Day: 2015.10.27

Your House of Representatives (Freedom Fried Mix)

¿Welcome to Freedom?

“Really? Twelve years after Freedom Fries, we’re now embracing a Freedom Foyer?”

Steve Benen

Ask yourself if you really, really want to know. After all, this is what it looks like when House Republicans get to work.

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Benen, Steve. “What in the world is a ‘Freedom Foyer’?” msnbc. 27 October 2015.

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The Pine Tree Problem

Gov. Paul LePage speaks at the Maine Republican Convention, Saturday, April 26, 2014, in Bangor, Maine. (Robert F. Bukaty/AP)

“That’s like giving my wife my checkbook. I’m telling you, it’s giving your wife your checkbook. Go spend.”

Gov. Paul LePage (R-ME)

This is, in truth, a difficult question to express according to diverse pathways, and any number of priority assertions clamor for attention.

But as Maine Gov. Paul LePage, a Tea Party Republican already facing a grotesque array of scandals for his spectacularly curious behavior―threatening to bomb newspapers, using state government as a weapon against schools, failing to understand how the state government he runs actually works, that sort of thing―decides to publicly attack women―including his own wife, Ann LePage―in order to sound witty about the proposition of public election financing, I suppose it is, in fact, the original question that pushes through the noise: Remind us again, please, Maine: Why did you elect Mr. LePage? And why did you re-elect him?

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Image note: Gov. Paul LePage speaks at the Maine Republican Convention, Saturday, April 26, 2014, in Bangor, Maine. (Detail of photo by Robert F. Bukaty/AP)

Benen, Steve. “Maine’s LePage: ‘That’s like giving my wife my checkbook'”. msnbc. 27 October 2015.

Serial Metaphorical Murderlust

>The dome of the United States Capitol building, under repair, in 2015.  (Detail of photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

“This budget and debt deal is being brokered by a lame duck speaker and a lame duck president. It represents the very worst of Washington―a last minute deal that increases spending and debt under the auspices of fiscal responsibility. If this deal moves forward, it will undermine efforts to unite the party by those promising to advance serious policy reforms.”

Michael A. Needham (Club for Growth)

There comes a point at which conservative true colors shine through. The Club for Growth, of course, is the organization that likes to use murder metaphors to describe government, and enjoys the fantasy of deliberately drowning someone in a bath tub. It is the organization Republicans kneel before, to which they offer up fealty. Just as social conservatives reject the supreme law of the land for their own ad hoc Biblical “doctrine”, so do fiscal conservatives reject the fact that they are elected to government office in favor of murder fantasies and deliberately inflicting deprivation on their fellow human beings because they actually openly loathe and want to destroy the government they ask to serve.

Yeah. Republicans.

It’s a free country.

And, you know, when they succeed in making the former sentence false, Republicans will just blame Democrats, because that’s what they always do; and a significant number of people well enough educated to know better will pretend it’s some manner of fair argument, and many of these will have employment in the press.

At the moment, we can see the rough outline emerging. John T. Bennett of Roll Call reported this morning:

GOP senators highlighted parts of the package meant to offset increased defense and domestic spending as their chief concerns. Their comments were followed by a blistering critique of the deal from the conservative groups Heritage Action for America and the Club for Growth.

The problem here is the problem with any Republican action; the underlying principle requires exclusion and deprivation. With the Cult of Grover muttering its incantations and instructions, we can expect its Republican minions to go forth and do the Club for Growth’s bidding like the good little House servants they are. Going forward, we should remember that this is the proposed budget deal; it is exactly the sort of thing that leads to budget standoffs; it will not get President Obama’s signature. The Club for Growth would like to extend this farce as long as possible, because, hey, bawling about who Republicans get to hurt is better than actually governing, and, you know, we should dump this mess onto the incoming Speaker of the House because that would give the Cult a way to inform Mr. Ryan of his proper place in the hierarchy beneath Grover Norquist.

Remember, for conservatives the whole point is to prevent the American government from functioning. This is the first principle of Grover: Government should be weak enough to drown in a bathtub.

No, really, is there a shutdown standoff Republicans can actually resist? This is such an intractable horde that they won’t even let the Speaker of the House resign properly; this is just another opportunity for conservatives to attempt to plunge the government into crisis in order to show us all what it looks like when government just doesn’t work.

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Image note: The dome of the United States Capitol building, under repair, in 2015. (Detail of photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Bennett, John T. “GOP Senators Concerned by ‘Gimmicks’ in Budget Deal”. #WGDB. Roll Call. 27 October 2015.