Sane Republicans Trying to Take Party Back

Reasonable members of the House GOP caucus are fighting back. Are they outnumbered?

Rand Paul, Ted Cruz

Reasonable members of the House GOP caucus are fighting back. Are they outnumbered?

Washington Wire (“Centrist Republicans Lobby Boehner to End Shutdown“):

A coalition of centrist House Republicans is lobbying House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) to find ways to end the partial government shutdown, lawmakers in the group said Wednesday.

Some members in the group of GOP lawmakers met with Mr. Boehner twice on Wednesday, looking for ways to ease the budget impasse, including by passing a short-term spending bill stripped of all demands to change the federal health-care law.

“We’re looking for ways to break the stalemate and get the government back open as quickly as possible,” said Rep. Michael Grimm (R., N.Y.) en route to his second meeting of the day with the top House Republican. Mr. Grimm said the group of roughly 16 to 18 “pragmatist” House Republicans is growing in size as lawmakers get increasingly frustrated with the partial government shutdown.

“We’re trying to have cooler minds prevail,” he said.

The nucleus of the new coalition met Wednesday morning in the office of Rep. Peter King (R., N.Y.) and has reached out to centrist Democrats to try to find narrower policy proposals that might provide an off-ramp from the budget fight that threatens to spill over into the debate over raising the federal borrowing limit.

[…]

New warnings from leaders of the U.S. intelligence community over the national security concerns of a shutdown is adding to GOP worries.

Rep. Frank Wolf (R., Va.) said he was worried about the number of Federal Bureau of Investigation analysts being furloughed. And he said the shutdown’s political ramifications would hurt the Republican party.

“I want us to be in a majority again in 2014 and I don’t think this is the way to get there,” said Mr. Wolf, who would support a short-term spending bill with no policy riders.

But Republican lawmakers cautioned that any resolution would still need to respect the autonomy of the GOP-controlled House.

“We can’t allow the Senate to completely dictate what the House is going to do — that’s a very dangerous precedent,” Mr. Grimm said. He said he was hopeful that the meeting of congressional leaders with President Barack Obama scheduled for Wednesday evening could be the beginning of a “reasonable, rational discussion” that could result in a deal.

Thus far, not so much. But a growing backlash against Ted Cruz and the dangerous path he’s leading the party down is evident.

Politico (“Ted Cruz blasted by angry GOP colleagues“):

At a closed-door lunch meeting in the Senate’s Mansfield Room, Republican after Republican pressed Cruz to explain how he would propose to end the bitter budget impasse with Democrats, according to senators who attended the meeting. A defensive Cruz had no clear plan to force an end to the shutdown — or explain how he would defund Obamacare, as he has demanded all along, sources said.

[…]

But as the government shutdown heads into day three, a number of Republican senators privately blame the Texas freshman for contributing to the mess their party finds itself in. And now that they’re in it, they say it’s up to Cruz to help find a solution.”It was very evident to everyone in the room that Cruz doesn’t have a strategy – he never had a strategy, and could never answer a question about what the end-game was,” said one senator who attended the meeting. “I just wish the 35 House members that have bought the snake oil that was sold could witness what was witnessed today at lunch.”

That there’s no plausible way that Cruz and company will get what they want here has been blindingly obvious for quite some time, yet they’ve insisted on driving over the cliff.

Leaving aside for a moment that this is a criminal waste of taxpayer money and that it’s bad for the country becomes more obvious by the hour, it’s a political disaster for the Republican Party.

In the short term, it’s going to virtually assure they’re not competitive in swing states. Ken Cuccinelli was probably going to lose to Terry McAuliffe–Terry McAuliffe!–anyway because of his extreme position on social issues. But a few hundred thousand federal workers and defense contractors in the state are certainly less predisposed to pull the lever for the GOP than they were a week ago.

Moreover, their “government is bad” mantra gets weaker with each news story about government services and programs that got shut down that seem pretty useful after all.

FILED UNDER: General, , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Rafer Janders says:

    Sane Republicans Trying to Take Party Back

    OK, but what can two guys do?

  2. LaMont says:

    “We can’t allow the Senate to completely dictate what the House is going to do — that’s a very dangerous precedent,”

    Someone needs to tell Mr. Grimm that this atitude is exactly why the government has been shut down for going on 3 days now. The fact that he and conservatives like him feel they should get anything from the senate in order for the house to do their basic job (which is governing) is mind boggling. There is no way they can save face becuase, in all actuality, the possibility of negotiating an existing law, upheld by the supreme court, with basic governing IS the dangerous precedent that no one wants to set. President Obama learned that lesson from the first debt cieling fiasco!

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    “We’re not going to be disrespected,” Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) told the Washington Examiner. “We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”

    I know this has been quoted time and again all over the place, but if this is the best the GOP can put up in his district? We are so screwed.

  4. C. Clavin says:

    The Stupid Party marches head-long towards self-destruction.
    And certifiable nut-case Peter King is seen as the sane one.
    What a sad tragic joke.

  5. Davebo says:

    The “sane” Republicans have the numbers to take back the House. Hell they’d get dem support.

    The problem is they don’t have the balls.

  6. grumpy realist says:

    I’m just wondering if they’re acting “sane” because they want to save their powder for a fight with the debt limit.

    As someone said, what we’ve got now is like a bottle rocket compared to a thermonuclear explosion if the US debt is defaulted on.

  7. DC Loser says:

    Is this the House of Representatives or La Cosa Nostra? You want respect? Do your frickin’ job!

  8. Todd says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I’m just wondering if they’re acting “sane” because they want to save their powder for a fight with the debt limit.

    I think the President and the Democrats understand this, and it’s why they’re willing to endure the potentially bad optics of saying “we won’t compromise” over and over. As anybody who’s ever parented a toddler knows, if you give in to them, it doesn’t defuse future tantrums, it only makes them worse. If Conservatives win any concessions because of this government shutdown, their demands for raising the debt ceiling will likely become more impossible to meet, not less.

    I’m still not so sure that the Democrats message is necessarily the right one though. Nancy Pelosi alluded to it a little bit yesterday after the White House meeting, that even the “clean CR” is already a fairly big compromise for most Democrats. I wonder whether it would be helpful or hurtful to the debate if more Democrats were to stake out starting negotiating position closer to what they ‘really want’ … like say maybe the President’s budget proposal (which was still a compromise of what many, especially Progressive, Democrats would really want).

    At the very least it would make it more obvious (to fair-minded people anyway) what a huge compromise agreeing to a CR at sequestration spending levels already is.

  9. mantis says:

    Moreover, their “government is bad” mantra gets weaker with each news story about government services and programs that got shut down that seem pretty useful after all.

    In other words, modern Republicanism is absolute horseshit.

    However, that “Republican mantra” isn’t even accurate. “Obama’s government is evil” is moreso. They don’t shut down the government because they think it doesnt do anything useful, they shut it down so they could turn and blame Obama.

    “Look, Obama hates veterans and kids! He made us shutdown the government so he could punish them! We are powerless to stop this evil monster!”

    And the morons who support them, several of whom share their stupidity in OTB threads, keep supporting them and donating to their campaigns.

    The entire country is held hostage by a faction of lying, ignorant sociopaths, and the only person who can stop it is John Boehner. We are truly f*cked.

  10. Scott says:

    Moreover, their “government is bad” mantra gets weaker with each news story about government services and programs that got shut down that seem pretty useful after all.

    PR wise, I’m not sure I agree with this. Most Americans don’t have time to closely pay attention to the day-to-day, hour-to-hour machinations of Washington. So they react to the immediate, visceral stimuli of news images. That’s why stories of WWII memorials, children’s cancer have such resonance and gain importance well beyond their true value. Food safety, environment regulations, and other “invisible” but argueably more important work does not get their due.

    BTW, there are too many exemptions from furlough.

    If the Democrats aren’t careful, they will lose this PR war. They need to get ahead of it.

    Republicans will be getting their way in cutting budgets through this piecemeal approach. I think it was a mistake to sign the military pay act. It was a precedent. It should be all or nothing.

  11. Stanley Kowalski says:

    The House of Representatives cannot only refuse, but they alone can propose, the supplies requisite for the support of government. They, in a word, hold the purse that powerful instrument by which we behold, in the history of the British Constitution, an infant and humble representation of the people gradually enlarging the sphere of its activity and importance, and finally reducing, as far as it seems to have wished, all the overgrown prerogatives of the other branches of the government.

    This power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people, for obtaining a redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure. —James Madison, Federalist 58

    What is insane is a government that borrows 42 cents of every dollar it spends.

    What is insane is an unconstitutional law, passed illegally as a budget measure when there is no budget, that has been rewritten a dozen times by the President to carve out exceptions for big businesses and cronies.

    What is insane is a government whose own actuaries say existing entitlements are poised to collapse — and then creates an even bigger, more debt-ridden entitlement program against the will of the people (remember why Scott Brown was elected in ultra-blue MA?)

    What is insane is a government that know runs up an NPV operating deficit of $7 trillion a year and monetizes virtually all federal debt to keep interest rates under control.

    Cruz and Lee are among the few sane ones left — because they under mathematics, facts, logic, reason and history — who try to abide by our nation’s highest law, which you and the Beltway elites never mention: the Constitution.

    History is replete with tales of countries that have failed the way that we are. Beholden to a charismatic demagogue and fueled by a cult of personality, those that believe the banal, Utopian and paradisiacal promises are the ideological descendants of countless failed societies.

    That, my friends, is insane.

  12. Moosebreath says:

    James,

    With all respect, the title is misleading. the “Sane Republicans” are not trying to take the party back. They are just grumbling about the insame ones.

    If they were trying to take the party back, they could do so very quickly, as the numbers are there for a clean CR to pass right now. They are just too scared of being primaried (i.e., that they won’t be able to take the party back) to do so.

    Or as Leon Panetta said during the Clinton Administration’s battles with Congressional Republicans, “If your plan requires moderate Republicans, you need another plan.”

  13. KM says:

    @Stanley Kowalski:History is replete with tales of countries that have failed the way that we are. Beholden to a charismatic demagogue and fueled by a cult of personality, those that believe the banal, Utopian and paradisaical promises

    Totally. That Cruz guy’s charisma’s got ’em all by the balls. From out of nowhere to darling leader of the current crusade with the House seemingly at his beck and call – you don’t think that’s kinda cultist? Worshiping Ann Rand at least qualifies….

    Sucks to be him though. His lemmings are starting to realize the oncoming cliff’s kinda high up…. and the fall’s a long way down.

  14. mantis says:

    @Stanley Kowalski:

    Cruz and Lee are among the few sane ones left — because they under mathematics, facts, logic, reason and history

    Good one. Tell another.

    BTW, picking a abusive rapist character as your online pseudonym is….telling.

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Stanley Kowalski:

    What is insane is a government that borrows 42 cents of every dollar it spends.

    What is insane is your quoting Federalist #58, which begins,

    “The House of Representatives cannot only refuse, but they alone can propose, the supplies requisite for the support of government.”

    and yet you can’t see the irony of a REPUBLICAN House shutting down the gov’t because they can’t control themselves.

  16. john personna says:

    @Moosebreath:

    I guess we can be hopeful that moderation will prevail, but I fear that many moderates are merely doing their “let the record show” preparation for future cycles.

    They won’t change it, they’ll just log their dissent.

  17. john personna says:

    @Stanley Kowalski:

    What is insane is an unconstitutional law, passed illegally as a budget measure when there is no budget, that has been rewritten a dozen times by the President to carve out exceptions for big businesses and cronies.

    A simpler test of insanity … to insist anything “unconstitutional” which has passed the Supreme Court test.

    It is certainly “functionally Constitutional” to coin a phrase.

  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Ohhh, and if things aren’t bad enough already? Now we have Tropical Storm Karen forms in the Gulf of Mexico; hurricane watch in effect from Fla. to La.

    Oh boy oh boy.

  19. KM says:

    @john personna: You know that game where you added “in bed” to a fortune cookie’s saying and it supposedly makes way more sense? Anytime someone says “unconstitutional”, I mentally add “to my personal version” and their complaint starts to make more sense.

    Or I suppose we could start a drinking game but I don’t think my liver could handle that.

  20. DC Loser says:

    @OzarkHillbilly

    They’ll be screaming for FEMA aid before too long. Sucks to be them.

  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @DC Loser:

    They’ll be screaming for FEMA aid before too long.

    Yeah, I wonder how long it will take all those Red state politicians to switch from “The gubmint is jest tooo BIG.” to “HELP! HELP! HELP!”

    My local rag has a regular column from one of the area Reps and I remember one where Jason Smith was bragging about “holding the feet of FEMA to the fire” after some recent flooding. I thought to myself, “What feet? You probably cut FEMA off at the feet with the sequestration.”

  22. john personna says:

    @KM:

    Or to channel Steven Colbert … “in real America”

  23. Todd says:

    @KM:

    Anytime someone says “unconstitutional”, I mentally add “to my personal version” and their complaint starts to make more sense.

    To many Americans (especially of the Conservative tilt), the term “unconstitutional” is simply a shortened version of: “anything the governemnt does (or that I think they’re doing) which I don’t personally agree with”.

    See also: “Biased” = any information that does not conform to what I already believe to be true.

  24. MarkedMan says:

    James, color me skeptical here. There seems always to be a faction of sane Republicans – that never actually materialize in the end. We’ve had the football pulled away too many times to take this seriously.

  25. rudderpedals says:

    Maybe the sane Republicans decided the only way to get their crazy aunt backs into the attic is to burn the whole place down. They might be right.

  26. Ron Beasley says:

    The so called “sane” Republicans created this Frankenstein monster that is about to devour them. They created a base of ignorant bigots for political gain and now they may well pay the price for that as demographics change.

  27. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: HAHAha. I love it. A down vote for pointing out a developing weather system. I wonder how many down votes NOAA gets?

  28. legion says:

    I would just like to point out that, regardless of what happens with this budget clusterf*ck, it is absolutely, 100% certain that the House Republicans will pull the _exact_ same BS with the debt ceiling. There is no “keeping the powder dry” for people who are incredibly zealous, incredibly stupid, and come from incredibly safe gerrymandered districts. The people running this sh*tshow – like Cruz – have exactly nothing to lose, no matter the outcome. They’ll get lots of attention, which they will convert into donations and eventual talk-show gigs and remaindered book sales.

    That’s how this turns out. Just call me Cassandra.

  29. al-Ameda says:

    “We can’t allow the Senate to completely dictate what the House is going to do — that’s a very dangerous precedent,” Mr. Grimm said. He said he was hopeful that the meeting of congressional leaders with President Barack Obama scheduled for Wednesday evening could be the beginning of a “reasonable, rational discussion” that could result in a deal.

    A reasonable approach is: (1) for the House Republican delegation to allow a vote on a clean CR and see how that goes, and (2) for the same idiotic delegation to stop expecting to be rewarded for instigating causing and supporting the shutdown, and a possible default on federal debt.

  30. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @legion:

    The people running this sh*tshow – like Cruz – have exactly nothing to lose, no matter the outcome.

    It would be interesting to see where they have their money presently invested.

  31. Ernieyeball says:

    @KM: Cruz must have fantasies about being the late Charles Colson’s lickspittle.
    See All the President’s Men:

    Bob Woodward: Well, who is Charles Colson?
    Harry Rosenfeld: The most powerful man in the United States is President Nixon. You’ve heard of him? Charles Colson is special counsel to the President. There’s a cartoon on his wall. The caption reads, “When you’ve got ’em by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow.”

  32. Ernieyeball says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: HA!
    I got a dnvote yesterday for posting Article III Section 3 of the United States Constiution.
    Must have been a Tory…

  33. cian says:

    My God, the stench of snake oil and bullshit coming from republicans is over powering. At the WWII memorial in Washington, GOP Rep Randy Neugebauer attacks a Ranger for stopping people entering. ‘How do you look at them and deny them access?’ he asks.

    There is something almost evil in this attempt to humiliate someone for doing a job you yourself have forced on them. That such people occupy positions of power is frightening.

  34. Neil Hudelson says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Unfortunately my home state is ground zero for gerrymandering. After the last census, the districts have been re-alligned so every single district save one is noncompetitive. Just take a look at this monstrosity:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indiana's_congressional_districts

    None of the Republicans or Democrats have to worry about opposing views. Which is why we get such stellar leaders like Todd Young, Todd Rokita, Marlin Stutzman, Susan Brooks, and Andre Carson (to be bipartisan). Every one of them a party hack to the end.

  35. Ben says:

    @Stanley Kowalski:

    an even bigger, more debt-ridden entitlement program against the will of the people (remember why Scott Brown was elected in ultra-blue MA?)

    You think that the reason Scott Brown was elected to the Senate in MA, a state that has already implemented Romneycare (which polls really well and everyone likes it), is because of opposition to the PPACA? Do you even think about this crap?

    As someone who is from MA, who supported Brown in that election, let me disabuse you of that notion. The reason Brown won is because he was running against Martha Coakley, one of the most despised and just all-around awful people I’ve ever seen nominated for a major office. Most of my friends are liberals and staunch Democrats, and the majority of them voted for Brown rather than put that vile woman in the Senate.

  36. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    Unfortunately my home state is ground zero for gerrymandering.

    MO is right up there with you. 8 Reps, 6 GOP, 2 Dem. Our State legislatures both have veto proof GOP majorities. But we have a Dem Gov, Dem Sec State, Dem Senator etc, all in the last election. GOP Sen Blunt runs in 2016 and I can assure you he is getting mighty nervous right now.

  37. wr says:

    @Stanley Kowalski: “an even bigger, more debt-ridden entitlement program against the will of the people (remember why Scott Brown was elected in ultra-blue MA?) ”

    By this logic, doesn’t the election of Elizabeth Warren prove that now they love Obamacare?

  38. Ken says:

    “Sane Republicans Trying to Take Party Back”

    My father had a saying for cases like this: “You’re a day late and a dollar short”

    In the case of actually sane Republicans — as opposed to the large group of hardcore rightwing authoritarians who now seem sane only by comparison — they should have been doing this YEARS ago. But what did they actually do? Hmmmm… I can’t quite remember…. I know! Let’s take a quick trip in the wayback machine!

    James Joyner, July 27, 2006: Logan Ferree argues that the Republican Party has failed in its promises to libertarians for so long that it’s time to stop voting for them. While I disagree with the tone and even some of the particulars of the piece, his analysis is likely right. The GOP is dominated by its religious conservative wing… and has largely given up on more than the pretense of being fiscally conservative. As Jim Henley (from whom I found the piece) observes, “the Republican Party doesn’t even engage in much libertarian rhetoric any more.”

    The logical follow-on, however, is What then?”

    Yes, indeed. What then?

    James Joyner, April 12, 2011: “People increasingly self-identify as independents but they continue to vote with their old level of consistency. I’m less of an ideological Republican than I was just a few years ago; but I still vote Republican almost exclusively.”

    A common cliche is that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. By that standard I would argue that folks like James Joyner, Doug Mataconis, and others who continued to hold their noses and pull the lever marked “R”, for years, in spite of the obvious and precipitous increase of both noxiousness and irrationality of the Republicans are either 1) getting exactly the results they wanted, or 2) aren’t nearly as sane or as smart as they thought they were

  39. anjin-san says:

    When pressed by Republican donors last month to explain why the party seemed willing to flirt with a government shutdown, Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) reportedly said that the tea party left the GOP with no choice.

    The Daily Beast’s David Freedlander reported on the comments by Walden, who serves as chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), which came during a lunch event in New York City.

    From Freedlander’s report:

    Why, they asked, did the GOP seem so in the thrall of its most extremist wing? The donors, banker types who occupy the upper reaches of Wall Street’s towers, couldn’t understand why the Republican Party—their party—seemed close to threatening the nation with a government shutdown, never mind a default if the debt ceiling isn’t raised later this month.

    “Listen,” Walden said, according to several people present. “We have to do this because of the Tea Party. If we don’t, these guys are going to get primaried and they are going to lose their primary.”

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/nrcc-chair-reportedly-says-gop-waged-shutdown-fight-to-placate-tea-party

    The message from GOP members seems clear – “My job before country”

  40. Long Time Listener says:

    “When pressed…last month….” Wait- I remember Boehner saying that there wouldn’t be a shutdown….

    Guess that makes him a liar, too, doesn’t it (to pull a quote from Kill Bill 2)…?

  41. James Joyner says:

    @Ken: The problem, as I laid out in some detail in that 2006 post, is that one has to chose between available options:

    If [they don’t] vote Republican, [Libertarians have] three choices that I see:

    1. Vote Libertarian A very satisfying option and the only conceivable way the LP will ever have a chance of winning elections. The LP has the virtue of being ideologically pure, in contrast to the frustrating pandering of the two dominant catch-all parties. It comes with the minor problem, however, that true libertarians are a minor fringe of the American polity. There are few Congressional Districts and no states where libertarians have a plurality. Thus, for presidential and senatorial races, at least, this winds up being a “protest vote” or, in the more popular parlance a “wasted voted.”

    2. Vote Democrat There are several issues, notably abortion, gay rights, and drugs, where the Democrats are closer to the libertarian position than the Republicans. Then again, that’s been the case since at least the 1960s and, I suspect, most libertarians who are focused mostly on these social issues already vote Democrat or Libertarian, not Republican.

    As bad as the Republicans are on the fiscal issues, however, the Democrats are worse. Is the trade-off worth it? Again, if so, one would think the libertarians now voting Republican would have come to that conclusion long ago.

    3. Don’t Vote. Essentially, the lazy/apathetic man’s Choice 1, minus the satisfaction.

    Unfortunately, as aggravating as the major parties are to True Believers, they’re the only choices we’ve got. One has to operate within the framework of available realities, not simply complain that one’s chosen team has let us down.

    What’s happened since then is that the Republicans have moved even further to the extreme right on social issues, even further away from libertarians on law enforcement and national security, and replaced fiscal conservatism with sheer recklessness on taxation and spending. The Democrats have also become somewhat more extreme, owing to the same gerrymandering as well as the demise of the few remaining Southern Democrats, but are saner by comparison.

    I’m leaning toward McAuliffe as the lesser of evils for Virginia governor. My district lines have changed such that I have Frank Wolfe as my Representative; he’s all but unopposed and is in any case not one of the crazies. I’ve got two moderate Democratic Senators, neither of which is up before 2016.

  42. DC Loser says:

    Was was moved from Connolly’s district into Wolfe’s last year (was in Wolf’s a decade before that before they adjusted the lines the previous time). Agree Wolfe will not have a serious challenge, but I plan on making it as hard as i can for him and keep him honest, and let him know his red margin isn’t very high in this purple district.

  43. ratufa says:

    @James Joyner:

    As bad as the Republicans are on the fiscal issues, however, the Democrats are worse. Is the trade-off worth it?

    One advantage of the Democrats over the Republicans over the past few decades wrt fiscal issues is that the Democrats don’t contain an influential faction (the “starve the beast”-ers) who actually want a fiscal crisis and are promoting policies to further that goal.

  44. Xenos says:

    The GOP needs to ber abandoned. It is an unworkable mess full of neo-Larouchies, Birchers, and con-men.

    Sorry guys, you wrecked your party. Now, shut it down and stop wrecking the country. You built it. Take some responsibility for your actions and find a way to shut it down and start over.

  45. al-Ameda says:

    @James Joyner:

    As bad as the Republicans are on the fiscal issues, however, the Democrats are worse. Is the trade-off worth it? Again, if so, one would think the libertarians now voting Republican would have come to that conclusion long ago.

    I see no evidence of this – Democrats being worse than Republicans on fiscal issues – at all. During the Bush years (2001-2008) Republicans did not fund (that is, deficit-funded) 2 war efforts and passed a completely deficit-funded Medicare Prescription Drug program, all while cutting taxes at the same time.

    My question is: How is that Republican deficit spending superior to the deficit-funding that we’re experiencing now? … which is by the way decreasing at a rapid rate because of our modest economic growth and a modest slowed rate of spending.

  46. Rob in CT says:

    Democrats are better if you’re talking about deficits/debt. Republicans are better if you’re talking about taxes paid by affluent people. One of the biggests successes of GOP messaging over the years is to turn the second thing into the first thing in the minds of many voters.

  47. DrDaveT says:

    @Todd: Yes, holding the debt ceiling hostage would be worse than holding the budget hostage — but the real issue here is that if the administration gives in on this, there will never be another budget. This Congress wasn’t capable of passing budgets under normal circumstances; if you set the precedent that shutdowns and debt defaults can work as leverage to undo existing legislation, then both parties will do exactly that, every time. No matter how you feel about Obamacare, or any other existing law, THIS is what should be keeping you awake at night.