But it came at a steep cost in terms of issue and political clarity:
The Republican-controlled House unexpectedly rejected short-term funding for the Department of Homeland Security on Friday, increasing the prospect of a partial shutdown at midnight of an agency with significant anti-terrorism responsibilities.
None of which will be affected by the "shutdown," because those are deemed "essential" functions. But far be it from me to spoil the AP's drama-mongering.
The vote was 224-203 against the measure, as more than four dozen Republicans defected on the leadership-backed legislation.
In other words, all the spine their Senate counterparts lacked.
A combination of conservative, tea party-backed Republicans on one side of the political aisle and Democrats on the other opposed the bill. The first group was upset because the legislation had been stripped of changes to President Barack Obama's immigration policy, and the second because it lacked full-year funding for the sprawling department.
I.e. "You can't please everybody," especially in as polarized a political climate, and on such an incendiary issue, as this one. If all Boehner had wanted was to have a chance to pass something, anything, to be seen as being "able to govern," (aka being Harry Reid's bitch), he should have followed Mitch McConnell's horrible example.
I love these two 'graphs in particular because they are so illustrative:
With less than seven hours remaining before the midnight deadline, it was unclear what Speaker John Boehner and other Republican leaders would next propose.
Democrats led by Representative Nancy Pelosi of California urged them in advance to allow a vote on a bill to keep the department in funds through the September 30th end of the budget year — a step the GOP high command had previously refused to take.
And which Boehner doesn't dare take if he wants to avoid a full-scale caucus rebellion. At this point the only DHS bill that will pass the House is the one they already passed a month ago that defunds Obamnesty. As such, that should have determined Boehner's response to McConnell's capitulation. In essence, "Sorry, Senate, we're not going to negotiate against ourselves. If you're not going to pass our bill, then DHS is going to (15%) shut down. Ball's in your court". Instead, Boehner wound up in the same position, except he gratuitous pissed off his own base (again) on the way there. And, of course, per (G)Reid's warning from Wednesday, since Boehner couldn't deliver the House's white flag, he will now order his minions to filibuster even the total capitulation McConnell gifted him.
Thus has a DHS shutdown showdown that had crystal clarity - "Republican Congress defunds Obamnesty, Obama vetoes 'vital national security funding' on behalf of a lawless policy three quarters of the voting public vehemently opposes" - been utterly charlie-foxtroted into "Republican incompetence, racism, and softness on 'violent extremism' has 'shut down our security'".
And so many of us say Obama is "in over his head". The GOP now looks spineless AND stupid.
And yet it isn't a problem that some courage of the ol' convictions wouldn't have solved.
But now? Who knows, gentlebeings, who knows?
UPDATE: This horizon is hurtling closer at a dizzying pace:
The U.S. Senate, without any debate, late on Friday passed a one-week funding extension for the Department of Homeland Security, a last ditch move aimed at averting a partial shutdown of the agency at midnight.
Is this Senator McConnell, with Senator (G)Reid's arm up his ass, apologizing to Speaker Boehner for not giving him enough time to strong-arm enough of his own GOP caucus ram through the "clean" Democrat DHS appropriation? I certainly can't see any other purpose for a seven day extension. I also don't see why the same conservative defectors who voted down the three-week extension this afternoon wouldn't vote down this even more fun-sized gambit as well. The principle and the dynamic are not only precisely the same, but they're all the more transparent the closer that funding horizon is dragged to the present.
And if this one-weeker is shot down, what'll be next? Twenty-four hours? Will it get down to minutes? Seconds? The blink of an eye?
FINAL UPDATE: Guess we know who blinked:
The U.S. House of Representatives gave final approval on Friday to a one-week stopgap spending bill for the domestic security agency, averting a partial shutdown with just hours to spare before a midnight deadline.
After a chaotic day that featured an embarrassing rebuke to House Speaker John Boehner from angry conservatives, the House voted 357-60 to keep the lights on at the Department of Homeland Security for at least one more week....
Democrats said they were optimistic a bill with nearly $40 billion in funding for the full fiscal year for the department, already passed by the Senate, would advance in the House next week.
And with a full week for the media, Democrats, and the leadership to bludgeon House conservatives into submission, they're probably right. And thus will the GOP become complicit in Barack Obama's dictatorship, the further evisceration of the Constitution and the rule of law, and their own eventual electoral extinction.
Quite a day's work, I'd say.
Post a Comment