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Hullabaloo


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

 
Slow rolling Tea Party coup?

by digby

To those who believe that the Republicans will fold easily in the upcoming debt sequester death star showdown. Stan Collander explains why it might not be as easy as some are predicting:

To those of us who have watched Washington operate for a while, this obviously sounds like totally insane, crazy self-destructive behavior by the House GOP.

But it would be wrong to dismiss it out of hand. From the conversations I’ve had with Republicans House members and staff since the 2012 election, the threats, are real and make a great deal of political sense no matter how obnoxious and damaging it otherwise would be.

The key is the new House GOP politics of this decade.

I’ve repeatedly been told that, with redistricting in place, House Republicans are relatively certain they’ll be able to maintain the majority at least through the end of this decade if they continue to appeal to the GOP base in their congressional districts.

The GOP’s base’s two biggest economic issues are tax and spending cuts. Therefore, taking a hard line in all budget debates is what makes the most sense politically and makes it most likely that Republicans will be in power for years to come...If to a House Republican the opinion of your base in your district is far more important than the results of a poll of a representative national sample of voters, then the GOP’s or Congress’ overall approval rating is largely irrelevant.

That makes previously unthinkable moves like a default or a shutdown far more understandable…and likely than was the case in the past.

That doesn't mean it's inevitable, of course. It means that they are prepared to drive an exceptionally hard bargain to get what they want. And what do they want? Why they want spending cuts, and they want the Democrats to name them and then to vote for them. How do we know this?

“Report that #GOP insisting on changes to social security as part of #fiscalcliff false,” Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida posted on Twitter. “BTW those changes are supported by @barackobama.”

And in case you were wondering a good number of mainstream Dems are more than willing to go along with that one and probably the hike in the Medicare age because they really don't think that Obama can get away with not giving up something and they figure this is better than the immediate pain of the sequester cuts to discretionary programs. It's always something ...

This should be a very interesting negotiation. The Republicans are clearly divided on the debt ceiling, but probably not so much on the Continuing Resolution (the sequester.) The Dems want to end the debt ceiling hostage tactic and mitigate the damage bequeathed by the previous disastrous negotiations. The right wingers just care about keeping their own power at all costs and who knows whether John Boehner will keep his promise or lose his job? So, in my opinion, we have one negotiation, happening on two tracks, but with different factions within both parties having different goals for each negotiation. And then there's the damned Grand Bargain hanging out there like a malevolent spectre. Oy.

And in the meantime, isn't it time for somebody to start thinking about ways to reach the GOP base that is supporting this lunacy? Are they all completely nuts? (Don't answer that ...)



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