Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Today the House GOP caved in to demands from hedge fund billionaire-funded conservative organizations and the insurrectionist economic terrorists of the Tea Party, led by an interloper from the Senate, demagogue Sen. Ted "Calgary" Cruz, and collectively jumped off the cliff together like lemmings to commit political suicide. Only one Tea-Publican, Rep. Scott Rigell (VA), stood at the edge of the cliff and said "Wait a minute . . something feels wrong." House passes budget defunding health-care law:
The House passed a short-term spending plan Friday morning that would continue funding government operations only through mid-December but withhold funding for President Obama’s signature health-care law, firing the opening salvo in what promises to be a contentious 10 days of debate on Capitol Hill over extending government operations by only three months.
The legislation would fund federal agencies at an annualized rate of more than $986 billion but would also leave in place automatic spending cuts known as sequestration, set to take effect in January. It would include language to prohibit any funding going to implementing the health-care law and, additionally, authorize the Treasury to pay some bills and not others in the event that no deal is reached in October on increasing the country’s debt limit. [Something which is practicably impossible, but Tea-Publicans believe this fantasy.]
House Republican leaders declared victory Friday after the vote, and they immediately ramped up pressure on the Senate to take up the fight.
The House bill is, of course, dead on arrival in the Senate. This is all Kabuki theater to appease the GOP crazy base and the conservative media entertainment complex which feeds their delusions and escape from reality. Already on Thursday, Ted Cruz unmasked his own confidence game for the Kabuki theater that it is:
House Republicans and Senate conservatives are in the midst of a full blown war over who will get saddled with the blame when Republicans ultimately admit they don’t have the leverage to defund Obamacare.
It’s unclear how exactly we’ll get to that inevitable point or how much blood will be left on the floor along the way or who will end up spilling most of it. But one thing that seems clear is that the scam perpetrated by Senate conservatives is running out, and Ted Cruz is the reason why.
The short version of what’s happening is that House Republicans finally agreed to give Senate conservatives what they wanted — a bill funding the government at sequester levels while defunding Obamacare. Whereupon Cruz immediately allowed that Republicans won’t be able to get it through the Senate, and renewed the demand that House Republicans (who, after all, are in the majority) keep up the fight. House Republicans understandably erupted in fury last night, accusing Cruz of surrendering and of engaging in a bad faith effort to deflect blame on them for the inevitable failure of a scheme that was always going to fail anyway.
Here’s Ted Cruz trying to clean up the mess on Hannity last night, arguing that he and his fellow defund-Obamacare charlatan Mike Lee will keep the fight going as long as they can:
“I guarantee you one thing, Mike and I are going to fight with every breath in our body,” Cruz said. “As Churchill said, we will fight on the beaches, we will fight in the streets, we will fight at every step to stop the biggest job killer in America.”
Now, historians would probably see Cruz’s comparison of his vow to resist Obamacare to Winston Churchill’s call for full resistance to the Nazis as a tad strained. But that aside, this raises a number of interesting questions.
We know Senate Democrats will probably take the House CR and strip out the defunding of Obamacare in hopes of kicking it back to the House. But as Brian Beutler lays out, there are a number of procedural moves Senate Republicans can take to stall or slow this process — such as a Rand Paul-style drone filibuster — and conservative activists will presumably be expecting them to pull out all the procedural stops. As Beutler notes, if they don’t this whole thing will be exposed as the scam it always was.
What will be particularly interesting to see, though, will be how Cruz and company manage to blame the GOP establishment for the failure of their scheme. [Because the GOP establishment is the Tea Party's real enemy in this internecine civil war.]
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Mitch McConnell has always been cool to the defund-Obamacare scheme, and it’s unclear how far he’ll go in trying to procedurally stall against the inevitable — or, indeed, whether there’s actually all that much he can do. And so one imagines McConnell — fairly or not — will be blamed by the Cruz brigade for failing to prevent the clean CR from getting through the Senate.
At that point, House Republicans will be back in the position they’ve always been in — they’ll have to choose between alienating conservatives by passing a clean CR funding the government with the help of a lot of Dems, or taking the blame for a government shutdown. Presuming Boehner opts for the former, the defund-Obamacare smoke machine will simply crank up again and blame Boehner and the establishment for selling them out again.
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[T]he swift denunciation from House Republicans suggests they aren’t going to lie down and take it anymore if and when that happens. They will push back with the reality-based argument that House Republicans have done all they can to prop up this scam — giving Cruz and company exactly what they asked for — and that ultimately it’s unworkable. And they can use Cruz’s own words to do so. In the end Cruz’s own suggestion that this will all be on House Republicans fatally undermines his whole confidence game, because it’s effectively an admission that the scam ultimately can’t be made to work.
The question is, "why is anyone following this nihilistic dangerous demagogue from Calgary?" Only the foaming at the mouth rabid teabaggers, who see this dangerous demagogue as one of them, are his supporters. Everyone else hates him. The media, if we had an Edward R. Murrow left among the bunch of clownish yahoos we are stuck with today, would destroy this dangerous demagogue before he can do serious harm to this country.
What do we do when one political party has become so dysfunctional that it is no longer a responsible party capable of governing? And what do we do when that political party is led by the intellectually bankrupt and morally depraved conservative media entertainment complex? They are unaccountable to anyone.
As the high priests of "centrism," Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein, recently wrote in “Brighter future for politics and policy requires a different Republican Party”, this dysfunctional political party must suffer a massive electoral defeat in order to restore any semblance of governance. Kick 'em all out.
NB: Two Democrats, Reps. Jim Matheson (Utah) and Mike McIntyre (N.C.), decided to jump off the cliff with the GOP.
UPDATE: Awesome quick take by Josh Marshall for a report by Sahil Kapur: "We have arrived at the moment where the flying shark eats Ted Cruz whole in his self-produced movie Defundnado."