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A Complete Timeline Of Republican Obstructionism On Budget Negotiations They Are Now Demanding (Part 1)

[ Posted Wednesday, October 9th, 2013 – 17:56 PDT ]

Republicans are unnervingly adept at convincing large swaths of the public that up is down, or that night is, in fact, day. They are attempting this right now, on a grand scale. "Why won't President Obama and Democrats just negotiate with us?" they bewail. They're hoping that the public (and the media which is supposed to inform the public) has absolutely no memory of what has taken place all year long, as they have blocked -- over and over again -- exactly the budget negotiations they are now screaming for.

So, as a public service, I'd like to trace the history of the Republican Party when it comes to budget negotiations. In a nutshell, if you don't have time to read all the clips below, the Republican Party has been howling for years that Congress should follow the "regular order" when it comes to passing budgets. This regular order is: House passes budget. Senate passes budget. Conference committee hashes out compromise budget. House and Senate pass compromise budget. President signs budget.

That's what they've been demanding. For years. Remember their "clock" showing how long it had been since the Senate passed a budget? This year, however, both the House and the Senate did actually pass budget bills. The Republicans immediately pivoted to demanding that any conference committee would be bound by the chains of Republican demands -- before they even met. In the House, this took the form of demanding certain subjects be put "off the table" so the conference committee couldn't even consider things like tax increases. In the Senate, every time Harry Reid tried to name conference committee members, it was blocked. Alex Seitz-Wald at the National Journal just put all 19 times Senate Republicans did so into a handy list (which is the following timeline's source for Senate data).

For both the general public's education and for the mainstream media (who apparently have problems remembering anything past last Tuesday), here is the history of the budget negotiations, and the shifting Republican position on even holding discussions with the other side. They've come full circle in one year -- going from demanding "regular order," to blocking regular order with every tactic they can bring to bear, and then returning at the last minute to demanding regular order again (as long as they can dictate the terms of the negotiation). Because of the sheer volume of stunning hypocrisy from Republicans on the issue, this timeline will be presented in two parts. Today we'll cover January through May, and then we'll bring the timeline up to the present tomorrow.

[Note: these articles were retrieved from a site with a paywall, apologies for not providing links.]

 

January

In early January, Majority Leader Harry Reid reportedly considers forcing changes in filibuster rules to do away with the possibility of filibustering a motion to move a bill to conference committee and name the members. He decides not to push the issue. If he had insisted on it, much of the following would never have happened.

 

February

February 13 -- Christian Science Monitor, "Obama urges a budget without brinkmanship. But can Congress stop the insanity?"

[Rep. Tom Price (R) of Georgia urges a return to the regular order of Congress:]

But if Washington could get back to moving a budget (which both chambers have agreed to do this year), the fiscal fighting could be packed back into a more orderly and, hopefully, productive process.

"Conversations are fine," said Congressman Price, referring to the primacy of negotiations handled by the White House and congressional leadership in recent fiscal deals, "but nowhere in the rules of the House is the word 'conversation' used, I don't believe. There are processes that are in place that allow us to solve the challenges that we have in a deliberative way, in an open way, in a transparent way, and it is the processes of governing and legislating through the House and the Senate."

 

February 17 -- Washington Post, "Committee chairs seek to reassert power in Congress"

The overarching demand is for "regular order," which is congressional speak for how things are supposed to work -- at least how things used to work. Their hopes are straight out of the old Schoolhouse Rock "I'm Just a Bill" anthem, where bills start in subcommittees and move to full committees and competing versions are passed by each chamber, leading to a conference committee to iron out the differences. A final version gets approved and sent to the president for his signature.

That process, already withering away over the past decade, broke down completely in the 112th Congress. Senior aides could not point to a single significant bill introduced in the past two years that moved along those old procedural tracks.

 

March

March 7 -- Washington Post, "Committee chairs hold the keys to budget deal"

After two years of anxious, high-wire negotiations over the federal budget, an exhausted Washington is about to hand the mess back over to the experts: the chairmen of the House and Senate Budget committees.

In the next few weeks, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) will roll out competing proposals for taming the national debt. If lightning strikes, both sides hold out hope that a Ryan-Murray conference committee could become the forum for litigating the partisan dispute over taxes and spending.

Especially if President Obama makes headway in his new outreach campaign to Republicans, a Ryan-Murray summit could produce the big deal that would let Congress avoid another nasty fight over the federal debt limit, which is once again looming in August.

"This whole thing will come to a crescendo this summer, and we're going to have to talk to each other to get an agreement about how to delay a debt crisis," Ryan said Wednesday, adding that the need to raise the debt limit should give both parties incentive to cut a deal.

 

March 13 -- Washington Post, "Ryan sets stage for a budget deal"

[As committee chairs Paul Ryan and Patty Murray roll out their budget plans, President Obama holds a strategy meeting at the White House with Senate Democrats, in which he calls for a conference committee:]

While the White House issued a statement criticizing Ryan's blueprint as "the wrong course for America," Obama told Senate Democrats to expect a months-long debate over fiscal issues that will begin in earnest only after each chamber has approved its own partisan vision for improving the economy and shrinking the national debt.

"The best course now is to let the budgets go, get them into [a] conference [committee] and try to reconcile the two," Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.) said the president advised senators during the closed-door meeting.

 

March 23 -- Senate passes first budget in four years. After the House passes its budget, regular order dictates that both chambers name members of a conference committee to resolve the difference.

 

April

April 11 -- Christian Science Monitor, "GOP's Rep. Dave Camp envisions inclusive path to a fiscal 'bargain' "

On Wednesday, Representative Ryan and Senator Murray issued a joint statement calling for a conference committee on the House and Senate budget resolutions.

Considering that Ryan's budget balanced in 10 years and featured no tax increases while Murray's included nearly $1 trillion in new taxes and never balanced, many figured the budget process had run its political and ultimately irreconcilable course. Instead, Ryan and Murray appear to be trying to use the regular order to forge a compromise.

 

April 17 -- Washington Post, "Ryan: No plans for budget-deal compromise"

[It takes Ryan less than a week to completely reverse his position on holding a conference committee.]

House Republicans have no plans to appoint a conference committee to hammer out a budget deal with Senate Democrats, Rep. Paul Ryan said Tuesday, arguing that the move is pointless unless private talks bring the two sides closer to agreement.

"What we want to do is have constructive dialogues to find out where the common ground is and then go to conference when we have a realistic chance of actually coming out with an agreement," said Ryan (R-Wis.), who chairs the House Budget Committee.

Noting that he met last week with Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), his counterpart in the Senate, Ryan said: "We're going to keep talking and we're going to keep meeting, and that's our plan."

Democrats quickly accused Ryan of hypocrisy, noting that he and other Republicans have for months criticized President Obama for negotiating "backroom deals" with congressional leaders over tax and spending policies. Republicans passed their own spending plan in March and then badgered Senate Democrats to adopt their first budget blueprint since 2009 so Congress could return to the more transparent legislative process to reconcile their fiscal differences, a process known as "regular order."

"We have had the Republicans yelling, screaming, sometimes violently, to have regular order," Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters. "Does [Ryan] want regular order? Obviously not."

This is the new House Republican position: there has to be a deal before we begin talking. That way, we can dictate what the conference committee can actually talk about before it even meets.

 

April 23 -- Harry Reid requests unanimous consent for naming a conference committee on the budget. Senator Toomey blocks this request.

 

April 24 -- Washington Times, "Meeting on budget will have to wait; inaction by GOP riles Democrats"

After several years of complaining that Congress didn't have a budget, Republicans are now the ones holding up the 2014 budget process.

Both the GOP-led House and Democrat-controlled Senate have passed plans, but House Speaker John A. Boehner seems in no hurry to create the official conference committee that would hammer out differences.

Democrats, tired of taking fire for their budget record, are on the offensive, with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid trying to jump-start final budget negotiations Tuesday. He took to the Senate floor and made a motion to formally set up the Senate budget negotiating team, but the GOP blocked it.

"Republicans are afraid to even be seen considering a compromise with Democrats," Mr. Reid, Nevada Democrat, said.

But top Republicans in both chambers said they wanted to hold informal talks first to see what kind of final budget deal is possible.

"Typically when you go to conference, you have a sense that there's an agreement possible," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said. "Certainly, there ought to be discussions between Senate and House budget leaders, but to go to conference right now when we have no sense of whether there's any chance of getting an outcome strikes us as not making much sense."

 

May

May 5 -- New York Times, "The House Prefers Chaos to Order"

''Regular order!'' That has been the demand of House Republicans for three years, insisting on a return to the distant days when Congress actually passed budget resolutions and spending bills, instead of paying for the government through shortsighted stopgap measures.

''Senate Democrats have done nothing,'' Speaker John Boehner said on ''Meet the Press'' on March 3, referring to the Senate's failure to pass a budget since 2009. ''It's time for them to vote. It's time for us to get back to regular order here in Congress.'' The two chambers could try to resolve their differences in a conference committee, he said, ''and maybe come to some agreement.''

But a funny thing happened a few days after those comments were made: the Senate agreed to that demand and actually passed a budget. Suddenly all those Republican cries for regular order stopped. Suddenly the House has no interest in a conference with the Senate. Instead, Congress is preparing for yet another budget crisis.

A few days ago, when Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, tried to appoint members of a conference committee, Republicans refused to allow it, saying it would cause ''complications for the House.'' As Senator Jeff Sessions, the leading Republican on the Budget Committee, explained it, ''We haven't been able to have any understanding on how this conference might work.''

In fact, Republicans know exactly how it would work: they would have to compromise.

. . .

House leaders are stalling by insisting on a ''preconference,'' which Patty Murray, the Senate budget chairwoman, has resisted. Clearly, what is frustrating Republicans is that they do not have an imminent crisis to exploit to get their way. Since 2011, they have repeatedly relied on the threat of a government shutdown, or a possible credit default, to force damaging spending cuts. (That is how the sequester was created.)

Even now, they are discussing using the debt-ceiling expiration, later this summer or fall, to extort corporation-friendly changes to the tax code that raise no revenue. And this week they are bringing up a dangerous bill that would pay private bondholders in the event of a default.

The demands for regular order were hollow and dishonest. The only way House Republicans can achieve their extremist agenda is not through preserving order, but by causing chaos.

 

May 6 -- Majority Leader Harry Reid requests unanimous consent for naming a conference committee on the budget. Senator Cruz blocks this request.

May 7 -- Senator Murray requests unanimous consent for naming a conference committee on the budget. Senator McConnell blocks this request.

May 8 -- Senator Warner requests unanimous consent for naming a conference committee on the budget. Senator McConnell blocks this request.

 

May 8 -- Washington Post, "Budget squabbles"

The juvenile delinquency wasn't terribly surprising, given what happened Monday on the Senate floor. When Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) attempted to name conferees to work out a budget deal with the House, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) objected. Reid said Cruz was acting like "the schoolyard bully."

"I wasn't aware we were in a schoolyard," Cruz replied.

Valid point: In a schoolyard, adults are sometimes present.

Murray picked up the theme on Tuesday. "In a 'regular order' world," she said, "we would begin to sit down in an open, transparent way and work toward a compromise. But unfortunately at this point the Republicans are objecting."

Ryan, up next, said that he would prefer to work things out on the side. "We don't want to go to conference just for the sake of going to conference," he explained. Never mind that he had demanded for years that the Senate produce a budget so they could have just such a conference.

 

May 9 -- Senator Murray requests unanimous consent for naming a conference committee on the budget. Senator McConnell blocks this request.

 

May 13 -- New York Times, "Who Can Take Republicans Seriously?"

Senate and House Republicans are refusing to meet with Democrats to negotiate over the budgets passed by each chamber. Four times in the last two weeks, Senate leaders have proposed beginning a conference committee to hash out a federal budget; four times they have been blocked by Republicans. The Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas said they were afraid the committee might reach an agreement to raise both taxes on the rich and the debt ceiling, which are, of course, the Democrats' stated goals. Knowing that their positions would be deeply unpopular among the public if their stubbornness were exposed in an open committee, Republicans would simply prefer not to talk at all.

Instead of negotiation, Republicans cling to their strategy of extorting budget demands by threatening not to raise the debt ceiling. On Thursday, the House passed a stunningly dangerous bill that would allow foreign and domestic bondholders to be paid if Republicans forced a government default, while cutting off all other government payments except Social Security benefits. The bill has no possibility of becoming law, but its passage was a deliberate thumb in the eye to Mr. Obama, business leaders and those who say the debt ceiling should not be used for political leverage.

Republican lawmakers have become reflexive in rejecting every extended hand from the administration, even if the ideas were ones that they themselves once welcomed. Under the circumstances, Mr. Obama would be best advised to stop making peace offerings. Only when the Republican Party feels public pressure to become a serious partner can the real work of governing begin.

 

May 14 -- Senator Warner requests unanimous consent for naming a conference committee on the budget. Senator McConnell blocks this request.

May 15 -- Senator Wyden requests unanimous consent for naming a conference committee on the budget. Senator McConnell blocks this request.

May 16 -- Senator Murray requests unanimous consent for naming a conference committee on the budget. Senator Lee blocks this request.

May 21 -- Senator Murray requests unanimous consent for naming a conference committee on the budget. Senator Paul blocks this request.

May 22 -- Senator Kaine requests unanimous consent for naming a conference committee on the budget. Senator Rubio blocks this request.

May 23 -- Senator McCaskill requests unanimous consent for naming a conference committee on the budget. Senator Lee blocks this request.

 

May 23 -- Washington Times, "Conservatives propose balanced budget, higher debt limit"

The House and Senate have made no progress in hammering out their differences. In fact, they can't even agree to start the conference committee that would be tasked with negotiating.

Senate Democrats have tried repeatedly over the past few weeks to initiate the conference. They have been blocked by Republicans who say they first want assurances on taxes and debt.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, said conferences are how these issues are supposed to be worked out and that it made no sense to try to tie negotiators' hands ahead of time. He also said Republicans will have an equal say in the conference because they control the House.

"Do Senate Republicans not trust their House Republican colleagues to hold the line on their priorities?" Mr. Reid said.

Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, said that is exactly the problem.

 

May 25 -- New York Times, "Budget Dispute Deepens a Rift Within G.O.P."

In full view of C-Span cameras trained on the floor this week, Senators John McCain of Arizona and Susan Collins of Maine jousted with a new generation of conservatives -- Marco Rubio of Florida, Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky -- over the party's refusal to allow the Senate to open budget talks with the House despite Senate Republicans' long call for Democrats to produce a budget.

It was the Old Guard versus the Tea Party, but with real ramifications, as Congress careens toward another debt limit and spending crisis this fall with seemingly no one at the steering wheel. The newer members say negotiations should go forward only with a binding precondition that a budget deal cannot raise the government's statutory borrowing limit.

. . .

Republicans made the failure of Senate Democrats to pass a budget a central talking point in the 2012 campaign, going so far this year as to pass legislation withholding Congressional pay if budgets were not approved this spring. Now, some Republicans say the fact that members of their own party are standing in the way of a House-Senate conference committee undermines their fiscal message.

''This to me is an issue of integrity,'' said Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee. ''We've pressed for a budget. We ought to go to conference.''

But the budget hawks have not budged, and they have even taken aim at their party in strikingly critical language.

''Here is the dirty little secret about some of those on the right side of the aisle,'' Mr. Cruz said of his fellow Republicans. ''There are some who would very much like to cast a symbolic vote against raising the debt ceiling and nonetheless allow our friends on the left side of the aisle to raise the debt ceiling. That, to some Republicans, is the ideal outcome.''

Mr. McCain called the demands of his Republican colleagues ''absolutely out of line and unprecedented.'' The Senate passed the budget before dawn on March 23 after a grueling all-night session, he noted, saying it was time to try to reach a final deal with the House in a negotiating conference.

''Will this deliberative body, whether it is the greatest in the world or the worst in the world, go ahead and decide on this issue, so we can at least tell the American people we are going to do what we haven't done for four years and what every family in America sooner or later has to do -- and that is to have a budget?'' he asked. Although few of Mr. McCain's colleagues took to the floor to join him, many have expressed similar views.

Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, a member of the Republican leadership, said that at this point, resistance had to give.

''I suspect senators have held back long enough on the decision to go to conference,'' he said.

. . .

''They could create crisis by having a government shutdown or holding everything back until November and threatening a debt default. That would be to their political detriment,'' [Senator Patty] Murray said. ''I think the American people have had it with that kind of hostage-taking.''

But Mr. Rubio said that he was not about to give in, and that a single senator might have the power to hold back negotiations indefinitely. ''I'm not sure this is an issue I can ever change my opinion on,'' he said.

Unfortunately, Senator Blunt was wrong and Senator Murray was right in predicting how Republicans in Congress would act (or refuse to). But since this has gone on long enough for one day's column, you'll have to wait until tomorrow for the conclusion of this definitive history of Republican obstructionism on budget negotiations which they are now demanding as ransom. I will post a link to the second part of this timeline here for easy reference, when tomorrow's article is published.

 

[Note: The second half of this article has now been published.]

-- Chris Weigant

 

Cross-posted at The Huffington Post

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

50 Comments on “A Complete Timeline Of Republican Obstructionism On Budget Negotiations They Are Now Demanding (Part 1)”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    Thank-you for all of your hard work - always! - but, especially for providing this timeline. You personify what it means to provide a public service.

    I haven't read this entire post yet but I will, knowing that it will represent the gold standard, as your columns always do.

    Thanks again!

  2. [2] 
    Michale wrote:

    Not wanting to minimize or pooh pooh all the hard work in research you have done, CW..

    It reminds me of a writing style that authors sometimes use, mostly in science fiction to make their books and movies more believable..

    What they do is preface the start of their stories with real world headlines or use real world events sprinkled throughout the story. They pick and choose headlines that moves their stories along.

    For example, in the movie CONTACT, you have President Clinton making a real speech about a momentous event in human history and the writers use that speech to move their sci fi story along.

    It has been done a couple times recently with President Obama, though I can't recall the specific movies..

    That's the feeling I get when I read your commentary.

    You have to admit. If someone were so inclined and had your vast knowledge, they could pick and choose monthly events that would prove, beyond any doubt, that it's the Democrats who are completely and unequivocally at fault here...

    Of course, we all know that such picking and choosing wouldn't tell the WHOLE story, right?? That there ARE always (well, mostly always) multiple sides to every issue or event..

    The fact is that BOTH Partys are at fault for not working this out.

    But, in the here and now, it's within the Democrats power to end this by giving the American people the same break they gave their corporate cronies...

    Of course, it IS true that it's ALSO within the Republicans power to end this by capitulating and surrendering to the will of the Democrat Party.

    BUT....

    Of the two, which option is better for the American people.

    Obviously, it would be better for the American people, especially the middle class, if the Democrats were to give in..

    Granted, that might not be good for the Democratic Party..

    But, I have to ask..

    Where's the priority here??

    More importantly, where SHOULD the priority be??

    Michale

  3. [3] 
    akadjian wrote:

    CW-

    This is unbelievable! This should be in every newspaper in the country. Too bad the corporate news would never print it.

    Reposting immediately!

    -David

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    This is unbelievable! This should be in every newspaper in the country. Too bad the corporate news would never print it.

    Remember when I asked you to watch that movie UNTHINKABLE??

    Remember what your beef was with it??

    I'm just sayin'.... :D

    Michale

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ya'all might want to rethink who is being blamed.. :D

    http://www.campusreform.org/?ID=5147

    I mean, if young people at a decidedly liberal campus are putting the blame on Obama and the Democrats, you KNOW that trouble is afoot...

    Michale

  6. [6] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Ummm ... Campus Reform is an organization dedicated to providing resources for young conservative students.

    It looks kind of like Fox News for kids.

    In other words, I'm sure they're getting an objective view! :)

    -David

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ummm ... Campus Reform is an organization dedicated to providing resources for young conservative students.

    That's simply the website that is putting out the video..

    The campus is one of the most uber-liberal campuses in the country...

    I know, I know.. If it doesn't fit the model it MUST be wrong or biased, right?? :D

    Again, you're talking opinion-based "facts", not fact-based opinions...

    Michale

  8. [8] 
    akadjian wrote:

    That's simply the website that is putting out the video.

    I'm sure they interviewed a "fair and balanced" representative sample of college students!

    -David

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    I'm sure they interviewed a "fair and balanced" representative sample of college students!

    What are you saying??

    That students at an uber liberal college are too stoopid to recognize political propoganda??

    Further, from the video, all the guy is asking is "Who do you think shut down the government?"

    Doesn't seem that there is any co-ercion or hidden meaning..

    Do you honestly believe that everyone in the country believes that Republicans are to blame??

    Is it not possible that there are people in this country who sincerely believe that Democrats are too blame??

    That's the problem with demonizing people just because they believe differently..

    It makes it IMPOSSIBLE to find common ground..

    Michale

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's being reported that Boehner will allow a short term debt ceiling increase..

    I guess Boehner is going to call Obama's bluff about sitting down to negotiate..

    Time will tell if it's simply another BS story from Obama...

    Ball's in your court, Obama.

    Put up or, for the gods sake, shut up!!

    Michale

  11. [11] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Do you honestly believe that everyone in the country believes that Republicans are to blame?

    Do you honestly believe "Campus Reform" showed all of the students they interviewed?

    Sorry, Michale, but I can pretty much tell you what anything Campus Reform puts together is going to say or support.

    -David

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    Do you honestly believe "Campus Reform" showed all of the students they interviewed?

    Of course not..

    But you have to admit, it's definitely interesting.

    It would be like Campus Reform going to Berkeley and having ANYONE say that Obama and the Democrats are at fault...

    Sorry, Michale, but I can pretty much tell you what anything Campus Reform puts together is going to say or support.

    Yea, they are no different than activists on the Left..

    If they had had a strong majority showing of support for Democrats, they would have likely buried the whole report.

    But the interesting thing is that the DIDN'T have a strong showing of Democrat Party support..

    THAT's what makes it an interesting report...

    It would be interesting if the final tally reflects the initial trend...

    Michale

  13. [13] 
    michty6 wrote:

    I would say that whilst this obviously hasn't got any mainstream media attention, I have actually read this in various places. But that's me who loves to read international politics and particularly anything related to finance. The average Joe probably has absolutely no clue that this is what happened. It's pretty shocking (but not surprising in the slightest) that no major media outlet in America dare tell the truth (then the Echo Chamber would rant at them for being 'biased').

    I made my own version of the budget story in a comment on here a few days, I'll replicate it here since it seems relevant ;)

    Democrats = We'd like to meet to begin formal discussions on a CR for the Government.
    Republicans = No, we'd only like to meet 1 week before the budget date. And it's nothing to do with us wanting to take the country hostage, it's because you know we're busy and stuff

    Repeat the above 18 times for every formal Democrat request. Fast forward to 1 week before budget due date

    Democrats = We propose this budget
    Republicans = Your spending is too high, we propose this reduced spending budget
    Democrats = Ok fine. We compromise and accept your reduced spending budget.
    Republicans = Sorry we changed our minds. We now propose a reduced spending budget with an add on that requires Obama to shoot himself in the face.
    Democrats = ???? WTF, what on earth is wrong with you morons. Of course we're not going to accept that...
    Republicans = Ok let's compromise 'we only want him to shoot himself in the stomcach now'.
    Democrats = You guys are out of your mind.
    Republicans = Fine. We'll compromise further. 'We only want him to shoot himself in the foot now'. That's it. We're done.
    Democrats = You've got to be kidding me, just pass the God damn reduced spending bill we negotiated. Heck we'll even run it through the Senate.
    Republicans = OMG I CAN'T BELIEVE OBAMA WON'T NEGOTIATE ON THIS - HE WON'T COMPROMISE! HE IS THE DEVIL, SOCIALIST, EVIL etc etc etc

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    Michty,

    Democrats = We propose this budget
    Republicans = Your spending is too high, we propose this reduced spending budget
    Democrats = Ok fine. We compromise and accept your reduced spending budget.
    Republicans = Sorry we changed our minds. We now propose a reduced spending budget with an add on that requires Obama to shoot himself in the face.
    Democrats = ???? WTF, what on earth is wrong with you morons. Of course we're not going to accept that...
    Republicans = Ok let's compromise 'we only want him to shoot himself in the stomcach now'.
    Democrats = You guys are out of your mind.
    Republicans = Fine. We'll compromise further. 'We only want him to shoot himself in the foot now'. That's it. We're done.
    Democrats = You've got to be kidding me, just pass the God damn reduced spending bill we negotiated. Heck we'll even run it through the Senate.
    Republicans = OMG I CAN'T BELIEVE OBAMA WON'T NEGOTIATE ON THIS - HE WON'T COMPROMISE! HE IS THE DEVIL, SOCIALIST, EVIL etc etc etc

    Isn't that what ya'all advocated that the DEMOCRATS should do???

    So, why is it evil for the Republicans to do, but it's perfectly acceptable for Democrats to do??

    Michale

  15. [15] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Do you honestly believe that everyone in the country believes that Republicans are to blame?

    No. The facts are that most Republicans blame Obama/the Democrats. Many are happy that Government is shut-down. Most Independents and Democrats (i.e. the majority of the country) blame Republicans. Taken together, the majority of the country blames Republicans by a long, long, long way. Every since poll has indicated this. Republicans have a double digit lead in every single poll on blame about what's happening. Approval ratings for the Republican party are at an ALL TIME LOW. The Democrats v Republicans polls show the House would be Democrat (only just - because of gerrymandering a 6 point lead is barely enough) if an election was held tomorrow.

    These are the facts. I know. Michale world is different, Romney won the election, Obama is the devil etc etc. But none of the Echo Chamber nonsense changes any of these facts.

  16. [16] 
    Michale wrote:

    No. The facts are that most Republicans blame Obama/the Democrats.

    And Democrats blame Republicans..

    The facts are probably somewhere in the middle..

    These are the facts. I know.

    No, those are the polls...

    If you accept THAT poll, then you MUST accept the poll that shows Obama's popularity has plummeted to 37%..

    You are not allowed to pick and choose which polls are right and which are not..

    It's against the rules. :D

    Considering *MY* track record of predictions in all this shutdown/obamacare crap, I would say I have called things pretty spot on to date.. :D

    Michale

  17. [17] 
    Paula wrote:

    michty6 (15): Michale strives to present himself as unbiased by insisting that "both sides do it" but then cites various right wing outlets to support his argument de jour. His inability to discern fact from fiction, or refusal to do so, continually undermines his efforts.

    If he is sincere, it's depressing. He brings so much energy and passion to his arguments, but can't muster any genuine clarity, or consistency. He can't recognize that "both sides do it" is a non-argument. Jay Rosen has a great post on this: http://pressthink.org/2013/10/the-production-of-innocence-in-the-reporting-of-american-politics-a-pressthink-analysis/

    If he's insincere, well, he's very good at portraying a person who think accountability only happens to other people, which is one of the central identifying characteristics of today's conservative/pub/libertarian.

    I would be very interested in reading what sort of stuff he would write if he went cold turkey on right wing media. What if Michale started looking at the world through his own eyes, not through the hysterical, hate-filled, "everything-ist" rightwing media lens? His addiction is his weakness, as it is with all his compatriots.

    Addicts excel, above all, at rationalization, which is what his excruciatingly despicable leaders are currently displaying. It's never their fault.

    Chris: excellent timeline, illustrating quite starkly, what a bunch of utterly hypocritical crybabies these republicans are. The problem is that the drunken teenagers have the keys to the car -- they're driving drunk and talking on their cellphones at the same time.

    Obama and the Dems have to get the car to stop -- they, or the big cement wall the car is heading towards.

  18. [18] 
    akadjian wrote:

    The facts are probably somewhere in the middle.

    Except when you look at the facts, they're not.

    What then?

    a) Claim liberal bias
    b) Claim both sides do it
    c) Change the subject
    d) All of the above

    ?

    -David

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    Paula,

    michty6 (15): Michale strives to present himself as unbiased by insisting that "both sides do it" but then cites various right wing outlets to support his argument de jour.

    More often than not, I cite LEFT wing outlets.. :D

    But hay.. I am the epitome for fairness..

    Find an example of a time that I blamed Democrats for doing the same thing as Republicans when, in fact, it wasn't so..

    Just one..

    He can't recognize that "both sides do it" is a non-argument.

    Actually, it IS an argument. It's just not the argument that ya'all WANT to argue..

    It's an argument for the hypocrisy displayed by those who castigate a Republican for X and then give Democrats a pass for doing X even worse...

    This has already been hashed out with SF Bear.. See "Yea, But" defense.. :D

    I would be very interested in reading what sort of stuff he would write if he went cold turkey on right wing media. What if Michale started looking at the world through his own eyes, not through the hysterical, hate-filled, "everything-ist" rightwing media lens? His addiction is his weakness, as it is with all his compatriots.

    Actually, it is all thru my own processing..

    And the fact that 90% of my comments go un-commented on is evidence that no one has the facts to argue the point. :D

    To hear ya'all tell it, Obama and the Democrats are always right all the time and Republicans are always wrong all of the time..

    Ya'all think that and you question MY position???

    Seriously?? :D

    David,

    Except when you look at the facts, they're not.

    Of course they're not...

    See above.. :D

    Michale

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    Basically, ya'alls only defense against my arguments is to call me a liar. :D

    Your *only* evidence to support your claim is that you don't like what the facts show... :D

    Michale

  21. [21] 
    michty6 wrote:

    Michale,
    You are not allowed to pick and choose which polls are right and which are not.....
    Considering *MY* track record of predictions in all this shutdown/obamacare crap, I would say I have called things pretty spot on to date.. :D

    Hahaha that made me laugh. I remember very well your track record with polls, President Romney reminds me every day...

    And of course the Obama 37% approval is acceptable as a data point. As are all approval polls which put his approval rating at 44.1% (according to the RCP aggregate).

    Congressional job approval? 10.5% in the RCP aggregate. LOL. It's very, very, very clear who people are blaming.

    Like I said, those are the facts. I know in Michale-world everyone blames Obama and Romney is going to win in a landslide - but as we've seen before Michale-world and reality are 2 very different places :)

    Paula,
    I would be very interested in reading what sort of stuff he would write if he went cold turkey on right wing media. What if Michale started looking at the world through his own eyes, not through the hysterical, hate-filled, "everything-ist" rightwing media lens? His addiction is his weakness, as it is with all his compatriots.

    This would be amazing. Unfortunately Michale is stuck in Drudge-world but I think if he opened his eyes and stopped reading Drudge he would quickly see what is happening ;)

    I know many people like him. Drudge, Limbaugh (etc) are very, very good at keeping people coming back for more hate. The right-wing propaganda machine is excellent - considerably better than the left-wing one imo.

  22. [22] 
    michty6 wrote:

    I can't believe you guys are going to kick the can 6 weeks down the road. WTF is wrong with your country.

    I think I speak for the rest of the world when I say get your shit together. Seriously this pushing to the cliff and back is beyond a joke. Markets need CERTAINTY. Until you provide it you'll only going to see a shitty recovery.

    For example, spot the point today when Boehner said they were going to increase the debt limit: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/files/2013/10/SPXlasthreedays.png

    The roller-coaster of the stock market, based on whether or not a bunch of lunatic moronic House Republicans decide to avoid economic calamity or dive head first in, over the past few years is an absolute joke...

  23. [23] 
    michty6 wrote:

    I know many people like him. Drudge, Limbaugh (etc) are very, very good at keeping people coming back for more hate. The right-wing propaganda machine is excellent - considerably better than the left-wing one imo.

    On this subject:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Qh3TeTxgNVo

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hahaha that made me laugh. I remember very well your track record with polls, President Romney reminds me every day...

    What part of "with this shutdown issue" did you not understand???

    Congressional job approval? 10.5% in the RCP aggregate. LOL. It's very, very, very clear who people are blaming.

    Congress... Of which the Democrats hold the Senate....

    We'll know in the 2014 midterms who is right and who is wrong..

    However, again, I point to my dead on ballz accuracy with regards to the shutdown... :D

    Michale

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    Here's another prediction that is a virtual lock..

    Obama and the Democrats will HAVE to delay the obamacare mandate..

    IP professionals are stating that Obama's more than half a billion dollar website is so bad, it will likely take many months before all the bugs are ironed out...

    I may be wrong but I don't think that even Obama and the Democrats are stoopid enough to enforce the mandate when the sign up process was such a train wreck..

    I may be wrong. Obama et al just MIGHT be that stoopid..

    But it's likely they are not and there will HAVE to be a delay in the mandate for the American people.

    There WILL be a delay on the mandate for Americans..

    Remember, you heard it here first..

    Michale

  26. [26] 
    michty6 wrote:
  27. [27] 
    michty6 wrote:

    The House Republican plan to extend the debt ceiling for six weeks would permanently ban the Treasury Department from using extraordinary measures to avoid default, congressional aides said.

    The provision would ban practices, used by Democratic and Republican administrations for decades, which have effectively allowed the Treasury to limit investments in pensions and other funds when the government bumps up against its borrowing limit. These steps have extended the time that Treasury can continue borrowing and paying the nation’s bills while Congress debates terms for raising the debt ceiling.

    FFS are they capable of passing ANYTHING that doesn't have a poison pill. WTF is wrong with these morons!?!?

    What they are trying to do is, instead of moving America away from the cliff, build a BIGGER sharper cliff and hide where it is so that it is more likely America goes over the edge.

    Unbelievably moronic.

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    Michty,

    Good article on the pain still to come from the shut-down:

    We're still waiting on the pain you and Obama promised from the Sequestor....

    Your (and Obama's) credibility on alleged "pain" is sorely lacking.. :D

    Michale

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/jay-carney-says-we-dont-need-legislation-to-pay-military-death-benefits/article/2537106

    WOW...

    Senate Democrats pass House legislation to pay military death benefits..

    Obama is against it...

    Once again, is it really smart of the Obama to diss the military like this?

    Especially considering the Left's history with the military??

    Michale

  30. [30] 
    akadjian wrote:

    michty-

    You may be witnessing the fall of America. Brought to you from within. If not this time around, we'll 'eff it up next.

    I think certain people at the top believe they can profit immensely from the resulting chaos. But who knows?

    -David

  31. [31] 
    Michale wrote:

    IP professionals are stating that Obama's more than half a billion dollar website is so bad, it will likely take many months before all the bugs are ironed out...

    grrrrrrr

    IT professionals are stating that Obama's more than half a billion dollar website is so bad, it will likely take many months before all the bugs are ironed out...

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:

    OK Ya'all are right...

    Ya'all are dead on ballz accurate..

    Boehner and all the Republicans are terrorists..

    Of course, this being the case ya'all would have absolutely NO PROBLEM with Obama ordering drone strikes to kill these domestic terrorists....

    Right??

    Do ya'all seriously comprehend how far off the reservation ya'all have gone???

    Michale

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:
  34. [34] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    And the fact that 90% of my comments go un-commented on is evidence that no one has the facts to argue the point. :D

    i would say it is evidence that no one has the patience to sift through that many errors ;)

  35. [35] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Before I get to answering some of these, part 2 is now up on the site. Just wanted to point that out.

    -CW

  36. [36] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    LizM [1] -

    Thanks for the kind words!

    :-)

    Michale [2] -

    OK, while I know what you mean in sci-fi (Heinlein was a fan of this, especially in short stories, and I think Asimov also used it on occasion), this discussion is actually about historical facts.

    OK, as for your second point:

    If someone were so inclined and had your vast knowledge, they could pick and choose monthly events that would prove, beyond any doubt, that it's the Democrats who are completely and unequivocally at fault here.

    Um, no. No, they couldn't. I didn't "pick and choose" anything. I used only hard news sources (no blogs), and even included rightie papers (Washington Times). I tried to balance the number of quotes I included from Dems and GOPers.

    Of course, the quotes themselves are partisan. Of course they are -- they're from politicians. But I did not leave a single relevant article out from the results of my search. I quoted all articles which appeared. No picking and choosing at all. Every one. That's why it's such a long article.

    The facts are the facts. This is a history of those facts. I defy you to challenge even ONE fact listed here. Good luck.

    In fact, I defy you to produce ONE article -- not from a blog, but from actual journalism sources -- that contradicts any of the facts as I've stated them. Like I said, you might be able to come up with Republican partisan quotes spinning things the other way from Democratic partisan quotes, but that's it. The facts are the facts, pal.

    David [3] -

    Spread this as far and as wide as you can. I got the idea after seeing the list of the 19 times, it's kind of an extended version of that list. But I also tried to make it as complete as possible, to live up to the name "definitive list."

    Michale [5] -

    Polling shows the American people are turning on Republicans in droves. Republican Party just hit a new all-time low approval in TWO separate polls -- 24% and 28%. Obamacare approval is up seven points in a month, and disapproval fell one point. Every poll I've seen shows the public blaming Republicans at a much higher rate than either Democrats or Obama.

    And -- the icing on the cake -- Obama's job approval poll numbers are rising, just like I predicted in the last OPW.

    The longer this goes on, the worse it gets for Republicans. Apparently, Boehner has just figured this out, because he seems to be on the brink of caving on the debt ceiling.

    He's going to trumpet to his party that he "forced Obama and the Dems to the table" -- which is hilarious, which my two articles prove.

    Michale [5] -

    Speaking of "picking and choosing"...

    michty6 [13] -

    OK, now that was hilarious! I like the extended version.

    :-)

    michty6 [21] -

    Rasmussen (a righty-leaning polling operation) has had Obama at 50-52 points recently. So that's the other outlier, with the one that put him at 37%.

    michty6 [22] -

    The American public is not being told a big part of this story: that we're going to do this all over again come Thanksgiving (or perhaps Christmas). This part of the story just isn't really getting through, here.

    OK, that's about it for now. Check out part 2 of the article, which brings the timeline up to date.

    -CW

  37. [37] 
    Paula wrote:

    nypoet22 (34): Exactly!

    mchty6 (21): I know many people like him. Drudge, Limbaugh (etc) are very, very good at keeping people coming back for more hate. The right-wing propaganda machine is excellent - considerably better than the left-wing one imo.

    The rightwing machine IS very skilled at selling their misinformation/outright lies cocktails. The left doesn't have a real counterpoint because Netroots/leftwing blogs like DailyKos or outlets like Talking Points Memo aren't in the business of spreading lies. They are counter-voices but they aren't a "left's" version of FOX News or Rush Limbaugh and the rest. They don't hysterically invent nonsense and spew it at cult members.

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    i would say it is evidence that no one has the patience to sift through that many errors ;)

    If that were true, then NONE of my comments would be addressed by ya'all.. :D

    The fact that ya'all address some and not others??

    Well, the only logical conclusion is the ones that go un-addressed are conceded..

    "Silence Gives Assent"

    :D

    Michale

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    OK, while I know what you mean in sci-fi (Heinlein was a fan of this, especially in short stories, and I think Asimov also used it on occasion), this discussion is actually about historical facts.

    You misunderstand. The concept I was referring to ALSO listed historical facts.

    Example...

    Let's say I was writing a book about First Contact.

    To "set the mood", I would quote newspaper articles about actual UFO siteings.

    Historical facts used to set the stage for a fiction book..

    What I am trying to say is that, while your facts are accurate, your conclusion COULD be all wrong.

    And someone could ALSO find historical facts to support the conclusion that this is all the Democrats' fault..

    Um, no. No, they couldn't. I didn't "pick and choose" anything. I used only hard news sources (no blogs), and even included rightie papers (Washington Times). I tried to balance the number of quotes I included from Dems and GOPers.

    What I am saying is that, if someone were so inclined they could do what you did and find quotes and incidents that would make it look like the Democrats were at fault.

    I am sure you would concede that you didn't quote EVERY incident that happened at those given moments..

    In fact, I defy you to produce ONE article -- not from a blog, but from actual journalism sources -- that contradicts any of the facts as I've stated them.

    I might take ya up on that challenge.. :D

    If I don't follow-up then that means I concede the point. See my comment above to David.. :D

    Michale

  40. [40] 
    akadjian wrote:

    If I don't follow-up then that means I concede the point. See my comment above to David.. :D

    That wasn't me, my friend. But I'd agree with Joshua. I have a day job you know. :)

    What I don't understand is that I think you see us as an enemy. An enemy who needs to be countered at every turn using every means possible. Hope I'm wrong here.

    We care about our country as much as you do (which is one of the things I like about you btw - though we disagree). The people who don't care about our country (and I know this because they tell us) are the Ayn Randists. They care only about themselves.

    And someone could ALSO find historical facts to support the conclusion that this is all the Democrats' fault.

    I've looked. I can't find much to make this case. Here and there you find Republicans who seem like they want to get past this. But they are always corralled back in to the extremism. John McCain is a good example. To be honest, I think sooner or later he will renounce the Republican party because of what it's becoming.

    If there was a strong case here though, don't you think conservative outlets would be all over it?

    -David

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    Polling shows the American people are turning on Republicans in droves.

    Are you sure about that?? :D

    http://apnews.myway.com/article/20131011/DA9BQJ1G0.html

    As an aside to YoYo....

    You see my point??

    You can find polls that can "prove" anything you want to prove..

    That's why I never put any stock in polls...

    Michale

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    That wasn't me, my friend. But I'd agree with Joshua.

    Ahhhh, so it was...

    My bust. Apologies to you both.. :D

    I have a day job you know. :)

    Sucks to be you.. :D hehehehehehe J/K

    What I don't understand is that I think you see us as an enemy. An enemy who needs to be countered at every turn using every means possible. Hope I'm wrong here.

    I could ask why ya'all see fellow Americans who just happen to have different political views than you as the "enemy"...

    But, to answer your question, of course I don't view ya'all as the enemy..

    At worst, ya'all are spirited opponents.

    Some more ah... "spirited" than others. :D

    We care about our country as much as you do (which is one of the things I like about you btw - though we disagree). The people who don't care about our country (and I know this because they tell us) are the Ayn Randists. They care only about themselves.

    And they would say the same thing about the Left..

    It's like religion.

    "WE'RE the chosen ones. All others who don't think as we do are heretics and savages"

    I've looked. I can't find much to make this case.

    That's because you are not objective..

    If CW could clue me on on how he does his research to include just media reports rather than blog entries and such, I might take a stab at it...

    If there was a strong case here though, don't you think conservative outlets would be all over it?

    There ARE no conservative outlets... Save FNC.. :D

    Michale

  43. [43] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    The fact that ya'all address some [errors] and not others??

    i can't speak for everyone else, but generally i do relate to some aspects of what you write, even if i don't entirely agree. there's really no point nitpicking every detail you (or others) get wrong along the way. debating minutiae would be a waste of everyone's time, so for brevity's sake i try to stick to "big picture" issues.

    JL

  44. [44] 
    Michale wrote:

    i can't speak for everyone else, but generally i do relate to some aspects of what you write, even if i don't entirely agree. there's really no point nitpicking every detail you (or others) get wrong along the way. debating minutiae would be a waste of everyone's time, so for brevity's sake i try to stick to "big picture" issues.

    Fair enough..

    While (obviously) not referring to you, there are a few Weigantians who love to point out when I get something wrong..

    Ergo, when they are silent, one can only conclude that they concede the point..

    Kinda goes along with what I said a while back.

    When Obama is up and morally, ethically and legally in the right, Weigantians love to argue the points with me.

    When Obama is down or clearly in the wrong??

    Not so much.. :D

    Michale

  45. [45] 
    Michale wrote:

    When Obama is down or clearly in the wrong??

    As evidenced by the fact that no one has addressed Obama's Make-It-Hurt strategy of dealing with the shutdown... :D

    Michale

  46. [46] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Are you sure about that?? :D

    Uh, did you read the article?

    Third paragraph:

    In the midst of the government shutdown and Washington gridlock, the president is faring much better than his party, with large majorities of those surveyed finding little positive to say about Democrats. The negatives are even higher for the Republicans across the board, with 4 out of 5 people describing the GOP as unlikeable and dishonest and not compassionate, refreshing, inspiring or innovative.

    Seems to back up exactly what Chris said. Republicans are being blamed more than Democrats who are both being blamed more than Obama...

  47. [47] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    While (obviously) not referring to you, there are a few Weigantians who love to point out when I get something wrong..

    Try fact checking, or even reading, what you post rather than posting as much as possible. Quality over quantity. Ya, I know, but I can dream can't I?

    Ergo, when they are silent, one can only conclude that they concede the point..

    No, only you can conclude that. You post way too much for anyone or even all of us combined to cover everything. I can only speak for myself but it is rare that silence means that I concede. Usually it just means real life has ended my participation. But if it helps you sleep at night, keep on believing...

  48. [48] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Seems to back up exactly what Chris said. Republicans are being blamed more than Democrats who are both being blamed more than Obama...

    the other reason obama does not concede is because he does not have any political reason to. he is a politician first, and realizes that he (unlike congress) has no forthcoming re-election campaign. since congressional republicans are mainly dragging down themselves, and to a lesser extent congressional democrats, obama probably figures he'll look good in comparison, especially in the long-term when events finally tilt back up.

    i really do feel bad for the tea-partiers, because i think to some extent they really do have a point about the delayed mandate for small businesses (but not individuals). as in most cases and on most issues, their motives may be pure but their methods are batsh*t crazy.

    JL

    p.s. @CW, what do you think it would take for the U.S. to institute a federal citizen initiative process? nationwide protest? laws like the one about not paying california's legislature will never be passed by the legislature itself.

  49. [49] 
    Michale wrote:

    Seems to back up exactly what Chris said. Republicans are being blamed more than Democrats who are both being blamed more than Obama...

    And I can find articles that say, in fact, it's Obama and the Democrats who are at fault..

    But it seems that ya'all only accept facts that support your conclusion and ignore all the facts that dispute the conclusion..

    Come to think of it, ya'all pretty much do that with ANYTHING.. :D

    As I told David earlier..

    It's opinion based "facts" instead of fact based opinions..

    JL,

    i really do feel bad for the tea-partiers, because i think to some extent they really do have a point about the delayed mandate for small businesses (but not individuals).

    THANK YOU!

    FINALLY a little honesty around here!

    It's like manna from heaven!! :D

    Michale

  50. [50] 
    Michale wrote:

    i really do feel bad for the tea-partiers, because i think to some extent they really do have a point about the delayed mandate for small businesses (but not individuals).

    It's actually going to be a moot point..

    The train wreck that is obamacare online will likely take months to fix..

    There is absolutely NO WAY that Obama and the Democrats can enforce the mandate under such shoddy conditions...

    Michale

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