Thursday, October 10, 2013

Le Shutdown Républicain

Though I have been reading about it obsessively, I haven't posted about the government shutdown. I guess I haven't felt like I have all that much to add to the discussion. It's pretty obvious that the Congressional House Republicans have caused this mess. How it ends is anyone's guess. I want to believe that we'll get through it relatively unscathed, but we're 10 days in and it's not looking so great.

Here's all the narrative you need to know about the current crisis.

1. Obama won in 2008.
2. PPACA/Obamacare passed in 2010.
3. Republicans won the House in 2010, make repealing Obamacare their only legislative priority, AND FAIL to achieve this goal.
4. In 2012, SCOTUS upheld PPACA as constitutional.
5. In 2012, Republicans ran against Obamacare at all levels of government AND LOST DECISIVELY.
6. By September 2013, House Republicans have tried AND FAILED forty-plus times to repeal Obamacare.

Instead of being chastened by this parade of failure, Republicans met in January of 2013 to plan the hostage situation that we are now in.

So whether you are for or against Obamacare, and whether or not you believe that closing the government is a good thing, and whether or not you think that hitting the debt ceiling is a problem, this is a Republican shutdown. Period.

Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Update: Here is an excellent explanation of the "debt ceiling" worth watching, and here is a list of three essential points to remember as this conflict drags on. Finally, there has been some noise that when it comes to the debt ceiling, "both sides do it!" This piece dispenses with that notion.


J G-W said...

Worth noting... The Republicans most responsible for this debacle (which we haven't quite cleared yet) were elected by districts where tea-party-ism is strong, running on promises to do just what they did. So this was a big win for them... Whatever happens, they can go back to their constituencies and claim to have fought the good fight; and they'll probably keep being elected so long as they wreak more of the same mayhem.

It's up to the more moderate center of the Republican Party to decide if they're going to let these rats sink their ship.

Knight of Nothing said...

I agree with you - the most belligerent opponents of ACA are probably pretty safe in their gerrymandered districts. That said, it really does look like Tea Party Republicans stepped in it this time: their poll numbers are shockingly bad. Whether these numbers translate into electoral defeat is of course another matter, but even among their natural demographics, they are suffering big time. See this chart as just one example.

I've been a total political junkie the last few months, and I've come to agree with the writers who argue that the "moderate center" of the Republican Party is a bit of a fiction these days. There simply is no "establishment" power in the Republican Party anymore, just a collection of independent players with their own wealth and means to achieve political objectives. This explains the modern Republican Party - there is no consequence for extremism.

By the way, the map showing opposition to Obamacare is actually pretty striking: apart from a couple of outliers, it looks like the Confederate states versus the Union all over again. A little scary, actually.

Knight of Nothing said...

Came across this terrific (terrifying) post that kind of summarizes what I was trying to say. Check it out.