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The House GOP has spent most of the day proving my thesis that the modern Republican Party is less a group of hard-nosed brilliant negotiators on behalf of the wealthy than a group of radical ideologues hell-bent on getting their way even if it means economic catastrophe. The House Republican reaction to a deal that passed the Senate by 80 votes has been to up the ante and refuse the deal:

Remember that this is the same deal that so many intelligent progressives (rightly!) claimed was a terrible one for Democrats because it positioned us for a much worse deal over the debt ceiling.

Instead, the House GOP is determined to scuttle the bill by making revisions it knows the Senate cannot and will not accept, even if the Senate deigned to come back to Washington on a dime after leaving town (which it likely would not in any case.)

Part of this is doubtless gamesmanship by Cantor against Boehner. The same Eric Cantor who was smiling so broadly when there was no deal two weeks ago has been the chief lobbyist against accepting the Senate deal today, possibly as a gambit to force Boehner to try to pass it with minimal Republican support, breaking the Hastert Rule and ending his Speakership. But it turns out that Boehner might not even have the necessary few Republican votes in the House even if he did violate the Hastert rule and brought it to the floor with near unanimous Democratic support. Per Dave Weigel:

In which case it would be less a matter of internal GOP politics and more of a matter of united ideological aversion to anything resembling a deal supported by the President.

Keep in mind in all of this that corporate America desperately wants and has been counting on a deal to avert the fiscal cliff. If the GOP House does scuttle the deal as they seem inclined to do, it would take a fool to believe that these are mere puppets playing a hardline negotiating game on behalf of wealthy benefactors. Wealthy benefactors want a deal. As Markos Moulitsas points out, the House move is not that of brilliant negotiators but of utter fools so ideologically driven they can't see straight even to help corporate plutocrats.

No, the GOP House cares only about "firing up the base." That means pleasing the Fox News, talk radio and GOP blog audience currently incensed over the same deal that is also infuriating many progressives. It means pleasing not only the same hardcore conservative constituents that voted for plutocrat Mitt Romney over Barack Obama in all but 15 GOP-held House districts, but also and more importantly the even more extremist conservatives who will vote in the 2014 Republican House primaries.

If the country falls into a recession caused by House intransigence and universal tax increases, these Republican voters won't blame conservatives or the GOP. They'll happily blame the President for the biggest tax increases in American history and the sour economy to boot. And they'll love their representatives for standing firm against Kenyan socialism.

It's now up to the Left to respond and adjust its tactics accordingly. It would be great if the President had taken a stronger negotiating stance. But it ultimately wouldn't have mattered, and in fact would have made it easier for the Village press to blame both sides. Not that the Village won't do that, anyway, of course.

The first lesson here is that nobody is "negotiating" or "playing poker." A fair game of poker demands that each side actually have something at stake and be playing with their own chips. The Republican House isn't doing that: they're pleasing their own base to protect their own electoral reserves, while going all in on every hand using the American economy as collateral. The only way to win that game is not to play. Every "negotiation" isn't a game of policy trading: it's an opportunity for extortion while they cater to an ever-more extremist electorate in their home districts. California voters have already seen this dynamic in action as a slim minority of Republicans took the entire state economy hostage for decades rather than negotiate fairly.

The advantage Democrats have in this situation is that majority public opinion and the majority of actual American voters are on their side. The only thing that allows Republicans to take their hostages in the first place is a series of arcane rules that give the minority undue influence. Among those rules are:

  • Gerrymandered Congressional districts
  • Dysfunctional filibuster rules
  • Disproportionate Senate representation
  • Corrupt lobbying laws
  • Campaign finance laws that give outsized political influence to a few billionaires
  • Archaic electoral college rules
  • Discriminatory workday elections

And that's just a start. If we want a future in which we do more than simply determine which hostages to save and which ones to shoot, the American People will need to figure out how to make these and other reforms to our broken political system that disempowers rational majorities in favor of extremist ideological minorities with nothing to lose. As the Republicans continue to suffer demographic decline, their base will only become more desperate and extreme.

Cross-posted from Digby's Hullabaloo

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Comment Preferences

  •  Yep. (20+ / 0-)

    Unlimited corporate money and gerrymandering have finished our government off. The government can no longer govern, much less govern in the best interests of the people. It is broken.

  •  From the outside world (24+ / 0-)

    ...Republicans are dispassionately regarded and dismissed as state saboteurs.

    Denial is a drug.

    by Pluto on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 03:56:54 PM PST

  •  Fire up the base? (6+ / 0-)

    So this is all about fundraising emails?  They really do worship money.

  •  The reason billionaires have been funding the Tea (32+ / 0-)

    Party extremists, and all kind of anti-democratic initiatives around the country, including voter suppression is because they want to render the government totally dysfunctional.  They want to destroy the proper functioning of the government.  They are the enemy of the state.

    This (ongoing situation) is just a manifestation of that.

    •  and their most important tool is radio and the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      devtob, Ray Pensador

      left ignores it.

      This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

      by certainot on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 05:41:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There would be no RW domination (11+ / 0-)

        of radio without Reagan eliminating the Fairness Doctrine and the FCC letting RW companies like Clear Channel buy up hundreds of stations.

        Political decisions about the public airwaves that could be reversed, if Democrats had the balls to do it.

        A public option for health insurance is a national priority.

        by devtob on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 06:40:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  wish I could rec you again! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          devtob, Ray Pensador
        •  the left are their balls and they're very little (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          devtob, qofdisks

          democracy's been waiting for 20 years for the left to pay attention to RW radio but so far it's a big fail.

          to wait for legislation is not only a cop out but bad strategy because RWTR is the main tool used (successfully)  to thwart those efforts.  there's o way any legislation limiting their "free speech" will get past the obstructionists.

          the way to end it is to continue the stop rush boycotts and get universities out of the business of endorsing RW radio by putting their sports on those stations.

          and the biggest factor - there's little recognition by the left that RW radio is STILL kicking their internet ass. benghazi, rice, and the whole debt ceiling bullshit is testament to their recent success and the left's small balls to even recognize that. the left doesnt even know what the right is doing on radio because it hurts their ears to listen to it and even though we have transcription software now there is still no written record of what the blowhards are cooordinating on and especially, how they're affecting local races/issues.

          the tea party is the talk radio party and waiting for legislation isn't going to fix that.

          This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

          by certainot on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 07:20:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  The Democratic Party Establishment if a tool of (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          their paymasters; the same billionaires and big-business special interests that fund the wacked out Republican right wing.  The Democrats are fucking us over the same, but with a nice smile in their faces, and talking softly.

      •  They have taken over the levers of power, (0+ / 0-)

        including the mass media, government (by buying off the politicians), and business.  It's all related... They have meticulously be chipping away for decades, taking control of the media (in order to use it as a propaganda tool), and the government, state house by state house, by buying off the money-grabbing politicians.

        •  we've always had money in media and politics and (0+ / 0-)

          that's what democracy's for. to say democracy can't handle it is to call for something else. the most significant problem the last 20 years is talk radio. for the left to keep giving RW radio a free speech free ride is a total shit faced failure by the left- the biggest blunder in political history considering the time lost on global warming.

          This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

          by certainot on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:43:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  A few decades ago 50+ companies owned the (0+ / 0-)

            mainstream media; today is 5.  Media conglomeration has resulted in it being used as a powerful propaganda machine; one that has become more and more efficient as the ownership consolidation continues apace.

            •  it starts with the radio because it short circuits (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Another Grizzle, Dave925

              the feedback and  creates made-to-order constituencies.

              RW radio is the right's samson's hair  but the left doesn't realize.

              media reform starts by telling the local limbaugh station it doesn't deserve the privilege of broadcasting sports from the state university/college.

              and media reform will actually be possible if the left has an organized response to the right's best weapon.

              media reform is one of many issues we can't have a rational national discussion about until the left gets serious about RW radio.

              This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

              by certainot on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 11:11:49 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  no major reforms on what you want are possible as (0+ / 0-)

          long as the left ignores the radio. recent events prove it.

          This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

          by certainot on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 08:45:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  That's because the FFs (4+ / 0-)

      Wrote the Constitution to foil their attempts at this.

      The FFs were fighting the throne because the king backed the trading corporations that held charters on American settlements instead of his citizens.

      When they wrote the Declaration and Constitution, they spread power to avoid the corruption they saw in monarchies and the Roman and Anglican churches.

      Thomas Paine was suspect of businessmen, and warned not to let them organize against the government.

      The Constitution is a living document because it IS the wall between corporations - religious or secular - and the citizen.
      It HAS to change to meet the challenges of people in pursuit of money.

      Binding the Constitution to an antique period of time is a means of destroying its relevance and power.  

      Trying to insert yourself as a revelator of secret knowledge (priest) in the Constitution is also designed to cow a people already degraded every time they fly.

      Citizens United throws that protection down and dances on it.  But it all started with Reagan and PATCO.

      The wolves have been biting off chunks of our commonwealth ever since.

      Jesus died to save you from Yahweh.

      by nolagrl on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 06:44:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  My friend had an idea... (0+ / 0-)

    She suggested that we should pack up DC, GOP and Dems alike, and ship them to the moon.  Then we could start over, perhaps with something sane.  Personally, there are a few Dems I'd keep, just to get things restarted, but the concept seems good to me.  Weightless (nearly, anyway) kabuki has a certain appeal...

    -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

    by luckylizard on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 04:21:19 PM PST

  •  These guys are ideologues, not nihilists. (9+ / 0-)

    As much as I like to see the Tea Partiists as the nihilists from "The Big Lebowski," nihilists are out for destruction for its own sake or, at best, as a necessary clearing away of the current political-economic system as the prerequisite for building a new, presumably ideal or at least much more just one.  The R.'s aren't out to destroy society as it is, just the welfare state/social safety net part of it, whatever vestigial power unions still have, and, at least with some of them, the public school system.  In other words, they want to move society back to the way it existed from about 1865 to 1900 -- the era of unfettered (but not unaided by government -- see the railroads) capitalism and heroic capitalists, Ayn Rand's beau ideals,   (if you think I'm exaggerating here, you haven't read her or listened to her interviews), which also happen to be the ego ideals of such industrialists manqué as Romney and the Kochs.  (Born on 3rd base, and . . . . )

    The difference that I'm pointing out may seem trivial, but it's an important part of the R. psychology.  Nihilists admit that they're out to destroy with violence the current society.  Randy Repubs. believe that destroying the social safety net will lead DIRECTLY to a great improvement in the quality of life in our society.  And that is why they are impervious to evidence that their assumptions are erroneous.  (I almost typed "felonious.") Thus, for example, their promo motion of charter schools is not affected one whit by the lack of any evidence that charter schools produce test results any better than public schools, even though public schools typical have a higher proportion of special needs students and students who are English learners.   This ideological nature of the Randians is also the source of the otherwise strange-bedfellows alliance between them and the fundies.  Add in the climate deniers and you have a perfect triumvirate of virulent ideology that is impervious to evidence.

    One other relevance.  PBO strikes me as just about the least ideological of men -- to a fault, in fact, IMO.  I think this is a major handicap in trying to negotiate with the R.'s.  You'd think he'd learn -- but it's almost like he's Charlie Brown & can't believe that Lucy would be crazy enough AGAIN to pull the football away at the last second, since it will mean there is no score.  Why he seems to continue to believe that they ever want government to "score" -- I.e., to be seen to work -- is beyond me.  

  •  If the GOP House passes this bill (0+ / 0-)

    your argument will make little sense.

    Instead, it should raise the question of why the Democrats capitulated.

    •  The GOP House doubtless won't (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shockwave, Noor B

      Just enough of them plus the Democrats will. But they have to eliminate the Hastert Rule to get it done. The majority of House Reps won't do it.

      •  Good cop, bad cop (0+ / 0-)

        This is a simple matter of logic.

        Either the House Republicans are so crazy that this justifies the next claim by the Democrats- that we must cut entitlments in 2 months- or they aren't as crazy as the Democratic Leadership claims, and this is just good cop, bad cop. The House Republicans playing the role of bad cops.

        That was the point of my statemnet above.

        If you can get around the rule for this, then the rule doesn't exist, we are being subject to a sham and being manipulated through fear mongering.

        There is no other argument that makes msuch sense since its clear the rule was somethng the GOP was willing to get around and the Democrats 2 mon ths for now will go into the negotiations k nowing this.

        So when they claim once again that they have no choice but to capitulate to the most extreme of the GOP's desired outcomes- the cutting of entitlements- you wil lknow its a lie  if this vote happens because this vote means that its a lie to claim tht they must capitualte to win a vote.

  •  What, if anything, can the President do (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Onomastic, hester

    going forward? Are there any moves, even traditionally out of bounds, he can make?

    "Let us never forget that doing the impossible is the history of this nation....It's how we are as Americans...It's how this country was built"- Michelle Obama

    by blueoregon on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 04:37:49 PM PST

    •  The diarist's answer is, "Nothing." (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      None of the "rules changes" he argues are necessary can be accomplished by the president.  Indeed, since many of them would require amending the Constitution, none of them can be accomplished even by the president and supermajorities in both houses of Congress.

      What the diarist won't say for some reason is that we're just stuck where we are.  That's the inevitable outcome of his argument.

      "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

      by FogCityJohn on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 06:03:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •   Desperate and extreme will serve (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Onomastic, pyegar

    to boil their diminishing base of core supporters in their gerrymandered districts into a more solid, but less numerous, mass.

    Think about how the endgame for the GOP will appear. These fractious arguments they are now having could become more meaningful third party splits, a hundred Ron Pauls. They won the house even though they received a million less votes. This is done by setting up more districts for them to win by smaller margins, while we win fewer districts by greater margins. The longer this ass clown circus perpetuates, the thinner their margins will become.

    Diarists has asked us to recognize that these districts are actually filled with voters who understand what the Republicans are doing and support it. So our job becomes making them understand the personal price we all pay for their shit headedness. Oh well.

    I stil think they are well on their way to becoming a regional party.


    •  Can we put them on reservations (0+ / 0-)

      and give the land back to the Natives.   They could name them what ever they want.  They just have to disarm and clear customs before they leave.  

      And a body cavity search...s

      Jesus died to save you from Yahweh.

      by nolagrl on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 06:49:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Discriminatory Tit for Tat (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mike101, nolagrl, TomP, hrvatska


    They [game theorists Steve Rytina and David L. Morgan] watched what happened when members of each tribe followed a variant called Discriminatory Tit for Tat (DFTFT), which is just like Tit for Tat except when dealing with someone of a different-color group.  A Red will always defect with a Blue, and vice versa.
    A Red will cooperate with a Red and a Blue will cooperate with a Blue but Reds and Blues will never cooperate with each.  Sound familiar?

    What piqued my interest even more is their finding:

    Rytina and Morgan demonstrated that the DTFT game play is not only stable, it's all but intractable.  In the early rounds, an individual who tries to play regular, color-blind Tit for Tat is worse off than one who defects with the out-group.  Why?  When a Red and Blue interact for the first time, even if the Blue contemplates cooperating (as in regular Tit for Tat), the Red player will almost certainly be playing DTFT and will defect.  That means that the Blue player - only trying to start off nice - will get the sucker payoff and lose points.
    DTFT is not a more successful strategy than regular Tit for Tat, which is better for long-term resilience, and tends to penalize the minority more than the majority (unless the majority continues to expect regular Tit for Tat no matter how many times it is faced with evidence to the contrary).  
    The problem with DTFT is in its insidious stability.  Once it is entrenched, it punishes individual efforts to attempt cooperation across enemy lines.

    Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at solarray.

    by gmoke on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 05:00:23 PM PST

  •  President Obama is mostly to blame for (4+ / 0-)

    the 2010 election results that made huge gains for the Rethuglicans and allowed them to gerrymander their way into power. But no, people want to blame the voters who stayed at home even though it was clear to them President Obama had no intention of delivering anything close to the promised Hope and Change, just more entrenchment of Beltway status quo and even more corporate giveaways and bailouts.  
    But oh, wait. Those people were just cry babies who wanted a pony and were upset that they didn't get one.

    If "elitist" just means "not the dumbest motherfucker in the room", I'll be an elitist! - David Rees from "Get Your War On".

    by Oaktown Girl on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 05:01:18 PM PST

  •  Accountability - Not these Bozos (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Cult is the word for them. They just don't care. They're perfectly happy to destroy America in order to save it. Listen to their robotic, mindless rationale: America has a spending problem.

    Not a jobs problem. Not an inequality problem. Not a climate change problem. No, the only problem that matters is poor people are getting stuff and don't pay enough in taxes while the rich pay too much. And so it must all come crashing down.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 05:07:51 PM PST

  •  Looking Forward To The Spending Debate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    liberte, nolagrl

    Listened to a show the other day where someone listed the job destroying aspects of the sequester cuts. It was terrifying. The case can now be made about the role for government in the economy as a job creator. Can also make people realize the human aspects of those who say we need entitlement cuts. The Republican tax cutter image has already been deconstructed as really only looking out for the rich. Now lets deconstruct their approach to spending.

  •  Remember Richard Mourdock? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    devtob, TomP

    He sums up the attitude of the feral children in the House. These people are proving once again that they are unable to carry out even the basic duty of an elected official which is to do what must be done for the good of the country even when it means not getting your way.

    ”I certainly think bipartisanship ought to consist of Democrats coming to the Republican point of view,” Mourdock declared.

  •  Didn't Obama and the Senate Dems start (0+ / 0-)

    negotiating from a better place, this time around?

    Their relatively early starting points included the oft-mentioned $250K+ tax increases, for example.

    We don't know what their internal limits were for deal-making that still fell into the acceptable column, but I guess the evidence seen thus far can give us some clues.  One thing is certain, though: they started somewhere in negotiations and you usually back off from that point by the time the final deal is made.  This means that they never expected some of those initial proposal bids to be met.

    I thought that we wanted Obama and the Democrats in Congress to negotiate this way, instead of starting with their desired end-state and backing off from there.

    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

    by wader on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 05:37:25 PM PST

  •  those are just the rules that allow their shit (0+ / 0-)

    everything they do is irrational and based on bullshit and most of that starts with the radio stations that the left has spent 20 years ignoring.

    all their crap is based on lies and myths - an alternate reality they can't create unless their radio soapbox gets a free speech free ride from the left.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 05:39:34 PM PST

  •  And here's the proof (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The clearest proof for your analysis is the fact that the House Republican Caucus never even articulated a bargaining stance.  If this were traditional political bargaining, you would expect each party to the negotiation to lay out its position, rally its forces, and then cut a deal the reflects that balance of political forces and the relative skill of the negotiators (which is exactly what happened in the Senate.)  The fact that Boehner never articulated an initial position and was unable to mobilize his caucus around any agenda whatsoever is the proof that this was not a "normal" politicial negotiation.

    The only way out I see is for Boehner (who actually is a fairly conventional politician) to cut lose the Tea Party faction of his caucus who wish to render any agreement on this, or any significant issue, impossible.  To do so, however, would render Boehner essentially impotent as a party leader and Speaker of the House.

  •  Their plan is ingenious. (4+ / 0-)

    All they have to do to win is to destroy people's faith in goverment. They do that by destroying government. Then their vision of an unfettered free market will prevail.

    That is why they hate Social Security. That is why they hate Medicare. They hate any action taken for the common good. They hate government itself unless that government is used to dismantle itself and to auction itself off to the highest --and sometimes the lowest-- bidder.

    Republicans finally figured out that to achieve this goal all they have to do is nothing.

    Obama hasn't figured out how to call them on it.  He still suggests that the obstructionism is on the part of all of Congress, rather than just House Republicans.

    If you hate government, don't run for office in that government.

    by Bensdad on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 05:42:30 PM PST

    •  They hate popular programs, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and it's obvious.

      Democratic candidates always make that an issue, but too many of the program's recipients have been deluded by the wingnut media.

      The GOP's strongest demographic is white people on Social Security and Medicare.

      That is just so absurd.

      A public option for health insurance is a national priority.

      by devtob on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 06:48:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  GOP moderates (0+ / 0-)

    Assuming that the OP is correct except for a minority of the GOP large enough to work with the Dems, when does the House GOP leadership lose control of their moderates?

  •  I think the GOP (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noor B

    or at least a significant portion of those pushing what passes for modern "conservative" ideologies have come to an awareness in recent years that their creeds/tenets and long term viability as a meaningful political entity are headed for the dustbin of history. But like any devil worth his salt, they are determined to not leave without messing things up plenty for everyone else, out of mere pettiness and spite, if nothing more.

    That has to be the case, as nothing else really logically explains the self-destructive allegiance to the Tea Bagger idiocy that pretty much most of the American populace at large finds distasteful to downright disgusting (and I'm talking about more than just the fiscal cliff stuff). While terrorists can on rare occasions win sympathy even while taking hostages, they never win sympathy by killing hostages.

    I would suggest that someone explain that to the Repugs, but then again I'm fine with them pursuing their apparent death wish. In the end, I really just hope we can limit the collateral damage from their self-immolation.

  •  Nihilist? Doubt it. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bryce in Seattle

    The guys at the top love money way too much to be nihilist.

  •  In other words, we can do nothing. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If we can't negotiate with the Republicans about things like tax rates and spending levels, we sure as hell won't be able to negotiate with them over much more difficult and fundamental issues like the ones you mention.

    You can't reform either the electoral college or the disproportionate influence the Senate gives to small states without amending the Constitution.  You should know that's a nonstarter, since it would require a two-thirds vote in both houses of Congress, not to mention the approval of a bunch of state legislatures controlled by Republicans.  Nor can the campaign finance rules be changed without either a constitutional amendment or a new Supreme Court, neither of which is in the offing in the near future.

    In essence, what you are arguing is that there is no way out of the trap in which we find ourselves.  By saying that "the American People will need to figure out how to make these and other reforms to our broken political system," you're evading the issue.  It would be more honest for you to admit the logical consequence of your argument, which is, as I said, that there's no way out of our current situation, at least not for a very long time to come.

    "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

    by FogCityJohn on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 06:00:09 PM PST

  •  maybe, maybe not. (0+ / 0-)
    If the GOP House does scuttle the deal as they seem inclined to do, it would take a fool to believe that these are mere puppets playing a hardline negotiating game on behalf of wealthy benefactors.
    since their wealthy benefactors won't actually suffer very much (the koch bros. aren't going to have to cut back on caviar, regardless of what happens), i remain unconvinced this is true. what is true is that, not unlike the good dr., the "wealthy benefactors" who created this monster are discovering a basic truth: just because you created it, doesn't, by definition, mean you can control it.

    if they (the wealthy benefactors) actually wanted this issue resolved, the word would have gone out, quietly, to the tea party faction, to cut a deal or else, and a deal would be cut. that it hasn't been tells me the koch's (and their equally wealthy ilk) don't really care.

    i realize this presents two completely contradictory positions (can't control monster: control monster by threatening to cut off funding), but they aren't (in my opinion) as contradictory as they appear on the surface. the latter assertion assumes that the congresspersons in question care whether or not they get re-elected, the former doesn't.

    common wisdom takes for granted (and historically, with good reason) that a politician, once elected, wants to be re-elected. it also takes for granted that politicians operate from a rational plane. as we have witnessed, in the case of today's republicans, especially the most extreme segment of the party (legitimate vs illegitimate rape), this turns out to be a rash assumption. they don't care, all they want to do is destroy as much as they can, before their term expires. the more narrowly drawn their district is, the more extreme their constituents, the more likely to be re-elected, regardless of what the koch bros. want.

  •  The Amazing Thing Is, There Are NO DEAD HOSTAGES (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    Obama, quite frankly, is doing an AWESOME job protecting the hostages so far, and he's doing it by promising the terrorists a get away plane some time in the future, and bit by bit, he's taking away their hostages. Little by little, bit by bit. We made big strides towards that this past election and in 2014 we will have an opportunity to let them take that ride to their airport to board the plane that is supposedly waiting for them.

    This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: []

    by Beetwasher on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 06:30:32 PM PST

  •  And they call progressives (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    A Utopianist Ideological Cult That Cannot be Reckoned With
    Generalize and demonize anyone that does not agree with you.  What a great way to resolve our differences.  

    Unless this attitude changes, on both extremes, we are effed.  

    Intolerance betrays want of faith in one's cause. - Gandhi

    by SpamNunn on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 06:41:57 PM PST

  •  They were put there for a reason (0+ / 0-)

    The oligarchs shaped congress so this would happen.  Resist all change is their order of the day.  400k a year AGI is middle class?  No.

  •  Tools (0+ / 0-)

    Dull, crooked, useless tools. Crafted in a Koch factory or one similar, for the last few decades and sent out to do their work. Some even unwittingly.

    Poor people have too much money and vote too often. Republican platform plank, 1980 - present

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 07:28:46 PM PST

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