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Our economy has survived another round of Russian roulette, or we think it has.  It’s hard to be sure because the Department of Labor statistics we normally use to dipstick the economy have not been forthcoming during this shutdown over…whatever it was over.

The votes to reopen the government and pull back from a default on US sovereign debt were not a cake walk, which made watching television last night a bit like a long suffering Cowboys fan anticipating an interception in the fourth quarter.

It’s probably important to the welfare of the nation to understand the nay votes.  Which ones are bat guano crazy and which ones are posturing for the gratification of voters who are bat guano crazy?  The latter are, on some level, sane, and we must hope there is a limit to what they will do against the national interest in pursuit of self-interest.

In the Senate, there were 18 dead enders, with Inhofe of Oklahoma not voting.  Of those 18, 10 were of the Confederate States of America and immediate border states, as we’ve come to expect.

Since I write from Texas, I can offer some insight into our Senators.

Mr. Cruz is not insane.  Were he insane, he would have filibustered rather than just voted nay.

Mr. Cornyn is not insane.  He is craven.  He does not dare let Cruz get terribly far to the right of him.

I invite comments on the other dead enders from those who know them:

Sessions and Shelby of Alabama.

Scott of South Carolina.

Rubio of Florida.

Roberts of Kansas.

Whorehouse, I mean Vitter, of Louisiana.

Paul of Kentucky.  No comment necessary here.  He’s proved many times he’s bat guano crazy, and with Cruz perfecting the “let’s you and him fight” tactic, Paul has to have the inside track to the GOP Presidential nomination.  Bring him on.

Coburn of Oklahoma.

The non-Confederate dead enders were Enzi of Wyoming, Grassley of Iowa, Heller of Nevada, Johnson of Wisconsin, Lee of Utah, Risch of Idaho, and Toomey of Pennsylvania.

Then the bill moved to the House, where my ignorance of the process cost me some fingernails.  The voting clock was up on one side of the TV screen and the vote totals were on the other.  I knew that Mr. Boehner had to produce 17 votes and Ms. Pelosi had to produce the rest and that was what I was attending to when I suddenly noticed that the time clock appeared to be ticking down much more quickly than the vote totals were going up.

Good grief!  What if it ticked to zero without a majority?  I did not know if the Speaker could keep the vote open or, if he could, whether he would!

It passed with about 18 seconds on the clock.  I’m getting too old for this much excitement.  It turns out the Speaker can hold the vote open and he did.

Here’s the official roll:

A notable nay is Paul Ryan.  

Carter of Texas, who purports to represent me, voted nay and knows better.

Before putting on the smug, let us remember that a vote on a measure everybody knows has to pass and is going to pass can be a cheap opportunity to showboat, an opportunity seized once by a new Senator from Illinois, Mr. Obama, who voted against raising the debt ceiling when it was certain to pass.

Still, bat guano crazy versus pandering to those who are matters because we get to do this whole thing again early next year.  When asked what will be different, the essence of the analysis is:

They won’t dare!

Really?  Every Republican candidate for POTUS sitting in the Senate voted nay.

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Comment Preferences

  •  One difference next time: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Obamacare will be rolling.  

    Those who suffered through the tech rollout will have gotten beyond it, the tech bugs will be mostly debugged, and hopefully lots of people will have signed up.  (It has been a rocky start, even by IT rollout standards.)  Only diehard Obamacare ogres will support that particular hostage issue, so the Congressional guano slingers won't see even the support they fantasized.

    You never know with Obama, but in the brief presser that followed the Senate vote, a reporter asked him as he was walking offstage "Won't this just happen again next time?".  He skipped a beat or two and said with a wry smile over his right shoulder, "No."  (At about 3:25.)  It looked like he meant it.  I might not have thought that had I not read a Times article:  Signs Indicate That Obama’s Debt Ceiling Gamble May Be Paying Off the other day.  The lead paragraph:

    More than two years ago, President Obama was still in the thick of his previous showdown with Republican House leaders over the nation’s debt limit when he called five senior advisers into his office. He did not ask their advice, one said. Rather, he told them, in a way that brooked no discussion: From now on, no more negotiating over legislation so basic and essential to the economy, and the country.
    You never know.  But it looks to me like he's found a T-cell for a spine.
  •  Did you catch the stenographer... (0+ / 0-)

    who went on a bat guano rant on the floor after the vote? There were a couple of fairly heated arguments on the boards here about "making fun of the mentally ill" versus "this is what they believe".

    I think it says a lot that when we see one of the bat guano crazies, in the sense you've used the term here, it sparks a debate over whether she has an actual mental illness.

    One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain -Bob Marley

    by Darwinian Detritus on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 08:01:33 AM PDT

  •  The second kick of a mule (0+ / 0-)

    My favorite comment in this moment:

    "There is nothing to be learned form the second kick of a mule."
    Sen. Bob Corker, R- Tenn.

    The problem from which this insanity originates is the ignorance of U.S.ians.  The ignorance allows Maleficents like the Kochs and Adelsons to fund candidates like Cruz.  Ignorance allow people like Hannity and Limbaugh to get nodding heads.  

    I understand not wanting an unpleasant set of truths to intrude on your fantasy.  But that's not the right way to live or raise family.  

    This is us governing. Live so that 100 years from now, someone may be proud of us.

    by marthature on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 08:43:01 AM PDT

  •  Obama's speech this morning... (0+ / 0-)

    did not inspire.

    He's lecturing true believers (the bat guano slingers) on not exercising their faith.

    I doubt they'll listen.

    Perhaps I was wrong about the spine T-cells.  I sure hope not, but I believe that before this is through, if the nation is to get past it, some people - Michael Needham, CEO of Heritage Action among them - are going to have to be shown the line between bat guano and sedition.  It might apply to a couple of Congress critters, too.

  •  Quick read from San Antonio (0+ / 0-)

      The TeaParty group that fill the Free Comment section of the opinion page - are complaining that Cornyn - who is up for re-election in 2014 was not big and bold like Cruz.  

        I wish the Dems had a good candidate, sigh!

    •  so ironic (0+ / 0-)

      After all of Cornyn's efforts to match the Cruz Crazy, they still don't consider him crazy enough.

      Our problem is not lack of candidates.  It's the number of high dollar media markets in Texas.

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