Petty And Childish: Congressman Demands “Respect,” But Doesn’t Know What He Wants

A comment from one Congressman sums up the attitude of the small group of Congressman and Senators who have placed us in this situation.

government-shutdown-closed-for-business

Conservative Republican Congressman Martin Stutzman from Indiana summed up what his fellow conservatives want which is, err,something but they can’t quite figure it out yet:

House Republicans are unlikely to blink in the standoff over Obamacare that precipitated a government shutdown, fearing that acceding now to Democratic demands for a “clean” spending bill would weaken their hand in upcoming negotiations over the the debt ceiling.

Those Republicans said Wednesday that the spending impasse that shut down the government early Tuesday is less about conservatives’ desire to derail Obamacare than it is about strengthening their hand in the debt-ceiling talks. That borrowing limit must be raised by Oct. 17 to prevent the government from defaulting on its financial obligations and Republicans say any future agreement to reopen the government would link the spending bill and the debt ceiling.

“This is not just about Obamacare anymore,” centrist Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., said.

“We’re not going to be disrespected,” conservative Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind., added. “We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”

Not surprisingly, President Obama hit upon Stutzman’s comments during a speech today:

President Barack Obama didn’t mention the Indiana Republican by name during his Thursday morning speech to a Rockville, Md., construction company, but he did make sure to rub the GOP’s sentiments in the blue collar-crowd’s faces.

“Just yesterday, one House Republican said — I’m quoting here, all right, because I want to make sure people understand I didn’t make this up — one House Republican said, ‘We’re not going to be disrespected. We have to get something out of this, and I don’t know what that even is.’

“Think about that. You have already gotten the opportunity to serve the American people. There’s no higher honor than that,” 44 told the assembled workers, who, according to media reports, both laughed and clapped for the ready-made punch line.

This led to Stutzman very quickly backpedaling:

“Yesterday, I carelessly misrepresented the ongoing budget debate and Speaker Boehner’s work on behalf of the American people. Despite my remarks it’s clear that the American people want both parties to come to the table to reopen the government, tackle this nation’s debt crisis, and stop ObamaCare’s pain.”

Despite Stutzman’s attempt to backpedal, it seems pretty clear that his initial comments are a pretty apt reflection of what’s going through the mind of many of those who share his mindset in both the House and Senate. When you look at the raw numbers, they’ve gotten almost everything they want from the Continuing Resolution that Democrats have said that they’d vote for if only the Republican bring it up for a vote. The sequestration cuts remain in effect and the Bush tax cuts have been made permanent for the vast majority of the American people. They demanded, quite rightly I’d submit, that the Senate do its job and pass a Budget Resolution as required by law and the Senate did so, and then they proceeded to block the formation of the Conference Committees that, under regular order, would have ordinarily been appointed at that point. Then, they spent the summer trying to turn the debate about the budget into a debate about Obamacare. That strategy has failed, and now it’s quite self-evident that they have no idea what to do, other than making sure that John Boehner and the rest of the House Leadership know that they will not support bringing the bill that would actually fund the government to the floor. And now, as Congressman Stutzman makes clear, they don’t even know what they want.

It’s petty, it’s childish, it’s stupid. It’s, well, pick your own words.

FILED UNDER: Congress, Deficit and Debt, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. Joel says:

    Have the libertarian-republicans supporting this shutdown considered the fact that they’re setting a precedent where a minority party that controls one house in congress is able to do literally anything to get around the democratic process? I don’t know if a Democrat house with a Republican president/senate would do a shutdown specifically, but the unwritten rule now seems to be that if one party doesn’t like a law, they can use any means necessary to fight it.

  2. legion says:

    Keep watching, Doug. As this goes on, you’ll see that this sort of intellect & maturity level is the rule – not the exception. The GOP is composed of irresponsible, spoiled, mentally-damaged children – top to bottom.

  3. Brian says:

    It’s modern conservatism!!!

  4. wr says:

    It’s more than petty and childish. It’s pretty much the equivalent of Newt saying that one of the reasons he led his own shutdown was because he got a lousy seat on Air Force One… which pretty much reopened the government.

    Granted, the truly insane among the Teahadists will never back down, but I suspect that everyone who was the slightest bit on the fence about this thing just fell down on the Dems’ side.

  5. john personna says:

    When you look at the raw numbers, they’ve gotten almost everything they want from the Continuing Resolution that Democrats have said that they’d vote for if only the Republican bring it up for a vote. The sequestration cuts remain in effect and the Bush tax cuts have been made permanent for the vast majority of the American people.

    We often forget that, but the trolls, including the trolls in the House, think that’s “everything Obama/Reid wants.”

  6. al-Ameda says:

    “We’re not going to be disrespected,” conservative Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind., added. “We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”

    He wants to be rewarded for being “principled?” This is the kid who got a D- on a paper but wants extra credit for turning the paper in on time. What he should get is “Censured.”

  7. Fog says:

    “I’m smart…not like everybody says…I’m not dumb. I’m smart, and I WANT RESPECT!”
    Fredo Stutzman needs to watch his fishing buddies.

  8. greg says:

    @al-Ameda:
    What he should get is a slap in the face from his mother. While being told to grow up, and do his job.

  9. rudderpedals says:

    The dog caught the car and doesn’t know what to do with it.

    Stutzman needs to work on his Cartman. It’s Respect Mah Authoritah

  10. PJ says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    A comment from one Congressman sums up the attitude of the small group of Congressman and Senators who have placed us in this situation.

    It’s a small group of Congressmen and Senators? If it’s only a small group, then I guess the rest would be able to fix this in a jiffy?

    It’s not a small group.

  11. Ernieyeball says:

    Ask any one from Indiana why they call them Hoosiers.
    No one ever knows.
    After spending far too much time working there I do.
    This:

    “We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”

  12. Scott says:

    So give him a trophy.

  13. Joe R. says:

    Is it more or less petty and childish than putting up barriers at the WWII memorial?

  14. slimslowslider says:

    @Joe R.:

    More.

  15. anjin-san says:

    @ Joe R.

    barriers at the WWII memorial

    Do you know what a cause and effect relationship is?

    Republicans caused a shutdown of the government. One effect of this is disruptions of service and availability at parks.

  16. mantis says:

    @PJ:

    It’s a small group of Congressmen and Senators? If it’s only a small group, then I guess the rest would be able to fix this in a jiffy?

    We should, but that ability lies with one man: John Boehner. He refuses to allow a vote on anything other than wingnut wishlists. The big problem is not so much the small group, but the rest of Republicans who lack the balls to stand up to them, the most important one being the Speaker. We are all held hostage by a group of republican terrorists and their Republican appeasers.

  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    It’s petty, it’s childish, it’s stupid. It’s, well, pick your own words.

    Pick my own words? Hmmmmm…. Republican. Yeah, that about sums it up.

  18. al-Ameda says:

    @Joe R.:

    Is it more or less petty and childish than putting up barriers at the WWII memorial?

    Is it (putting up the barriers at the memorial) a direct result of Republican action to shutdown the federal government? Why ‘yes’, yes it is.

    There, you just learned something.

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    And speaking of petty and childish.

    I can’t watch it (my stomach isn’t that strong) but I am glad somebody stepped in and gave Neugebauer a little bit of what he deserved as the Park Ranger had to be professional and take the abuse while not even getting paid for working.

    Members of the crowd then chimed in. One person shouted “This woman is doing her job, just like me.”

    “I’m a 30-year federal veteran — I’m out of work,” the man continued.

    “Well, the reason you are is because [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid decided to shutdown the government,” Neugebauer said.

    “No, it’s because the government won’t do its job and pass a budget,” the man responded.

  20. James Pearce says:

    @Joe R.:

    Is it more or less petty and childish than putting up barriers at the WWII memorial?

    Let me be the first to say barricading open-air monuments is ridiculous.

    But in the big scheme of things, it is the least significant consequence of the shutdown. You know people’s livelihoods are at stake, right?

  21. humanoid.panda says:

    Man, this story is like the perfect miniature of the Republican brain at this historical moment:

    1. Whatever government functions that serve them are sacred, everything else is useless.
    2. Any impediments to what they want to do at any given moment are ipso facto tyrannical.
    3. Powerful people are being oppressed by people with very little power.

  22. humanoid.panda says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Man, this story is like the perfect miniature of the Republican brain at this historical moment:

    1. Whatever government functions that serve them are sacred, everything else is useless.
    2. Any impediments to what they want to do at any given moment are ipso facto tyrannical.
    3. Powerful people are being oppressed by people with very little power.

  23. gVOR08 says:

    @anjin-san:

    Do you know what a cause and effect relationship is?

    As I get older and pay more attention to politics I become more and more convinced that George Lakoff is right, conservatives don’t get cause and effect.

  24. gVOR08 says:

    @mantis:

    The big problem is not so much the small group, but the rest of Republicans who lack the balls to stand up to them, the most important one being the Speaker.

    I’m going to mail Boehner’s office with a small ball with a cover letter explaining I thought he should have at least one. Think I could start a Balls for Boehner campaign?

  25. David M says:

    When you look at the raw numbers, they’ve gotten almost everything they want from the Continuing Resolution that Democrats have said that they’d vote for if only the Republican bring it up for a vote. The sequestration cuts remain in effect and the Bush tax cuts have been made permanent for the vast majority of the American people.

    This actually makes sense in a perverse way. The GOP now cares so little about policy that opposing the Democrats is the only thing they have.

    “today’s conservatism is the opposite of what liberals want today: updated daily.”

  26. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @gVOR08: Done!

  27. steve s says:

    Have the libertarian-republicans supporting this shutdown considered the fact that they’re setting a precedent where a minority party that controls one house in congress is able to do literally anything to get around the democratic process?

    Let me remind you of the quality of analysis republicans are now capable of:

    “We’re not going to be disrespected,” conservative Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind., added. “We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”

    These guys have the IQ of a Lemon Meringue pie. So no, they’re not pondering distant future outcomes.

  28. Rob in CT says:

    “We’re not going to be disrespected,” conservative Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind., added. “We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”

    Said the little boy, stamping his foot in frustrated rage.

    They cannot accept that Democrats win elections sometimes. These guys seem to actually believe that by virtue of winning the House they should get their way. As opposed to, you know, getting their way on some things (say, about 1/3 of the time, or a little more). They have redefined compromise to mean what they want. Look at superdestroyer’s posts, wherein a deal that Democrats don’t like at all = total Democratic victory. By the logic, anything but enacting all or most of the stuff they ran on in 2012 is total Democratic victory.

    This is the core problem. They think passing a “clean” CR to fund the government at sequester levels is a total victory for the Dems. It is not (except, of course, from the standpoint of “optics” but the blame is 100% on the GOP for that – they picked this fight), though. If the Democrats had the House too, the sequester would never have happened – indeed, we might be seeing stimulus instead.

    There have already been compromises, but the GOP and their supporters have defined compromise in such a way as to be unable to see it. Lovely.

  29. john personna says:

    As someone shrewdly posted here last week:

    1. Shutdown
    2. ???
    3. No more Obamacare

    They could never find that 2.

    Or they had deluded themselves with their own BS that Obama would fold on everything.

  30. Bradford Bernard says:

    the American GOVT is all about power and money and corruption and has been for years, the republicans staging a strike because they dont like a law that is put out because it affects their pockets and takes money from them to take care of the poor, is exactly the kind of people we DONT need acting on our behalf….If I were to go on strike just because I wanted to I would probably lose my job, quite honestly The republicans who went on strike should lose their jobs and replacements should be hired. the people voted for Obama and right or wrong the President of the United States is supposed to be respected by both Democrats and Republicans, failure on the Republicans part to respect our president shows that the republicans are bigoted greedy selfish people who only have their own agenda at heart. when a Republican is in office the democrats dont disrespect him by staging a strike and walking out. the total lack of respect on the part of the republican party is reprehensible at least.

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