Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Part One Of Today's Post: Congress, Well Actually The Republican Party Sucks And Here's Why

I mentioned earlier about the immigration reform issue that's now a matter for the GOP-led House, and how even failing to get something out of committee would be a sign of how incompetent the Republican Party has become.


...The key moment came when Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) — the leading Democratic author of the Senate’s immigration bill — laid things out for House Speaker John Boehner.“Without a path to citizenship, there is not going to be a bill,” he said. “There can’t be a bill.”Convening a conference committee with a House Republican bill that does not include a path to citizenship, he added, would amount to a “a path to a cul-de-sac, to no immigration bill.”In a Tuesday meeting with fellow Democrats, Schumer laid out Boehner’s five options, according to the New York Times.“(1)Doing nothing; (2)opting for a piecemeal approach of several separate but related immigration bills; (3)passing a comprehensive bill that does not include a path to citizenship; (4)passing a comprehensive bill that does include a path to citizenship that is different, and likely stricter, than the one offered in the Senate bill; (5)or taking up the legislation that has passed the Senate.”We still don’t know for sure what the House will do. But under Schumer’s terms, options one, two and three are deal breakers. Option four is extraordinarily unlikely under the constraints House Republicans have imposed on themselves (the Hastert rule, the preference for a pathway that’s “triggered” once the border is secure in some abstract sense). Boehner has ruled out option five.
So the question is whether House Republicans can get it together enough to do something like option four, in a way that wins support from at least half the conference, but that 
doesn't cop out on citizenship.
Here’s why I don’t think that’s possible: Even if the House GOP pulls off the unthinkable and puts a bill on the floor that includes a citizenship component — even one that’s “triggered” — conservatives will recognize it as a feint. They’ll be convinced, perhaps correctly, that the Senate position will win the day in conference, and that they’ll be faced with a take-it-or-leave-it proposition once the bill is really, truly finalized.So they’ll withhold support for that reason. And suddenly the bill will no longer be Hastert rule compliant.That’s why I think we’re in the defibrillation stage... They could drag this out for months before settling on terms of eventual citizenship. Democrats could fold on “triggering” the citizenship guarantee — or come to terms with the GOP on something that could be sold as both a “trigger” and a guarantee. Boehner could step up, break the Hastert rule, probably lose his job. But these are all pretty implausible scenarios. Particularly given how averse House Republicans and movement folks have become even to highly conservative legislation that they recognize as a potential vehicle for compromise.
The House won't even go with the "totally evil" route of coming up with an immigration bill that's so restrictive the Senate would balk, giving the House GOP the excuse of "blaming them libruls".  This is going to fall entirely on the House for the bill failing.  They'll still try to blame it on Obama - they always do - all the while refusing to admit in public something that's been pretty clear since Day One of Obama's tenure: the Far Right Republicans in control of the U.S. House simply do not want to pass legislation for Obama to sign, especially any legislation that Obama could hold up as an administration win.
So in the meantime nothing gets done.  Nothing gets passed.  We're stuck with a sequester budget that nobody really wanted because the Congressional Republicans refused to deal on tax hikes on the upper incomes.  We're stuck with a Congress that refuses to pass any meaningful jobs bill that could help relieve our stagnant economy.  We're stuck with a Congress that refuses to do anything about reducing the insane increase in college loan rates and the overall costs of going to college.  We're stuck with a GOP-led House that's about to vote for a repeal of Obamacare for the 38th time (what are they aiming for, 42?). 
We're stuck as a nation chugging along.  
As long as we've got a political party in the Republicans who refuse to do the actual hard work of compromising to get bills passed, as long as we've got party leadership that kow-tows to Rush Limbaugh and Fox Not-News and the National Review editors, as long as we've got a party that openly hates the poor and minorities and voters young AND elderly, we as a nation are screwed.
Please.  For the love of God, voters.  Stop voting Republican.  You don't have to vote Democrat if you don't want, you can always see if there's a Modern Whig ticket on your ballot or something, just PLEASE stop voting Republican.  It's not that they're too ideologically rigid, it's not that they're too Far Right.  It's that they're too damned incompetent.  It's because they as a party ARE DOING NOTHING AT ALL.

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