Oct 16, 201302:42 PMVan Lines
with Joe Vanden Plas
The GOP: What a swell party it was
(page 1 of 2)
It’s hard to sum up just how badly insurgent House Republicans and a few myopic senators have shot themselves, and the party as a whole, in the head with their hopeless quest to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Not in the foot — in the head. By trying to repeal President Obama’s signature legislation while in control of only one house of Congress, and linking it to the partial government shutdown and later the debt limit and the possibility of default, the Republican Party forced itself to play a game it was bound to lose.
And it lost big-time. This week’s agreement to end the latest budget soap opera was, predictably, a total capitulation by a political party that acted like a rabid dog chasing a car and then didn’t know what to do once its teeth were sunk into the bumper. I’ll spare you the legislative results, but let’s just say the Democrats rolled Congressional Republicans in batter and began the deep-frying process.
So instead of allowing all the focus to be on the Affordable Care Act and its bumpy implementation, these knuckleheads turned the spotlight on their own clown act. It was a fool’s errand for one basic reason: The nation produces enough tax revenue to pay the interest on its debt, meaning default wasn’t necessarily a given, but Social Security checks have to be mailed out, too. Most people would prefer the latter to be the higher priority, but this escaped the grasp of the great strategic thinkers who were driving this foolishness.
They were driving this against the better judgment of House Speaker John Boehner and House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, who were unable to talk them off the ledge. Perhaps the voices of reason will prevail from now on, but given the GOP’s plummeting fortunes in most public opinion polls, something tells me it doesn’t matter. Too much self-inflicted damage has been done.
But hey, at least Ted Cruz, who put himself in charge of this suicide mission from the U.S. Senate, has established his presidential bona fides. Senator Cruzin’ for a Bruisin’ is a very good kamikaze pilot, but as for counting votes and strategizing and thinking one step ahead, he’s to smart politics what Chris Christie is to tap-dancing. Being from Texas, Sen. Cruz obviously remembers the Alamo because he just starred in its reenactment.