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Raucous Caucus: Inheriting the Wind

Original post made by Tom Cushing, Danville, on Oct 10, 2013

The slow-motion devolution of the fractious GOP continues in a very public way. It's far-right, Tea-addled radicals have overplayed their hand, recklessly in every sense. They have reveled in the attention they always craved, without thinking about the greater implications of their actions. In the spirit of those who nominated unelectable candidates in Indiana, Missouri and my Delaware homeland, they have troubled their own House. They are about to inherit the wind.

The modern GOP is not a unified whole, but an odd bedfellowage of evangelical Theocons, now traditional Neocons, anti-regulation businessfolk, anti-government libertarians, aforementioned anti-tax TeaPers and so-called Moderates I'd call them Eisenhower Republicans; others would use the derisive term RINOs. They are together, not in a common vision, but in opposition to the big, progressive Democratic tent across the aisle.

With the government shutdown precipitated by their own caucus rules being widely blamed on them, they face the calamitous prospect of a government default next week. Rather than acknowledging their overreach and backing away from the precipice, they have doubled-down. The TeaPers have now concluded, against ample evidence, that maybe defaults don't matter, anyway.

Perhaps we should not expect anything else from a bunch that wears factual denial like a medallion. And in case there's Any rational process afoot here, in a game of chicken there may be value in signaling that you are utterly nuts. But they have alarmed their own uneasy GOP coalition partners, particularly those wealthy business-types (WBTs) who underwrite the adventures.

As reported here earlier (having completely missed the Syria breakthrough, I need to gloat a bit), WBTs are heavily invested in world markets, capable of remembering history -- and they despise risk. Accordingly, their various lobbies, which traditionally contribute very heavily to elect GOPers, are in open revolt.

Here's the head of the heavyweight National Federation of Independent Businesses: There clearly are people in the Republican Party at the moment for whom the interests of the business community - the jobs and members they represent - don't seem to be their top priority. They don't really care what the N.F.I.B. thinks, and don't care what the Chamber (of Commerce) thinks, and probably don't care what the Business Roundtable thinks.

Being accustomed to their Representatives hewing to the lines that financed their campaigns, they are not amused by the current shenanigans. Michael J. Driscoll, a former managing director of Bear, Stearns & Co. and lifelong Republican, expects the WBTs to shift campaign contributions away from House lawmakers. "One thing about Wall Street, it is very aware of who is working in their best interest," he said.

Further, as stated by the head of another influential business lobby: there's a lot of talk around town about the need for Republicans to get into primaries and protect people who are being attacked because they are only 96% pure. I, for one, think that would be a healthy exercise.

Republican Moderates have not shown a lot of public backbone in this pre-fabricated crisis, but one thing they can be reliably counted-on to do is to be able to count, and to check the balances in their campaign accounts. The business lobby will give them cover - and cofferage - to stand and be counted in an eventual vote to forestall the default. Once that happens, the emptiness of the shutdown gesture will be apparent, I believe, and will go to the weedy graveyard of called bluffs.

So the crisis will be settled where it started, within the GOP ranks. While that's a good and necessary thing, it only gets us back to zero. If time was unlimited and delay had no meaning, it would be an unqualified good thing. But what of the opportunity cost, in terms of the things that weren't accomplished while this intramural drama has played-out? What of immigrants in limbo (and what about my passport renewal?).

Time does matter, and as the saying goes: justice delayed is justice denied. We have all inherited some of the wind blown (and broken) in this most-recent ridiculous affair. Perhaps there will be some new tenants in The People's House next year?

Comments (12)

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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Oct 10, 2013 at 3:29 pm

May I politely suggest that they tear out each others hairs!


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Posted by Oliver
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 10, 2013 at 4:10 pm

Yet another diluted opinion piece with nary a mention of race as a central theme in Republican policies and practices. How come? No mention of how the Republican tent has brought under it KKKers and John Birchers? What IS the Tea Party if not a revitalization of KKK beliefs and values? Without consideration of how race figures into current Republican policies and practices, the author's 'analysis' simply blows in the wind, without much substance, at all.


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Posted by Really ?????
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 11, 2013 at 12:21 am

I remember during Obama's first year, reporters and viewers were dismayed that we were approaching $ 6 Trillion debt and people had trouble 'saying' the 'T' word. Now SIX would sound SO good, since it has now climbed to SIXTEEN Trillion, I do believe. Truly scary! SO SAD for our grandkids. SO irresponsible. SO wrong that so many votes have been bought with expanding social programs...taxpayers just keep paying and paying. What a legacy !


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Posted by right
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 11, 2013 at 9:02 am

Ah, cholo and oliver resorting to the last bastion of liberal debate---the race card. When will you people ever learn?
The esteemed Robert Byrd (dem grand master) would be so proud of you. Remind me again who voted against the civil rights act----

Change is coming.....be very worried.....


 +   Like this comment
Posted by jimf01
a resident of another community
on Oct 11, 2013 at 9:07 am

jimf01 is a registered user.

Sixteen trillion in debt, approaching $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities, even trillion dollar deficits year after year, as far as the eye can see?
Nah, Really, REALLY not a concern. No, we need the establishment Republicans to shut the TPers up and go along for the ride. We are doing important things, we are providing affordable health care, err insurance. Yeah that's what we hope they will buy.
We need those palatable Republicans to put an end to those far-right, radical,reckless, attention craving, anti-tax, fact-denying, bad people in the Tea Party and just vote for more spending, more regulation, more taxes, and more debt.
We should listen to business coalitions when their opinions are valuable to us. When they say Obamacare is bad for the economy and bad for business, screw them, we will choose new pejoratives for them at that time, forget that they have same exact concerns about regulation, taxes, deficits and debt that the Tea Partiers do.

You have to understand that when we win, we will write the history of how this tiny, loony faction of Tea Partiers, who are minute in number and whom even the Real Republicans and business owners disagree with, THEY somehow shutdown the government and nearly caused default on the full faith and credit of the US government, nearly causing economic meltdown, cats and dogs living together, mass hysteria! And many other things which we will be announcing via White House officials on talk shows and news channels who are willing to not ask us hard questions.


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Oct 11, 2013 at 11:44 am

100% if Americans have problems with the race/ethnicity of other Americans. It's in the blood.

That's just the way it is.



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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Oct 11, 2013 at 1:12 pm

Cholo Cholo tupi tupi lolo...

What's makes to many mercans think that just because some of us are undesirably different, that we're gonna shut-up? duh...

Many folks in this country never shut-up, myself included...tee hee...


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Oct 11, 2013 at 1:18 pm

Correction: What makes sooooo many Americans think that just because some Americans are undesirably different, that we're gonna shut-up? NOT!

Don't forget, everybody has FREE SPEECH...i rest my case...


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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Oct 11, 2013 at 1:21 pm

In my private opinion, thee is NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DEMOCRATS, "REAL REPUBLICANS" AND MEMBERS OF THE TEA PARTY.

SCUMBAGS...THE LOT!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Oct 11, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Correction: ...there instead of "thee"...tee hee


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tom Cushing
a resident of Danville
on Oct 12, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Posted by Oliver, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 10, 2013 at 4:10 pm
Yet another diluted opinion piece with nary a mention of race as a central theme in Republican policies and practices. How come? No mention of how the Republican tent has brought under it KKKers and John Birchers? What IS the Tea Party if not a revitalization of KKK beliefs and values? Without consideration of how race figures into current Republican policies and practices, the author's 'analysis' simply blows in the wind, without much substance, at all.
___

@Oliver:

As I tried to indicate in response to an earlier comment, race is always a sub-text in American politics, and I've written on the subject in earlier editions of this blog. One study I commented-on, using what we now call Big Data, concluded that his race cost the Prez about 5% of the vote in 2008. I'm guessing that's about right, and I doubt it changed much in 2012. Further, the hostility to the ACA goes beyond Mr Obama personally to a concern about who gets the benefits of that legislation.

But here's the thing: do you not think that nearly everybody knows it's always there? Also, race does not completely explain any of this stuff, and if I harp on one subtext all the time, all I'll get is the "race card" blather you got in response to your comment. I'm with Donna Brazile on one of the Sunday shows -- race is always there -- now let's get on with it.

Here's a really good article from the New Yorker about the TeaPers' political heritage. You think KKK; he thinks Birchers. Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Oliver
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 12, 2013 at 5:07 pm

You have a nice way of talking around an issue, Tom. First you reduce race to a matter of whether folks like or dislike Obama, as you divert attention from actual Republican policies that are racist to the core.

Then you write of all the participants in the Republican caucus but do so without any mention of race.

Twice now you've reduced your stated understanding of race to how Obama's race may be a factor. But you steer clear of locating race in Republican policies and practices.

And now you're saying, "Yes, yes, of course race is an issue, only I'm not going to address it (except to reduce it to Obama being a lightening rod for race). Because, you see, 'it's always there', and so here in Fortress Pleasanton, the Idaho of the Bay Area, I don't need to address it when I speak of Republican practices and policies."

C'mon, Tom. Do you not realize that African Americans constitute a goodly percentage of Democratic Party politics, an even more goodly percentage of Democratic Party activists, with over 90% voting for Gore and Kerry (as well as Obama). And you want to give yourself a pass and not mention their concerns, how Republican policies affect them because, golly, you might earn some 'race card' baits from some Fortressed Pleasantonians? Pretty weak brew you're cooking up, it seems to me. You seem to enjoy a lively lexicon; now how about supplementing with some ideas of substance? Or are you really that afraid of eliciting 'race card' responses?


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