Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The GOP Is Now A Party Burdened With The Stench Of Opportunistic Nihilism


Floridians are getting angry that Rubio is still collecting a salary while he's abandoned his Senate job entirely. The Orlando Sentinel, one of the biggest newspapers in Florida-- a right-wing-leaning paper that endorsed Rubio when he ran for the Senate, yesterday called on him to resign if he doesn't start doing his job again. "Sorry, senator," they wrote yesterday, "but Floridians sent you to Washington to do a job. We've got serious problems with clogged highways, eroding beaches, flat Social Security checks and people who want to shut down the government. If you hate your job, senator, follow the honorable lead of House Speaker John Boehner and resign it." Alan Grayson, who's running for the seat Rubio has abandoned, agrees. "If Senator Rubio does not want to do his job of representing Florida in the Senate, then he should quit. After missing more votes than any other senator this year, Rubio is MIA, in dereliction of duty. Even before he announced his Presidential campaign, Marco Rubio had the worst attendance record in the Senate. Sen. Feinstein, who is 82 years old, missed fewer votes than Rubio. Sen. Kirk, who suffered a devastating stoke, missed fewer votes than Rubio. At a time when Social Security zero COLAs and Medicare payment increases are cheating seniors, when workers are struggling to survive on wages that are less than the cost of living, and when economic inequality is threatening the existence of the American middle class, Floridians have the reasonable expectation that Marco Rubio should show up to work, earn his pay of $14,500 each month, and do his job. Instead of doing his job, however, Marco is conducting a vanity campaign for President. He has missed as many as half of his votes. What kind of employee misses half of his work days, and then expects a promotion? Marco Rubio has already quit on the people of Florida. His resignation simply makes that official. And when he does, I will say good riddance."

Rubio abandoned his committee duties and has left the subcommittees he chairs to rot. No work, no hearings... no nothing. Tuesday he missed the crucial cybersecurity votes. But so did Rand Paul, who didn't even bother showing up for the crucial 7 Senate votes on one of the issues he says he cares about most-- keeping the government from spying on U.S. citizens. Paul is trying to gain some kind of traction the presidential race so he says he'll filibuster the carefully negotiated bipartisan budget bill that passed the House yesterday 266-167. The alternative is another Republican government shutdown.

In the latest polling the ABC/Washington Post national poll, poor Rand has just 3% of the GOP vote and is tied with Chris Christie and Mike Huckabee for 7th place. This week's Loras poll in Iowa shows him at just 1.8%, tied with Chris Christie for 8th place. And both the Clemson Poll and the CBS/YouGov poll shows him at an astonishingly dismal 1% in South Carolina. So, yeah... he's desperate.

And speaking about that House vote yesterday, which was sponsored by Patrick Meehan (R-PA), Tom Reed (R-NY) and Peter Roskam (R-IL), 79 Republicans joined 187 Democrats to pass it. Four of our Blue America candidates are running against GOP extremists who voted no, preferring a government shut down: Cresent Hardy in Nevada, Steve Knight in California, Rod Blum in Iowa and Frank Guinta in New Hampshire. Nevada state Senate Majority Whip Ruben Kikuen, who's running for the seat Hardy disgraces daily, told us "hat he's disappointed by Hardy's reckless vote. "He chose to stand with radical extremists instead of working with mainstream members of his own party on a meaningful solution. He voted against a bill that increased funding for our troops, avoided the U.S. defaulting on our debt and finally provided stability to the millions of federal workers as we lurch from one budget crisis you the next. Hardy and the members who voted against the deal should be ashamed."

Lou Vince, the progressive Democrat running against extremist Steve Knight in the Santa Clarita, Antelope Valley, Simi Valley 25th CD in California, was unsurprised to see Knight's vote for a shutdown. All the neighboring Republican congressmembers voted to pass the budget-- Kevin McCarthy, Paul Cook, Devin Nunes, Jeff Denham, David Valadao, Ken Calvert and Mimi Waters-- but not the ideologically insane Knight. "Yet again, Congressman Knight shows how out of touch he is by voting against this budget deal. He voted for more uncertainty and to ensure we put our nation's economy and the hard-working families of the 25th District at risk by voting against this bipartisan compromise. It's time to end this Knightmare in Washington DC."

All the Blue America House candidates are on the same page-- this one

Congresswoman Donna Edwards-- currently a candidate for the open Maryland Senate seat-- explained the nature of compromise, in which no one gets everything they want. "Today’s bipartisan budget agreement is an important step forward for the country, she explained. "For far too long, the Republican majority has forced the American people to endure one manufactured crisis after another. The Republicans’ failure to govern resulted in devastating budget cuts through sequestration, forcing federal employees to bear the burden of deficit reduction, shutting down the government in 2013, and downgrading the country’s credit rating. While today’s budget deal is not what I would have written, it is the product of Democrats challenging Republicans relentlessly to compromise in order to stop the cycle of crisis and provide a level of certainty to the federal government, the American people, and our economy. Namely, the legislation provides sequestration relief equally to defense and non-defense spending, saves millions of seniors from suffering serious increases in Medicare Part B costs, prevents a 20 percent reduction in Social Security disability benefits for millions of individuals, and ensures the full faith and credit of the United States through March, 2017. This is the type of cooperation the vast majority of the American people expect in Washington. I hope we can continue that effort to finalize the appropriations levels for federal spending for Fiscal Year 2016."

If you'd like to help Donna win this Senate seat, you can do just that at this Blue America ActBlue page.

UPDATE: Tom Guild On Russell's Vote To Shut Down The Government

This morning Oklahoma progressive Democrat, Tom Guild, one of the few congressional candidates with the cajones to have endorsed Bernie Sanders, wrote to his supporters that "If elected, I promise to never vote to shut the government down or refuse to raise the debt ceiling so that America can pay her debts!" That's exactly what his right-wing opponent did yesterday.
My erstwhile opponent, Freshman Tea Partier Rep. Clyde "Steve" Russell (R & Tea Party-OK), should be told, "You're Fired!"  You would think that someone like Mr. Russell, who makes $285,000 in salary and benefits paid for by taxpayers, should at least be able to keep the federal government's lights on and wouldn’t vote against raising the debt ceiling so America can pay her bills.

Yesterday, Mr. Russell voted against a two-year budget deal and for the second time in weeks he irresponsibly voted to shut down the national government. He also voted against raising the debt ceiling, which would bring down America’s economy and inflict massive pain on Americans by creating inestimable damage to our country’s economy.

Just a few weeks ago, Congress narrowly averted a government shutdown by approving a short-term spending bill a few hours before the deadline. If the bill had been voted down, the government would have shut down and turned out the lights. With enormous stakes staring him in the face, Russell irresponsibly voted "no" on keeping the government open and the lights on. Russell voted to shutter the national government.  Russell's job performance is like hiring a lifeguard for your backyard pool, who then drains the pool and goes home before your guests arrive, to spend his fat and unearned pay check.

Russell and his irresponsible Tea Party Colleagues in the U.S. House constantly threaten to burn the house down, by shutting down the national government and refusing to raise the debt ceiling so that our country can pay the bills racked up by Congress. That would leave  Social Security recipients, visitors to national parks, and other hard working Americans who depend on government services, out in the cold. If Russell won’t even vote to keep the government open or forces the United States to default on our bills, he is highly unlikely to accomplish anything useful for those of us who pay his salary.
If you'd like to help Tom win his race, he's on the Bernie Sanders Blue America page with all the candidates who feel the Bern enough to have endorsed the Vermont independent for president.

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