Free Markets, Free People

Blaming the victim

So, I got this email from the TEA Party Express people. It starts:

We are saddened to see today that the political establishment in Washington DC continues to do the only thing they seem to know – kick the proverbial can down the road. Instead of repealing, defunding or at least delaying the atrocious Obamacare, the political elites are content to let the "train wreck" happen at the expense of the American people.

Now, look, I’m really sympathetic to the goals of the TEA Party. If it was up to me, the executive departments of the Federal Government would consist of State, Defense, Treasury, Justice, and Interior. We’d have a balanced budget amendment. There would be no federal-level entitlements. Basically, the federal government’s primary responsibility would be sound money and talking to or killing foreigners as required.

But this is just a bit tendentious. It’s not “political elites” that gave us Obamacare, or who are preventing it from being overturned. It’s Democrats. The problem isn’t that Republicans have some secret admiration for Obamacare that prevents them from getting rid of it. The problem is that Republicans control 1/2 of 1/3 of the government. They have no political way to force the repeal of the ACA. They don’t control the senate—or even have a majority in it—and they don’t control the White House. Since we don’t have government by magical pixie dust, but by actual votes in actual legislative bodies and approval by the president, what possible path to ACA repeal was on the table?

The Tea Party and conservatives got short end of the stick on today’s announced budget "compromise."   Enough Republicans in the Senate and the House are ready to give the Democrats everything they wanted and rendered the principled stand led by Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and others a futile effort.

No. It was a futile effort before it began. The principled stands of some Republicans were irrelevant, because they had no power whatsoever to translate their stands into concrete action. Nor, apparently, were the Democrats in the Senate or White House particularly worried enough about negative public opinion to yield. SO, where was this going to go? Partially shutting down the government forever? Stopping Social Security and Medicare payments? I mean, what, precisely, was the end game that got to Obamacre repeal with the current senate and president? Hey, while we’re on the subject, what was the plan that the Republicans had—or that Ted Cruz had—prior to shutting down the government? I mean, other than, you know, hope.

To put it plain and simple: we don’t have enough conservatives in Congress to stop the irresponsible spending in Washington.

Yes. Exactly. Which everyone else knew early in November of 2012, just as they knew the next chance to repeal the ACA, barring its spectacular failure, would be after 2014 at the earliest.

We have seen 5 years of the Obama Administration and no successful negotiations have taken place except the sequester, which was Obama’s idea because he never thought it would actually happen!

So, by what sophistry of reason did anyone assume Obama would negotiate over Obamacare?

This is simply unacceptable.  The Republicans have had 5 years to try and make some progress in remedying the financial ills that plague our nation’s future, and have made little to no progress.

I guess that makes you wish you’d had a massive GOTV effort in 2012, huh? But that didn’t happen, and millions of Republican voters stayed home. So we got a Democrat-controlled Senate, and Barack Obama went back to the White House.

The predictable result was that Obamacare was not—and with Democrats controlling the Senate and White House, will not—be repealed in the foreseeable future.

Are there some Republicans who could be described as insufficiently conservative? Yeah. Sure. So what? They aren’t the fundamental problem here. They aren’t the ones who voted for it in the first place, either.

If you want the ACA repealed there’s a simple way to do it: Win elections. Like Cory Booker just did in New Jersey, which sent another Democrat to the Senate.

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44 Responses to Blaming the victim

  • To be fair, there was no massive GOTV effort in 2012 because the IRS shut down the Tea Parties’ ability to fundraise.

  • Dale,
    That 1/2 of 1/3 trope is hogwash. The Republicans control 100% of the parts of the government which are Constitutionally charged with appropriations – The House. No, they can not pass any laws by themselves. No, they can not repeal any laws by themselves. They can, however, refuse to fund anything they damn well please.
    This is strictly hard ball politics. The game will be played out in the primaries. The good guys will win if the courtiers learn to fear the TEA Party more than Gallup or the WAPO. Interesting times.

    • 1) The R’s tried to withhold funding and look what it got them.
      If the people are parasitic and prone to panic at the thought of missing Santa Claus, there’s not a lot can be done.

      • I’d love to comment, but no time, the EBT cards are reading no limit! and I’m heading to Wal-Mart!  Tell your friends!    We’re having filet mignon for dinner!

      • I should add that the R’s are missing out on two ther critical components – the Media and academia.

    • They can, however, refuse to fund anything they damn well please.

      While I harmonize with the spirit, I cannot agree with the substance of what you wrote.
      The House cannot act by itself.  IF it could, ObamaDoggle would have been defunded many months ago, as indeed it has been many times since.
      And this is where we get into “shut-down mode”.  All Hateful Harry has to do is say, “No”, or let his Deemocrat majority say no, and the budget process dies in the Senate.  Again.  Some more.  Another time.
      Nor do I agree with Dale that the Cruz-led effort was “doomed”.  I think there was an element of horse-trading in the campaign…the Cruz never expected that full REPEAL of ObamaDoggle was in the cards, but that some relief for Americans might well be if the Deemocrats saw conservative momentum and unity.
      Which, of course, political elites like John McAnus, Lindsay Graham, and John King immediately set to work to quash.  And, yes, Dale, the elites were active poisoners of this play.

      • Rags,
        Constitutionally they can.
        Repeating myself:
        This is strictly hard ball politics. The game will be played out in the primaries. The good guys will win if the courtiers learn to fear the TEA Party more than Gallup or the WAPO. Interesting times.

        • Perhaps I’m missing something, but Constitutionally, how does the House pass an appropriations bill without it also passing the Senate and being signed by the President (or jumping over his veto)?

  • I think the accusation of elites is valid.
    For one, Obamacare only originally passed via massive backroom dealing.  For another your admission that the media shields democrats from negative fallout from the shutdown.  Both of those are ‘elitist’ activities.
    The other reason is the indirect effect of manipulation of Education and Media.  The fact that the prospect of “racism” warps people’s common sense.  I have no doubt a large share of Obama’s votes in 2008 & 2012 were because a large section of American were terrified they might be racist is they didn’t.  Being the  equivalent of accusing someone of being a “Witch” in 17th century Salem.  This has cowed countless politicians in Washington and again a reflection of a dishonest media.

    • They should keep it up, there really IS a limit on that card, they just don’t know it yet.

  • In a two party system, parties are by definition “big tents” (or else they lose).  There will always be diverse opinions within the GOP.   In this case they also forgot Sun Tzu’s famous dictate “Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.”

    • Well, thanks for the platitude-fest, Erp.  Sometimes you don’t fight strategically, but existentially.
      Think England in 1940.  If you can think.
      Is your Collective a “big tent”?  It seems highly homogenized to me, having watched a good bit of the DNConvention.  All pro-life Deemocrates were very nicely purged.

    • Young people have grown up listening to parents and politicians who promise that the federal government will solve our problems. But, as they have suffered widespread unemployment, watched college costs soar and seen our legislators wrangling ineffectually, they have begun to doubt the wisdom of their elders. They have, it appears, lost faith in government.
      According to an April survey by the Harvard Institute of Politics, only 39 percent of young voters count on President Obama to “do the right thing,” and only 22 percent trust the federal government.
      Some lessons come hard. Learning your dogmatic Collectivist instructors were lying to you will be a good thing, but it will cause a lot of pain.

    • I was unaware we had officially formulated into law that our country had a two party system.
      So, do you know any history prior to Obama?

      • Single member district systems tend towards two parties (Duverger’s law).   Proportional representation systems tend towards multiparty systems.  Right now the US is a two party system and has been for quite some time because any efforts to start third parties fall victim to the electoral system.  Moreover a two party system with checks and balances like ours really pushes the government towards the center, and creates a need for compromise.  That’s a structural factor of how the US government was set up.

          More educated, too.  And LESS prejudiced and MORE rational than are you, Erp.

        • “That’s a structural factor of how the US government was set up.”
          No it was NOT.
          Good lord, please don’t tell us ever again you teach this shit because you’re obviously not qualified if you think that’s how our government was set up.
          “The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension … is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.”
          George Washington
          “I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever, in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else, where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent. If I could not go to heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all.
          Thomas Jefferson
          “There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other”
          John Adams

          • The structure has set up by the founders creates a two party system.  That may not have been their intent, but it was the product.   You seem a triffle irritable today.  Why would that be 😉

          • No, you brainless cunny.
            The “structure” MAY have evolved to a two party system.
            YOU seem a triffle gloating today.  And what does THAT tell us about your TRUE…as opposed to your LIES…affinities…???
            You LOVES you some out-of-control government spending and BIG GOVERNMENT.  Lying sack.

          • So, I’m to pretend that Jefferson and Adams and Washington would say those things and then be feckless deceitful asshats and set out to do exactly what they claimed they disagreed with.
            Permitting you to blame or ‘credit’ the founders for the mendacious and malicious behavior of our current ruling class in their wanton misinterpretations of the Constitution, such as the commerce clause or the 2nd Amendment.
            But that was not your original contention – you stated it was set up to be that way, when clearly, it was not.
            At the outset then, you didn’t know what you were talking about.
            Note that it was only the statement that it was intended to be this way that I objected to.
            You seem a trifle wrong,  🙂
            again,   🙂
            today.  🙂
            Why would that be when you ‘teach this stuff’?

          • The fact is, the structure can be seen throughout Europe.
            There is nothing that stops us from having a “Green Party”, and a “Red Party”, and a “Liberty Party” and a “Very Silly Party” and have those parties shift alliances to achieve goals just as they do in Europe (gads, zounds, imagine me suggesting such a thing as behaving like a European!  Has your head exploded yet oh dearly beloved?)
            There is nothing inherently and necessarily ‘two party’ in our system of government other than tradition and the difficulty entailed in winkling the parties out of the bunkers they’ve dug for themselves to secure their continued existence and domination.
            but there is nothing ‘intended’ about it.

          • Scott Erb, you present yourself as an unbiased, non-ideological analyst who “teaches this stuff”, and yet you come in here to shake your pom-poms for the Democrats, incessantly.  You “spin” the news to downplay negative information on Democrats and gloat about anything negative for the Republicans.  None of the regular comment denizens that I’ve seen believe your disingenuous self-representation, nor see anything in your arguments to persuade.  You are universally mocked here, treated as a transparent lying propagandist and your repetitive rhetorical gimmicks are the subject of constant laughter at your expense.
            What makes you come here?  Why don’t you go to Daily Kos, the Democratic Underground, Little Green Footballs, or some other forum in which you can find people who will believe you, agree with you, and (foolishly) regard you as some sort of wise sage?  From your comments, you seem to want that here.  You will never get it here.
            1. you are delusional,
            2. you are very stupid,
            3. your are childish, or
            4. any combination of 1-3.
            What other possibility could there be?

          • Most of Europe has a proportional representation system, which tends to multiple parties, or some varied system designed to create more than two parties.  Only the US and UK have a single member district system.  That tends towards two parties, though the UK does have a strong third party that won enough seats to become part of the governing coalition.  In the US no third party is close; the system makes it so that you are “wasting a vote” if you don’t vote for one of the major parties (since victory in a single member district is by getting a plurality).  That means that we are prone to a system that will be centrist as it rewards the party that can win the center, where most voters are.   The center can move (as has happened with, say, gay marriage which was extreme 30 years ago but is now center) but that is slow.  The key in American politics is not to move to get the extremes, but to shift the center.

          • Blah blah blah….Scott.
            What you said, was it was designed that way, that it was intended by the founders to be that way.  It was not.  You were wrong. You demonstrated again you don’t know what you’re talking about while claiming to be an expert.
            How it may work is not the same as what was intended, look at 90% of the laws Democrats so keenly pass.   Happens all the time.
            You were wrong.  Move on.

          • Scott Erb, why do you continue to post comments here?  Why don’t you post comment to forum in which there are other Democrats, “liberals”, and various sorts of collectivists?  You can impress them with your CV and convince them of your wisdom.  And, you won’t be a laughing stock.
            What is the purpose for you to persist in this masochistic behavior?  Why do you get such kicks out of trolling and getting mocked?

        • Duverger’s “law” seems to be as much counter-indicated as vindicated.
          Which seems typical of a lot of “political science”.  Which is to say, “NOT science”.
          I think it unassailable, however, that…like Topsy…”It growed that way”.  We simply DO have a fairly institutional two party system.
          BUT, I also think it unassailable that instead of two parties representing the fairly clear polar opposites of our polity…statism v. liberty…we have an evolved political class who represent themselves and a narrow set of very powerful interest who are really inimical to the interests of our people and even the continuation of our culture.

          • I think they’re too stupid (like some other people I know) to realize that it cannot go on.
            They’re making sure they get and keep theirs, without realizing if we lose ours, theirs is going to shortly follow.
            As to the parties, I don’t disagree that we have a two party system that does it’s best to annihilate any alternative, but it was NOT designed to work that way by the founders.

    • And you, quoting Sun Tzu?  Oh please.
      Do you have any other past fad thinking of the moment to share with us?
      Do you keep your pet rock on top of the Art of War?

      • Next to his Mood Ring and Chia Pet.
        It’s one thing to quote ol’ Sun when you understand WTF he was talking about.
        Quite another with Erp.

        • Kinda strikes me that Sun was one of those ex-military sterile inbred whack jobs with outdated thinking from past centuries.
          You know, the kind of guy Cheerleader Erbie is always saying is out of touch and fringe.

          • Likely a big opponent of “sword control” in his day, too.

          • Chinese chariot stickers – “When swords are outlawed……We’ll use Karate!”
            I’m pretty sure that quote was Sun Tzu, you can find it in the penumbra of the Art of War if you squint real hard and hold the book sideways.
            Roman chariot stickers “Sword control is hitting what you thrust at”

          • Okay, okay, not Karate…it would be Kung Fu?

          • I guess it depends on if you hold the books sideways left to right, or right to left.   That’s the bad part of reading penumbra writings.

          • Kung Fu? That works, but a more correct term would be wushu.

    •  “Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.”

      You are so full of usefull advice.

    Kind of like you’d except.
    Or EXACTLY like you’d expect.
    Barracula HATES any sunlight.


    • “create good jobs, strengthen the middle class, educate our kids, lay the foundation for broad-based prosperity and get our fiscal house in order for the long haul. That’s why we’re here.”
      Awwww come on.   Is THAT what he thinks he’s doing?
      Can someone please schedule a reality news broadcast for the 6:00 news in Washington DC tomorrow night so he can see what he’s really been up to?

      • He’d have to read it in the New York Times, looker.
        So…do NOT hold your breath.

  • “The budget measure that ended the partial government shutdown allows for a 1 percent raise for federal employees in January in addition to providing back pay for those furloughed, according to two Democratic Maryland senators.
    “The promise of a modest pay raise and back pay for furloughed government employees are good first steps in recognizing the value of federal workers,” said Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee in a joint statement with Sen. Ben Cardin.”
    Thank God the shutdown is over and we can get back to the important business of working for the American people!
    Who has the Debt Hat, I need to add an inch or two.

    • They’re just playing to their constituency…which is VERY heavily Federal employees.
      “Here, over-paid, glutted work-force of non-essential pukes…here’s a biscuit for all you do…or don’t do…outside of voting to assure your feather-bedding jobs.”

  • If you want the ACA repealed there’s a simple way to do it: Win elections. Like Cory Booker just did in New Jersey, which sent another Democrat to the Senate.

    Democrats win (Booker replaced another hard leftist) by pandering to the welfare crowd. That much is obvious.
    So are you suggesting the Repubs do likewise?