ChrisWeigant.com

A Complete Timeline Of Republican Obstructionism On Budget Negotiations They Are Now Demanding (Part 2)

[ Posted Thursday, October 10th, 2013 – 16:06 PDT ]

This is the second part of a two-part article. The first installment, which covered January to May of 2013, ran yesterday. Normally I'm not daunted by extended column length, but when I searched on "conference committee" in a database of news articles, there was such a wealth of quotes to choose from that even I was forced to decide it was too much for one day.

Today we start in June and bring the timeline of Republican obstructionism on the budget negotiations they are now loudly demanding right up to the present. Both of these articles are provided as a public service, in the hopes that the mainstream media won't continue to completely ignore what happened previously during 2013, when discussing the current situation in Washington.

[Note: these articles were retrieved from a site with a paywall, apologies for not providing links. And, as with yesterday's column, Alex Seitz-Wald at the National Journal put all 19 times Senate Republicans blocked naming a conference committee into a handy list, which this timeline uses as a source for the Senate data.]

 

June

June 4 -- Senator Murray requests unanimous consent for naming a conference committee on the budget. Senator Rubio blocks this request.

June 12 -- Senator Kaine requests unanimous consent for naming a conference committee on the budget. Senator Lee blocks this request.

 

June 13 -- Los Angeles Times, "Boxer's bill takes aim at debt limit"

As Congress readied for a new battle over raising the debt limit, Sen. Barbara Boxer announced legislation that would prevent lawmakers from being paid if they do not increase the nation's borrowing authority.

"It is an American value to pay your bills. It's also an American value to do your job," Boxer (D-Calif.) told reporters Wednesday. "If we as members of Congress refuse to pay the bills we have incurred, we should not be paid our salaries."

Boxer announced the legislation along with the lead House sponsor, Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.). It is modeled on legislation enacted in January that denied salaries to members of Congress if their chamber did not pass an annual budget.

It's unlikely the Republican-controlled House would pass the proposed Pay Your Bills or Lose Your Pay Act given the opposition by many in the GOP to increasing the debt limit.

But the unveiling of the bill helped set the stage for political maneuvering in coming weeks in the contentious debate as Obama administration officials have begun meeting with lawmakers to start working on a deal.

 

June 19 -- Senator Murray requests unanimous consent for naming a conference committee on the budget. Senator Toomey blocks this request.

June 26 -- Senator Murray requests unanimous consent for naming a conference committee on the budget. Senator Cruz blocks this request.

 

July

July 8 -- Christian Science Monitor, "Congress's summer 'to do' list not too taxing. What tops it?"

[After discussing student loans, confirmations, the farm bill, and immigration reform in both the House and the Senate, the article ends:]

What's not on either body's agenda?

Negotiations to fix the ongoing budget impasse, for one.

Although both chambers passed budgets more than three months ago, Republicans are blocking a path to a conference committee that would allow the two chambers to reconcile their considerable budgetary differences. Some of the Senate's most conservative members are blocking the quickest route to naming budget negotiators, in a bid to extract a promise from their colleagues that an increase in the federal debt ceiling won't be allowed to occur in the context of a budget deal. (The US government will likely hit the debt ceiling sometime in October, according to government budget watchers.)

The Senate needs a simple majority -- 51 votes -- to OK the outcome of a budget conference, and that is making Senate conservatives uneasy that their friends in the House may cut a deal they don't like.

With the Senate conservative clique blocking the way, House Republicans have also not pushed to move to conference committee, even as House Democrats put up a slate of lawmakers they would like to send into negotiations with the Senate.

. . .

In short, despite a few bipartisan steps forward, the current Congress is on pace to shatter even last session's record for futility.

 

July 11 -- Senator Murray requests unanimous consent for naming a conference committee on the budget. Senator Rubio blocks this request.

 

July 12 -- New York Times, "In the House, a Refusal to Govern"

On two crucial issues this week, the extremists who dominate the Republican majority in the House of Representatives made it clear how little interest they have in the future prosperity of their country, or its reputation for fairness and decency.

[discussion of immigration and farm bill cut from here]

Few things sum up the attitude of the current crop of Republicans in Washington than their loathing of conference committees. On issue after issue, they have passed radical bills and then refused to negotiate. On Thursday, for example, Senate Republicans refused for the 16th time to allow the Democratic Senate budget to be negotiated with its dangerously stingy counterpart in the House.

. . .

A refusal to even to sit at a bargaining table is another way of refusing to govern. The nation's founders created two chambers for a reason, but Republicans, in their blind fury to harm the least fortunate, are forgetting even those fundamental national values.

 

July 17 -- Senator Murray requests unanimous consent for naming a conference committee on the budget. Senator Lee blocks this request.

 

July 25 -- Washington Post, "Decidedly dysfunctional House pressures Veterans Affairs leaders to be more productive"

[First half of article discusses Veterans Affairs bill, then ends with:]

Citing a report by Brookings and the American Enterprise Institute, my colleague Chris Cillizza wrote last week that "the 112th Congress (2011-2013) got less done than any Congress in more than six decades."

A recent Huffington Post headline also tells the story: "113th Congress on Pace to be Least Productive in Modern History." The article, updated on July 11, said that "the current Congress has had just 15 bills signed into law so far, the fewest in recent history."

That has real ramifications for the government and its staffers, but apparently it's fine with the top man in the House, Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio). "[W] e should not be judged on how many new laws we create," he said on CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday. "We ought to be judged on how many laws that we repeal."

Republicans are even refusing to cooperate on a new budget, which directly affects federal agencies, their workplaces and employees. The Senate and the House have approved separate spending plans, but Republicans refuse to agree to a conference committee that would work out differences in the bills.

"We have called upon the speaker of the House to appoint conferees to negotiate on the budget," Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) told his colleagues Tuesday. "He has refused."

Michael Steel, a spokesman for Boehner, unconvincingly placed the blame for no House conferees on Senate Democrats. The usual practice, he said, is for "the House and Senate Budget committee leaders to come to an agreement on a framework before formally appointing conferees. . . . It is difficult, obviously, to reach such an agreement when the Senate Democrats' budget never, ever balances."

Federal employees, more than the average citizen, know from experience that is more than just another political gambit. No budget means uncertainty - uncertainty for employees and uncertainty for their ability to serve the public.

"By not going to budget conference - let's be clear," Van Hollen said. Republicans "want to take us right up to the cliff of government shutdown in the beginning of October, next fiscal year. They're talking about once again rolling the dice and playing a game of chicken as to whether or not the United States pays its bills on time.

"That is no way for the federal government to conduct itself."

 

August

August 1 -- Senator Durbin requests unanimous consent for naming a conference committee on the budget. Senator Rubio blocks this request.

 

Congress, as usual, then takes the entire month of August off on vacation. After all, it's not like there is any unfinished business with looming deadlines or anything, right?

 

August 3 -- New York Times, "The Girls Of Summer"

Under [Sen. Mitch] McConnell's argument, which he made with approximately the same amount of passion one would use to lace a shoe, the nation would spend August in an uproar about the Senate's failure to live up to the spirit of a crazy deal that was cobbled together two years ago to keep the nation from crashing through the debt ceiling. No one would have the heart to barbecue.

Actually, the commitment Congress is supposed to be following is its own budget plan. The Senate and House each have one. The House version is very austere, and this week the members got a chance to start putting it in action with -- yes! -- a transportation bill. Once they got a look how their principled stand against spending translated into real life, they recoiled in horror and their leaders yanked it off the agenda.

In a normal world, the House and Senate would get together in a conference committee to work out a joint budget deal. This year, the Senate Republicans keep vetoing that. So, on Thursday, just before the senators left for the airport, [Sen. Patty] Murray asked her leadership to once again request a conference.

''They're going to object,'' she predicted. ''And it'll be a guy who'll be saying no, by the way.''

She was right.

 

August 29 -- Washington Post, "As debt limit nears, GOP prepares to pick its battle"

House Speaker John A. Boehner is promising a "whale of a fight" this fall. But a fight over what? That is the $16.7 trillion question as Congress barrels toward another showdown over the federal debt limit.

House Republicans are trying to figure out how to finesse the deadlines looming after lawmakers return to Washington on Sept. 9. Unless Congress acts, the federal government will shut down on Oct. 1 and, according to the Obama administration, the nation will run out of cash to pay its bills in mid-October.

Boehner (R-Ohio) has proposed a short-term budget bill to keep the government open into the new fiscal year with relatively little fuss. But during a speech in Boise, Idaho, on Monday, he said House Republicans will draw a line in the sand over lifting the federal debt limit, demanding spending "cuts and reforms that are greater than the increase in the debt limit."

"I wish I could tell you it was going to be pretty and polite and it would all be finished a month before we'd ever get to the debt ceiling. Sorry - it just doesn't work that way," Boehner said, predicting a repeat of the debt-limit fight of 2011, which tanked consumer confidence, along with the GOP's approval ratings.

"What I'm trying to do here," he said in remarks reported by the Idaho Statesman newspaper, "is to leverage the political process to produce more change than what it would produce if left to its own devices."

What kind of change? Senior Republican aides say it is becoming clear that Boehner will have to launch a concerted assault on the Affordable Care Act, President Obama's signature health-insurance initiative. The Heritage Foundation, the Club for Growth and other conservative groups are demanding a full-on attempt to defund the law, and at least 80 House Republicans have signed on.

GOP leaders are resisting. Instead, talks have focused on options such as delaying the requirement that individuals purchase health insurance, which is set to take effect in January; repealing a new tax on medical devices that helps fund the law; and codifying Obama's decision to delay penalties on employers who fail to offer insurance to workers.

. . .

Of course, a one-year delay in imposing the mandate would save a fraction of that amount [$300 billion over the next decade]. And no mathematical calculation would help with the politics of such a holdup. Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) has called the idea "insane." And White House budget director Sylvia Mathews Burwell last week told Bloomberg TV that the administration is "not interested at all in delaying what we believe is bringing people onto health care and continuing a path of reducing [health] costs."

Where does that leave things? Probably with the Senate, where a group of Republicans known as "the Diners Club" is scheduled to meet this week with White House officials. But those talks have been going nowhere, according to people on both sides of the table, and senior GOP aides say Reid and Senate Democrats might have to pass a debt-limit plan on their own.

Theoretically, that could throw the whole mess into a House-Senate conference committee for resolution. But with no clear path through the thicket, some Hill aides are grimly bracing for a series of bills to buy time by raising or suspending the debt limit for brief periods throughout the fall.

Democrats are accusing the GOP of fomenting another unnecessary political crisis.

"The last thing families and businesses across America want right now is another round of debt limit brinksmanship that would rattle the markets and threaten our fragile economic recovery," Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said in a statement.

 

September

In September, the House schedules only nine working days, for the entire month. After all, it's not like there is any unfinished business with deadlines looming, right?

At the end of September, the Republicans tried three times to pass budget bills which "defunded" or "delayed" Obamacare. The Senate voted them down, one by one. The House Republicans' last-ditch attempt included agreeing -- after refusing to do so all year -- to form a conference committee with the Senate to work out a budget agreement. Democrats, quite rightly, pointed out that Republicans had been the ones blocking such a committee all year long, although the media largely misses this key point.

 

October

October 2 -- Senator Murray requests unanimous consent for naming a conference committee on the budget. Senator Toomey blocks this request.

 

Which brings us up to date. The Republicans have now made the conference committee the centerpiece of their hostage demand. They have apparently declared defeat on Obamacare within their caucus (although this hasn't really been confirmed -- but you sure do hear less Obamacare talk from Republicans this week compared to last week, don't you?). They have now pivoted to loudly demanding that President Obama and the Democrats "negotiate" or "have a conversation with us."

The record, however, is clear. It's right there, for anyone to access. Someone deep in the bowels of the mainstream media could find this record by doing a simple search on keywords such as "conference committee" and "Republican." It's not exactly rocket science, folks.

But since I did my own searching and saw how extensive this record is -- and how little of it is now appearing in the media -- I thought it would be worthwhile to compile a definitive list which tracked the history of the Republicans' refusal to negotiate all year long. In mid-April, Republicans pivoted from their years-long strategy of demanding Congress follow "regular order" to instead demanding the exact opposite -- that regular order should be blocked indefinitely because those darned conference committees just can't be trusted. Paul Ryan was at the center of this pivot, when -- less than a week after making a joint statement with Patty Murray calling for a conference committee -- he told reporters that "House Republicans have no plans to appoint a conference committee to hammer out a budget deal with Senate Democrats." Senate Republicans (including the leadership) went along with this partisan tactic, albeit much more quietly (since a single senator can block a motion for unanimous consent).

Senate Democrats have been blocked from forming a conference committee 19 times, by Senators McConnell (5 times), Rubio (4), Lee (4), Toomey (3), Cruz (2), and Paul (1). House Republicans were afraid Senate Republicans would cut a deal, and Senate Republicans were afraid House Republicans would cut a deal. The entire thing is a struggle for control within the Republican Party, in fact.

This is the record. Republicans in both houses of Congress have been actively blocking -- for all of 2013 -- the creation of a conference committee. This is the background to use whenever someone like John Boehner says to a reporter "President Obama needs to sit down and negotiate."

To put it as bluntly as humanly possible: Democrats have been trying to negotiate all year long. Republicans have been obstructing negotiations -- in both the House and the Senate -- all year long. Republican leadership has enabled this obstructionism, and indeed taken an active part. For them to call for Obama and the Democrats to enter negotiations now, and somehow insinuate that they've been trying to negotiate with Democrats for a long time is nothing short of the sheerest hypocritical political bunkum. It is the exact opposite of what actually happened. It is nothing short of a big fat lie.

That is the true record.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

23 Comments on “A Complete Timeline Of Republican Obstructionism On Budget Negotiations They Are Now Demanding (Part 2)”

  1. [1] 
    Paula wrote:

    Chris: excellent!

  2. [2] 
    akadjian wrote:

    I can't help coming away from this thinking our country is completely f*cked.

    Well done, CW. Though I have to say it's completely depressing to think what's happened to America.

    -David

  3. [3] 
    LewDan wrote:

    Outstanding Chris.

    Let me just add a little more context for the "Dems are equally to blame" crowd. Republicans inherited a $6 trillion debt, being paid down by budget surpluses, from Clinton. They bequeathed Obama a $13.5 trillion debt increasing daily due to budget deficits. Obama took office in 2009, his first budget would have been for FY2010. Republican court challenges and the death of Senator Kennedy kept Democrats from, technically, controlling both House and Senate (if you count Lieberman (I) as a Democrat) in 2009. Republicans won the House in 2010 and have been blocking normal budget processes for three years. Government shut down because the President can't spend without House approval. The current debt, and deficit, are solely due to Republican policies, priorities, and initiatives. Just as Republicans dishonesty cast Obama as the reason for the shutdown. Republicans also dishonesty cast Obama as the reason for the debt and deficit. In fact Obama is not. He hasn't ever had even the opportunity to run up spending, the national debt, and budget deficit. The Republican party, since Obama's election, has had only one goal, to discredit, sabotage, and deny Obama's presidency. To that end they refuse to take yes for an answer. They're apoplectic that Obama enacted the Republican healthcare proposal. They bemoan the President's refusal of budget "negotiations" after he's agreed to accept Republican funding levels. Republicans care nothing about the debt. They care nothing about the deficit. They care nothing about the welfare of the country, or the rest of the world. All they care about is making Obama pay, by any means necessary, for having the effrontery to defeat Republicans in general elections. The rest of us are just collateral damage of no particular significance to Republicans.

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    OK, OK, OK... Fine...

    Everything is the Republicans' fault.. It's ALL on them.

    They are terrorists.

    So, Obama should order drone strikes on ALL Republicans and have them killed because, after all, that's what Obama does with terrorists. It's what Obama SHOULD do with terrorists..

    So, ya'all are completely on board with having ALL Republicans killed, right??

    Do ya'all comprehend how far off the reservation ya'all are??

    Michale

  5. [5] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Everything is the Republicans' fault.

    NO ... ONE ... IS ... SAYING ... THAT

    The economy is a result of a supply side philosophy which both Republicans and Democrats have bought into over the past 30 years. Bill Clinton, great example of a supply side Democrat.

    When you purposefully plan a crisis though to get your way, yes, Republicans, you are responsible.

    BTW ... here's the latest attempt to screw the economy.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/10/10/1246075/-Poison-pill-in-House-debt-limit-plan-would-be-a-hostage-taker-s-dream

    I believe that a few people somehow think they're going to profit immensely if they can tank the economy.

    -David

    So, ya'all are completely on board with having ALL Republicans killed, right?

    I'm sorry, Michale, but this is perhaps the craziest thing you've ever said.

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    NO ... ONE ... IS ... SAYING ... THAT

    Moose poop!!

    These last 2 commentaries say EXACTLY that..

    When I commented that there is likely ANOTHER side of the story I was ever so politely bodily slammed to the ground :D and told that there are NO OTHER possibilities save the one put forth by CW...

    I'm sorry, Michale, but this is perhaps the craziest thing you've ever said.

    Perhaps..

    But ya'all claiming the Republicans are terrorists is the craziest thing YA'ALL have ever said..

    And, if ya'all truly believe that the Republicans are committing terrorism then ya'all should have absolutely NO PROBLEM with Obama targeting Republicans for drone strikes...

    Kidnapping, terrorism, extortion, arson, hostage-taking..

    The Left (and ya'all) have accuse the Republicans of all of that and more...

    So, if you TRULY believe in what ya'all and the Left are saying, then the ONLY logical course of action is to have the Republicans killed for their crimes..

    So either Republicans should be targeted for termination...

    Or ya'all should concede that ya'all (and the Left in general) have gone off the hyperbolic deep end...

    Michale

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    When you purposefully plan a crisis though to get your way, yes, Republicans, you are responsible.

    Which Party has said, "Never let a crisis go to waste"...

    Was it the Republicans?? Or the Democrats??

    Once again, you slam and attack the Republicans for doing something that you actually applaud and encourage when the Democrats do it...

    Michale

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    I think you might have misconstrued what I was saying in the previous commentary..

    I am not mitigating your research or calling into question your facts in any way whatsoever..

    All I am saying is that you are only telling ONE side of the story.. The Democrat side..

    I am sure you will agree that there IS another side to the story..

    And if I really cared for the Republican Party as much as ya'all accuse me of, I would TELL that side..

    But I don't, so I won't.. :D

    Michale

  9. [9] 
    Paula wrote:

    Michale: I would contest the notion that there's "2 sides to the story". In reality there's millions of sides to this story. It's not simply about the beliefs, feelings or egos of our political leadership, it's about the lives of the people they've all sworn to serve.

    While the teabaggers run around screaming that the world must bow to their prejudices, religious beliefs, and wounded sensibilities, they show pretty much zero awareness of the damage they are inflicting on people's lives. If anything, they seem to enjoy the idea since they've decided that anyone they may be hurting must deserve to be hurt.

    In addition to the specific consequences of the shutdown and potential budget ceiling breach, they are clearly displaying a contempt for our government -- for the way it works and for what it does. They don't feel constrained by the constitution, separation of powers, checks and balances, or anything else. It's all about them, them, them.

    The Dem's BIGGEST mistake was not recognizing the toxicity for what it was back when it was just a nuisance. Their next mistake was still not recognizing it when, like THE BLOB in the old movie, it started to grow. They kept giving pubs the benefit of the doubt long past the point of safety. The monster is running loose now and has to be brought down and innocent bystanders will be hurt in the process.

  10. [10] 
    akadjian wrote:

    I think I figured out how to solve this crisis.

    All Obama has to do is acknowledge that he's giving in to Republicans when they send him a CR bill.

    God, I love Politico ... it's hilarious watching them try to pretend they're non-partisan.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2013/10/john-boehner-offer-obama-debt-ceiling-98154.html

    "Obama may have little choice but to accept House Speaker John Boehner’s offer because it delivers what the president wanted: a debt limit hike with no ideological strings attached."

    Oh well ... I guess whatever it takes. If they want to send a clean CR and pretend that this was their victory so the country doesn't go down in flames, I guess I'd be ok w/ it.

    -David

  11. [11] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Everyone is entitled to their own interpretation, but not their own facts...

    Having finally worked my way through the 2 installments (Thing One and Thing Two?) I mop my brow and say "thanks CW" for chasing down a lot of unruly facts.

    My opinion is that the Tea Party franchise has over badly reached on this one. But fine, let's play the game to its conclusion.

    The stakes are high. Can a diverse nation like the USA govern by a newly discovered principle of super majority? Does power of the purse mean every discontented rump group can summarily veto lawfully enacted legislation by threatening to throw said purse down the sewer? Has section 4 of the 14th amendment been secretly repealed?

    Most Americans won't take kindly to deliberate demolition of the American economy for the sake of a principle. Of course, those Koch Crazed Tea Party goers who say nothing serious will come of a default might just conceivably be right...that we are too big to fail. On the other hand, if they are wrong, things may go seriously crazy, with nasty consequences to the majority of Republicans who are still serious about governance.

    Ever see that fine old film Lawrence of Arabia?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aARaYjgm_rA

    John Boehner, sometimes you should take that unconditional surrender while you still can. Life goes on. Just ask Germany and Japan. Or Robert E. Lee.

  12. [12] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Credit where credit is due ...

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/mccain-to-fox-news-no-the-shutdown-is-the-gop-s-fault-video

    Speak of the devil, John McCain
    -David

  13. [13] 
    LewDan wrote:

    David,

    A clean CR is one without conditions. All Boehner's offer does is relieve Republicans of the pressure they're getting from the Street over a default while further empowering budget hostage-taking in compensation.
    We need to make it clear that hostage-taking is not the democratic process, and will not be rewarded. If not, we may avoid economic disaster at the expense of our democracy.--Too high a price to pay imho. We need to save the economy and democracy.

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    Michale: I would contest the notion that there's "2 sides to the story".

    I know you would.. That's because your are ideological disposed to only one side..

    Just like a Muslim will say there is only ONE true religion and all the others are fake. Just like a catholic would say the same..

    It's not simply about the beliefs, feelings or egos of our political leadership, it's about the lives of the people they've all sworn to serve.

    You mean the people who are against obamacare??

    They don't count, right??

    Aren't they Americans??

    Aren't they entitled to have THEIR views represented??

    In addition to the specific consequences of the shutdown and potential budget ceiling breach, they are clearly displaying a contempt for our government --

    No, they are displaying a contempt for the Democrats in government.. With good reason.

    "On the contrary, Mr Barris, I take this mission very seriously. It's you, I take lightly."
    Captain James T Kirk, STAR TREK, The Trouble With Tribbles

    The Dem's BIGGEST mistake was not recognizing the toxicity for what it was back when it was just a nuisance. Their next mistake was still not recognizing it when, like THE BLOB in the old movie, it started to grow. They kept giving pubs the benefit of the doubt long past the point of safety. The monster is running loose now and has to be brought down and innocent bystanders will be hurt in the process.

    So, you are saying exactly what I have always said you say..

    The ONLY fault of the Democrats is not being hard enough on Republicans.

    Everything bad is the fault of the Republicans..

    That's the sentiment around here.

    It is neither logical, nor reality..

    You seem to be all serious about the debt ceiling... But when GOP was in power, raising the debt ceiling was a "failure of leadership"...

    Now that Democrats are in power, **NOT** raising the debt ceiling is a "failure of leadership"..

    You can't have it both ways, Paula. Either Democrats were wrong then or they are wrong now..

    Which is it??

    "Where am I supposed to go!???"
    "I don't know!"
    "You don't know or you don't care?!?"
    "PICK ONE!"

    - The X-Men

    David,

    Speak of the devil, John McCain

    See!

    When McCain says what ya like, he is the cat's meow..

    When he says what you don't like, he is the horse's ass...

    Like Paula, you cannot have it both ways...

    Michale

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    Obama wants a year for the debt ceiling.

    Do the words, "Cold day in hell" mean anything??

    Michale

  16. [16] 
    akadjian wrote:

    When McCain says what ya like, he is the cat's meow. When he says what you don't like, he is the horse's ass. Like Paula, you cannot have it both ways.

    I can and do have it neither way though.

    -David

  17. [17] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Obama wants a year for the debt ceiling. Do the words, "Cold day in hell" mean anything?

    I know, I know. What he really should be asking for is to get rid of this debt ceiling nonsense altogether.

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    I know, I know. What he really should be asking for is to get rid of this debt ceiling nonsense altogether.

    If Obama (and ya'all) would have supported that during the Bush years, such a position would have had credibility..

    But, alas...

    All I ask for is a little consistency....

    If you spoke out against torture and eavesdropping under Bush, you should be consistent and speak out against it under Obama..

    If you are for eliminating the debt ceiling under Obama, then the time to speak out about it is ALSO under Bush...

    You see what I am saying???

    NO ... ONE ... IS ... SAYING ... THAT

    Moose poop!!

    Can I assume that, since you failed to address this, that you concede that, in fact, it WAS stated that it was all the fault of the Republicans?? :D

    Michale

  19. [19] 
    Paula wrote:

    Michale (14)
    You mean the people who are against obamacare?? They don't count, right?? Aren't they Americans?? Aren't they entitled to have THEIR views represented??

    There is a difference between "representation" and getting their way at the point of a gun.

    Guess what? I would like a single-payer system -- I don't think the ACA went far enough.

    There are progressive Dems who agreed with me and who fought for a Public Option and we didn't get it. I was very angry and disappointed at the time. But I never thought or suggested that my views entitled me to shut down the government because I didn't get what I wanted.

    I think we spend way too much money on wars. I think gun manufacturers should be put out of business. I don't feel particularly represented by anyone on those issues. But I don't think that people should go hungry because people in power don't agree with me.

    If people don't like the ACA as much as you seem to think they don't, they could be demanding a total "opt out". They can pay for their insurance themselves, or go without and, in exchange for not having to pay a penalty, can agree to take their chances and pay for whatever medical care they might need themselves. Maybe that demand would be met, maybe it wouldn't. But it would be consistent with their supposed beefs with the program.

    What they shouldn't be able to do is keep me from being able to get affordable healthcare. They shouldn't be able to keep millions of people from getting affordable healthcare. They especially shouldn't be able to do that when they have squat to replace it. They have no business calling the shots on healthcare policy when they know nothing at all about any of it. They don't know what's in the law, how it's meant to work or why it was written the way it was.

    Part of adulthood is recognizing that you can't always get your way. Part of not being obnoxious assholes is internalizing that when you don't get your way, you don't pout, you don't whine (at least not for long). You might swear a bit in your disappointment, then you get over it and move on. Otherwise people stop wanting to be around you -- you become pariahs and don't get invited to parties anymore because you become a gigantic drag and drain.

    Approval of Obamacare has gone up this past week because people are starting to actually learn about it. The more they learn, the better they'll like it and, if history is any guide, the program will improve over time. The vast majority of people who say they don't like it also don't know anything about it or they know the litany of falsehoods produced by rightwing media. But now they are beginning to actually look into and that changes everything. (Spare me any discussion about software problems -- the software isn't the ACA, it's just a means to an end. The software will get fixed.)

    There is no way on earth for "representation" to equal "everyone gets what they want all the time".

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    There is a difference between "representation" and getting their way at the point of a gun.

    It's Obama and the Democrats who made such actions necessary..

    Guess what? I would like a single-payer system -- I don't think the ACA went far enough.

    Blame the Democrats for that.

    There are progressive Dems who agreed with me and who fought for a Public Option and we didn't get it. I was very angry and disappointed at the time. But I never thought or suggested that my views entitled me to shut down the government because I didn't get what I wanted.

    Then those Democrats in Congress apparently didn't want it bad enough, eh? :D

    There is no way on earth for "representation" to equal "everyone gets what they want all the time".

    I remind you that the GOP had already compromised by not forcing a total defunding of obamacare and settled for the same delay for middle class Americans that Obama and the Democrats gave their corporate cronies.

    Why don't you address that??

    The majority of Americans are against obamacare.

    The majority of Americans have ALWAYS been against obamacare..

    The GOP is simply doing their jobs...

    Michale

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    Another thing you missed..

    You seem to be all serious about the debt ceiling... But when GOP was in power, raising the debt ceiling was a "failure of leadership"...

    Now that Democrats are in power, **NOT** raising the debt ceiling is a "failure of leadership"..

    You can't have it both ways, Paula. Either Democrats were wrong then or they are wrong now..

    Which is it??

    Michale

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    The majority of Americans are against obamacare.

    The majority of Americans have ALWAYS been against obamacare..

    The GOP is simply doing their jobs...

    And lets face the facts here..

    You wish that Democrats would do THEIR jobs as passionately and as effectively as the GOP has done theirs....

    Michale

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    Oh and let's cut the bull and faux outrage at the government shutdown..

    If shutting down the government was the only way for ya'all to get your Single Payer, then ya'all would advocate shutting down the government in a stone cold minute...

    You know it. I know it.. :D

    Michale

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