Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The GOP wingnuttery just continues....

I'm not sure I know what to say about this, except that I found this National Journal story from the Daily Kos, and it is fascinating. From The National Journal:

Senate Min. Leader Mitch McConnell and House Min. Leader John Boehner both signaled support for at least some part of a GOP-led move to repeal health care legislation today, suggesting the GOP will run on the issue in the fall campaign.

"I can tell you with the campaign that will continue with the American people, I think the slogan will be 'Repeal and Replace,'" McConnell told reporters after a weekly lunch with fellow members of the GOP Conference.

In a statement following Pres. Obama's bill signing today, Boehner added: "Republicans will continue to stand on principle, hold President Obama accountable for his promises, and fight to repeal this government takeover of health care so we can start over on common-sense reforms that lower costs for families and small businesses."

They are the first 2 members of GOP leadership to hint at embracing a repeal move. Until today, GOPers have been hesitant to support such a move, worrying Dems will tag them for opposing the more popular parts of the bill, and several members of House leadership have suggested a partial repeal while keeping some more popular sections of the bill intact.

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) has introduced a measure to repeal health care legislation. In the House, Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Steve King (R-IA), Bob Inglis (R-SC) and Todd Tiahrt (R-KS) have introduced a similar bill aimed at reversing the new law.

McConnell introduced DeMint's bill under a Senate rule that allows it to immediately be placed on the upper chamber's calendar.

Not only that, but former presidential candidate, Arizona Senator John McCain, has announced that the Democrats should not expect any cooperation from the Republicans for the rest of the year. According to the Hill.com:

Democrats shouldn't expect much cooperation from Republicans the rest of this year, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) warned Monday.

McCain and another Republican senator decried the effect health reform legislation has had on the Senate, a day after the House passed the upper chamber's bill.

GOP senators emerged Monday to caution that the health debate had taken a toll on the institution, warning of little work between parties the rest of this year.

"There will be no cooperation for the rest of the year," McCain said during an interview Monday on an Arizona radio affiliate. "They have poisoned the well in what they've done and how they've done it."

I guess I can chalk this up as the Republicans are pandering towards their own, crazed, wingnutty base. But the scope of this is just incredible. I'm trying to understand McConnell and Boehner's stance here, but it doesn't make any sense. There is no way for this health care legislation to be repealed--it will not happen. I can possibly see the Republicans taking control of Congress this November, but not with a two-thirds majority to repeal a presidential veto. Heck, even a Republican control of Congress may seem unlikely now, since the Democrats have passed health care reform, and President Obama will start campaigning to sell the law to Americans. The USA Today poll has Americans approving the health care reform bill, and giving President Obama some stronger job approval ratings. Unless President Obama and the Democrats really screw up between now and November....

So it is obvious that McConnell and Boehner are pandering to the wingnut base of the GOP with their support of repealing the health care law. Yet by pandering to these extremists, both McConnell and Boehner are continuing to confirm the image of the Republican Party as a party of not just a Party of No and obstructionism, but also a party of un-governing? They are not willing to work with the Democrats on fixing this law (Of course, the GOP has never been willing to work with the Democrats), but are now demanding that the entire law be repealed. I know that the Republicans are trying to whip up their crazed base, but continuing this harsh, negative rhetoric is probably going to alienate non-partisans and independents. I'm not sure if non-partisans and independents are completely opposed to the health care bill--some probably are--but I'm guessing that many are open towards political parties working to improve the law, rather than repealing it. It is like the more the Republicans shrill to their wingnuts, the more the GOP finds itself being painted into a smaller corner. It is just crazy.

Then there is Senator John McCain's crazy response. I guess McCain got so angry at the Democrats passing the health care bill, that now McCain is stating there will be no GOP cooperation with the Democrats for the rest of this year. None! Period! Of course, the Republicans have never bothered to cooperate with the Democrats. To a Republican, cooperation means that the Democrats accepts all GOP demands without questions or complaints. Then again, the Republicans have been masters at PR-spin in showing that they were open to listening and compromise, but not accepting any form of compromise from the Democrats. They were masters, until Barack Obama entered the White House. Ever since President Obama attempted to extend a hand for bipartisan compromise, the Republicans bit the hand. There is always rhetoric and partisan attacks by both political parties, but I've never seen such extreme hatred directed at President Obama, and the Democrats, from conservatives, right-wing pundits, protesters and even Republican lawmakers. It is also just incredible. And it will not stop with this latest midterm election, where the Republicans believe they can overturn the Democrats control of Congress by negative campaigning on the repeal of health care reform. They were masters of PR-spin, until President Obama was elected. Now the Republican Party has descended into a whiny, spoiled, almost racist, homophobic, crazy child, who will do anything it can to get its way. You can even see this whiny child in McCain's latest response on the congressional Democrats passing of the health care bill--They have poisoned the well in what they've done and how they've done it. The Democrats never poisoned the well with the health care bill. The Democrats were elected with a two-thirds majority in both houses of Congress, and the White House. President Obama attempted to compromise with the Republicans on health care, but the Republicans said no. So President Obama and the Democrats crafted their own health care legislation, and passed the bill over Republican negative campaigning, threats, and fear-mongering. The health care bill was passed by majority vote, with no parliamentary procedures. Now McCain is claiming that the Democrats have "poisoned the well" by performing basic democracy in passing a bill by majority vote, and having that bill signed into law by the president? All because the Republicans didn't get their way?

The GOP insanity just continues....


nunya said...

"Then there is Senator John McCain's crazy response. I guess McCain got so angry at the Democrats passing the health care bill,"

Totally cracks me up. The man has spent his whole life enjoying free socialized health care.

"...McCain followed his father and grandfather, both four-star admirals, into the United States Navy, graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1958..."

Eric A Hopp said...

Hello Nunya, and thank you for your comment.

It is rather ironic how John McCain has enjoyed his own "socialized" health care from both the VA and the Congressional plans. Of course, McCain can probably afford a fleet of "Cadillac" plans, paid for by his wife's money. Screw the peasants.

I've been watching the nuttiness that has been taking place with both the Republican congressmen, their right-wing crazies, and even the hatred coming from pundits like Bill O'Reily and Rush Limbaugh. I've never seen it this bad. It is like a culmination of a long-term Republican strategy for courting crazies into the GOP tent. Perhaps it started with Richard Nixon's "Southern Strategy" of courting Southern Democrats who were angry at Lyndon B Johnson for pushing civil rights legislation over their objections (Does that make the Southern Democrats racist for opposing civil rights legislation on the nation?). Or does it extend to the GOP's litmus test of selecting candidates to office that are completely against abortion? Or perhaps it is the co-opting of the Republican Party by the Religious Right, and the rise of the televangelists--we do not want to give gay couples any civil or economic rights that married couples currently enjoy.

I look at the Republican Party now, and I think I see parallels to when the Democratic Party seemed to have been overtaken by extreme liberal radicals in the late '60s and '70s, perhaps the counter-culture movement of the 1960s. Before that time, the Democrats expanded government power with the creation of the social net, from FDR's New Deal policies to LBJ's Great Society program. The longer the Democrats held power, the more radical ideas its base demanded from the party. The Republicans couldn't do much during that period. With the rise of Ronald Reagan, the country seemed to have shifted from the left to the right, with free market economics, and government regulation of individual rights and freedoms. The Democrats were pretty much castrated since Reagan came to power.

I think what I'm trying to say here is that there have been some huge tectonic shifts in the political landscape, with the country shifting either leftward or rightwards. From the 1930s to the 1970s, the country was shifting leftwards with government social programs and individual liberties. From the 1980s to around 2010, the country shifted rightward, with free market economics, and guns, gays, and God. Seems like the radical base of the GOP are making their own extremist demands on the party. Now with the election of Barack Obama, and the signing of health care reform, are we seeing the country shifting back to the left?

I'm not sure. But it is certainly interesting.