Republicans Who Thought They Or Their Agenda Were Popular Last Year Were Sorely Mistaken
What the GOP is doing in Congress and in state after state where they managed to grab governorships and state legislatures last year is the most classic case of overreach anyone has ever seen. Voters may have been disappointed in Democrats and, certainly Koch cash had been used to rile up the toothless and the brainless among us, but as a society we didn't vote in November to defund NPR, Planned Parenthood, public education and solar energy, nor did we make a decision to gut all social progress since Teddy Roosevelt's day. But that's precisely what extremists like John Kasich, Scott Walker, Rick Snyder, Paul LePage, Rick Scott, Jan Brewer, Nathan Deal and Rick Perry-- to name some of the worst-- are trying to do... not to mention the sociopaths in Washington from Jim DeMint to John Boehner. And the voters are pissed off. Still, serious people interested in the smooth functioning of government and, more important, society at large have to consider how to deal or negotiate with this rampaging mob of entitled nihilists in suits and ties.
Newt Gingrich may not be serious about running for president-- most astute observers say he's just looking to bolster the bottom line of his professional fundraising scam-- but that doesn't stop him from continuing to lob bombs and croak out destructive advice to any reactionaries willing to listen. It's the perfect exemplar of why Obama, not to mention Harry Reid, are having so much difficulty negotiating with Republicans-- who, after all, have a vested interest in failure and collapse, not progress and success. They've pained themselves into a corner: if the economy gets better, if America prospers-- they lose. Gingrich is urging Republicans in the House and Senate "to package the debt ceiling increase with the repeal of the health care reform law and dare Senate Democrats and President Barack Obama to oppose it... [He] challenged Obama to support the combined measure or risk an economic crisis if the U.S. does not raise the debt ceiling soon." But, he's always been a shit down the government kind of guy.
“I personally favor passing the repeal of Obamacare, putting it on the debt ceiling, going to the country. The House Republicans have the votes to put it in the debt ceiling. They should do it very early. And then they should go to the country and focus attention on the Democrats in the Senate. There are 23 Democratic seats up in 2012,” Gingrich said, according to a transcript of the interview. “And we ought to try to bring enough pressure to bear on individual Democrats like [Sens.] Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Bill Nelson of Florida that we are able to actually get the repeal of Obamacare through the Senate, and then say to the president, if you want to meet your constitutional obligations and avoid a crisis on the debt ceiling, you either have to sign the repeal of Obamacare, or you have to provide a comparable $2 trillion in savings.”
Gingrich also said House GOP leaders should not fear the backlash over a government shutdown, contending that the shutdown of 1995 paid dividends for Congressional Republicans in the 1996 elections. The government would shut down on April 9 unless Members reach a deal on a long-term spending plan or agree to pass another continuing resolution.
“I don’t understand the fear that’s involved. We were elected in 1994 under the 'Contract With America.' Part of the contract was to balance the federal budget. We set out to balance the federal budget. The Clinton White House did not want to initially and fought us over it. There was a government shutdown,” Gingrich said. “When we got to the election of 1996, no Republican House had been re-elected as a majority since 1928. And after the shutdown, we were re-elected as a majority. We lost a net of two seats from what we had won in 1994. And so I wonder, when people say to me, ‘Boy, that was really politically expensive,’ my question is to who? Our base wanted somebody who was serious, and this is part of what’s going on in the country right now. People are serious about controlling spending. They are serious about repealing Obamacare.”
This was an interesting headline in one of the Beltway trade papers yesterday: Pew Poll: Obama Would Deliver Shellacking To Generic Republican. And the actual ones are worse than the theory of one! I've never been a fan of Rahm Emanuel's and I bristled last year when he dismissed progressive complaints about Obama with a curt, smug "Where are they gonna go?" Looks like he was right.