Thursday, September 17, 2015

Democrats Getting Cold Feet On Government Shutdown?

by JASmius

I'm not sure how to take this:

The top Democrats in the U.S. Congress, Representative Nancy Pelosi and Senator Harry Reid, said on Thursday lawmakers should pass a short-term spending measure, known as a continuing resolution, to buy time for negotiating a comprehensive federal budget and avoid a government shutdown.

The two leaders had huddled with Barack Obama for ninety minutes at the White House to prepare "to pursue conversations leading to negotiations on how we keep government open," Pelosi told reporters outside the White House, adding that they would like to proceed in "a timely fashion."

The Democrats want a government shutdown.  They always do.  We know that.  Just as we know why they want it: They always win, the GOP always gets destroyed in the media, and the latter always caves.  And we know that the Democrats have been threatening a government shutdown all summer.  So why are they all of a sudden putting on the mask of reason and distancing themselves from the confrontation they've been doing more than anybody else to stoke?

My guess?  The Planned Parenthood Cannibalism Cinematic Universe (PPCCU).  The Center For Medical Progress has given congressional Tea Partiers a brand new, fresh object for their die-hard, die-always defunding itch.  They're willing to force another shutdown showdown to cut off the anti-baby Nazis, and as a byproduct are saving (G)Reid and Pelosi the bother and risk of having to contrive an excuse for it themselves.  Sure, Dirty Harry and Crazy Nancy wholeheartedly support Planned Parenthood, but they've got an insane, leftwingnut extremist Agenda to force on majority Republicans, and yet another government shutdown of which Tea Partiers are going out of their way to make themselves the face is the surest way to, as it were, "hit paydirt".  What better way of maximizing their chances than making a "sensible," "commonsense," "reasonable" proposal for another "clean" short-term continuing resolution that makes them look "statesman-like," in gaping contrast to those "crazed, rightwing extremists" in the GOP?  Doubly so since a "clean" CR would include funding for Planned Parenthood, which the House Freedom Caucus would also insist and defunding.

God bless Tea Partiers, in and out of government, but they really don't have the slightest clue about how easy they make it for the Dems to manipulate them.

However, one House TPer has finally figured it out - and he's taking a walk:

On February 27th, we faced the imminent shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security over the funding of Obama’s unlawful amnesty orders for illegal [alien]s. Although the American people overwhelmingly opposed these orders, they also overwhelmingly opposed shutting down DHS. House Republicans attempted to pass a three-week stop gap bill so we could avoid a catastrophic shutdown of our security agencies while continuing to bring public opinion to bear to de-fund the orders. At the behest of its board, most HFC members combined with House Democrats to defeat this effort, resulting in the full funding of these illegal orders for the fiscal year.

In May, the House had the opportunity to adopt the most important free trade bill in nearly two decades, restoring the long-standing and essential process that has made it possible for our nation to negotiate free trade agreements with other nations. At the behest of its board, most HFC members combined with the vast majority of House Democrats in an unsuccessful attempt to defeat this legislation.

Last week, the House was scheduled to adopt the Resolution of Disapproval of the disastrous Iran nuclear agreement – the only legally binding action available to Congress under the Corker Act. Once again, the House Freedom Caucus leadership threatened to combine with House Democrats to defeat the Resolution, forcing the House leadership to abandon it in favor of a symbolic and legally meaningless vote. Ironically, while Harry Reid and Senate Democrats blocked a vote on the Resolution of Disapproval in the Senate, the House Freedom Caucus leadership was instrumental in blocking its consideration in the House

A common theme through each of these incidents is a willingness – indeed, an eagerness – to strip the House Republican majority of its ability to set the House agenda by combining with House Democrats on procedural motions. As a result, it has thwarted vital conservative policy objectives and unwittingly become Nancy Pelosi’s tactical ally. [emphases added]

Tom McClintock (R-CA4) is as rock-ribbedly conservative as they come.  He's got a perfect ACU rating of 100% and a 90% rating on the Heritage Action scorecard.  He's the antithesis of a RINO/"establishment" squish quisling traitor sellout.  And he's finally begun to wonder why it is that his fellow Tea Party purity fetishists keep making common cause with the Democrat enemies they should be fighting in order to dick Boehner and the GOP leadership for....not fighting the Democrats hard enough.  He's picked up on the pattern I've been relentlessly pointing out for the past several years.

It's as I've said all along: My problem with the Tea Party is not, nor has it ever been, ideology (back when the Tea Party - or that portion that has gone howling after Donald Trump, anyway - gave a damn about conservative ideology), but is all about and to do with strategy.  Tea Partiers demand the results but disdain the process through which they must be obtained.  They insist that we can WIN! if we just FIGHT!  FIGHT!  FIGHT! hard enough, as though it's a matter of sheer will (hence the expression "Green Lanternism") and testicular fortitude.  No compromise is allowed, even tactical ones that would get us closer to our ultimate objective, because it's considered "weak" and anybody who suggests it is a "sellout" and part of "the surrender caucus".  And the more that the GOP leadership tries to get them to understand how politics actually works, that it isn't nearly as simplistic as TPers make it sound, that there's this thing called the Overton window, that the other side does get to fight back, limiting what we can accomplish and attain, and that the idea is to keep "moving the chains" as opposed to throwing hail-Mary's on every play, the more Tea Partiers stamp their feet, demand total victory all the louder (as though it were an....entitlement), and vitriolically denounce the "establishment" and come to see their own leadership as bigger enemies than the real foes on the other side of the aisle.

To call it counterproductive doesn't begin to describe it.  And that's what Tom McClintock has had his fill of.  He's had enough of endless Pickett's charges accompanied by carpet-bombing of our own lines.  I did a long time ago.  And so should all have you.  A "strategy" in which you start out trying to defund Planned Parenthood and wind up helping to pass the entire Democrat Agenda, including PP funding, and then blaming that folly on your own party leadership that probably would have gotten a better deal with better optics via better tactics (i.e. Sometimes "FIGHT!  FIGHT!  FIGHT!" isn't the best approach) is not a "strategy," it's insanity.  Stupidity, as well.

What matters is not how we win, but THAT we win.  TPers are way too obsessed with the "how," and have steadfastly refused to learn from their mistakes and instead blamed them on the GOP leadership.  Boehner and McConnell are certainly no great shakes either, but how has that advanced the conservative cause?  Isn't that worth a little bit of soul-searching thought?  Or does being ideologically "pure" absolve one of the at least occasional need for introspection?

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