Cruz Needs to Work on his Analogies (and His Analysis)

Nazi comparisons are only helpful when discussing actual Nazis.

Cruz FilibusterIn his filibuster against Obamacare, Senator Cruz deployed one of the most clichéd of analogies:  that the fight against Obamacare was a fight against the appeasement of Chamberlain and, by existence, the onslaught of Nazi Germany:

“If you go to the 1940s, Nazi Germany,” Cruz said. “Look, we saw in Britain, Neville Chamberlain, who told the British people, ‘Accept the Nazis. Yes, they’ll dominate the continent of Europe but that’s not our problem. Let’s appease them. Why? Because it can’t be done. We can’t possibly stand against them.'”

“And in America there were voices that listened to that,” he continued. “I suspect those same pundits who say it can’t be done, if it had been in the 1940s we would have been listening to them. Then they would have made television. They would have gotten beyond carrier pigeons and beyond letters and they would have been on tv and they would have been saying, ‘You cannot defeat the Germans.'”

Not only is any reference to Chamberlain’s appeasement about as tired as one can get in terms of political analogies, comparing a program that aims to expand health care coverage for US citizens to the Nazi onslaught in Europe is cartoonishly absurd.  (Transcription from TPM, with video at the site).  The notion that Cruz is Churchill, fighting against the appeasers in his party and the media so as to forestall the conquering ways of legislation passed by the Congress (including a super-majority in the Senate) is plainly ridiculous.

Cruz was given a national spotlight to make a case against the program, and while I will admit to not being privy to the entire 21+ hour presentation, I have not yet seen anything approaching a cogent argument for why he opposes the PPACA, save that is it is bad and that Cruz asserts that it kills jobs.  And on that point, I understand the basic argument in terms of part time jobs. However, if the goal is to change minds (and not the grandstand) then one ought to beyond just making a handful of assertions.  Even if the speech was quixotic, if he has a really good case to make, then make it.  If in his fantasy he plays the role of Churchill, then play that role and make a strong case for his position while everyone is watching.

Of course, Cruz isn’t trying to change minds, or to lay the groundwork for actual policy.  Instead, he engaged in some performance art that was designed only to make his supporters feel better (yes!  fight those Nazis!) while ignoring the actual hard work of governing.  It is an example of the anemic politics of the day and is emblematic of how the Tea Party faction of the the Republican Party, in particular, approaches governance.

I can understand opposition to the PPACA.  Like James Joyner, I think that the better system would be some type of single payer.  That, however, is a preference that is obviously not on the table at the moment, and may never be.  Still, the GOP opposition to he PPACA is baffling on many levels,* not the least of which being is that is only deepens the pre-Obamacare system of private insurance.  It is not a massive new system, as they are making it out to be.  It certainly isn’t radical.  However, governing requires dealing with reality and working within its parameters.  The simple fact of reality is that the PPACA is law and that with a Democratic president and Senate, there is going to be no repeal.  Since there is going to be no repeal, trying to hold everything else the government does hostage to repeal it is the very definition of a waste of time.

*Although, of course, I understand the visceral opposition to anything the other party does, and especially the political hay to be made in opposing the president specifically.

FILED UNDER: US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. beth says:

    Jon Stewart put it best last night – “yeah, you got nothing”.

  2. J-Dub says:

    Another classic snippet from Jon Stewart:

    “Stewart also spent his opening segment addressing Cruz, pointing out the logical fallacy in Cruz reading Green Eggs and Ham while making his case for not funding the new law. “So to express your opposition to Obamacare, you go with a book about a stubborn jerk who decides he hates something before he’s tried it,” Stewart noted. “And when he finally does get a taste, he has to admit after tasting it, ‘This is pretty fuc*ing good.’”

  3. C. Clavin says:

    What’s this…10 posts up on Cruz? Eleven?
    What was it, again, that he is fighting so hard against?
    Oh yeah…that’s right…Obamacare.
    Did you hear that the numbers are in for Obamacare and they are below predicted costs? Quite reasonable, actually?
    Did you know these are actual premiums from actual companies with actual skin in the game…and not from a blow-hard first term Senator trying to establish a doomed Presidential run?
    Just wondering.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Cruz Needs to Work on his Analogies (and His Analysis) FTFY Steven.

    HEY TED! GET A JOB!!

  5. “If you go to the 1940s, Nazi Germany,” Cruz said. “Look, we saw in Britain, Neville Chamberlain, who told the British people, ‘Accept the Nazis. Yes, they’ll dominate the continent of Europe but that’s not our problem. Let’s appease them. Why? Because it can’t be done. We can’t possibly stand against them.’”

    But didn’t Cruz pre-negotiate the non-filibuster with Reid beforehand? Does that mean he was negotiating with, in his opinion and the opinion of his wingnut constituents, Nazis?

  6. legion says:

    comparing a program that aims to expand health care coverage for US citizens to the Nazi onslaught in Europe is cartoonishly absurd

    I think you’ll find that every single aspect of the modern Republican party in general is cartoonishly absurd. I fully expect the next batch of incoming freshmen legislators to show up in top hats and monocles, twirling their mustaches.

  7. john personna says:

    Well Nazis were the national SOCIALIST party, and Obama is a SOCIALIST, so it works.

  8. john personna says:

    @legion:

    I don’t think you can get much more cartoonish than the National Review jumping onto the Cruz bus with both feet. I think though it is all AR-15s now, and not monocles.

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Somebody misprogrammed the Cruz missile’s targeting.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    It is an example of the anemic politics of the day and is emblematic of how the Tea Party faction of the the Republican Party, in particular, approaches governance.

    Today’s GOP is on Cruz control.

  11. john personna says:

    A good read at The American Conservative:

    Why Ted Cruz’s Filibuster Was Not Like Rand Paul’s

    Paul’s filibuster was also symbolic, but there’s a tremendous difference between the educational effect of what Paul did—his message was not just aimed at the Republican base—and Cruz’s pitch to the true believers. Cruz’s position is that the Republican Party only needs to be more Republican, as “Republican” has been defined by the talk-radio right in the past 20 years.

    There are two problems with that. On a practical political level, that kind of Republicanism cannot win national majorities. And more importantly, it doesn’t deserve to. A Ted Cruz Republican—a Republican’s Republican—not only has no answers to the decline of the American middle class and the extraordinary ineptitude of U.S. global hegemony but refuses even to address the questions. Instead, we get outmoded cliches about socialism and free markets—when in fact what we’re looking at are alternative forms of mixed economy—and jingoism in foreign policy, if occasionally jingoism that opposes wars led by Democrats. These positions only distract from, or indeed exacerbate, the problems of our political economy and global strategy.

  12. Rafer Janders says:

    Nazi comparisons are only helpful when discussing actual Nazis.

    Cruz aside, I have to disagree with the above, because….that’s the whole point of a comparison. Nazis don’t have to be compared to Nazis, because you don’t compare a thing to itself, you compare a thing to something other than itself. If someone who is not a Nazi is doing something similar to what the Nazis did, we have to be able to point that out (if, say, a non-Nazi regime sets up genocidal death camps for Methodists, would we still say that Holocaust comparisons aren’t allowed because hey, no actual Nazis?). Where it goes wrong, and when we should condemn, is when someone compares the Nazis to someone or something THAT HAS NO ACTUAL SIMILARITY TO WHAT THEY USED TO DO.

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    TEE HEEhee…..

    Ruth Marcus

    That Cruz-I-am
    That Cruz-I-am
    I do not like
    That Cruz-I-am.

    Do you like Obamacare?
    I do not like it, Cruz-I-am.
    I do not like Obamacare.

    I will not fund it, here or there.
    I will not fund it anywhere.
    I run against Obamacare.
    I run against it, Cruz-I-am.

    Would you fund it in the House?
    Run against Bill Clinton’s spouse?
    I would not fund it in the House.
    Bring it on, Bill Clinton’s spouse.

    Go read the hilarious rest.

  14. gVOR08 says:

    I’ll repeat my comment of a couple weeks ago:

    The problem with conservatives is that they believe their own bullshit.

    As we seem to have to remind people, Obamacare is essentially Romneycare, which is a conservative Republican plan originally pushed by Heritage. There’s nothing about Obamacare that conservatives need to hate. But GOPs started attacking Obamacare as a matter of opposition to the prez. It was a tactic to prevent Obama’s reelection. And look, Obama won’t be reelected ever again. So they don’t need to attack Obamacare anymore.

    But the Mighty Rightwing Wurlitzer did such a great job of demonizing Obamacare with the base that the tactic has now become the goal.

    They have to go to these absurd arguments because they have no good arguments.

  15. Rob in CT says:

    [this is, I admit, a repeat of something I pointed out a year or two ago]

    Everybody knows you never go Full Wingnut.

    Check it out. Reagan: raised some taxes, cut nukes, made peace with Gorby. That ain’t full wingnut. Right-wing, sure. Not full wingnut. Nixon: went to China, established the EPA. Paranoid and corrupt, sure, but not full wingnut.

    You went full wingnut, GOP. Never go full wingnut.

    [truth is, however, that I’ve given up waiting for peak wingnut and a return to sanity]

  16. Ron Beasley says:

    When it comes to Cruz the mistake many make is they look at his Ivy League pedigree and assume he’s smart. I was an engineer for 40 years. The dumbest engineer I worked with had a masters degree from an Ivy League school – he was fired less than a year after being hired for incompetence. One of the best engineers I worked with didn’t even have a degree but did hold several patents.

  17. Rafer Janders says:

    “If you go to the 1940s, Nazi Germany,” Cruz said. “Look, we saw in Britain, Neville Chamberlain, who told the British people, ‘Accept the Nazis. Yes, they’ll dominate the continent of Europe but that’s not our problem. Let’s appease them. Why? Because it can’t be done. We can’t possibly stand against them.’”

    Of course, that’s not at all what Neville Chamberlain said. If that was indeed Government’s attitude, why did Britain and France declare war against Germany a year later upon the invasion of Poland? Declaring war doesn’t really seem like the attitude of an appeaser who doesn’t think it can be done…..

  18. john personna says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    Intelligence is rarely symmetrical. We can be smart in one direction and not another. We can even put our intellect in service of our prejudices.

    It might even be that Cruz found that being a smart ass was something that worked for him.

  19. Rafer Janders says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    When it comes to Cruz the mistake many make is they look at his Ivy League pedigree and assume he’s smart.

    Nope, I know Ted, I was at school with Ted, as were many of my friends. He’s definitely smart, very intelligent. He was know as a smart guy at Princeton and Harvard, neither of which lacked for that.

    But there’s many different kinds of intelligence, many different kinds of competent. Ted is frighteningly smart in an academic way, he can command facts and figures, he’s a master debater, and he’s very cunning. But he cannot understand people, he has no empathy, and he’s frighteningly committed to advancing himself at everyone else’s expense which, unfortunately for him, everyone else picks up on.

  20. rudderpedals says:

    In dopey land Munich ’39 is always yesterday and yes, it’s Chamberbama’s fault.

  21. Ron Beasley says:

    @Rafer Janders: Everything you say is true. Being smart is pretty worthless if you can’t use in a practical manner. The Ivy League engineer I spoke of was very knowledgeable but had no imagination – you can’t be a successful engineer if you don’t have imagination.

  22. rudderpedals says:

    @Rafer Janders: But he cannot understand people, he has no empathy

    Is he a sociopath?

  23. Stan says:

    @Timothy Watson: Chamberlain never said “accept the Nazis”, and when he helped pressure the Czechs into giving up the Sudetenland it was in the 30’s, not the 40’s.

    I can’t believe Cruz doesn’t know this stuff. Telling lies apparently doesn’t bother him. Something’s wrong about this guy. He lacks a moral compass, and it’s worrisome that more people don’t see it.

  24. @Rafer Janders: ok, we can split hairs are reformulate as follows: “Nazi comparisons are only useful when making comparisons to Nazi-like behavior.”

  25. Rafer Janders says:
  26. JKB says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    You mean people actually remember Ted Cruz being at the school and have personal recollections about him? Now, who in the last 5 years have we not been able to find anyone who knew him in school?

    I do like the meme though, Ted Cruz, he’s so smart he won’t do what we want.

  27. Ron Beasley says:

    @rudderpedals:

    Is he a sociopath?

    I believe @Rafer Janders: observation is the definition of a sociopath.

  28. Rafer Janders says:

    @rudderpedals:

    Is he a sociopath?

    Umm…I don’t know. But he is at least the sort of person who prompts those around him to ask “do you think Ted’s a sociopath?” and that in itself ain’t good….

  29. john personna says:

    @JKB:

    The aftermath is bad for Republicans. Instead of saying “ouch, that hurt” the Democrats are saying “what explains how bad that was?”

    Personally, I think this applies:

    Behind the scenes, GOP staffers complained that the organization they once looked to for intellectual ammunition had become a thorn in their side. Brian Walsh’s first Washington internship was with Heritage in 1996. He rose in Republican politics to serve as communications director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. In a scathing op-ed for U.S. News headlined “Conservatives Eat Their Own for Profit,” Walsh accused Heritage of taking extreme stands to generate fundraising dollars. “In our great democracy, you affect public policy by offering a vision, influencing a majority of public opinion and winning elections, not by burning down the House, attacking your allies, and falling on your sword,” he wrote.

    Poor dumb trolls roll in the stuff destroying their own party.

  30. C. Clavin says:
  31. J-Dub says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    he can command facts and figures, he’s a master debater, and he’s very cunning

    Did he do that? He had 20+ hours to completely disect Obamacare and show us the weaknesses in the plan and how it could not be fixed so it must be repealed. Or did he just waste a bunch of time?

  32. Rafer Janders says:

    @J-Dub:

    Like I said, smart one way is not smart in another. The reason Ted can’t dissect the faults in Obamacare is that, mainly, the faults are all the conservative parts of the plan.

  33. john personna says:

    @J-Dub:

    That is actually a very good question.

    But as I say, I think he’s a smart ass who knows he’s just playing for the hearts and minds of the JKBs of the world. Their checks are in the mail.

  34. Rafer Janders says:

    @JKB:

    Now, who in the last 5 years have we not been able to find anyone who knew him in school?

    Obama. No one knows where this guy came from…..

  35. Scott O says:

    Cruz wants to cut and run, let the diseases win, because he hates freedom.

  36. C. Clavin says:

    @ Rafer…
    You never see the Manchurians coming…

  37. al-Ameda says:

    “If you go to the 1940s, Nazi Germany,” Cruz said. “Look, we saw in Britain, Neville Chamberlain, who told the British people, ‘Accept the Nazis. Yes, they’ll dominate the continent of Europe but that’s not our problem. Let’s appease them. Why? Because it can’t be done. We can’t possibly stand against them.’”

    I guess Ted learned at Princeton that Nazi analogies can be applied to almost every situation.

  38. rudderpedals says:

    @Rafer Janders: I wouldn’t have expected other than a classy diplomatic response to a question that shouldn’t have been pointed directly at you. I apologize. Also +aaa1 would do business again

  39. Rob says:

    @john personna: that’s actually funny

  40. Argon says:

    Y’all who are dissing Ted, STFU.
    He’s the smartest guy in any group where he’s present. If what he says seems like it doesn’t make sense then it’s clearly your problem because you aren’t smart enough to understand. Y’all are just jealous because he’s “the most interesting man in the world”, if not also the most authentic, just like that Jewish guy from NY who plays a Hispanic in those beer commercials. If Ted argues against a bill in a non-fillbuster for hours and then votes to pass it, that’s just Cruz playing 11 dimensional chess against the liberals.

  41. James Pearce says:

    If we’re talking Churchill, it’s occurred to me that this quote is quite appropriate for Republican politicians who are terrified of Tea Party challengers:

    “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.”

  42. andrew e. says:

    @JKB:

    Now, who in the last 5 years have we not been able to find anyone who knew him in school?

    You know what? You guys deserve all that happening to you… every bit of it. We have a government on the brink because you guys can’t accept Barrack Obama as your president and all Rush and Hannity and Breitbart have taught you is to throw feces around the room instead of coming up with your own solutions to this country’s problems. Of course finding solutions might involve the government and as we know there’s nothing more evil then the American government so what’s a Patriot to do?

    But it sure is fun talking about Obama’s birth certificate, right? I’m sure the rest of the country is just about to turn and come join your party full of men of good cheer. Really, I’d take a bit more schadenfreudic pleasure in watching your comrades in the GOP come apart at the seams if it wasn’t doing so much damage to the country.

  43. mantis says:

    Where have all of Cruz’s fluffers gone? Bloom off the rose?

  44. Rob in CT says:

    Now, who in the last 5 years have we not been able to find anyone who knew him in school?

    Well, everybody knows True Conservatives ™ can’t find their own asses, let alone anyone who went to school with Obama.

    http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/columbia.asp

    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/politics/2008-05-15-3144401415_x.htm

    Lie, distort, lie, distort…

  45. MM2 says:

    @JKB: You think you made a point, but Josh Marsha;; went to school with Cruz and didn’t remember him at all. He had to go to other classmates to get their opinions of the guy.

    Now, it’s possible that Cruz is some type of Manchurian candidate who was airdropped into Texas in the late 90’s, sure. But it’s much more likely that Marshall and Cruz didn’t have the same social circle, much like Obama and Wayne Allyn Root.

    But if you want to die on the birther hill, have fun with that.

  46. C. Clavin says:

    Cruz, Bachmann, Perry, Paul…the future is so bright…I gotta wear shades.

  47. al-Ameda says:

    @Argon:

    Y’all who are dissing Ted, STFU.
    He’s the smartest guy in any group where he’s present. If what he says seems like it doesn’t make sense then it’s clearly your problem because you aren’t smart enough to understand.

    If that group is in a room that is a bunker in Berlin, then I will concede the point.

  48. Rob in CT says:

    In return for a one-year suspension of the debt ceiling, House Republicans are demanding a yearlong delay of Obamacare, Rep. Paul Ryan’s tax reform plan, the Keystone XL pipeline, more offshore oil drilling, more drilling on federally protected lands, rewriting of ash coal regulations, a suspension of the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to regulate carbon emissions, more power over the regulatory process in general, reform of the federal employee retirement program, an overhaul of the Dodd-Frank financial regulations, more power over the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s budget, repeal of the Social Services Block Grant, more means-testing in Medicare, repeal of the Public Health trust fund, and more.

    In short, reversal of the electoral results.

    For some time I’ve been seeing scary parallels between our time and the 1850s. Obviously things are not that severe as yet: there is no shooting war going on (bleeding Kansas) and nobody has actually beaten anyone else up in the Senate. However, this seems appropriate (thanks to a commentor over at Kevin Drum’s spot):

    “Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events.” – Abraham Lincoln.

    The present-day GOP is about 50% of the way there. Not in the same way – there haven’t been any credible threats of secession. But the sentiment – Rule or Ruin in all events (including defeat at the ballot box) – is exactly the same.

  49. Rob in CT says:

    Lincoln was freaking awesome.

    From that same speech (Cooper Union):

    But you will not abide the election of a Republican president! In that supposed event, you say, you will destroy the Union; and then, you say, the great crime of having destroyed it will be upon us! That is cool. A highwayman holds a pistol to my ear, and mutters through his teeth, “Stand and deliver, or I shall kill you, and then you will be a murderer!”

    Swap out Republican for Democrat, and it works today.

  50. Rob in CT says:

    The WH response should be:

    “What, no pony?”

  51. C. Clavin says:

    @ Rob…
    From Sullivan:
    “…This isn’t conservatism. It’s pure constitutional vandalism…”

  52. Just a part time job issue? My, what an ignorant statement. The Unaffordable Care Act creates a huge disincentive ($10K, the way subsidies are phased out which is a helluva a lot of money for most people outside academia and the Beltway) for low and middle dual income families to formalize their relationship in marriage, and if married, to earn a second income. This is an administration and a philosophy that promotes marriage for gays and discourages marriage for traditional families. It is crazy..

  53. Mr. Replica says:

    I really can’t tell where the trolls start and the Obama haters end. Seriously, they are just hilarious.

    BRB. Going to buy stock in Pop Secret. Homestyle is my jam, yo.

  54. David M says:

    @Let’s Be Free:

    So change the subsidy calculation a little bit, I fail to see how that’s a serious problem.

  55. porkchop says:

    I see we have the usual silly column on OTB responding to a non-event and hyperventilating over… nothing

    The analogy was about choosing appeasement as a tactic because of a defeatist attitude. The central figure in Cruz’s analogy was Chamberlain – not the Nazis – with the whole focus point being that appeasement of bad ideas and bad actions makes things worse, not better.

    But hey, facts rarely matter here…

  56. James Pearce says:

    @Let’s Be Free:

    This is an administration and a philosophy that promotes marriage for gays and discourages marriage for traditional families. It is crazy..

    Cute.

    Only problem with this formulation, though, is that if ACA “creates a huge disincentive” for straight couples, it does so for gay couples as well. Indeed, you could just cut out all the gay stuff and go straight (no pun intended) for the “disincentive” stuff.

    But I can see why you chose the weaker argument…..

  57. mantis says:

    @porkchop:

    But hey, facts rarely matter here…

    No one is really disputing the point of the analogy. People are criticizing the idiocy of choosing said analogy. Funding the government and enacting laws passed by Congress is in no way “appeasing” anyone. It’s called governing.

  58. john personna says:

    @Let’s Be Free:

    I don’t believe you. Show how couples are charged $10K by the ACA.

  59. john personna says:

    (If there is anything, I expect it is a rare corner case, and not at all the typical or median impact, and even there I doubt $10K.)

  60. john personna says:

    @mantis:

    If it is “appeasing” anyone, it is appeasing American governance.

    American government has to be the Nazis, for “appeasement” to make any sense.

  61. Pharoah Narim says:

    @Rafer Janders: In other words…he’s a sociopath. Makes sense.

  62. Pharoah Narim says:

    @rudderpedals: Missed your post before I commented. But there is a sizable amount of people that fall somewhere on the spectrum of being sociopathic. Positions that have high visibility and control over people are irresistible to these types. Being a national politician or CEO is a functional sociopaths wet dream. Cruz is happy as a hog in slop.

  63. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @Ron Beasley: With regard to your comment about incompetent, “true dat.” However, this Ivy League degree holder thinks Cruz reminds him of a Talmudic scholar spending endless hours winkling out fine points of the law. Except that the Talmudic scholar probably has a firmer grasp of reality.

  64. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @porkchop:

    But hey, facts rarely matter here…

    They certainly don’t seem to bother you very much.

  65. Barry says:

    @Rafer Janders: “Of course, that’s not at all what Neville Chamberlain said. If that was indeed Government’s attitude, why did Britain and France declare war against Germany a year later upon the invasion of Poland? Declaring war doesn’t really seem like the attitude of an appeaser who doesn’t think it can be done….. ”

    In addition, the UK was ramping up military production and weapons development during this time, bringing the Spitfire forward into production, setting up Chain Home, and working with other countries in an alliance against Hitler. This included the USSR, which if you know the attitudes of Western European leaders, was emotionally equivalent to a deal with the Devil (and, of course, the Devil reneged on the deal).

  66. grumpy realist says:

    @Rafer Janders: Ah, very much like my ex-boyfriend….brilliant genius, clueless about people. His one saving grace was that he had no interest in stomping all over everyone else for the sake of his ego.

    Amazing the number of “intelligent” people who have no horse sense.

  67. Barry says:

    @J-Dub: “Did he do that? He had 20+ hours to completely disect Obamacare and show us the weaknesses in the plan and how it could not be fixed so it must be repealed. Or did he just waste a bunch of time? ”

    I’m sure that a good debater knows that when the facts are against him, to read ‘Green Eggs and Ham’.

  68. Jack the other on says:

    I sure you will write a big article about what Obama and the Democrats call and compare the Republican to. They called them terrorist, arsonist, kidnappers, extortionists and compared them to Nazis on many occasions. Where is your outrage for that?

  69. Jack the other on says:

    Democrats keep saying that they should get there way because they were elected. The Republicans were elected to. Difference is most of the Democrats are not doing what they promise to but what they denied they would do. while many of the Republicans are actually doing what they campaign on. I know I know, liberals don’t actually expect politician to do what they campaign.

  70. john personna says:

    @Jack the other on:

    These Republicans represent 18% of US voters, and yet they demand to drive policy, all on their own.

    They deserve “terrorist.”

    That’s pretty much the definition when a minority which can’t get its way in a full vote, threatens destruction.

  71. al-Ameda says:

    @Jack the other on:

    Democrats keep saying that they should get there way because they were elected. The Republicans were elected to. Difference is most of the Democrats are not doing what they promise to but what they denied they would do. while many of the Republicans are actually doing what they campaign on. I know I know, liberals don’t actually expect politician to do what they campaign.

    Did Republicans campaign on a promise that they would purposely leverage an extension of the Debt Limit Ceiling into a downgrade in the rating of American debt securities?

    If so, they certainly kept that promise – and isn’t that special?

  72. JohnMcC says:

    I had several hours of exposure to Sen Cruz’s extemporaneous talk; C-SPAN sort of made background music at my house that afternoon. I don’t want to be disagreeable to Mr Taylor but… ?analysis. There were piles and piles of assertions (which I would have disputed if I’d been debating the redoubtable Senator) but I did not witness anything that could be called ‘analysis’.

    Sen Cruz’s target audience needed no proof, I imagine. They just KNOW that the present administration’s goal is the destruction of the America that they know and love. The point of his performance was to put himself at their head.

    The rest of America, including me and most of us here, can just go to….l

  73. @JohnMcC: Let’s just say that I was being charitable in my deployment of the term.

  74. @Jack the other on: I will make a deal: should a prominent Democratic politician deploy Chamberlain analogies or call Reps Nazis, I will be happy to decry the behavior.

    I will say that extortion is a perfect description of much of the GOP/Tea Party behavior of late–it boils down to: give us what we want or we will do our best to wreck the government and damage the economy. What else would you call that?

  75. grumpy realist says:

    @Rob in CT: Their response was: “what, no birther bill?”

  76. john personna says:

    “You can’t call us ‘terrorist’ but do what we say or the economy gets it.”

  77. J-Dub says:

    @Jack the other on: I gave you a thumbs up for no other reason than your creative use of random periods and misspellings.

    If English is not your first language then I apologize because then your English is much better than my **insert any foreign language*. If English is your first language, well, then you have no first language to speak of and should refrain from taking on any intellectual arguments.

  78. James Pearce says:

    @Jack the other on:

    Democrats keep saying that they should get there way because they were elected. The Republicans were elected to.

    Yeah, they were. But they do not control the government.

    As Johnathan Chait explains:

    Republicans ran on this plan and lost by 5 million votes. They also lost the Senate and received a million fewer votes in the House but held control owing to favorable district lines.

    Why, then, should the Republican agenda dominate?

  79. Alanmt says:

    @porkchop: Facts matter to me. Which is why I find it grating that Cruz is referring back to the 1940s when anyone bothering to make the analogy, appallingly bad as it is, ought to know that Chamberlain’s policy of appeasement occurred in the 1930s when he was actually, you know, governing. And yes, we know he didn’t resign until early May, 1940, but of course, the appeasement policy had ended some months earlier, since declaring war can hardly be considered consistent with appeasement.