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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Drunk And Disorderly: How Republican Extremists Are Shredding Every Principle The GOP Claims To Uphold

Drunk And Disorderly: How Republican Extremists Are Shredding Every Principle The GOP Claims To Uphold

By Washington standards, the current government shutdown is an everyday disaster – of a kind we are gradually learning to expect whenever the Republican Party controls Congress. The impending breach of the nation’s credit, however, when those same Republicans refuse to raise the debt limit to cover the funds they have spent, threatens a singular catastrophe: unpredictable, global, yet entirely avoidable.

The blame for this disgrace seems to be apportioned properly by most Americans, according to the latest polling data. But the future of the country and the world may well rest on whether voters understand the roots of this crisis – in a party controlled by an extremist faction that is violating every public value that party has supposedly espoused for 30 years and more.

Republicans used to tell us, often with a self-righteous air, that they were the true upholders of constitutional order, the rule of law, fiscal probity, personal responsibility, majority rights, and market principles. In their unquenchable zeal to oppose President Obama and all his works, they have discarded every one of those ideals.

They have closed down the government, with all the costs and sorrows that has imposed on the American people, in order to save us all from the Affordable Care Act – a law duly passed under the Constitution and declared to be so by a majority of the Supreme Court, including its very conservative chief justice. (Following that decision, the Republicans spent the next year campaigning to defeat the president on a platform of repealing health care reform – and were soundly defeated by him instead.)

To measure just how grossly the current attempts to obstruct Obamacare violate their supposed devotion to “law and order,” just imagine the Republican reaction if House Democrats had shut down government to force George W. Bush to repeal his beloved tax cuts.

Such hypocrisy is business as usual. But what about the substance of the Republican complaint against health care reform? To anyone aware of the law’s historical context, the fanatical Republican opposition simply seems bizarre. Here, after all, is a market-based system, originally conceived and promoted at the ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation as an alternative to Democratic plans for universal coverage. Its fundamental premises are individual responsibility and the power of competition to control costs and stop waste. Its first proven success occurred in a state governed by a Republican business executive — whom they later nominated for president.

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Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • CPAinNewYork

    The Tea Party people are a pack of idiots.

  • Elisabeth Gordon

    Traitors all!..God forgive me for this (and I seriously hope I don’t get a visit from the FBI) but these guys have GOT to go….frankly I hope they all succumb to an act of God, you know the One they so fervently believe in (hurricane, tsunami, whatever….) ~ while NEVER acting like the Christians they profess to be…

    • Robert Haugh

      Nothing to seek forgiveness over.I think most reasonable thinking people in this country, being thoroughly disgusted and disheartened by what these extremists are putting this country through, silently hope for that fireball from the sky to bring all this Tea-Party nonsense to a close. Human nature after all. But seeing as that will never happen, we have to hope,and even encourage the moderate Republicans to regain control of their party.

      • plc97477

        Probably also not going to happen unfortunately.

    • nana4gj

      Bless you and I think God will forgive us.

      So poignant that the Capital and Congress was protected today by Capital police who are working to keep them safe, risking their lives, and may not even be receiving their salary today.

      I understand the lockdown of them sheltering in place in the House has been lifted. Too bad. They should have left them in there on lockdown.

      • Paul Bass

        Yes, those “lazy” government workers are at their job protecting the House members who voted NOT to pay them!

        Yes sir, more proof how bad “Big” government can be! Those useless federal workers never do any real work….

    • docb

      You are no longer in the minority about the destruction of the horrid elected officials who are not there to govern but to destroy! Increasingly I hear this from what have been loyal republicans as well..The checkbooks are closed and the voices are going silent from the true republicans ! This will impact even those in the gerrymandered districts. The GOP brand is imploding.

      • Robert Haugh

        I want to believe that it will happen sooner, rather than later. I hear a lot of this lately, that the moderates are fed up along with the rest of us, at the insanity which is taking place in this country, yet it continues. I want more than hand wringing, and complaining. I want those moderate Republicans to take a more proactive role in shutting down that faction. The Republican party is responsible for the very existence of the Tea- Party, and now they have ceded the power to them. It’s no longer enough at this point in time, to merely distance themselves from those extremists as though they themselves are victims. YOU REPUBLICANS CREATED THIS MESS,NOW FIX IT.

        • docb

          Hope springs eternal, haugh!

        • nana4gj

          I couldn’t agree more. They “built it” and were very happy with it, enough to promote, nurture, and empower them after two weeks in office, and brag about them.

          Since they are such experts at shutting things down, denying empowerment of others, and shuttering businesses, creating unemployment, they should use those skills on every one of these malcreants, including Cantor, Ryan. Getting rid of Boehner as Speaker is only asking for more trouble if the responsible and moderate Republicans in the House do not band together and overcome this madness with a responsible, reasonable, statesman, if there are any like that left in the House. And who is responsible for putting Michele Bachmann on the sensitive committee she was appointed to? I mean, really, what was the thinking on that one, which was one of the first actions of the Republican Congress in their majority.

      • Elisabeth Gordon

        docb – interesting little story – back in the early fall of 2012 I was on the phone with my mom who has been a staunch Republican her entire life and is a devout Mormon who resides in SLC…just as she was saying goodnight, I said, “Mom, wait a minute…can I ask you who you’ll be voting for in November?” to which she replied (to my delighted amazement), “Oh, sweetie, don’t be silly, Barack Obama” I slept better that night than I had in years….

        • Robert Haugh

          Great story,I want to believe that story will repeat itself millions of times over, in 2014. It’s going to take conversions,such as your mom’s, nation wide, to put this extreme faction to bed,once and for all.

          • Elisabeth Gordon

            Absolutely Robert…when an 86 year old devout Mormon doesn’t vote for Romney it must give us hope….and as docb said, (I forgot to tell this part) my mom ended our tele call by saying, “But please don’t tell Uncle Don or your brother, I have to live with these people.”

          • Robert Haugh

            The first part gave me hope, the second part, a good chuckle,thanks.

          • Elisabeth Gordon

            No…thank you robert let us keep up the good fight….typically in the end sanity and truth does prevail ! Have a great weekend….off to Mohegan Sun to win millions….part of which I will spend to defeat these bass tards

          • Paul Bass

            I agree most strongly with all your posts!

            But please drop off that second “s” in your 2nd to last word! 😉

          • David Waggoner

            that was funny Paul…LOL…it took a few seconds but I got it…hahaha

        • docb

          My X – mother in Law, a staunch Church of Christer – from Texas, did the same thing to me…She sheepishly said she was not silly enough to vote for Mccain after BushII! I laugh out loud still!…Of course I was not to tell her husband or other children!

          The World is changing! The critical thinkers left in the Gop are waking up!

  • highpckts

    I wish Boehner and the rest of the true conservatives had the backbone to stand up to the Tparty and show them the highway!! I don’t understand what they are afraid of!! Cowards!!

    • jwhite146

      The Tparty has lots of money. That is the only reason that the GOP keeps them around.

      • nana4gj

        Which pretty much eliminates any regard I have for Conservatives or Republicans because, if you have so little character that the power of money sucks you into a willingness to do harmful things to your country and her people in order to safeguard your own job and feather your own nest, I conclude that you lack courage, leadership, and honor to do the right thing for the right reasons on any issue whatsoever; that you are “for sale” to the highest bidder and Congressional Oath of Office is worthless. We can count on both hands and both feet the number of controlling influences who pull the strings of these people, including Grover Norquist, NRA, Koch Bros, TParty, and many, many more. We would need the collective hands and feet of all of us to list them all. We expect some of that in politics but there has always been a point when the rubber hit the road and even politicians had their limits as to how much they would sell themselves out for. This bunch is a breed unto themselves. Raises the question and concern that if some foreign entity , with nefarious intent, offered them a good deal benefiting themselves, would they sell us all out??

    • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

      Boehner also has grown to like the Perks of being Speaker (including unlimited visits to the tanning beds in the House Gym). He knows if he buck the T Baggers, he will be out and Cantor or Ryan will probably be in.

      • highpckts

        Well I guess we are stuck with the lesser of two evils! God forbid Ryan or Cantor were the Speaker!!

        • Elisabeth Gordon

          highpcks – just as my day started getting better, you go and bring up Ryan….thanks for nothing!….(just kidding)

          • David Waggoner

            I was on my way to lunch…NEVERMIND

        • nana4gj

          We know how to remedy that with the next election of Congress Reps. Finding ways and means to overcome the gerrymandered redistricted districts across the nation, we can make sure the Senate remains in the hands of Democrats and we can convert the House of Representatives back to the Democrats.
          Though all of us value the benefit of the two-party system in government, we no longer have a second party that is beneficial. It is overtly and proudly harmful and we must not enable it until they reform and rehabilitate themselves and earn our respect and trust again.

          • nirodha

            Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that there is any way to overcome the gerrymandering that resulted in the 2010 House results. That effort will probably have to wait until the next federal census in 2020. Until then, progressives need to work hard to shine a spotlight on the machinations of the TPotty and especially, their puppet masters, and to campaign at the grassroots level to change hearts and minds, one at a time.

          • plc97477

            We can at least hope to make enough of a change that the repugs will grow up a little and through fear try to govern a little.

    • David Waggoner

      what is it that the BONER is afraid of anyway? I don’t get it either..

      • nana4gj

        After watching him in action, or non-action, these almost 5 years, I think it is not that he is so much afraid as it is the enjoyment of the safety that the role of helpless victim and martyr provides for him. For those who use this dynamic, it is a protective shell, of sorts, and a perpetual “all of the above” excuse for never having to take responsibility for failure but always able to be one to share in any success, which is a variable standard.
        This is a learned response, a pattern of psyche development, a defense mechanism. He never “owns” a position; he says the same thing, no matter the issue or the state of negotiation; he, obviously, is not leading anything, merely willingly offering himself as the tool to be used by others on whom the madness can be attributed. He believes he is doing the “safe” thing by promoting the loudest, smallest minority of his majority, to satisfy them and safeguard his position and is protected by the majority of his majority and by the “other side” and the public because he “has such a hard job” with such recalcitrants in his caucas who are so difficult to lead, sob, sob, poor Boehner; we all feel for him, another source of protection and safety.

        It’s a far stretch to compare him to a Tip O’Neil or an LBJ or a Pelosi, but he wouldn’t have had to be such a wimp, either, if he had not some dysfunctional element in his personality. Maybe, it’s the drink, who knows? Maybe it’s why he drinks?? But it takes a weird bird to allow a small number of amateurs, fresh off the streets, to run roughshod over those with tenure, like himself, who should have taught them, mentored them, in how to get what they want legitimately and honorably.

        The minority in the House, and their Speaker, claim they are doing what the people who elected them want. They were elected by the people in their districts. The nation elected a President and his policies with a majority of popular and electoral votes, twice, so one would think we are the Majority. And if that is not logical rationale, consider this: That they can continue to represent the will of their small constituency but they have no right to thwart the will of the rest of the constituents.

  • Robert Haugh

    Those Republicans have to do more than quietly applaud.they have the numbers in the congress to reject the Tea-Party agenda. Understandably, there is reluctance on the part of some, to singularly stand in opposition to that agenda,because of the Koch Bros. threat to back primary opponents against them, in their next run for reelection.But there is safety in numbers,and how effective could that threat be if all moderate Republicans stood as one to oppose them.

    • nana4gj

      Exactly. I should think all Republicans should be more concerned with the Democratic opponent in the next election rather than with one another, no matter how much money Koch Bros throws at any candidate. We saw all that money just thrown away during the last campaign. Perhaps the gerrymandered districts need to go to court.

      There is ample evidence to claim that because of redistricting, the actions of those sent to Congress do not reflect the will and best interests of the majority in the district. There is precedent in other districts re to representation of ethnic and racial majorities, perhaps, it is time to challenge representation in redistricted districts based on ideology as reflected in performance of the representative who may not have gotten the most votes in the district but was assigned the winner based on whatever gerrymandering redistricting achieves.

      • Robert Haugh

        Well said and agreed with. I want to see more from the Justice dept. by way of indictments against many of those involved in conspiracies, (The Red state governors, who conspired to effect certain political outcomes based on gerrymandering) And I just know that there are some in the congress who could be charged with treasonous acts. They certainly are trying to bring down O’Bama’s government. Whether or not this ever comes to pass is doubtful.It’s Not that it couldn’t be successfully prosecuted, but rather, that the President would not wish to put this country through any further loss of esteem in the world. The very reason that the former President wasn’t made accountable.

  • Lynda Groom

    If they ever really had any core principles they’ve long ago been left at the door. This shameful behavior is not bringing minorities, women and the young to the parties door. This madness displayed by the minority within the minority has been allowed to fester by ineffective leadership. The GOP has nobody to blame but themselves. This constant projection of blame at the media, the President and the opposition party is terrible theater.

    • Elisabeth Gordon

      …terrible theater indeed….but I pay my taxes so I want to see the ending.

      • Mark Forsyth

        And the sooner the better!

    • nana4gj

      It almost seems sociopathic, doesn’t it? No pang of conscience for having induced the harm and, while publicly proclaiming that they are happier than they have ever been because they accomplished the shutdown, blaming it on everyone else….that’s not politics; that’s pathology. A couple of sociopaths started it and, since sociopaths can manipulate, convince, charm others so easily, the rest followed like sheep. One of those sociopaths scattered all the sheep and then fled to the pasture, or, as someone else put it, Ted Cruz lit the match and started the fire which everyone else fanned, then ran off and left it burning.

      • David Waggoner

        haven’t heard from Raphael Cruz for a few days…CHICKEN SHIT ONE WAY MOTHER FUCKER

        • nana4gj

          His father, Raphael Cruz, just addressed some right wing group and spewed the most outrageous paranoid theories and untruths, naming the President as the architect of the evils in his theories.
          The son, Ted, has his MO: He belches and f—s, ie, expels gas, in public, then quickly exits the scene, leaving all those left to scurry about, trying to figure out who did it, how to fix it, and how to cover it all up and make it come out smelling like a rose and sounding like a melody.
          When that is not successful or causes more stench, they default to another source of blame that is always reliable for their constituency, and we know who that is: Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and, secretly, they only wish they had a Pelosi of their own !

  • nana4gj

    Thank you for this article.

    This President’s “new-found firmness” was something that was on my mind as I awakened this morning. While in the shower, I concluded that he is, indeed, not a Socialist, but, rather, a Humanist and a Pragmatist.

    His policies and programs, and his ability to develop them and to apply them to the human condition, and his ease of manner in relating to just about everyone but the Congressional Republicans, reflect his Humanism. The fact that he spent almost three years giving the Republican Congress the benefit of the doubt, treating them as equals, inviting them into committees and negotiations and legislation of the healthcare reform, and was able to continue to treat them with civility in the face of some of the most degrading personal slander thrown at him, demonstrates that he understood their human condition and expected that they would “grow out of it”, or, at least gave them changes to grow out of it and rise to the occasion.

    Personally, I would not have spent all that time in Humanism before I let my Pragmatist out. But, then, I was not the President of the USA, either.

    Having learned, finally, that they were non-responsive to anyone’s human condition for any reason unless it inconvenienced their own human condition, and that they had no vested interest in cleaning up their potty mouths about him to the point that it became more ridiculous than it was offensive, he saved his Humanist side for all of us and let the Pragmatist out with which to deal with those who will now be called, “the other ones”, “the ones who do not act like Americans or know how an American acts”.

    I only regret that this man does not have another term in which to serve so he can enjoy the results of his hard work over the past eight years, the repair and restoration of our economy, healthcare, voting rights, world image, et al, and do it with a Democratic Congress.

  • whodatbob

    Tparty was and still is embraced by the Republicans because by including the Tparty Republicans think they are the majority. They WANT the Tparty, they NEED the Tparty!

    • nana4gj

      Sort of thinking of and by the doomed. Some Republicans will remain registered Republicans, forsake their Party affiliation, and probably vote Democrat or Independent for non Republicans, at least for those who are out of the closet Tea Partiers. Acting the fools and recruiting fools that can be led like sheep and manipulated by unseen monied men does not guarantee anyone an election. People will figure out how to work around those gerrymandered districts.

      • 788eddie

        Wait! I’m still a registered Republican. Have been since I got the right to vote. But I’m a moderate in a large group of radicals. I want my party back!

        Unfortunately, I think they’ve not hit bottom yet.

        In the meanwhile, they sure are losing a lot of us moderates.

        • nana4gj

          I have always been a registered Democrat but have voted for the individual in the past, ie, Republican sometime. Now, I can’t even consider a Republican because, as evidenced by the Red State governors and those in US Congress, some of them run their campaigns as moderates and say one thing and after getting into office, they do the radical, Conservative agenda. It is pretty much like we can no longer trust them, not on whom they present themselves to be, not on policy, and, more importantly, not on having the integrity to stand up and be a lone voice of reason, if need be, instead of follow the loudest, most obnoxious, toxic “leader of the month”, even when following would result in disaster for the people and this country.

          Character-wise, their ability to lie and distort and manipulate has transcended the skill of the usual politician. They now all appear like sociopaths. They do things that are harmful to people with no pang of conscience and then lie like a rug with the ease and glib of an eel. To me, that is not ideology; that is pathology. Is the entire GOP sociopathic? No, it is not contagious, per se. It is, however, a fact that sociopaths can charm, and influence others with that sick personality, suck people in, and manipulate quite successfully. Unfortunately, too many in GOP are easily manipulated and taken in, probably because they are so hungry and needful for a Leader, but the more they refuse to see the Leader in themselves, the worse their situation becomes until they are completely demoralized, as they are now, in my opinion.

  • howa4x

    I remember when the GOP had statesmen in it. People who would put party loyalties aside for the good of the country. Even tricky dick Nixon started the EPA. Today we have a new phenomena making up the heart of the GOP. It is a cadre of right wing talk hosts who can afford to take extreme positions with out any semblance to truth, the rise of FOX news, that distorts everything through their special lens, and 100’s of millions of dollars flowing into the party to support an extreme agenda. This is the real GOP. The people we see in congress are puppets to these masters. Ruthless people who will stop at nothing till they get their way. Be to moderate and right wing money and candidates will show up in your district. What we are witnessing is the destruction of a political party and the rise of it’s special interests to call all the shots. This is why there is a shutdown it is in the best interest of FOX, the talking heads and the Koch bros, the new republican party.

  • atc333

    Boehner will go down in history as the limp wristed, spineless, feckless Speaker of the House who put his own political position over the welfare of the Nation. He refuses to allow an up or down vote on a new continuing resolution, as he is in mortal fear of losing his Speakership, should he do so. So, the Nation will suffer, and millions be lost on a daily basis, just so he can retain his position.

    the most amazing thing is that the talking heads for the Right Wing are making claims that are totally false, and distortions of truth? ” Most Americans are against Obamcare” , totally ignoring the rest of that survey, that over 70% of Americans are against shutting down the government in order to defund Obamacare. This is conveniently forgotten.

    If one looks at the elements of the crime of extortion, what the GOP is doing to this Nation meets all the criteria for that crime, less than 1/4 of the House members, with Boehners complicity, are holding all of America hostage . “Give us what we demand, or we will shut this Nation down.”.

    • plc97477

      They also refuse to say that roughly a third of the “Most Americans against Obamacare” are against it because it is not liberal enough. They would rather see a single payer.

      • atc333

        Very true. For some reason the GOP is compelled to rely upon distortions of the truth to win.

        So far, the Radical Right GOP has developed and fine tuned the following tools to win.

        1. Gerrymandering.
        2. Voter Suppression directed at minorities and strongly Democratic

        Districts, including:
        a) Shorter voting hours per day
        b) Insufficient staff at polling places
        d) Deliberate under supplying of voting materials
        e) Limiting absentee ballots
        f) Cutting down the number of days for early voting
        g) Posting bill boards designed to intimidate and

        dissuade legitimate minority voters from voting
        3. Deliberate lies and misrepresentations of truth, designed to misinform and incite the faithful and dissuade the undecided from voting for moderate candidates, directed at voters who are most likely not going to verify their claims. Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann, Genn Beck, . Rush Limbaugh, to name just a few sources, and the talking heads that spread their misinformation.
        4. Block and delay all bills and legislaiton designed to create jobs, and rebuild the economy, claiming “no new spending”,insuring that any reveovery will be slow, and difficult, sucessfully maintaining what the GOP now considered to be the “New Normal”.
        5. Extortion and blackmail to coerce the Senate, and Executive Branch to cave into their demands to defund a duly passed, law a minority of House Representatives hate, to such and extent they are willing to harm many Americans simply to get their way, costing the nation over 335 million a day, and weakening our defenses against terrorists, foreign and domestic.

        The solution? 2014 is coming. Get out the vote.

  • MichelleRose3

    Folks, I think we need to focus our perspective on the long-term effects as how they correspond with Tea Party goals. We keep focusing on the ACA as the core reason the Tea Party has shut down the government.

    I don’t think that’s the primary goal at all. What we have here is a slow coup, ladies and gentlemen.

    I invite y’all to consider their own recorded statements, in public and private, and their own insistence that they were elected to Congress for only one reason: to shut the government down. Remember, ALL the Tea Party members in Congress are either freshman or sophomore legislators. They have absolutely NO prior experience as legislators and that’s one of the main reasons the constituents of their gerrymandered districts elected them.

    Let’s unpack that a bit, as Maddow would say. When we hear these deliberately-placed loose cannons (I think of them as landmines) state openly that they mean to shut down the government, indefinitely, I believe most of us take that statement as hyperbole: they can’t possibly MEAN that!

    Yes, they can and yes, they do. They now have us, 300 million people, by the proverbial short hairs. They have absolutely no intention of letting go. (Would you?) When taking a tiger by the tail, do not let go until that tiger is certainly dead. Has anyone else besides me ever considered that they mean to keep this situation PERMANENT; with no compromise or backing down? For one thing, they CAN’T back down, any more than the Dems can back down. But consider:

    With no government funding past October 17, with our credit absolutely cratered, and no way to run the country, who do you think is going to step into the breech, so to speak, and offer to run things “while the country recovers”? I’ll give you a minute or two to think about it.

    (Looks at the wall clock, folds her arms, hums a bit, taps her toe…)

    Okay, time’s up. Yes, the major corporations. Before you choke with laughter, I invite you to think of the impossible: the country utterly bankrupt, no services of ANY kind, and riots a daily phenomenon. You would think the Prez would order martial law then, wouldn’t you? Don’t be absurd. He would not do that simply because the situation would NOT improve or stabilize, it would escalate.

    And for eighty white, radically-libertarian political novices, it’s a perfect time to install themselves as a “caretaker government”, one that would suspend all further elections, of course.

    You think I’m paranoid? My friends, I wish it were not so, but all the signs point to a long-range strategy to seize permanent power; a coup. If this were a South American country, we’d already be hearing the distinctive sounds of automatic weapons fire emanating from the White House.

    We may yet.

    Please remember that these Tea Partiers (like Bachmann, for example) have admitted, ON CAMERA, that their primary goal is to shut down government, permanently if possible.

    I don’t often throw the T word around, but that is treason; to render one’s country vulnerable to attack. By the end of the month, the US will be at that stage.

    I don’t see any way out of this except to arrest the whole pack of ’em for conspiracy to commit treason and throw their butts in jail. Hold emergency elections in their districts and make the winners emphasize the “support and defend the United States” part of their oath of office.

    The eighty Tea Partiers who deliberately started this avalanche damn sure aren’t paying attention to that part of their oaths.

    Damn it, any way this goes, it’s going to be very ugly! How much longer are we going to let these socially-maladjusted, criminally incompetent bigots bully and terrorize us?

    • sigrid28

      “Calmez toi,” the soothing words of a French mother–you DO have a French name, oui? I find it very easy to become over-wrought these days, mainly hoping John Boehner will call an up-and-down vote and begin the course of putting these anarchists in our past as soon as possible. There is no doubt that one of their goals was to shut down the government, but I’m not ready to accept their ability to go much past this ill-planned boondoggle. There are too many other well-intentioned, extremely smart, and energetic Americans who will not let them stand in the way and who will not tolerate this for very much longer.

      Can you forgive me for reading your profile? The super intelligent posters on this comment thread always have interesting stories. Without referring to yours, I can offer you two interesting tidbits from my past, with respect to the ACA and its provisions. My mother had a mitral valve replacement in 1975, a stroke during surgery, two bouts with breast cancer, and assorted other difficulties, yet she survived, was a ten-year survivor of both cancers, and that little pig heart valve kept beating away for twenty-five years. So you are very smart to be pursuing a teaching career. I have a best friend from college who runs an NGO and keeps finishing college degrees because that is the way she keeps herself on decent health insurance. I hope the three of us can stop worrying about our government and health insurance and just get on with making our contributions to society in general and our friends and families in particular.

      • MichelleRose3

        Dear Sigrid:
        Mercí, ma’am. Some “calmez” might be in order, certainly. I appreciate your response, as it is quite intelligent and cosmopolitan as well.
        I do wish I could emulate your calm certainty, though. I find the current events so troubling, partly because I am in much the same position as your beloved mother was: cardiac problems (I, too, carry a new mitral valve, except mine is entirely artificial as is the stent in my primary cardiac artery. Titanium, stainless steel and Kevlar, they tell me. Look, I’m bulletproof! But only if you shoot me there…) and partly because I have studied our adversaries so carefully, I am beginning to believe that they are capable of any extremism, including a coup.
        Yes, I would like nothing better that to complete my BA, apply to graduate school,complete my MFA and then create sedition myself by teaching others that the pen is infinitely mightier than the sword.
        Consider: the best way to deprogram bigotry, ignorance, and sloppy thinking in anyone is to empower them with the ability to think logically and communicate clearly through writing. What we now call “rhetoric” and “composition” are subtle, powerful tools that can give us all the ability to discern lies and empty political posturing and refute those lies through simple applications of various valid forms of argument. I’ve been lucky. My instructors have unpacked multiple tools for me to employ in teaching young adults how to identify the BS in any argument and how to respond in ways that invalidate those illogical arguments. I plan to do the same for upcoming generations of young adults who lack those skills. If you want to prepare young minds to respond to stupidity, shoddy logic, and empty arguments, teach them how to identify those flaws and you’re halfway home. Teach them further to logically and clearly construct arguments that invalidate those flaws and (not so suddenly), you have minds that can function well in a world full of deceit, posturing, and malice.
        A well-educated, well-prepared citizenry is the first, best defense against political mismanagement and damned lies.
        That’s my goal and I will continue toward it until this body finally wears out, which may be sooner than I’d like, but the journey alone is worth anything I might have to endure.
        Thank you again for your response. May you always stand in the Light.

        • sigrid28

          Thanks for your thoughtful response and for forgiving me a personal comment. I have another intrusive thing to say, that I hope will help you make the best use possible of your years to come (my mother had twenty-five, 1975-2000). This involves my experience. Once I completed my B.A. in English as a twenty-year-old, I began working as a substitute teacher and taking education courses toward two teaching certificates that I held for thirty years, H.S. English and Special Language Arts K-12. Full- and part-time substitute teaching allowed me to finish a Ph.D. as well in English at the University of Chicago, where I was fortunate enough to work on publications for the University of Chicago Press. I also accumulated almost twenty years of teaching experience. My son has an autism spectrum disorder that pulled me out of the work force for a number of years. Now, however, my degrees and certificates, along with the publications and years of teaching experience, stand in the way of my being employed. So I beg you, seek a full-time teaching job once the B.A. is completed with teacher certification and just take graduate courses a few at a time. If you cannot work full-time and perhaps have disability benefits, then by all means finish the MFA and try to find work on the adjunct track at colleges and universities.

          Here’s why. Education now operates on a corporate model. At many colleges and universities, over 50% of Ph.D.’s work as adjunct faculty making below poverty wages with no benefits. The only people getting hired for tenure-track positions are those whose degrees were obtained since 2010. Even a prestigious degree completed in the 1990s is “past its shelf life” in the eyes of the tenured faculty that serve on search committees. It’s a trick on students and their parents that the educations for which they pay such high tuition are delivered principally by low-paid adjunct faculty and graduate students supported by awards of tuition and meager stipends. At the elementary and secondary school levels it is not much better. Recent grads are hired while teachers with thirty years of experience are invited to take early retirement. My brother took this offer and was promptly hired part-time at a local junior college that would not have even interviewed me, even though he has just a B.S. in science education and hours of graduate courses he accumulated as part of the continuing education all schools now require. I’ve found that elementary and high schools have no use for highly educated and experienced former teachers in their before and after school programs–even as volunteers. In the anti-intellectual climate in our smallish Iowa town, that runs on nepotism and cronyism (as well as xenophobia), this work is reserved for teenage sons and daughters of friends and people who have lived all of their lives in the community. Not surprisingly, test scores have not improved, so Title 1 money is being offered to outside agencies and taken away from the local school district that used it to provide pin-money for friends and family. As my elderly neighbor, who grew up on a dirt farm in the South used to say, while showing me how to use a long-handled hoe to weed instead of doing it on my knees–kind and wise words I now share with you, Michelle–“Child, save yourself!”

  • ridemybroom

    All these old white men are nothing but racist who has an agenda on getting the black man out of the white house… too bad the lady who ran into the white house blockade didn’t take a few of the Repubics out with her… what an embarrassment the Repubics are to the president, the country, and the world…. such a shame !

    • David Waggoner

      be nice

  • Bryan Blake

    Bravo Mr. Conason you have come as close as any professional commentator to calling the Tea Party the “Anarchist” they are! The first victim in the destruction of a civil society is the ability to be Reasonable and participate in the free exchange of ideas. My social and political perspective generally turns Leftward. But there are issues that I find that I can agree with conservatives are a problem, still I find myself often disagreeing as to the solution(s). I agree that governments should not carry big deficits. I do not see bonds for building infrastructure, schools and funding certain education programs as debt. I see that as an investment debt that, as businesses often do, is made and paid down from future revenue streams of the government. Government deficits are easily resolved in one of three ways: 1. Do not create them; 2. Levy fair and high enough taxe rates to pay the governments’ obligations; and 3. Write Budgets that do not allow the government even to perform its minimal obligations. Number 3 is where we are at now. The Democrats have agreed to a “sequester level figure” in order to get a “clean CR”, to no avail.

    The American Revolution was quickly hijacked, even before the last of the Founders left the Office of POTUS. An extremely early decision by SCOTUS gave corporations their beachhead upon American Jurisprudence and became the seminal flow of decisions until at last their total victory in Citizens United v. FEC. History clearly illustrates that the more money and power the 1% and their corporations aggregate, the more We The People lose in terms of our Constitutional Rights under The Rule of Law and the poorer we become.

    Since the loss of the late Senator Barry Goldwater to the late President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964, the American Conservative movement was revived in hostility to undo the “American Socialism” of FDR. The corpse of Republican moderation and reason began to whiff through the chambers of Congress and the White House in the late 1980s. By the 1990s, slices off the rotting corpses of Reason and Compromise began to be served on the Republican Rubber Chicken circuit. The party adopted a scorched earth policy and winning, no matter how, became the only important principle.

    The only logical result of all of these billions of dollars invested in the Republican Party is its final delivery into the hands of right wing extremists. At the extremes of either end of the political spectrum is the unknown, dark and disintegrating space of time and place known as anarchy. Therefore, we have been delivered, at least for now, into the hands of the Tea Party extremists/anarchists.

    Anarchy has only two natural homes in a modern and industrialized society/economy: 1. with children playing in sandboxes; and 2. the minds of adults who do not remember the lessons of the sandboxes.

  • JanS

    I’m thankful that a lot of people are calling out the so called tea party (not going to validate them) but I am outraged that they can get away with this shutdown. Are we this fragile? Do we really have to wait until the next election to have any say against these people? We already know what a scourge they have become on our house – I want to know what actions we can take, now.

    • David Waggoner

      go login at Tea Party .com …if you wanna read some weird ass shit

      • nana4gj

        I can’t deal with that. Rev Al just had one on his show on MSNBC and I had to change the channel for the duration, and returned in time to catch the last part of commercials. I just cannot listen to it any more. It has become very symptomatic to me, that is, I am now seeing it from a clinical perspective with a conflagration of symptoms that the end result cannot be labeled but it’s simply not normal. Maybe your conclusion of what it is is the most apt !

        • David Waggoner

          his voice is annoying

    • plc97477

      The districts that own them can take them out at any time but I don’t see them doing that.

  • Budjob

    Maybe we will all get lucky and,they will contract an inoperable disease!!These T-Bag nuts are a treasonous bunch of lunatics!!!

    • Elisabeth Gordon

      Maybe we will get lucky and they’ll all stumble out of the Tabard Inn into on-coming traffic….

    • plc97477

      My dream is that they will all go on a big cruise and the ship goes under, taking them all to their maker.

  • old_blu

    Geeze! Boehner have a Snickers you are such a boner when you’re hungry.

  • nana4gj

    Wow. US Rep (R) John Mica from Florida was just on Rev Al show on MSNBC TV.

    No matter the questions asked, the issue topic, an automatic button was pushed and the same talking points for the last 5 to 6 months rolled out like a babbling brook with no pause, no stopping, talking over under and around, never answering the question, just rote response as if a robot was before us with a disc inside that, once begun, doesn’t stop until the other person reaches a certain decibel or says the word, “commercial”.

    It was a conflagration of words that are not remembered for the words or the message but for the delivery. Almost like the kind of “rambling” of a hebephrenic scizophrenic who has a disorganized thought disorder, delusions, etc. I can’t say this person has this disease. I only can say that he and his colleagues have a tendency to exhibit that symptom with their speech which reflects what is in their minds.

    Why do people continue to invite them on their shows? All we end up with is jabberwockey and jibberish.

  • aquinas215

    Although the notion of uniformity may appear to align with democratic processes, it actually erodes our recognition of individual value.