GOP Anarchists Put Off Their Next Government Shutdown 'Til Just Before Christmas-- Very Sick People
Yesterday the Senate-- and then the House-- voted to pass a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government open at least until December 11. Every Democrat in the Senate and every Democrat in the House voted yes, of course. And in the Senate, where it passed 78-20, all but 20 extreme right nihilist Republicans and infantile anarchist Republicans voted in favor, despite Ted Cruz's lament about shutting the whole thing down. These were the 20 who voted to shut the government down:
• Roy Blunt (R-MO)As Alan Grayson pointed out earlier this week, the last time the Republicans forced the government to stop doing business, "Standard & Poor’s estimated that the 16-day federal shutdown in 2013 cost us $24 billion, and reduced fourth quarter 2013 Gross National Product growth by about 0.6%." This time most Senate Republicans were feeling more like responsible adults. Alas, not so in the House, where the rot has spread to the majority of the GOP. The CR passed 277-151 because Boehner made a deal with Pelosi and she had every single Democrat, all 186 of them, on board. Only 91 Republicans voted yes; 151 Republicans voted to shut down the government, and not just the hyper-partisan extremists like Steve King, Louie Gohmert, Daniel Webster, Jim Jordan, Jody Hice, Ted Yoho, Tim Huelskamp and Glenn Grothman, but also conservatives who try-- or sometimes try (usually around election time)-- to pass themselves off as either moderate or-- if that is too far-fetched-- vaguely mainstream.
• John Boozman (R-AR)
• Richard Burr (R-MC)
• Dan Coats (R-IN)
• Tom Cotton (R-AR)
• Mike Crapo (R-ID)
• Ted Cruz (R-TX)
• Dean Heller (R-NV)
• James Inhofe (R-OK)
• James Lankford (R-OK)
• Mike Lee (R-UT)
• Jerry Moran (R-KS)
• Rand Paul (R-KY)
• James Risch (R-ID)
• Ben Sasse (R-NE)
• Tim Scott (R-SC)
• Jefferson Beauregard Sessions (KKK-AL)
• Richard Shelby (R-AL)
• Pat Toomey (R-PA)
• David Vitter (R-LA)
Meanwhile, Rand Paul, who-- like Cruz-- voted to shut down the government yesterday, went on the attack against Cruz. He was on Fox News Radio telling listeners that Cruz "is pretty much done for and stifled, and it’s really because of personal relationships, or lack of personal relationships, and it is a problem."
Rand Paul on Tuesday had a blunt message for his presidential rival and fellow Republican senator Ted Cruz: You're a hack.
In no uncertain terms, Paul called out Cruz for trying-- and failing-- to disrupt GOP leadership's efforts to fund the government without attacking Planned Parenthood, as well as past name-calling from the Texas senator.
"Ted has chosen to make this really personal and chosen to call people dishonest in leadership and call them names which really goes against the decorum and also against the rules of the Senate, and as a consequence he can’t get anything done legislatively," Paul said, referring to a spat in July when Cruz called Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a liar.
"I approach things a little different, I am still just as hardcore in saying what we are doing is wrong, I just chose not to call people liars on the Senate floor and it’s just a matter of different perspectives on how best to get to the end result."
The Associated Press was clearly talking about Frank Guinta when it reported that "approval of such stopgap measures used to be routine, but debate this year was delayed by tea party lawmakers." Frank Guinta was willing to hurt our country and its citizens by shutting down the federal government because he didn't want Planned Parenthood to be funded. The man who has been pretending to be a moderate because he thought the Tea Party was fading just remembered that he really is a right-wing extremist after all. Frank Guinta, meet Frank Guinta, the extremist who has said repeatedly that a woman is not even entitled to an abortion to save her life.Similar situation with Rod Blum in northeast Iowa. Blum represents a blue-leaning district-- which includes Dubuque, Cedar Rapids and Waterloo-- and next year will have to face former state House Speaker Pat Murphy, a stalwart progressive, but voted to shut the government down anyway. Murphy told us today:
It's shameful that Congressman Blum is acting like a partisan zealot wanting to shut down the government over denying basic healthcare services to women in this country. Furthermore, another program, food stamps, would have been halted which would have brought more suffering to low-income women and children. This is unexplainable and indefensible... Let’s get this guy out of office.But the person who was really scratching his head today was Joe Sestak, who wants to take on Pat Toomey for the state's Senate seat next year. Pennsylvania isn't Alabama, and people were stunned yesterday when Toomey voted with the radicals and against the mainstream of his own conservative party to shut down the government. Tomey sent Pennsylvania voters a written statement:
A day after telling the New York Times that, "It’s important for our party to demonstrate that we have the competence to govern," Pat Toomey has again voted to shut down the federal government, joining with his Tea Party partners Ted Cruz and Rand Paul.Maybe this crackpottery works in GOP circles is because Republican voters have been driven insane by Hate Talk Radio and Fox and are now all paranoid and out of their minds. Think I'm kidding? Chris Cillizza at this morning's Washington Post: "Half of the country believes that the federal government 'poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens.' HALF! The party breakdown is even more remarkable. Two-thirds (65 percent) of self-identified Republicans believe their government poses an immediate threat to their rights and freedoms... That is a startling number-- and speaks not only to the massive disgust and disenchantment among Republicans toward the government, but also the urgency of the perceived threat that it poses. The idea of the government swooping in to restrict your rights is not an abstract discussion for many people-- especially those who identify as Republicans. It is a real and present danger."
An overwhelmingly bipartisan majority of 78 Democrat, Republican and Independent Senators voted to keep the federal government running. Not Pat Toomey. When Toomey walked off the stage of his re-election announcement two weeks ago, reporters asked him whether he would be voting to shut down the government. Attempting to sound moderate, Toomey told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that, "I don’t think it’s a good idea to shut down the government."
That’s what Toomey said in Pennsylvania, but what he does in Washington, D.C., is vote to shut down the government.
Even Mitch McConnell supported the continuing resolution saying, "it will keep the government open through the fall and funded at the bipartisan level already agreed to by both parties as we work on the way forward."
Yet, Toomey joined the fringe.
Moderate Republicans like Kelly Ayotte have become frustrated with Toomey’s fringe wing of the party’s attempts to shut down the government to defund Planned Parenthood tweeting, "[i]t's time to quit the games. I came here to solve problems & that means we need to address this issue."
Unfortunately, this is nothing new from Toomey. In 2013, he was part of a small group of 19 fringe Senators who voted to shut down the government because the continuing resolution didn’t defund the Affordable Care Act.
That shutdown "meant 6.6 million days of lost work, $2 billion in back pay for 850,000 federal employees who did no work and 120,000 private-sector jobs gone," as reported by the Washington Post.
Time and again, Toomey has shown that he is willing to put his hyperpartisan ideology over the basic responsibility of funding the government-- even as so many of his Republican colleagues join with Democrats in keeping the government open.