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Sunday, October 23, 2016


All signs continue to point to a House GOP crackup that will either lead to a government shutdown or — even worse — a default on America’s debt.

Republican leaders had hoped that the situation in Syria would give them cover, allowing them to somehow keep the government functioning while ignoring many of the big legislative issues the House still has to tackle this year. That doesn’t look as if it will happen.

Instead,  the clouds are clearing and what’s left is a Republican caucus that’s divided between justifiably declaring victory over the sequester and the incredibly shrinking deficit — it’s down over one-third in just a year — and Tea Partiers who really want to force a crisis over delaying or defunding Obamacare, a position that’s popular among far-right congressmembers, along with Ted Cruz’s fan club and family — and pretty much no one else.

But the budget battles aren’t the only looming crises for the GOP. Immigration reform and the implementation of Obamacare present historic choices for both parties that will have implications for presidential elections as far as the eye can see.

And all of this is happening as Speaker John Boehner has become the “Speaker In Name Only,” whose plots and schemes are continually rejected by his own members.

Even if we weren’t on the verge of a war, the rest of 2013 will be a perilous time for America. Republicans have to decide if they are a party so obsessed with what they oppose that they’ll damage America and wound their ability to accomplish their agenda in the future.

Here are five ways the GOP could be about to hurt themselves in ways they won’t be able to easily fix.

Photo: House GOP Leader via

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Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • charleo1

    I believe the majority of Americans are working. (If the unemployment rate is 20%,
    80% is working.) I believe they are finding out, if their employer is providing company health benefits now, before ObamaCare, the company will continue to do so. I also believe Americans are working harder than ever after the long recession, to get their finances together, and their lives back on track. So, I believe the last thing they want to worry about is the politicians in Washington undermining their efforts. I also think, with the advantage of hindsight, Americans see the arguments about deficits used in 2011 to justify refusing to raise the debt ceiling, as a bad idea then, and an even worse one today. But, that doesn’t mean that group of ideologues, that’s causing the problems, will use anymore political sense, than they did when they elected Christen O’Donnell to be the Republican nominee for Senate. Stupid? Sure it’s stupid. They lost, but it didn’t have any noticeable effect on their behavior.They’re ideologues. So their agenda becomes paramount to everything else. That’s why, even though they know their elongated fight over the debt ceiling hurt the economy. They are all ready to do it again. What this reveals about that rather mysterious group, most of them elected in 2010 cycle. That when interviewed
    seem to know practically nothing about the debt. Just low information pap, about
    foreign aid, or food stamps. And, of course how were spending our children’s
    future. We must conclude their agenda is really not about the debt. Or, balanced budgets, or anything having to do with the economy. It’s about creating crisis,
    and undermining the public’s confidence in the present government itself. Presumably, if they are successful in their efforts, have a completely new government in mind. Presumably, one run by them, to replace the one we have now. In that respect, I can see where turning the recovery back into recession,
    might be helpful in whatever goals they have in mind. At least they seem to think
    so. Is this a theory on my part. Absolutely. But, I’m also honestly trying to account
    for their behavior.

    • Sand_Cat

      But isn’t “nut cases” exactly what they are? They may be extremely dangerous, and extremely thorough – obsessive, in fact – about their planning, and yes, they may win, but pretending they aren’t crazy – if adopted by the public – simply makes it seem they won’t REALLY do the things they very likely will. Not dismissing them is important, but characterizing them as insane and delusional is not only truthful, but hopefully a way to emphasize the danger they represent to the country.

      • charleo1

        Well, tell you what. You make a lot of sense! John Stewart did a
        comedy bit the other day. And it was funny, and in my mind it wasn’t.
        For one thing, they do represent America over there. At least that’s
        my fear. And that people like these three are hard to explain to the
        Mid Eastern street. How they are just nut jobs, but also in the U.S.
        U.S. Congress. But I see your point. Agree 100%!

    • 10acres

      They will not be dangerous if we remember to say NO to the worthless people of NO in 2014. They can scream to the wind instead of the media if we put them on the street.

      • charleo1

        I’m with you 100%. And you’re also right, to keep reminding people
        to vote! The Country cannot take another 2010.

  • Stuart

    Well, here we go again. Writing off the Republicans. As an antidote: Count how many Obama states have Republican legislatures (with one Romney state having a Democratic legislature). Count how many state legislatures are Republican controlled, Democratic controlled, and split. Count how many state legislatures it takes to call an Article V constitutional convention, and how many to ratify — with no input whatsoever from Washington. You guys need to get out of the city more often.

    • BillP

      You will need at least 33 states to call for a constitutional amendment and then 38 states (37.5 actually) to ratify an amendment. It wouldn’t be a simple as you suggest.

      • Sand_Cat

        But he’s still made an important point! Several, in fact.

        • BillP

          My point was and is the process of creating a Constitutional amendment by going through the states woul be a very costly and time consuming project to start. If the Republicans tried to create a Ban Same Sex Marriage amendment it would fail. It might get 33 states to create it but it would never get 38 to ratify it. Vt, NH, Ma, RI, Ct, NY,NJ, Md,De, Ca, Wa, Or and Illinois wouldn’t ratify it, that’s 13 enough to stop it. It would be a huge waste of time and money. His comment implied that it wouldn’t be that difficult to and that just isn’t the case. Also do you really believe DC wouldn’t have some input?

          • Sand_Cat

            I think his main point – or what I took as his main point – is that writing off the GOP is likely to help them do even more damage than they have already. Admittedly, a Constitutional Amendment is not easy, but they may not need one if they’re allowed to go on as they are.

          • BillP

            That is my point, I don’t think we should ever underestimate any opponent. But Stuart seem to imply that proposing a constitutional amendment was a fairly simple process.

  • Tom

    The Republicans have to block changes to our immigration system which allow more Latinos to eventually become citizens. The electoral math forces them to, and their racism means they will enjoy blocking it.

    • Pete Peterson

      The GOP isn’t against immigrants they are again’t illegal immigrants as should be the Democrats. If we are a country of laws every one shares the same laws not GOP or Democrats. the way the Dems are working immigrations is based upon breaking laws to get votes and the GOP should’t allow this to take place. The GOP should push to force the President to enforce the laws on the books.

      • charleo1

        Since illegal, or undocumented immigrants cannot, and are not
        voting, the GOP has nothing to fear in comprehensive reform.
        The message from Republicans to the children of these some
        10 to 12 million undocumented, that have came to America,
        and been illegally hired, (it’s a two way street,) is where the
        GOPs policies, and their prejudices spell political trouble.
        You may not be aware President Obama, has caught, and
        deported thousands of illegals with criminal records, beefed
        up man power on the border. Added fence, sensors, and even employed drones to stop the illegal flow of people on our Southern border. It’s because of these measures, and a tougher economy
        on our side of the fence, the flow is a net zero for the first time
        since Reagan.
        So, this is not a situation where Democrats are opening the
        flood gates, and hauling aliens to the voting booths. The GOP
        needs to get serious. Stop the blame game, and the ugly scape-
        goating, and realize, these kids, who’s parents they talk to
        their lilly white base about like they were dogs. ARE, U.S. citizens.
        And more than 1600 of them turn 18, and become voters, every week. Now, in my State, the Republican Party refuses to grant in state tuition rates to these young students, and soon to be voters,
        because their parents haven’t got their papers. That’s not even
        smart. Which political Party would you vote for, if you were them?

      • Angela Walker

        It’s far too expensive to enforce the “laws that are on the books”. Would you like to tell me how to round up twelve to fourteen millions “illegal immigrants”? Tell me where the money is going to come from to do that? Tell me what effect removing them from the economy would have?

      • amphiox

        The GOP can start this law-and-order schtick by accepting the law that is on the books that is the Affordable Care Act.

  • JDavidS

    Shhhhhhh…don’t tell ’em…

  • LotusJoan

    Shhhh The emperor has no clothes – No plan, No agenda, No integrity, No compassion or empathy, No concept of the reality on main street. As voters we should give the party of NO what they want. Just say no to GOP obstructionism and corrupting ideology

  • ralphkr

    OK, just keep on publishing all these stories of how the Republicans are going to lose, lose, lose and that Democrats have a lock on the election if you wish to guarantee that the Republicans shall win. The right wing ideologues are going to vote “correctly” no matter what while the Democratic voters shall think, “Our guy is going to win whether I vote or not” and leave it up to other Democrats to vote.

    I think that the most famous case of reversal during my lifetime was the Truman-Dewey election where everyone knew that Truman did not have a chance. I think that we have all seen the famous photo of Truman holding up the newspaper with the headline “DEWEY WINS” in type almost as large as the VE day headline had been.

    • John Pigg

      It’s sometimes nicer to hear the news we want to hear, that reinforces our worldview in spite of its faults.

  • notabobblehead

    Go for it Republicans. Starve the children, shut down government, let the poor die with no health care, continue substandard wages. You are awesome. After 40 votes to get rid of affordable care we are still waiting for your proposal. No one ever expected you to propose an alternative that would take using intelligence. We all know that you all are greedy exceptionalists and we expect nothing less.