Wednesday, October 2, 2013


The Republican establishment is scrambling to figure out a way to both placate their right-wing base and to re-fund the government. Their latest idea is to cancel the healthcare coverage they and their staffers get and put them on Obamacare as well. This would be fairly pointless - their healthcare coverage is relatively equal to that under Obamacare as it is, and their overworked, underpaid staffers (seriously, it's true - staffing levels have precipitously declined over the decades, leading to shittier legislation) get really good healthcare in lieu of better pay. And whatever pay they do make, remember they have to spend it in the DC-Maryland-Northern Virginia megasuburb. Having lived there for three years, I can tell you it's incredicostly and they're already suffering enough.

But the point is that the GOP needs something to save face, and if they have to throw their own staffers under the bus to do so, they don't care. Let me reiterate that: they give so little damn about people that they made their own underlings, people they see and work with every day, people that probably get their Christmas cards, research the best and most efficient way to take away one of their few worthwhile benefits. And this is the establishment, that part of the GOP that's supposed to be moderate and responsible. If that's the loving, caring, RINO face of the party, then that makes the Tea Party Norman Bates.

Anyway, Obama's finally had enough. He's taken his hardest public stance yet on the Republican Party, and he isn't even using his anger translator. To which long-suffering Democrats like me are saying: about fucking time, bro. Glad you ditched the professor bullshit and started verbally wrecking their shit. Lord knows, if any President in living memory's had a right to get pissed off at the other side, it's you.

One last thing: the Republicans are coming out with arguments about shutdowns and shutdown threats made by Democrats in times past. So Dave Weigel of Slate put together a list of those incidents, and in no instance did the government ever shut down because of a threat they made. At every turn, realists and moderates in the Democratic Party kept their extremists in check. The couple times a shutdown did technically happen, it was essentially a technocratic oversight that got resolved in a day or two, and government departments were not directed to cease work, because everyone knew an appropriations bill was on its way presently. So the argument can't be made that "both sides do it." No. Only one side does it.

So that's a good place to end with what should probably be a daily reminder for some people: If you vote Republican, you're what's wrong with America, and this mess is your fault. Remember that in 2014.

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