What If Republicans Retake the Senate?
Could the GOP offer a positive governing agenda if they controlled Congress?
Charles Krauthammer says “the real reason winning the Senate matters” has more to do with positioning the GOP for 2016 than stopping President Obama.
It’s not an end in itself. Nor will it change the trajectory of Obama’s presidency. His agenda died on Nov. 2, 2010, when he lost the House. It won’t be any deader on Nov. 4, 2014, if he loses the Senate.
But regaining the Senate would finally give the GOP the opportunity, going into 2016, to demonstrate its capacity to govern.
You can’t govern the country from one house of Congress. Republicans learned that hard, yet obvious, lesson with the disastrous shutdowns of 1995 and 2013. But controlling both houses would allow the GOP to produce a compelling legislative agenda.
The Democratic line is that the Republican House does nothing but block and oppose. In fact, it has passed hundreds of bills only to have them die upon reaching the desk of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. He has rendered the Senate inert by simply ensuring that any bill that might present a politically difficult vote for his Democratic colleagues never even comes to the floor.
Winning control of the Senate would allow Republicans to pass a whole range of measures now being held up by Reid, often at the behest of the White House. Make it a major reform agenda. The centerpiece might be tax reform, both corporate and individual. It is needed, popular and doable. Then go for the low-hanging fruit enjoying wide bipartisan support, such as the Keystone XL pipeline and natural gas exports, most especially to Eastern Europe. One could then add border security, energy deregulation and health-care reform that repeals the more onerous Obamacare mandates.
If the president signs any of it, good. If he vetoes, it will be clarifying. Who then will be the party of no? The vetoed legislation would become the framework for a 2016 GOP platform. Let the debate begin.
This is right but likely won’t have the results Krauthammer envisions.
After the shocking and historic Republican wins in the 1994 midterms, taking back both the House and Senate for the first time in decades, they were able to enact a lot of legislation, much of which President Clinton was willing to sign. Partly because of the excesses of Newt Gingrich and company and partly because Clinton shrewdly triangulated between the GOP and the less moderate elements of his own party, Clinton went from a shellacking in 1994 to easy re-election in 1996.
It’s not obvious why things would be better two decades later. While neither Speaker of the House John Boehner nor Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell are anywhere near as polarizing as Gingrich, neither has anything like his vision for the future, either. It’s not at all clear that the GOP has anything to offer to fix the problems of today’s world, much less programs that the public wants. More likely, we’d just get more shenanigans on Obamacare.
Sadly, the Republican Party still acts as if it’s running against Jimmy Carter. They don’t understand that they’ve won on taxes and lost on most of the social issues. As such, they’re stuck in a time warp.
Krauthammer may be right that having the opposition party in charge of both Houses of Congress is a preferable governing dynamic to having it control only the House, since that’s just a recipe for a negative agenda of stopping the president’s party from enacting their policy preferences. A party that controls Congress has the ability and thus the duty to pass legislation (albeit one that’s difficult to carry out without a filibuster-proof supermajority). I’m inclined to wish the GOP gets the chance to show what they’d do. But I’m not the least bit optimistic they’ll carry out a positive agenda.
The answer is no – they have no governing agenda. They simply don’t believe in governing anymore. I think it is possible if not probable they will retake the Senate this year but it will be a short lived victory that will only last for 2 years. I can visualize I Supreme Court with only 7 Justices until 2017. Many temporary White House Department heads and many vacancies in the Federal Courts.
Additionally, neither one of them have the same kind of control over their respective caucuses that Gingrich did in the House or Bob Dole did in the Senate.
At least Obama will get to use that fancy veto pen Michelle bought him.
@Doug Mataconis: The problem may be that neither one of them are actually leaders.
Is there anyone in politics today that has the skill set to be a leader. Or is politics really about personal privledge and rewarding your friends and supporters. The problem is that when politics is about government spending, who gets the benefits, and who pays, the progressives are always going to be seen as the people who can govern.
The only real questions for the future are when will the Democrats regain control of the House and what will the Democrats do when they are no longer restrained with the prospect of losing to Democrats. Given the recent poll numbers about how progressives would love to regulate speech, it will not be as great a future as many of the progressive image.
Just mailed in my midterm ballot. Sorry Dems – that’s just not possible. Sorry GOP – that ain’t never gonna happen. Voted for the Free Weed Party across the board. Have a feeling I may need it to get through the next decade or so.
It’s more complicated than that. More so than Democrats on the Hill, Congressional Republicans no longer feel themselves as beholden to the party or to leadership as they used to thanks to the influence and support they get from outside groups.
It could also be due to the stupid of the national party apparatus that drove the party into the ditch and abandon everything that a conservative should be trying to do while in office. After 12 years of Bush Clan incompetence, why would anyone pay attention to the establishment Republicans?
Republican agenda on winning the Senate:
It could be a long two years.
Anyone who wants to know that a GOP controlled House, Senate and White House would lead to just has to look at Kansas.
Why this story isn’t getting more play in the political press is amazing. Here we have a real live, real time, result of the GOP agenda fully implemented across the board.
It’s a disaster.
It’s f**king disaster. No other way to describe it.
Yet Krauthammer won’t do an article on that. Neither will Rich Lowry, not Bill Kristol, nor any of our friends at RedState.
In fact, has anyone on Outside the Beltway written an piece on the debacle that is Kansas. Seems like something you guys would write about, but if so, I missed it, and if so, my apologies.
The Republicans who could actually govern have all been driven from office. There are no new ones (Bobby Jindal? Scott Walker? C’mon) We have really serious issues to deal with. The population of the US is aging significantly and Republicans simply deny that will have any affect on the budget. Climate is changing dramatically and the Republicans simply deny that it is happening. We have instability in the many parts of the world and need to develop strategies with solid long term support to deal with it but Republicans are only interested insofar as they can use it to bash Obama. The Republican party of my youth simply does not exist anymore. And no hope for the near future. What person who really wanted to understand and deal with serious and complex issues would become a Republican?
I think Mitch McConnell should be careful what he wishes for. If Republicans do retake the Senate, it’s quite likely that McConnell will be even more unpopular with his own party’s base by 2016 than he is now. Right now, Harry Reid is the foil … the reason so much of the Conservative agenda can’t make it to President Obama’s desk, “forcing” him to veto it, thus allowing the American people can truly see how “unAmerican” he really is. The reality is, a whole lot of House passed legislation still won’t be able to make it through the Senate … and that will be Mitch McConnell’s “fault” in the eyes of rank and file Conservatives.
One good thing that may come of it … if Conservatives are so eager for confrontation during the last 2 years of President Obama’s administration that they force Republicans to implement real filibuster reform. If the founders of the Constitution had intended routine legislation to require a supermajority, they wouldn’t have specified that a supermajority was required for impeachment conviction and ratifying treaties.
On the less optimistic side, as a current government employee, I do wonder whether Republicans controlling both the House and the Senate will make another prolonged government shutdown in 2015 more or less likely.
Oh yea, and Ron’s prediction about Supreme Court vacancies … I think that will happen no matter who wins the Senate. If Scalia or Thomas’ seats were to somehow become vacant in the near future, do you think there’s a chance in hell that Republicans wouldn’t do everything in (and out of) their power to try to ensure that Obama wouldn’t get to replace them with somebody less Conservative?
@EddieInCA: Plus Brownback is losing the Gov race. No one talks about that and what it means. Huge deal, Kansas is a deeply repub state, from the very beginning, and a deeply conservative state and with a strong and loud tea party. And after 4 years of ‘true conservative’ rule, the good citizens of Kansas, reddest of the red Kansas, want it to stop.
There is more going on here than what the standard narrative is spinning but I dont think we will see the full effect until 2016.
AHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
*Bangs hand on desk* *slaps knee*
Stop, stop, you’re killing me!!!! HAHAHAHA!!! YOU’RE KILLING ME!!!
Sadly, I think this is mostly correct. Especially when you hear the subjects Krauthammer would like the GOP to focus on:
Tax reform……again? (And forever apparently.)
Keystone XL? Supporters of the Keystone project would do better exercising some patience than voting Republicans into congress. Congress can do @#$%-all about it. The thing is 3/4ths of the way completed, and the only think they’re bickering about is where to lay the pipe, not whether the pipe will be laid. Once the court cases are completed, the last phase of the Keystone project will be too. Even with a Dem majority. The only reason to send Republicans to congress for Keystone is because you’re a fool and a dupe.
And then, of course, we get: border security, energy deregulation and health-care reform. That’s all good and great, but do we need a Republican majority in congress to tackle this stuff? We already took up the health-care reform issue. Republicans could have had input, but they chose to just lie about the subject, and rather than having any influence on the legislation, they called their lawyer and prayed to John Roberts to save them from their own incompetence. Border security? Obama will work with them. Will they work with Obama?
Energy deregulation? Gimme a break….Just because you would prefer to shovel subsidies towards oil companies rather than Prius drivers doesn’t mean you’re into “energy deregulation.”
Sorry, Charles, but that agenda just doesn’t give out a ringing endorsement of a GOP majority. However, here are a few reasons why you might want to vote Republican in November:
A) You want to hobble Obamacare so you can say, “See, told ya it didn’t work.”
B) You want to put the breaks on the further expansion of marriage equality or marijuana legalization.
C) You want to pressure the president into expanding the wars in the Middle East.
D) You would like to provide even more taxpayer dollars to pseudo-capitalist private companies in the form of tax breaks, subsidies, and giveaways.
Two possibilities come to mind:
1) The Democrats suddenly rediscover the sanctity of the filibuster.
2) Congress passes bill after bill after bill that Obama vetoes, yet no one on the left or in the mainstream media (but I repeat myself) will call him “obstructionist.”
The bigger concern for the GOP is that, if they do retake the Senate in November they may not have it for very long.
In 2016, the party will have to defend the seats it won in 2010, including freshman Republican seats in three states that consistently vote Democratic in Presidential elections — Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Illinois. They will also be facing a different electorate, and one that will be more favorable for Democrats, than they did in 2010. Each of these seats is likely to be a top target for the DSCC. In one of them, Illinois, we’re not even sure that the Republican incumbent will be running. Mark Kirk suffered a stroke several years ago, and while he has recovered enough to resume his duties there has been some speculation that he won’t run for re-election. If that happens, it will be next to impossible for the GOP to hold the seat. Even if he does, though, a Republican trying to win statewide in Illinois in a Presidential election year is going up against tremendous odds.
Additionally, the GOP will have to hold seats in Ohio and Florida, which have gone for the Democrats in each of the last two Presidential elections, and more than that if you go back to 1992. Rubio and Portman seem like they’d have good re-election prospects, but they are both mentioned as possible Presidential or Vice-Presidential nominees so they may not even be on the ballot in November (Rubio has said he will not run for re-election if he decides to run for President)
What this also suggests, of course, is that if the GOP doesn’t capture the Senate this year, it’s going to be even harder for them to win it in 2016.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
If he vetoes legislation that he agrees with, simply to obstruct, as Republucans have been doing for 6 years then that charge would be justified.
@EddieInCA: I also throw in a request for OTB to do a exposé of the turmoil in Kansas. The voters there seem to know who drove their economy into the ditch, and are happy they don’t have to vote for a Democrat to fix it.
Ah. See, if I was smart Democratic Senator, I’d propose to my fellows that we don’t filibuster jack-shit that the Republicans can pass. We vote against it, and we let the president veto it. The kind of majority the Republicans have couldn’t override a veto, and the president is on his way out anyway. They go down as anti-Obama to the end, so when faced with whoever ends up being the Democratic nominee in 2016, they can credibly distance from Obama.
Further, every single press conference the Democratic minority holds can be used to exacerbate how they are willing to work with the majority to pass legislation by not using procedural votes to stymie and obstruct the process, drawing a sharper divide.
3 weeks out and Sam Wang, the most accurate prognosticator, still has Dems and Independents controlling the Senate. And remember that a split goes to the Dems thanks to Bidens vote.
But let’s assume Republicans grab the majority by 1 seat.
What does that portend?
Ryan is talking about dynamic scoring in order to give more tax cuts to the rich …a policy that has never helped the economy on the federal level and has also failed in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Kansas, and NJ.
Butters is scared shitless by everything and everybody and his top, McCain, wants to bomb everything and everybody.
There is no stomach in the GOP for immigration reform. They do want to build a new version of the Berlin Wall.
Can the reverse gains we’ve made in equality?
They’ll want to give semen personhood.
And of course they will want to repeal Obamacare…but will not have a workable replacement.
Pretty fvcking depressing when you think about it.
Funny how things go unnoticed by the left…
HR41 To temporarily increase the borrowing authority of the Federal Emergency Management Agency for carrying out the National Flood Insurance Program
HR152 “Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013”
HR325 “No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013”
HR307 “Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013″
HR933 Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013″
HR1765 Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013”
HR258 “Stolen Valor Act of 2013”
HR267 “Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013”
HR1911 “Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013″
HR2167 Reverse Mortgage Stabilization Act of 2013”
S157 “Denali National Park Improvement Act”
HR1412 “Improving Job Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2013”
HR3092 “Missing Children’s Assistance Reauthorization Act of 2013”
S793 “Organization of American States Revitalization and Reform Act of 2013”
HJ Res. 91 “Department of Defense Survivor Benefits Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014”
HR2775 “Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014”
HR3204 “Drug Quality and Security Act”
HR3588 “Community Fire Safety Act of 2013”
HR3304 “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014”
HR3487 To amend the Federal Election Campaign Act to extend through 2018
HR2642 “Agricultural Act of 2014”
S540 “Temporary Debt Limit Extension Act”
AND A BUNCH MORE! Sure looks like governance to me.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
The interesting thing about your reply, Jenos, so that there is no reference at all to policy. Your idea seems to be that the President will veto, and the Democrats will filibuster, legislation because it is Republican. But suppose they block legislation because it is WRONG?
Kansas is relevant here. The Republicans in Kansas were handed carte blanche to enact exactly the kind of legislation that conservatives have wanted for generations. ALEC, the Heritage Foundation and the CATO Institute virtually wrote the Kansas legislative agenda post 2010-and its been such a disaster there that Kansas is going to throw out a Republican governor and a Republican Senator.
Its quite clear to me that over the past decade that the Republicans have been wrong on FP, wrong on economics and wrong on social issues. So exactly what do the Republicans have to offer on policy?
You have a chance here to offer a positive Republican agenda. You know the drill:
For the record, the full name of that bill was, S540 “Temporary Debt Limit Extension (because apparently Republicans do not want to shutdown government for a third time) Act
Mean while, this is what is happening in Kansas, Texas, and Oklahoma-the heart of Red America:
I guess we really will have to relearn all the lessons of the Great Depression. The FSM has apparently decided the first lesson didn’t take and we need to revisit the idea that environmental policy matters and that an integrated federal agricultural policy is a Good Thing. What do the Republicans have to offer on that, other than invoking the magic of the free market?
Er, its pretty much known that the 113th Congress has been the most unproductive in modern history. That’s not even up for debate any longer.It’s also clear why:
If the Republicans win the Senate, we’ll see if they can do more than block. Based on what I’ve seen, what they will do is pass legislation based on terrible policy.
@stonetools >:… an integrated federal agricultural policy is a Good Thing” You mean like the Soviet model? Commissars and long range planning? Gimme a break..
There’s a difference between not having an agenda and not having an agenda the other side likes, or the other side considers innovative. I mean, the newest issues on the Democratic side of the table are gun control and raising the minimum wage. Not exactly new ground.
The Republicans have an economic agenda – just not one that you guys agree with. They believe that the burden of regulation has been deterring economic growth. I know, I know, you guys will say that the problem is too little government spending, but – listen closely – that doesn’t mean the Republicans don’t have an economic agenda. Likewise, you guys may not agree that the US should be treating terrorism as a military and diplomatic problem rather than a criminal problem, but not everyone agrees with you. If you come back and say that the Obama administration has done A, B, and C militarily and diplomatically, that still doesn’t change the fact that there are differences between the Democratic and Republican agendas.
Health care – Medicare reform, tort reform, greater emphasis on the user over the employer. Doesn’t matter if the Republicans ten years ago dragged their feet on some of this, it’s still an agenda. Education reform – the implementation of Common Core is the most interesting policy story of the last ten years. This one’s really interesting, because if you’re looking for a debate, you don’t bother talking to Democrats. The discussion is between conservatives who support it with modification and conservatives who oppose it. But that’s true on a lot of things. Where in the immigration debate are the ideas coming from? Where on tax reform? Where on funding Social Security? Gay marriage? Drug legalization? If you want to have a policy conversation, you get libertarians and mainstream conservatives together. The Democrats have had the benefit of unity in recent years, but unity doesn’t foster innovation. If anything, the Republicans’ problem is too many policy agendas, rather than a lack of one. This parallels the upcoming presidential race – the Republicans have too many credible candidates, while the Democrats have one at most.
You forgot the 50 times they voted to repeal Obamacare.
Don’t short-change those outstanding statesmen.
The RINOsaurs in charge of the GOP vision of modern politics is it’s a football game played on a field with ten yards between endzones. However, they’ve given up scoring any easy touchdowns — rather, they’re all huffed and buffed up in hopes of forcing the Ocrats into an embarrassing safety.
Address why Kansas is in the sh*tter. GOP, Chamber of Commerce have enacted ALL of thier policy ideas. ALL. OF. THEM.
Reduced Government Spending? Check.
Draconian Abortion Rules? Check.
Massive cuts to Personal Income Taxes? Check.
Even more massive cuts to Corporate Taxes? Check?
Reduced spending on Public Education? Check?
The Red State of Kansas may toss out their recently elected Governor – the one who enacted this GOP agenda – and their longtime GOP Senator.
Address that please.
If you examine the record the Republican economic theory is a complete failure…so yeah…they have an agenda. But so what? It’s not a matter of Democrats simply disagreeing …it’s a matter of reality disagreeing with their agenda.
Foreign policy…again…there is a record of failure to examine. 9.11 on their watch. Iraq…arguably the biggest foreign policy blunder in our history. Not simple disagreements…proven failures.
Obama is the one acting both diplomatically and militarily. Republicans have a clear record of ignoring diplomacy that we can examine.
Immigration, marriage equality, climate change…they either have no ideas…or in the case of immigration the base won’t let them act. There is a record we can examine.
Health care reform… They won’t even vote for their own ideas.
There’s a record we can examine…and it doesn’t match your comment.
In a word, no. The idea that the GOP is the party with policy ideas about immigration, health care, social security, gay marriage, drug legalization or tax reform is just ridiculous. They don’t even have bad policy ideas on those issues, so don’t confuse two cranks disagreeing with a coherent policy agenda.
@C. Clavin: So what if they want to repeal it? It’s a crappy, ill-conceived piece of legislation and billions have been wasted implementing it. God help us if Obama’s Immigration Reform is as foolishly written by Democrats with another “we’ll have to pass the bill so you can see what’s in it.” meme.
Oh, BTW Cliff: God in the above sentence can be defined as the Supreme Being, Cosmic Consciousness or anything else beyond your ken. Listing Obama or your ego does not count.
But….we don’t believe that. We believe that terrorism should be treated as a military, diplomatic and/or criminal problem, in each case where most appropriate, necessary, possible and legal.
I mean, c’mon, it’s really really stupid to say that President Obama, the man who hunted down and got bin Laden via a commando raid into Pakistan (something which both his opponents McCain and Romney loudly opposed) doesn’t believe in a military approach to terrorism where necessary. Or that Obama and Kerry, who have in short order put together a vast anti-ISIS coaliton including Britain, France, Turkey, the Kurds, the Gulf States, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, don’t believe in diplomatic approaches.
Say what you like about the tenets of the Republican Party, Dude, at least it’s an ethos.
More upper end tax cuts.
Eliminating funding for Planned Parenthood.
There. The Republican Agenda for the next two years.
Almost forgot…Repeal and something something for Obamacare.
Yeah because the Soviet model is the ONLY example of a government agricultural policy, right? Come back when you get tired of beating straw men and explain to me why Brownback and his merry men failed and why the very red states of Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas are allowing the return of Dust Bowl conditions. You can also go to explain what the libertarian response will be to a developing multi state environmental crisis. Go on. I’ll wait.
This is why I don’t want to see the Republicans take over the Senate. The resulting clown show is going to be irritating and entertaining as they fumble their way through their failed theories, but it the mean time there will be developing crises like environmental change and disease outbreaks that they have no effing clue about how to solve, other than praying to the false god of the free market.
The problem is that we saw the Republican agenda play out nationally 2000-2008 and in Kansas 210-2014. IT DIDN’T WORK.
So far as I can tell, the current Republican agenda are the same ideas, but faster and with more gusto. Why should it work this time?
The big initial error for the Obama Administration is that it didn’t come in explaining that there was a big difference between the Democratic and Republican agendas. Instead it stressed similarities, assumed that the Republicans recognized their ideas were faulty, and tried to engage the Republicans in the spirit of Reasonable Bipartisan Compromise. The President and the media were thunderstruck when the Republicans responded by rejecting the Democrats’ agenda and doubling down on its failed approach.By the time the Obama Administration realized what was happening, the conservative backlash was in full swing as a frightened public, buffeted by the economic crisis, reacted by blaming the Administration for not fixing a crisis that was far worse than many initially imagined.
Anyway, enough hindsight.Its clear from your list of proposals that the Republicans have learned nothing since 2008.What the Republicans have on offer is a national version of Brownback 2010, complete with sweeping restrictions on women’s rights.
What the Democrats really should be doing is making clear the RESULTS of what enacting the Republican agenda will be. As usual, the Democrats don’t have a united a message about that. Oh, well.
Pinky- you don’t know what you are talking about-all those issues that you mentioned do have a democratic party approach= we are for tax reform – boostering SSA- gay marriage and marihuana reform? Republicans are merely debating whether to adopt democratic party ideas. Now- on immigration- pray tell what ideas are coming from your side apart from building a bigger wall?
You’re just wrong. On the facts. Obamacare is working and saving money.
Of course you don’t know that …because the people you trust to tell you what to think will never tell you.
If your opinion is based on mis-information and factual error then your opinion is mis-informed and erroneous.
Obamacare is a perfect example of the lack of a GOP health care policy. They are opposing the Medicaid expansion, but don’t have an alternative proposal. They could have participated when the original bill was passed, but chose mindless opposition instead. Their current plan is to sabotage Obamacare with a joke of a lawsuit to prevent subsidies from being available on the federal exchange. There isn’t any reason to not just pass a routine fix if there is an actual interest in policy.
And if that wasn’t enough, the GOP still hasn’t passed or proposed a replacement for Obamacare, something that would require an actual interest in policy. There is plenty of evidence that the GOP isn’t interested in policy, but it requires honestly evaluating the last few years.
@Pinky: Great comment, if I can’t find myself agreeing with much of it.
A few quibbles:
That may be oversimplified. They believe the burden of regulation increases costs, and that those increased costs cut into profits, despite the tendency to pass on costs rather than let them eat into profits. As for economic growth?
Their vision of economic growth is so comically lop-sided it almost doesn’t count as a vision of, you know, growth. If your big vision of “economic growth” includes a 40 year stretch of wage stagnation, well…..let’s just say it’s a vision that is incomplete.
@C. Clavin: If your opinion is based on mis-information and factual error then your opinion is mis-informed and erroneous.
Funny, I think the same about you.
@stonetools: The interesting thing about your reply, Jenos, so that there is no reference at all to policy. Your idea seems to be that the President will veto, and the Democrats will filibuster, legislation because it is Republican. But suppose they block legislation because it is WRONG?
Why the hell should I give them credit for that? I can’t recall a single issue where the Republicans opposed an Obama proposal and did NOT spell out, in detail, why they thought it was WRONG!!!, but they still got called obstructionist and RAAAAACIST.
For at least the beginning, I’m comfortable returning the favor.
Besides, I’m not expecting a real convervative agenda from Congress if they retake the Senate. It’ll still be called extremist and racist and sexist, but that’s because the Democrats are really Pavlovian on that point.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
I’m glad you brought up immigration, that’s definitely another issue the GOP does not have anything resembling an actual policy. If they were actually interested in immigration reform then it could have passed anytime in the last decade.
Sure… Except I have the facts on my side. You just spout what the right wing entertainment complex tells you.
That almost had me spitting my drink on the keyboard. Oh Krauthammer, you’re such a card.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
Sure…they always have a reason…but like with Obsmacare…their reasons are always wrong.
@James Pearce: Well, yeah, everything’s oversimplified. It’s oversimplified to say that any one party is responsible for 40 years of wage stagnation. It’s oversimplified to look at just wages when everyone with a small business or a 401(k) is part of the investor class. As for the growth argument, I think you’ve got it a little bit wrong. Regulation, and the uncertainty caused by possible future changes in regulation, reduce the potential return on investment, and thus inhibit potential growth.
Well…only one party has waged war on the middle class.
And uncertainty is just BS. The future is always uncertain. Please tell me when it’s ever been certain what would happen in 3 months…6 months…a year…5 years…ten years. Uncertainty is a right wing myth.
Well, to be fair, I don’t think the GOP is responsible for 40 years of wage stagnation. But I do think that they are poorly prepared to tackle that as an issue. The last few months of 08 exposed that for everyone to see, and it’s not like they’ve used the intervening last half decade improving on the issue.
Sorry, man, but I call bullshit on this. It may make you an investor, but the investor class is on whole other level.
That said, I take your point and won’t quibble further with the wording.
I think this is true in certain scenarios, during a merger, say. If we were to look at the economy as a whole, though, I think there are waaaaay more situations where regulation actually creates certainty and ensures a potential return on investment.
Taxi regulations. TV stations. Telecoms. That’s not to say those industries need to be organized that way, or that other industries should follow suit. It’s just to say that good regulations can mean good profits. They are not always the stranglehold that the right claims.
@Pinky: “Regulation, and the uncertainty caused by possible future changes in regulation, reduce the potential return on investment, and thus inhibit potential growth.”
And what does lack of regulation, and the uncertainty caused by future actions by unregulate businesses do? Once we achieve your business owner’s paradise by removing regulations, how can I judge and protect the value of my real estate development when the factory upstream can dump millions of gallons of dangerous chemicals into the river that leads into my lake? How can I persuade people to keep eating at my restaurant when the last batch of unregulated chicken I bought from my unregulated supplier sent dozens of my customers to the hospital? Oh, where they died, because there were no regulations concerning the importation of pharmaceuticals, and these were corrupted.
Business is responding in a very predictable manner based upon DEMAND. I thought Republucans had abandoned the uncertainty myth years ago. The tax and regulation environment has been as solid as can ever be expected for a really, really, long time now. The biggest thing you can point to is Obamacare and that was litigated for over a year and phased in over several years.
Uncertainty is just silly nonsense.
There are consequences to the GOP path of obstruction and sabotage.
@C. Clavin: Facts on your side is a contradiction in terms. You ARE the embodiment of your screen name.
Sure…but you never offer a counter- argument based in fact…you just talk smack that cannot ever be supported.
Anyway…I think it would be a terrific world if no one had to pay taxes or adhere to any regulations. I mean seriously…how great would that be???
But the Koch Brithers kill their employees even when regulated. What happens if there is no regulations? How many would they kill then?
26 if our biggest corporations pay zero taxes…what happens when we eliminate taxes? Will we owe them money?
The Republican agenda isn’t based in the real world.
Haiti has no regulations.
An earthquake happens and every single building falls down.
Here in the US…not so much.
Republicans want buildings like those in Haiti.
Me…not so much.
Who says there are no Saturday cartoons?
Does anyone really believe that we’re seven senators away from death waves? If not, why say it?
Dude…3 out of the four have already happened.
You want to make them all more likely to happen more often.
@John425: Facts on your side is a contradiction in terms. You ARE the embodiment of your screen name.
Be careful there. You’re kinda right about his namesake, but the actor behind it — John Ratzenberger — is a hell of a good guy. And he’d most likely be appalled at being associated with our Cliffy.
@David M: I’m glad you brought up immigration, that’s definitely another issue the GOP does not have anything resembling an actual policy. If they were actually interested in immigration reform then it could have passed anytime in the last decade.
I didn’t bring up a damned thing about immigration. I didn’t bring up any particular issues at all. Plenty of others did, but not me.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
An issue were the GOP is being both obstructionist and racist? Immigration sure seemed like the obvious conclusion. There are plenty that are one or the other, but both is an accomplishment, even for the current GOP.
@David M: That was a polite correction, not an invitation to use my comment to hop on your own particular hobby-horses. Others brought up immigration; you didn’t need to try to use my comment.
But you really are showing your intellectual limitations if immigration was the “obvious conclusion.” I’ve lost count of how many times the idiots here have proclaimed that the Republicans would have gleefully supported a particular measure if only it hadn’t been backed by a black president. Any disagreement with Obama is, to them, by default racist until proven otherwise — and it can’t be proven otherwise, to their satisfaction.
I rather like the guy at the Tea Party rally who held up a sign that read something like “IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT I SAY, YOU’LL CALL ME RACIST ANYWAY.”
@Jenos Idanian #13:
The same guy had another sign … Keep the Government out of my Medicare.
You and the Tea Baggers…so f ‘ Ing cute together.
Indiana Jones and the Tea Baggers; in the land of made up $hit.
In this present crisis, Republicans are not the solution to our problem, Republicans are the problem.
You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children Obamacare or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children’s children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
I’ve got to ask: Why do you like pathetic, whining, victims-in-waiting?
Actually, all Sam Wang has said is that Dems have a slightly better-than-even chance of controlling the Senate. That is not the same thing as predicting that Dems will hold the Senate. A probability estimate is not the same as a straight prediction. For example, if there are three instances where there’s a two-thirds chance of something happening, the laws of probability suggest that one of those times the thing in question will not happen. And Wang’s current estimate of Dem Senate control is just 54%. That’s scarcely different from “tossup.” For that matter, Nate Silver’s 58.5% estimate of the chances of Repub control isn’t that far from “tossup” either. Whatever happens in November isn’t going to be a vindication of either model, because neither one is claiming that the opposite outcome is unlikely. It’s not like 2012 when they were giving 90% or more to Obama’s reelection prospects. We’re talking about very slight variations in chance. There is plenty in these models to praise or criticize, but to assess their accuracy based on how many events they gave a better-than-even estimate to ended up happening is to misunderstand how probability works.
I haven’t followed Kansas at all. But I notice that 90% of the analogies and examples on this thread refer to Kansas. In a year when the Republicans may gain 8 seats and an Independent may gain 1 and caucus with the Democrats, why are all examples based on the one? The one that the actual Democrat did so bad that he went to court to get his name removed from the ballot?
If anything, the number of Kansas references makes me more confident about Wisconsin. Walker seems to be the most hated Governor in the US on the Dem side, and if he could be used as an example of Republican failure, I suspect that Brownback wouldn’t even be noticed. Another suspicion: if the Colorado Democratic Party implodes the way you guys are predicting of the Kansas Republican Party, it won’t be cited in the threads so often.
@Jenos Idanian #13:
So you don’t want to debate any Republican proposals because you are afraid of being called a racist. Well guess what. I won’t call you a racist unless you are actually being …a racist. How about that?
Actually I suspect that you can’t actually defend the Republican agenda such as it is. I have yet to hear a rational response to why the Republicans oppose Medicaid expansion. I know that there is no rational response to why the Republican position on women’s rights. Hey when you don’t understand basic biology you really can’t have a rational position. But anyway I’ll just go with my suspicions since I don’t think you want or can mount a serious defense of Republican policy positions.
Because water seeks its own level?
@Jenos Idanian #13:
He he. You know what’s amusing here, Jenos? What the Republicans call Obamacare is almost word for word a Republican proposal, drawn from Republican ideas about universal health insurance. A Republican governor signed into law a version of the ACA in Massachusetts a few years ago. It was in the spirit of bipartisan compromise that Obama pushed the ACA, over the objections of liberals who wanted single payer. What has been the conservative response? Pathological opposition. Explain that, if you can. I’ll wait.
@Stonetools: Yeah, but that’s not really true, is it? Romney opposed (and vetoed) the employer mandate. He pushed for catastrophic coverage rather than across-the-board coverage. He criticized the state health care exchange. Beyond that is the expansion of Medicare in Obamacare, and the whole question of whether the federal government has the right to do what states may. Plus, it ended up costing more than promised, and the federal government had the advantage of Massachusetts’ experience which they failed to improve upon. And Massachusetts supported the Romneycare plan while the US had grave doubts about Obamacare. So you’re being misleading about both the contents and the context of the plans.
The employer mandate is a small detail that the GOP could have negotiated over if they chose. Obamacare has not cost more than promised. Obamacare also was always clearly constitutional and does contain more cost controls than Romneycare. The individual parts of Obamacare are also popular and much of the opposition to Obamacare was due to GOP lies and not honest objections to the plan.
So were there differences between Romneycare and Obamacare? Yes, but those differences do not explain the absolute GOP opposition.
You know who else thinks that Obamacare is like Romney care, Pinky? Other Republicans. It was a big talking point for other Republicans during the 2012 Republican primaries. One candidate spoke of Obamneycare. H3ll, the same consultant designed both systems.
As for Medicaid expansion, that idea goes back to-wait for it-Richard Nixon! Actually, Nixon’s plan is even better than Medicaid expansion:
Here’s some other Republicans who touted the essentials of the ACA:
So, no the ACA is essentially the Republican version of universal health insurance, with some tweaks.
Liberals certainly thought of it as a Republican plan and a sellout to business interests: here is a comprehensive attack on the ACA from the left.
Certainly, every liberal I know would have preferred single payer. They swallowed their objections and supported the ACA because the fanatical opposition from the Republicans made it clear that the ACA was the best we could get. The question that right wingers have to answer is why the ferocious opposition to what is the conservative version of universal health insurance. I’d like conservative commenters to chime in on this. Don’t like the racism answer? Suggest something else then. I myself think that thwarting the black man in the White House is only part of the story: but I’m sure its there for many ACA opponents.
Please free my comment from moderation. Thanks.
Couldn’t make it six hours, huh? As for suggesting something else, I did. You said that Obamacare was “almost word for word a Republican proposal”; when I pointed out some of the differences, you rejected them as “tweaks”, and brought up racism. I guess that IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT I SAY, YOU’LL CALL ME (or “many” ACA opponents) RACIST ANYWAY.
Hey, don’t take it personal. I was responding to Jenos. Didn’t accuse you of anything. Still, I think you would have to be blind or dishonest to think the opposition to the ACA isn’t race based for many Obamacare opponents, if not you. Heck, there are people who admit Obamacare are helping them who say they still just don’t like Obama. Now I understand that you don’t like it that some -OK a lot- of your fellow Obamacare opponents are racists, but there you go.
As to your points, I have supplied considerable evidence that the ACA is based on Republican proposals dating back to Nixon. You haven’t contested the evidence, so I think you have to concede the ACA is really like the conservative/Republican version of universal health insurance, at least compared to the liberal version -single payer. It may not be exactly like Dole’s proposal, or like the bill Romney signed into law, but it’s a long way from single payer.
@Stonetools: I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone lay out such a strong case against his own argument and against his own credibility. I mean, I don’t even want to reply. Considering I already have, and you’ve ignored it, I really don’t see the point. But let me just point out something basic: the fact that two things aren’t single payer doesn’t make those two things identical. If you think that “not getting everything you wanted” is the only criterion, then yes, every bill in history is similar in that respect. But the specifics of the plans you’ve mentioned are totally different.
Exactly what was so different about them that the only GOP response was “No”? Everything I’ve seen regarding the similarities and differences indicated that there was room for negotiations. Unless of course the GOP wasn’t actually interested in health care policy….
Er, not that different. I’m bemused by your claim that Romneycare is that different from ACA. Romney tried to distance Romneycare from the ACA in his 2012 camaign and he failed totally, just like you did here. I’ve referenced Gruber and Romney’s opponents’ arguments above. If those aren’t good enough for you, how about Politifact:
During the 2009 ACA negotiations, the Democrats were willing to negotiate give up on concessions, for example , on pharmecueticals and the public option-to the fury of many a liberal. The Republicans responded with total opposition. They talk of “abolishing the ACA” and “repealing it root and branch” without suggesting a serious alternative.My conclusion is that the Republicans are simply opposed to the concept of universal health insurance, period, although their reasons may be various.
“Charles Krauthammer says “the real reason winning the Senate matters” has more to do with positioning the GOP for 2016 than stopping President Obama.”
First, you’re quoting Charles Krathammer.
Second, the GOP has shown wildly nihilistic tendencies, and winning elections has just made them more nihilistic. Why stop now?
Cabbage-pounder: “Winning control of the Senate would allow Republicans to pass a whole range of measures now being held up by Reid, often at the behest of the White House. ”
Gee, I wonder how many Democratic Senators will remember record-setting filibuster numbers for the past six years, and be eager to explain ‘tit for tat’ to the Senate GOP?
@Pinky: “It’s oversimplified to look at just wages when everyone with a small business or a 401(k) is part of the investor class.”
Wrong. The investor class would be those who have enough invested that their return on investments (or return + slow consumption of the principle) would be enough to live on.
That’s a miniscule part of the US population.