Just Because I Need to Say it
A budget deadline is not the appropriate place to try and leverage major legislative change. Further, playing with people’s jobs and the health of the economy (even if for a brief period of time) is not the actions of a party that takes governing seriously. There has to be a point wherein the Republicans recognize that they do not have the ability to derail the PPACA and try, instead, to work for actual policy outcomes, even if they are incremental, rather than creating one artificial crisis after another.
As Senator Coburn (R-OK) noted the other day: “To create the impression that we can actually defund Obamacare, when the only thing we control, and barely, is the House of Representatives, is not intellectually honest.”
I perfectly understand that the GOP’s only real tool is to create these crises and try to use them as blackmail tools, and I will even go so far as to say that they are playing the within the rules of the game. However, it is hard to see all this as ultimately anything other than the politics of nihilism.
Still, I suppose that for many of the individual members of the House, who see this behavior as a way to win re-nomination and thereby to win re-election, this is all rational politics. Too bad they don’t to actually legislate whilst in the legislature.