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Fri Sep 15, 2017, 12:49 AM

The Fundamental Problem is That Republicans Are Rewarded For Failure

I think Democrats in Congress, including Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, should get credit for being able to close legislative deals achieving Democratic goals even though they are in the minority with a hostile President. However, despite their legislative skill, the fundamental problem is that Republicans are repeatedly rewarded for failure. You could call it the Ted Cruz effect.

In the Republican party, with a whole right wing propaganda apparatus in place with Fox, Brietbart, Rush, plus billionaire backers like Adelson, the Koch Brothers and the Mercers, Republican members of Congress do not need the Republican party nor do they even need to rely on donations from their constituents. They do not need to deliver results for the folks at home. Instead, thanks to the aforementioned structures, they can rely on a highly charged ideological minority to vote for them as a block. Of course, to keep the ideological minority satisfied, they have to be ideologically pure.

Of course, purity and reality do not mix. Actual governing often requires trade-offs. Ideologically pure policies often will fail spectacularly upon implementation. Kansas's tax cuts under Governor Brownback are a perfect example of the danger of actually achieving success in implementing an ideologically pure set of right wing policies. The last thing a Ted Cruz/Donald Trump Republican wants to do is actually succeed in seeing a bill that bears their name get implemented with in a manner that will cause an immediate impact. Therefore, repeal the ACA, but put-off implementation for a few years. Terminate DACA, but hold off implementation for a couple of months. Then, demand that Democrats clean up the mess that you made.

Thus, to avoid being the next Brownback, a Ted Cruz/Freedom Caucus type Republican has to repeatedly move the goal posts to the right of any actual Republican proposal. If Ryan puts it out there, you have to oppose it on the ground that it is not nearly conservative enough, because god forbid that your most extreme proposal actually get implemented. Or, perhaps let your bill pass the House, but secretly pray that the Senate kills your most recent death bill. Is this responsible governing? Hell No. Is this a cynical acceptance of the realities of Republican politics? Yes it is.

Of course, with a President Obama, you could count on him to save Republicans from the consequences of their rhetoric. Thus, repeal the ACA on a monthly basis, because you can count on the President to veto the bill.

However, Trump changes that equation because he is even more irresponsible about governing then most Republicans. Thus, he will out Ted Cruz Ted Cruz himself. Trump's budget will cut taxes a gazillion dollars, cut the State Department in half, and propose to increase the Defense budget by an obscene amount, and then he will dare Congressional Republicans to pass a proposed budget filled with their own talking points. No wonder Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell where horrified. Even the Freedom Caucus and Ted Cruz were hard pressed to out-crazy Trump.

Which leads to why the only real game in town to get anything done is with the Democrats who for the most part campaign on trying to achieve real results. They are not ideologically homogeneous, but for the most they do not introduce poorly drafted bills with no chance for passage as a means to grand stand. Likewise, you do not have too many Ted Cruz clones on the left who owe their success to demeaning Democrats as being part of the corrupt establishment. Instead, Democrats for the most part will generally try to work with each other, rather than to throw each under the bus for even the most routine votes.

This is why when Trump actually does need to get something constructive done, like raise the debt limit, the Democrats are the only game in town. Only Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer can deliver on a promise to deliver the votes. Paul Ryan can never deliver the votes, because regardless of the proposal, the Freedom Caucus/Ted Cruz wannabes will stake out a position to the right of the proposal in the name of purity. That way, they can always bitch about the bill that does pass as not being sufficiently pure.

Hopefully, Democrats resist the temptation to engage in this cynical brand of politics. Thankfully, there are only a few on the left who seem to have built their career on throwing their would be allies under the bus in the name of ideological purity.

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Reply The Fundamental Problem is That Republicans Are Rewarded For Failure (Original post)
TomCADem Sep 2017 OP
Rollo Sep 2017 #1
GReedDiamond Sep 2017 #2
bronxiteforever Sep 2017 #3

Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Fri Sep 15, 2017, 01:56 AM

1. Conservatives and reactionaries in general benefit from a do nothing government...

That way the balance of power shifts to the, for lack of a better term, the 1% class, who wield great power based on their money and their influence.

At least until the current liberal government (it's still basically liberal, despite Trump and the GOP) grinds to a complete halt, and then the conservatives proceed to pass laws that increasingly favor the wealth and punish the poor.

Think Franco's Spain.


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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Fri Sep 15, 2017, 02:03 AM

2. You had me at "The Fundamental Problem is That Republicans Are Rewarded For Failure" - nt

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Fri Sep 15, 2017, 09:19 AM

3. I agree. The GOP hates government hence it can't govern.

Its ideological foundations are cemented to disdain, fear and greed. It is no wonder it can't produce any "statesmen". You have to want to work in a state to be a statesman. On a fundamental level this disdain attracts only the basest in the base to seek office. They seek power for its own sake and have no interest in building or creating anything.

Our party loves ideas and making society better. We are far more pragmatic folks than ideologues. That is the " fdrness" of our party and it is always worth fighting for.

You hit the nail on the head.

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