Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Boehner's Deja Vu All Over Again

Yesterday Steve Benen did us all a favor by documenting every instance where the Republicans have created a crisis by taking a hostage. You might want to bookmark that one for future reference. Here's how he describes the overall process:
GOP officials told Democrats to accept Republican priorities or Republicans would impose a hardship on the nation. GOP leaders and lawmakers assumed Dems would care too much about the real-world consequences of the Republican tactics, so Republicans could get what they want through radical and unprecedented brinkmanship – legislating is hard; threatening is easy; so why invest energy in the former when the latter is largely effortless?

A new staple of GOP governance was born: hostage crises, all of a sudden, were a credible substitute for the traditional legislative process.
But what someone failed to tell Republicans is...hostage crises are not working. Especially now that the GOP controls the legislative branch, those "real-world consequences" could come back to hurt them rather than the President. As everyone should be noticing by now, they're bluffing. That's always going to be a losing hand, in poker as well as politics.

And so, possibly as early as today, Speaker Boehner will once again cave.
After months of indecision and strife, House GOP leaders plan to allow a vote as early as Tuesday on a clean bill to fund the Homeland Security Department through the rest of the fiscal year, according to Republican sources, dashing the hopes of conservatives who want to tie the money to language clocking President Obama's executive actions on immigration.

Leaders detailed their plan at a closed-door GOP conference meeting beginning at 9 a.m. Tuesday. According to a source in the room, Speaker John Boehner told members the House would vote on the Senate's DHS funding bill once it receives papers confirming that the other chamber would not go to conference on the bill.
If that feels familiar to you, it's because this is how every one of these crises have ended when Democrats stood together to call their bluff.

I know there are some members of the lunatic caucus who would be content to impose a hardship on Americans if it meant damaging President Obama's agenda. They might continue to force the Republican leadership to use this hostage-taking strategy in the future. But we should keep our heads about us when/if that happens. The pearl-clutching about whether or not they'll blow up the hostage is a waste of time and only feeds the crisis the lunatics are attempting to create.


  1. I'd respond to the "it isn't working" by asking "how do you define working?"

    If "working" means getting your way legislatively then no, it isn't.

    If "working" means winning elections then yes, it is.

    1. if you mean winning gerrymandered elections, yes. We will see how it works in 2016. IF the TP holds congress and puts Ted Cruz in the WH, then we'll know it works. At the cost of our government - which is what they want anyway.