History Repeating

History Repeating

110407 bill

It’s no secret that my disdain for the GOP centers on the turn to the fringe and how horrible and anti-citizen the GOP has been over the last 40 years. Even Saint Ronald Reagan would be aghast at the rise of the fringe. Witness the cloying racism inherent in Donald Trump’s recent press tour trying to de-legitimize President Obama here & fact checked tonight on NBC:

Going down on the fringe, just like John McCain did in 2006-7 in his run up to the White House seemed to work so well for McCain, it seems crazy for Trump not to pander to the fringe.

The fringe seems to be the source of the sticking points in the current, seemingly inevitable government shutdown. The disputed points are not actually budgetary points. The real sticking points are ideological, fringe points. HR1 contains sections neutering funding to the newly established Bureau of Consumer Financial protection. (see Section 1517 on this page), prohibits funding for many “healthcare reform” points (sections 1516, 1536 same page as above) and the biggest, most ideologically founded nonsense, defunding of NPR (section and Planned Parenthood (section 4013).

I should add the special interest hand jobbing on this page, notably:

Sec. 4045. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used by the Environmental Protection Agency to develop, propose, finalize, implement, administer, or enforce any regulation that identifies or lists fossil fuel combustion waste as hazardous waste subject to regulation under subtitle C of the Solid Waste Disposal Act (42 U.S.C. 6921 et seq.) or otherwise makes fossil fuel combustion waste subject to regulation under such subtitle.

and this anti-Affordable Care Act (healthcare reform) :

Sec. 4027. None of the funds made available by division B may be used by the Department of Health and Human Services to implement or enforce section 2718 of the Public Health Service Act, as added by section 1001(5) and replaced by section 10101(f) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111-148).


Sec. 4050. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to implement section 1899A of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395kkk), as added by section 3403 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111-148).

All of this will be able to be blamed on the Tea Party, providing cover for less extremist House GOP members. Speaker Boehner could “man up” and lead his party to the middle, where compromise normally would happen. But Boehner seems unable to control the GOP side of the aisle when the usual steamroller approach the GOP enjoyed during the Delay years hasn’t worked thanks to the Democrats in the Senate.

Naturally, the Dems have already started down the Tea Party blame road. Van Hollen (D-MD) had this to say:

“The tea party caucus has their hands on the steering wheel and they are prepared to drive right into a government shut down if they don’t get 100% of their demands met.”

Some Republicans know that they will pay a price for any shutdown, just as they did in the 90s. I found this opinion piece at Fox News written by Boris Epshteyn, a communications aide on the 2008 McCain-Palin campaign.


Contrary to popular belief in some Washington circles the federal government is absolutely necessary to the smooth running of our country; no budget related government shutdown can last forever.

Which is why I think libertarianism as well as the Tea Party are ultimately doomed. One of the damning things about President George W. Bush’s reign was that it was clear the shots were being called by people who hated government. Hated it. And those people can’t govern, by nature of their ideological foundation; if one hates something, why should they be entrusted to run the thing they hate? Job growth for the entirety of Bush’s presidency (2001-early 2009) has been matched by job growth in the first two years of the Obama presidency. If we have a shutdown, the consequences could be more dire for the country as a whole than they were in the 1990s. I’m not going to wring my hands, but given what we’ve been through the past three years as a country, it would be better for the GOP (and the country) to realize that despite all their efforts to create a narrative that Americans hate Obama, the petty crap in HR1 is only going to come back and bite them in the ass.

To this day, I’m still amazed that President Clinton was able, after the midterm bloodbath of 1994, to successfully portray the Republicans as petulant and unbending and score major political wins. I would posit that those wins carried him through the Ken Starr parade of shenanigans. Gingrich’s decisions and handling of the Clinton impeachment didn’t help the GOP or Gingrich himself, eventually costing him the Speaker of the House position and ushered in the Tom “indicted douchebag” Delay era.

President Obama and the Democrats might be handed a similar situation in the coming days. We can only hope that we don’t see the likes of a Tom Delay protégé should Boehner be ousted from the Speaker position. o

Entire text of HR1 (pre-negotiation, most recent posted as of this writing) can be read here

OmbWatch: List of Policy Riders in HR1 (PDF)

Republicans flunk government shutdown history

No Deal! Clock Ticks As Shutdown Looms

Government Shutdown Would Have Wide Ripples

No Accord in Budget Talks as Policy Fights Hamper Deal

GOP Shock Doctrine: What Gov’t Shutdown And Other GOP Assaults on Democracy Are Really All About