro. Scale and proportion."

LOL!!!  The scale and proportion that you moved those goalposts are laughable.  And you try to call my arguments illogical?  Hell, at least I tend to stick to the same point throughout a debate instead of trying to move around like a pinball.

http://tinyurl.com/q3elerx

Kamchak
Kamchak

@Brosephus 

You change points faster than Barry Sanders changes directions in a run. 

S
S
D
D

Doom Classical liberal
Doom Classical liberal

@Brosephus


Yeah. And they have largely disappeared from the national scene. You yourself stated that no one television station covered their trip to Paki. And I can't even remember the last time they were on tv here. 


When I read your links all I could see was one lady- Medea Benjamin, who btw was also pushing a book. There will always be some left over hard core adherents to any movement. That's kinda common knowledge I would imagine. My statement stands. They largely disappeared from the national scene after the W years and are largely irrelevant. 


One other thing Bro. I looked at their website. They mentioned some marches they did but apparently the marches were so miniscule that they didn't even bother mentioning attendance.


"When I posted links over the years showing they've protested both Republicans AND Obama, you try to shift to scale and proportion."


And how else would you compare their massive opposition to W with 10,000 person marches and 75 person marches when O is potus? Is there any other comparison then noting the obvious- that about 134 times as many of them were showing up to oppose W as opposing Obama?


If you can't understand such an obvious comparison then I'm afraid i cannot help you. I simply cannot make it any simpler for you to understand.  

Brosephus
Brosephus

@Doom Classical liberal 

As I said, changing your "point" to try to make yourself right is your bread and butter tactic.  You originally stated they largely disappeared.  When I posted links over the years showing they've protested both Republicans AND Obama, you try to shift to scale and proportion.

Say something else about illogical arguments, if you can.  Then, look in the mirror at yours.  You change points faster than Barry Sanders changes directions in a run.

Kamchak
Kamchak

Nation Demands NASA Stop Holding Press Conferences Until They Discover Some Little Alien Guys 

WASHINGTON—Emphasizing that they only wanted to hear announcements about actual cool stuff in space, millions of impatient Americans flat-out demanded Monday that NASA stop holding all press conferences until they discover some little alien guys. “Nobody even cares that there’s some water on Mars; we have water on Earth—so you shouldn’t even bother having a stupid press conference unless there’s proof of alien guys with a bunch of eyes or tentacles or something,” said Fort Wayne, IN resident Kyle Schultz, echoing the sentiment of Americans across the country who insisted that NASA stop telling them about new black holes, asteroids, or a type of element on another planet’s surface until they have pictures of orange or purple aliens running around a weird futuristic city. “And none of that microscopic organism crap. It should be real alien dudes with way more arms than humans and that can talk using their minds instead of their mouths. We really don’t want to know about any new types of rocks or that the temperature on a faraway world is hotter or colder.” 

That one is fake, but that doesn't mean it's not accurate.

someonesdad
someonesdad

I sure hope you left wing loons are thrown out next year.  It's the only chance this country has.

Brosephus
Brosephus

@Dusty2 

"You must think we were all asleep during George Bush's administration.  That was the time in history when Democrats waged the dirtiest propaganda war in history, a war against the president personally, his family, his home and anything connected to him."

You must not try to think for me.  You're only embarrassing yourself in the process.  I've never claimed such a thing, so don't expect me to defend YOUR words. 

I don't recall anyone trying to dig up Bush's birth certificate.  I don't recall anyone claiming that Bush made a "Blackie" tape either.  People on both sides have flung fecal matter at the occupant of the WH.  What separates the two is the ideology of the people complaining.  When you see me talk about one without the other, then you can begin to "think" for me, K?

As far as family, when you can find pictures of Nancy Bush to compare with Michelle Obama, come talk with me about attacking families.


Brosephus
Brosephus

@td1234 

Laura Bush, my bad.  Getting the conservative first ladies names mixed up.


YouLibs
YouLibs

td, you said you were going to the beach for a week.


Dammit, you promised us.


josef
josef

Question...what relevance does one's IQ have to do with his/her opinion or worth as a human being?

Kamchak
Kamchak

Historians Admit To Inventing Ancient Greeks 

WASHINGTON—A group of leading historians held a press conference Monday at the National Geographic Society to announce they had "entirely fabricated" ancient Greece, a culture long thought to be the intellectual basis of Western civilization. 

That one is fake, but that doesn't mean it's not accurate.

breckenridge
breckenridge

“I looked the man (Putin) in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. We had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul; a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country.”

Hmm. Somebody really got duped. 

YouLibs
YouLibs

@Bulls_3y3


I will defer to your expertise in the field of blowing, but I always considered the map room thing a clear indication that Hillary sure not blow it.


WWB3y3D?

breckenridge
breckenridge

So......who was that filthy maggot that called me a liar? Oh let me guess......some intellectual midget, scuzzy little punk coward.

Doom Classical liberal
Doom Classical liberal

@breckenridge


I hope you're not referencing me. My post was directed at 2 posters from the other night- Paulinnh and Spam. And that is to whom my posts on the OBL were directed tonight. 

US_Patriot
US_Patriot

@breckenridge Oh, my!  It's a long and distiguished line, let's see, "Number 346 is up, hello, #346, you still here?"


Oh, never mind, it's safe 'till #347 shows up.


Please, carry on.