Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Catch of the Day

Greg Sargent notes that the idea of Republicans as post-policy and as willing to deliberately willing to undercut policy is gaining ground among neutral-Washington types. In this case, Chuck Todd:
[O]n Meet the Press this weekend, Todd made this even more explicit, accusing Republicans of “trying to sabotage the law.” The current GOP campaign isn’t just about opposing the law or arguing for its repeal. It’s about making it harder for uninsured Americans to gain access to coverage under a law passed and signed by a democratically elected Congress and President, and upheld by the Supreme Court, in service of the political goal of making it a greater liability for Democrats in the 2014 elections (the law, after all, isn’t going to get repealed). This is not typical opposition, and its good to hear this stated outright by someone as respected inside the Beltway as Chuck Todd. The only mystery is why more journalists aren’t willing to point it out. After all, Republicans are making this basic reality harder and harder to ignore.
Now, this isn't new -- Tom Mann and Norm Ornstein have been at it for some time now. But it's worth noting that it may be spreading.

It's still not clear whether it matters. Well, it certainly matters if Republicans think it does -- if they believe that it's in their interest to keep those neutral-Washington types from taking sides. If, however, Republicans simply re-categorize everyone who calls them out as vicious partisans, then they'll ignore the criticism.

Otherwise...I don't know. I could matter, around the edges, electorally, if the neutral press is willing to describe many Republicans as ideologically extreme (although note that what's at stake here isn't in fact ideological non-mainstreamness, but instead basically a willingness to play by the norms).

My best guess about the real danger of this for Republicans has been that GOP-aligned interest groups who are not being well-served by the strategy might bolt. To the extent that press coverage might encourage them to believe that their disappointments are part of something systematically wrong with the GOP, and not just the kind of temporary setbacks that happen all the time, then things like this could accelerate some sort of interest-group reaction.

At any rate: nice catch!

19 comments:

  1. I'll be fascinated (in a horrified sort of way) to see what GOP interests groups will feel like their needs are being served when Boehner & McConnel send the market into decline and possibly panic over the next debt ceiling debacle.
    It boggles my mind that it can be reported in fairly neutral outlets that B&C will be lighting a torch to market stability later this year in exchange for unachievable concessions from Dems. There really cannot be any clearer indication than that for the GOP's willingness to blow up America to "save" it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. There is no such indication. The debt is way WAY out of control. It is irresponsible to increase the debt ceiling. We must cut the massive waste spending instead of wasting even more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry, I disagree. All neutral forecasts show the debt to GDP ratio basically flat for the next decade or more. We have already cut spending dramatically (in my view, too much) through the last budget deal and the sequester.

      The best hope for further deficit reduction is to fully implement the ACA, and see which of its numerous attempts to reduce healthcare spending actually work. With that information, we can design improvements to the law that might finally get our healthcare costs close to the G8 average.

      Defaulting on our promises to repay debts will make the deficits *worse*, as a crashing economy will reduce revenues.

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    3. Hello there, @dmarks, Debt Terrorist.

      Delete
  3. "neutral-Washington types" such as Chuck Todd, LOL.

    The "neutral-Washington types" and their supposed reluctant willingness to describe Republicans as ideologically extreme is the sort of coverage conservatives and Republicans expect to see in days ending the letter "y". Republicans are portrayed in the media as extreme, racist and terrorists in a raging "war on women" so frequently it might be noteworthy only when we are not characterized in such a manner.

    It is interesting though one of the few areas where Republicans have been consistently on the side of the majority of the public has been in opposition to the health care law. What possible incentive is there for Republicans to assist in implementation of policy that is almost certainly going to be somewhere between a trainwreck and a "third-world experience"?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please list the times when Chuck Todd described Republicans as "extreme, racist and terrorists in a raging 'war on women'". Just give the URL's, so I can judge for myself.

      I'm not saying he never said it. I just want proof.

      Delete
  4. In the past, when Congress set out to socially re-engineer society it did so with bi-partisan support. For example, Social Security and Medicare were Democratic initiatives, but they passed Congress with overwhelming bi-partisan support. Because both parties supported their enactment, that meant both parties had an incentive to fix and tweak the glitches.

    On a side note, I believe both parties believed in the programs because they were sold as "social insurance": everybody paid in and those who avoided the grim reaper for 65 years became eligible for the benefits regardless of income, wealth, etc. Obamacare does not have those characteristics. It is pure redistribution. Republicans chose not support it.

    After Scott Brown's election ruined the Democrats one party rule, they knew a bill that went to conference to be "fixed" would not pass the Senate on final vote. So they have a choice - either scrap what they'd been working on for a year and a half and start over to get a bi-partisan bill to pass, or they could use a procedural trick in the House called reconciliation to pass the grossly defective Senate bill on a party line vote. They chose to enact into law a horribly defective bill rather than negotiate for a bi-partisan solution. They gambled that it would gradually become more popular over time and as it's popularity increased the Republicans would come under political pressure to "fix" the defects.

    At least so far, the gamble has not paid off. Obamacare is still unpopular and as the inherent defects continue to be publicized I suspect it will become even more unpopular.

    So you can spew whatever nonsense you want about Republicans not wanting to govern. The FACT is that Democrats governed by passing a horrendously defective bill on a purely partisan basis because they did not want to start over and negotiate a compromise after they lost their super-majority. The amazing thing is that most Democrats say they don't even like or want the law. They want a total government takeover with single payer.

    But they want to blame Republicans because the law passed solely by Democrats that Democrats don't want or like needs Republican help to fix it in order for Democrats to avoid being penalized at the polls in 2014.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Purely partisan? Then how come so many (R)tards voted for cloture? http://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/111-2009/h768

      Delete
    2. Excuse me, to suspend the rules and pass?

      Delete
    3. I just love the fact you framed your inane comment with a dig at (r)tards, LOL.

      Delete
    4. wombsnake = penis?

      Delete
    5. Welcome, new folks, hope you stick around -- wombsnake: that kind of language isn't welcome here.

      Delete
    6. @Anon 6:59, Do you actually believe that there could be a negotiated healthcare bill? The GOP isn't negotiating anything, isn't proposing anything. Your suggestion rests on a fantasy--that there's a possible bipartisan replacement for ACA. Do a reality check. It's not a possibility with this Congress. If you think it is, where are the proposals?

      Delete
  5. Well, my goodness. That one really touched a nerve, didn't it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And how!

      I only wish we could get this much enthusiasm on the Sunday Questions for Conservatives.

      Delete
  6. Whoever said that current Republicans are motivated primarily by resentment really hit the nail on the head.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The media define and support the national mainstream consensus. They define racism, sexism, and homophobia as unacceptable. They define capitalism and democracy as essential, communism as treasonous, and Christianity as more valid than atheism. If they start openly describing one party as undermining the nation then that party is in big trouble. All those independent, swing votey type people will basically do whatever the media tells them to.

    My guess is that a couple pundits will occasionally say the GOP are causing problems but they'll never really embrace the line and most pundits and reporters will continue to play both-sides-do-it for a good while yet. If the GOP keeps trying to trash everything for 6 years or so--or if they do it while they hold the presidency--then I think it would finally seep into the mainstream media consensus, but they'll probably pull back within a couple years and not suffer much.

    ReplyDelete

Who links to my website?