Thursday, April 13, 2017

No, The Republicans Are NOT A Governing Party... And Trump Has Made The Situation Untenable


This week, the Conservative Review editors ranked the top 25 conservatives in Congress and-- the bottom 25, a list they call the 25 Top RINOs. Their 10 most conservative picks all have scores between 92 and 100. Everybody gets an A:
Mark Meadows (R-NC)
Mike Lee (R-UT)
Thomas Massie (R-KY)
Justin Amash (R-MI)
Ted Cruz (R-TX)
Jim Jordan (R-OH)
Dave Brat (R-VA)
Rand Paul (R-KY)
Louie Gohmert (R-TX)
Jeff Duncan (R-SC)
Trump has, literally, gotten into fights with most of them and almost all on policy questions he doesn't have any comprehension of. The Top RINO's are all scored "F" by the editors. The truculent and completely incoherent Trump has, of course, fought with many of them as well.
John McCain (R-AZ)
Paul Ryan (R-WI)
Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Susan Collins (R-ME)
Mike Simpson (R-ID)
Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)
Now Republicans in the House are facing a up to an existential career threat as the 2018 midterms approach. Trump isn't popular outside his base. His agenda isn't popular at all. Congressional Republicans are being blamed for the chaos and legislative anomie. And it gets worse. Scott Wong at The Hill: "Some Capitol Hill Republicans have envisioned the nightmare scenario for 2017, and it goes like this: No ­ObamaCare repeal. No tax reform. No trillion-dollar infrastructure package. No border wall. It’s a striking change from the period after Election Day, when GOP leaders vowed that the new unified Republican government would 'go big, go bold' and deliver for the American people." Now most of the American people just want them to go home. And if Republicans in House districts shed over 20 points in 2018 elections the way the GOP did Tuesday night in the KS-04 special election, we're looking at between 120 and 150 fewer Republicans in the House. Books will be written about it-- for decades.
GOP infighting during last month’s healthcare collapse may have poisoned the well for future big-ticket legislative deals.

“I don’t see how you put a coalition together to deal with tax reform,” said one House Republican who is close to Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and his leadership team. “Unless we can bridge this divide and get a win on the board, I don’t know how we pull the other things together, all the other big things we gotta do.” ...And the recriminations among Republicans only seem to be getting nastier.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), the head of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, “is a pathological liar who isn’t interested in getting to yes,” one House GOP colleague of Meadows told The Hill in a fit of frustration over the stalled health negotiations.

But Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho), a fellow Freedom Caucus leader, defended Meadows as “a man of great integrity.” “When members of Congress resort to personal attacks while hiding behind anonymity,” Labrador said, “it’s usually because their position is weak in the first place and they are getting heat back home for not keeping the promises that they made to their constituents.”

At a town hall in Cedar Springs, Mich., GOP Rep. Justin Amash, another Meadows ally, hurled blame at the feet of Ryan: Republicans need “either a change in direction from this Speaker, or we need a new Speaker.”

“I don’t know that the Lord himself could unite our caucus,” veteran Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID) told the Associated Press.

Late last month, when Ryan realized he was short of the votes and yanked the health insurance bill off the floor, he and Trump insisted they were moving on to tax reform.

But within days, they had returned to the healthcare legislation.

In part, it’s because passing the ­ObamaCare repeal-and replace-bill smooths the path for tax reform, something Ryan and many other congressional leaders have emphasized to members. Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s budget director and a top health negotiator, has been explicit about the need to pass a health bill, telling RealClearPolitics it’s the “linchpin” of Trump’s entire legislative agenda.

...Ryan has argued that tax reform will be an easier lift than healthcare because Republicans are more unified around the idea of fixing the outdated U.S. tax code.

But even some of Ryan’s closest allies in Congress dispute his assessment.

“I have a lot of respect for the Speaker, but I don’t see it that way,” longtime Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), a senior appropriator, said in a phone interview.

“There is a lot of resistance” to Ryan’s proposal known as the border-adjustment plan, which would impose a 20 percent tax on imports.

The idea, as of now, is for Republicans to tackle tax reform using the budget reconciliation process, which would allow them to avoid mustering 60 votes to break a filibuster.

But Cole argued that that process imposes constraints-- specifically, a bill passed under reconciliation cannot hike the budget deficit after 10 years-- and could lead to the same intraparty warfare that thwarted the ­ObamaCare repeal bill.

“Since we weren’t able to do healthcare reform by reconciliation, why would we be able to do tax reform by reconciliation? It’s really difficult,” said Cole, who added that Republicans should focus on more basic government functions.

“We can still get some things done,” he said, “but we need to get the government funded, think about how to deal with the debt ceiling and begin negotiations” on fiscal 2018 appropriation bills.

It’s no secret how much Ryan despises stopgap or catch-all omnibus spending bills, but the former Budget Committee chairman will have to shepherd one through the House anyway at the end of the month.

Lawmakers need to pass a spending bill by April 28 to avert a government shutdown. They’ll have just three full legislative days to act, given that the House isn’t scheduled to return from its recess until April 25.

Going big? Uh... no. And Trump's getting antsy for some "wins," the only metric he has ever cared about. He's starting tomato noises about the wall again, something a significant number of Republicans-- and presumably all the Democrats-- are not eager to waste trillions of dollars on, no matter how they feel about immigration. Yesterday Bloomberg was already writing that Ryan's tenure is in jeopardy again, not because he's going to be replaced by Pelosi after the midterms but because Trump has lost faith in him faster than a contestant on The Apprentice. Anna Edgerton: "The abrupt death of the repeal effort, its short-lived rebirth and then a pause for a two-week recess has left Republicans adrift-- unclear where their long-promised repeal effort stands, whether Ryan will reassert himself in the House and what President Donald Trump will demand of them next."
The challenge for Ryan as part of a unified Republican government is how to handle an administration that has a bold but vague agenda and narrow legislative experience. Unrealistic White House demands risk derailing the year’s legislative agenda and undermining Ryan’s leadership in the House.

But it’s hard to say no to the president of your own party. And if Ryan pushes back too much, he risks getting cut out of the process.

...The mixed signals coming from the White House have made Ryan’s job even harder. On the day the House scrapped its planned vote on the health-care bill, Trump said it was time to move on. “Now we’re going to go for tax reform, which I’ve always liked,” he told reporters.

Days later, his aides were talking to conservatives about reviving the health-care bill.

...GOP leaders are a facing a growing outcry from their party over how they and the Trump administration have handled the health-care bill. Ryan kept the bill secret for weeks, and then released it 17 days before a planned vote, with no hearings and no amendments. Later, changes to the measure were negotiated behind closed doors, with an amendment accepted late last week in an unusual meeting of the House Rules Committee.

“When the most powerful committee in Washington is the Rules Committee, that is a flawed process,” said Jim Renacci, a Republican from Ohio and a member of the Ways and Means Committee. “The process has to be reinstated of hearings, and having discussion and having amendments, then you have a product that’s totally vetted before it gets to the floor.”

Still, many legislators in both chambers say Ryan is doing the best he can with difficult divisions in his party and an unconventional president with little tolerance for the slow pace of legislating.

  “Anybody serving as speaker would have the same challenge,” Representative Bill Flores, a Republican from Texas, said. “I think he’s done better than anyone else I can think of.”
Pelosi. And it looks very likely that she'll get to show them again in less than 2 years.

The GOP believed it's own hype



At 7:10 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

The Republicans have no clue how to govern. They have no clue how to integrate the base supporting Trump - the "populists" - with traditional party positions. Why? Because it is impossible! Just look at health care. How can you make a plan "better" than Obama's when that would mean more health coverage and government backing, when actually the Republicans hate any government involvement and want to get rid of it? Totally contradictory, hello! And what about cutting taxes for the rich? That is not throwing the bums out of Washington, which the "populists" scream about, it is enabling them and bringing more swamp monsters in!

Now that they are in power, the ludicrousness of their baloney is in full sight. The deplorables were duped, there is no other way to look at it. They went Republican against their own interests, viewing Trump as a hero when he is anything but. He is a contradictory mess who only cares about himself - he is all about adoration and greed. He is not complicated, he is simply an evil, dangerous, ignorant asshole. He swings from one position to the opposite within days. His words and promises are hollow and he cannot be counted on for anything. It is all about what is in it for him in the moment. He has no perception of reality, responsibility or consequences. As for the Republicans, they are far worse than the Democrats, in terms of the "swamp". They live in the swamp, they wallow in the swamp. The Democrats are in the swamp up to their knees, but it is still possible for them to get out.

This complete disaster reflects, unfortunately, the stupidity of many Americans and the complacency we have been living in for decades. Everything is suddenly falling apart - actually, it has been a long slide into this abyss. Democracy must be upheld, not assumed and taken for granted. The Democrats have been complicit in its decline, whereas most Republicans don't seem to care about democracy very much. They are willing to destroy our government and our country for their own interests.

At 7:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Correct. Rs don't govern. They bitch and whine. And say no.

But the democraps don't do much better. When last they had both chambers, their contributions were few and far between and almost without exception served the interests of corporations over people. ACA is a corporate bailout and slow-motion ass raping of people. Dodd-Frank is a tepid pretense of reining in future bank crimes... but includes the CFPB which took the place of the entire DOJ and slapped Wells Fargo's hand over their millions of felonies.
LGBT? Pelosi's house didn't do shit
war? Pelosi's house was supportive
inequality? net neutrality? 4th amendment? ELECTION FRAUD? Pelosi's house was/is mute, letting corporations, the DNC (and maybe Russia) do pretty much what they want.

Yes, we have to rid ourselves of republicans and their twisted, extremist form of "conservatism". It's a caustic, toxic, hateful and eventually a lethal affectation on humanity.

But before we can ever make any real progress, we must also excise our politics of the democrap party and its own caustic corrupt warmongering and eventually lethal affectation on humanity.

The democraps are as anathema to the purposes of western democracies as are republicans.

At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Recent high estimates of the Great Wall of Herr Hair was $25-40 billion. Certainly this is a lot of money to waste on what, essentially, is another of the patented, if endless, USA crimes against humanity.***

These cost figures are 2.5-4% of a $trillion. So to suggest, as above, that it would cost $trillionS, plural, is a bit much, no? ($25B) ($40B)

THE true, annual $trillion expenditure is the dynamic BIPARTISAN policy duo of
1) perpetual war to make perpetual enemies to justify perpetual war for .... quasi-infinite regression, plus 2) the comprehensive, bigly exceptional "STASI USA" domestic spying conglomerate.

Why not identify and hammer THAT !?!?!

John Puma

*** USA political, economic & war policy MAKES the refugees ALL around the world.


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