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Posted by on Oct 16, 2013 in Economy, Politics | 11 comments

Republicans are unfit to govern

Josh Barro at the Business Insider makes the appropriate observation:

House Republicans Show Themselves To Be Dangerously Incompetent, Again

The only stunning thing is that anyone still looks at House Republicans and says: “You know what would be great? Giving these people more power over public policy.”

Roughly one-third of this caucus thinks hitting the debt ceiling and shutting down the government are great strategies to try to stop Obamacare. The other two-thirds of the party has realized all along that this strategy sucks, but they could not find any way to stop their party from implementing it — even though these “reasonable” Republicans outnumber the crazies.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) was on CNN today saying that his party’s strategy for the last month has been lunacy. Well why the hell didn’t he do anything to stop it? Why didn’t he join with Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) and stop the shutdown in its tracks on Sept. 30? Where is his sense of responsibility?

Can you imagine the situation this country would be in if Republicans controlled both houses of Congress right now? Or if we had a President whose administration gets jerked around by Heritage Action in the same way that House Republicans do? It would be a trainwreck, and “reasonable” Republicans like Nunes would still be on television saying they understand it’s a trainwreck, but by golly, operationally, they had no way to stop it.

There is no serious argument for Republican governance right now, even if you prefer conservative policies over liberal ones. These people are just too dangerously incompetent to be trusted with power.

Over at The American Conservative both Daniel Larison and Rod Dreher say the same thing.

Larison is a little upbeat:

As ridiculous as this makes Boehner and the House GOP look, it is an acceptable outcome for the rest of us. Having forfeited any constructive role in the mess that they helped create, House Republicans will now be left to vote on a Senate deal that avoids the worst consequences of their folly for at least a few months. As Altman and Miller recount, this sort of last-minute dodge has become commonplace over the last two years.

Dreher refers to them as the Strangelove Republicans but in his closing paragraph says this:

Yes. I cannot believe I’m saying this, but I hope the House flips to the Democrats in 2014, so we can be rid of these nuts. Let Ted Cruz sit in the Senate stewing in his precious bodily fluids, and let Washington get back to the business of governing.

The old school conservatives are upset.  I do believe the Tea Party craziness that we are suffering through is a result of the fact that the crazies in the base are the ones who primarily show up to vote in primary elections so we end up with a third of the Republicans in the House being ignorant and crazy.  And there is of course the total lack of leadership from the Speaker Of The House, John Boehner who could have ended all of this weeks ago.

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  • petew

    Thanks for the short but pertinent post Ron. Here is a link to a video included in the Daily Kos, and, featuring a confrontation on the floor of the House, which shows quite clearly and unmistakably, as Representative Van Hollen puts it, the House Republicans have “suspended democracy” with a sneaky change of the rules:

    This video says it all, and providing a link to it is the only comment I need make. Republicans really are unfit to govern!

  • StockBoyLA

    There is no serious argument for Republican governance right now, even if you prefer conservative policies over liberal ones. These people are just too dangerously incompetent to be trusted with power.

    When was the last time Republicans were competent to govern? Under Bush the country went into its greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression. Under Clinton, all they could do was impeach him and shutdown the government.

  • rudi

    These two are voices of reason from the Right. But Grampa Buchanan is off his medications.

  • Rambie

    Even after all this, I doubt many in the GOP will have learned a lesson and we’ll shortly be back to the crazies running the House.

  • JSpencer

    Rambie, the crazies will never go away, they only need to be strapped in and kept away from the steering wheel.

  • sheknows

    Why have no pundits actually looked into why the Tea party is in power? I keep reading, and yet again keep reading that 1/3 of the party is crazy and 2/3 are powerless to stop them. The constitution makes it VERY clear that if the house ( or senate) wish to get rid of members which are deemed inappropriate and cause trouble for the party, then a 2/3 vote to have them ousted can be done.

    One of two things. Either there are MORE than 1/3 crazies or the R party LIKES them stirring the pot and finds a convenience in them doing the dirty work.

    This is article 1 section 5. It has never been amended and still stands. I am so tired of hearing how “helpless” the so called “reasonable” Reps are when clearly they are either outnumbered, out witted, or just plain chicken.

    In any of those cases, the last thing that party deserves is more power.

  • sheknows

    Just so people don’t have to look it up Article 1 Sec. 5 of the Constitution states : “Each house may determine the rules of it’s proceedings, punish it’s members for disorderly behavior, and with the concurrence of two thirds, expel a member.” Never amended.
    So why do we have all this faux ” we can’t stop them BS?”? They deserve a full “pants on fire”. LOL..for a party that peruses the Constitution the way we do a daily newspaper, just looking for ways to impeach or stop laws to benefit minorities, or favor guns….I am sure they ran across THIS one.

  • bluebelle

    The thing you have to remember is that the GOP in the House see this fight as representing the people in their districts who have been yelling about getting rid of Obamacare for years. There has been a lot of TP cash put into negative PR about the bill, and there have also been unrealistic promises made about the GOP’s ability to get rid of it. Its all come to a head under the leadership of Ted Cruz, and though the rest of the country is reeling, his party is in disarray, Cruz is more popular than ever among the TP zealots. For a lot of these politicians the important thing was to demonstrate that they were willing to put everything on the line to represent their districts

  • bluebelle

    Sheknows– the most activist part of the GOP is the TP. They donate the most money, are highly organized and are the most likely to turn out and vote. The establishment faction can’t afford to hack them off, because the faction’s backers are already counting votes and itching to get rid of Republicans who they believe are not sufficiently invested in the cause. That’s how the crazy faction grabbed control and I don’t see why they wouldn’t be able to do it again.
    Heritage Action is a TP interest group that has been directing the House votes

  • petew


    Although politicians all must consider their re-election chances if they openly support or are against particular issues, the entire Republican party should be held culpable for creating this travesty. Just like the small group of traitorous Democrats that voted against one of the most reasonable gun regulation bills in history, out of fear of losing re-election, the weak willed Republicans who refused to speak honestly about their parties folly, deserve all of the criticism they can possibly get.

    After this fiasco, its hard to believe that the TP will enjoy the support that they have had previously, but, even when representing a powerful group of special interest Senators, I think a few good men in the GOP should have had the courage to oppose them. I has to be very possible now, after the public witnessed the unreasonable obstinance demonstrated by the TPers, that they will now not enjoy clear and certain victories, as might those who had enough scruples to openly oppose them from the beginning.

    In short, we need Congressmen who exhibit profiles in courage, in order to uphold the dignity and authority of Congress, no matter how such positions may be momentarily perceived. Since, for a while, it looked like the TP actually was going to take us over the edge, Republican Congressmen should have had the courage to openly oppose such madness. Given what transpired, I doubt that courageous republican dissenters would have found themselves without a campaign narrative that could have worked in largely in their favor, particularly when all the polls and leaders in the business community all condemned the TP. One of the few who spoke clearly and loudly against the TPs death lock on our system, was John McCain.

    Whether voters would support their candidates as fully again, after they demonstrated being afraid to vote for an end to the shutdown, we should haves heard more voices standing for principles and telling us like it is! When the pubic fully understands the selfish scheming coming from such a small group of manipulative legislators, my guess is that not all those in TP districts will be as eager to support them again!

  • PW

    The Republicans have been — for quite a while — the party of resentment: “It belongs to us. Why don’t they just let us have it?” It’s impossible to remember the last time I laughed with a Republican.

    I was out of the country for about 20 years so I can’t peg the start of this, but I think it was post-Nixon, in response to the embarrassment he caused. But certainly since Reagan. Neither Bush1 nor — to a greater extent Bush2 who annoyed and perhaps betrayed his party — gave the party the hormones it needed to make the party feel whole again, able to relax, negotiate, give a little. Plus they had the embarrassment of Bush2’s spending, his presidency’s end in a financial mess.

    What’s interesting is the extent to which the Republican party is now made up largely of reactionaries rather than innovators. Even the insults they throw at Obama have echoes, in the style and language, of the stuff we said while insulting Bush! Monkey see, monkey do!

    Which isn’t to overlook the fact that behind the political faces in the picture are huge, rich, and corrupt corporate interests and $$$. So when we talk about Republicans as rivals or “the enemy,” the faces we should have in mind are not simply Ryan or McConnell or Cruz but the Kochs and the other Texas Perry’s, or the CEO of Chevron and the US Chamber — as well as the faces of Club for Growth. The weakest element of the Republican party is made up of its representatives in Congress.

    The tea party is the group who mostly faithfully do the business of the Kochs. Meanwhile, the Kochs struggle for some standing on the political and social left and center by endowing major art institutions and orchestras. Their acolytes, the tea party, kind of suffer from having “no there there” except for the Koch money. The “teahadists” may be dangerous and nasty but they’re also kind of ephemeral. They “know what they like and what they hate” but they don’t know much else. The Kochs appear to do their thinking for them.

    That’s the problem for many Republicans. Their respectability is bought, not inherited or achieved by a gift or effort that’s respected right across much of the social ande political spectrum. It’s those damn lefties who still seem to have money, the ability to make their mark in the corporate world, intellectual clout (really galling!), and maybe, oddly, the most notable gift of all: the ability to laugh (in spite of the awful humorlessness of the ’60’s) at oneself.

    I don’t think we’ve been using laughter nearly enough in this existential warfare. Don’t let’s stop being serious but don’t let’s forget that laughter provides the forward movement that feels like flying and, by gum, gets you there!

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