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U.S. Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) (2nd L) speaks at a news conference about debt relief legislation with Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) (L), Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) (2nd R) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) (R) at the U.S.
Boehner thought bubble: 'All right, this has gone on long enough. I'll tackle him, Eric, while you go get the timeout sack.'
Given how things have been going with House Republicans these days, it's probably no surprise that there's a proposal circulating among more clever members to maybe just stop trying for a while:
House Republicans are quietly discussing the option of not writing a budget in 2014, a maneuver that would free up time on the legislative calendar and protect GOP lawmakers from a potentially damaging vote in an election year. [...]

A senior House GOP leadership aide confirmed there is a push coming from "political types" for House Republicans not to get engaged with a budget this year for fiscal 2015.

"Yes, there's been some of that," the aide said. The staffer identified some of those instigating such talk as people at the National Republican Campaign Committee. But he said he believed it is not getting much "traction" among House GOP leaders or members.

Please read below the fold for more on the GOP and the budget.

Ah, the "political types", meaning the types who look at the polls and wonder just how much lower the brand can sink. House Republicans have spent their entire recent existence obsessed with creating ever-more-spartan budgets, but this is an election year, Republicans are desperate to retain seats, and every one of these past budget fights have been fiascos for the party. (Despite the fireworks surrounding the process, presenting a budget is not a strict necessity; in its absence, spending levels remain unchanged, an outcome that would be a considerable improvement over most of the things House Republicans have suggested of late.)

It makes sense for GOP campaign operatives to make such a push, according to several GOP lawmakers who asked not to be quoted on the subject. The previous Republican budgets passed by Ryan's committee and adopted by the House have been so ideologically charged, they explained, that some Republicans think it's time—especially in an election year—to avoid any polarizing votes that would hand ammunition to the Democrats.
Do you remember when Paul Ryan was considered the New Big Thing in the Republican Party, the economic genius that would save America via a series of Powerpoint slides? I could have sworn they nominated him for something ... ah, it's on the tip of my tongue ... you know, with that other guy? Now they're looking for ways they can quietly bury him and his damn budget ideas, at least until the next election passes by.

Most of the quoted sources don't think the push for a non-budget will be successful. I will point out that such a thing would require House Republicans to not be "ideologically charged" or "polarizing" on one damn thing, not even when they really, really want to be, and there seems a snowball's chance in da microwave of that ever coming to pass. All of the most ideologically rigid Republicans still want yet another budget battle to prove their bonafides to the crackpots back home, and many are still bitter that the Republicans ever reopened the federal government from a happily shutdown state. Political types can strategize all they like, but they can't scrub out the crazy. The crazy won't stand for it.

Originally posted to Hunter on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 10:16 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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