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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Getcher ringside seats for the Tea Party Crazy Show

by digby

Courtesy Rep. Mark Takano

This is getting ridiculous.

Conservatives in the Senate have spent weeks and weeks hectoring House Republicans to stand true to GOP principles and make funding for the federal government contingent upon Democrats agreeing to defund Obamacare.

It’s about to blow up in their faces, and probably turn several of their more moderate colleagues into collateral damage.

Frustrated House Republicans are already demanding that their conservative antagonists in the Senate fight to the bitter end, as they promised they would, to either defund the healthcare law or shut down the government. That means Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas; Mike Lee, R-Utah; Marco Rubio, R-Fla.; Rand Paul, R-Ky.; and others will be held to account if they don’t do everything in their power to prevent a government funding bill from clearing the Senate if it doesn’t also defund Obamacare.

There are real steps they can take. But they’re already indicating they don’t plan to put up much of a fight. And if they lie down, it will expose their Defund Obamacare campaign as a farce engineered by hollow charlatans.
Brian Beutler has been following the ins and outs of this nonsensical tea party ritual from the beginning and his stories are getting crazier and crazier. Right now, assuming the House passes a bill defunding Obamacare, which is not for certain, the wingnuts who've been egged on by Cruz, Paul et al, are demanding a talking filibuster to stop the Senate from failing to defund it. Seriously, that's what we're talking about. And since there is a handful of looneytunes Tea Party Senators who've been mouthing off on this, they could conceivable pull it off for a while by carefully tag teaming the filibuster among themselves. They don't want to do it. But they may have to.

Keep in mind that this is about defunding Obamacare,  which would be signed by the president over his dead body. So it will not pass into law under any circumstances. The whole thing is a sham.

Also too, this:
Even among the Americans who say they’re opposed to Obamacare, there’s not necessarily widespread support for Republican efforts to dismantle the entire law, according to the results from a new poll conducted by the Pew Research Center and USA Today.

About 42 percent of the people who say they disapprove of health reform think that public officials “should do what they can to make the law fail,” while a narrow majority — 51 percent — actually believes that lawmakers should do what they can to make Obamacare work.

And that’s just among the people who don’t like Obamacare to begin with. When put into context of the general population, researchers found that amounts to just 23 percent of Americans who want to undermine the health law to make it fail.
Boy that Ted Cruz really has his finger on the pulse doesn't he?

Stay tuned. This is shaping up to be one of the more absurd chapters in American legislative history. They've backed themselves into such a corner that they're starting to cannibalize each other. Boehner knows it's a loser but has to appease his nutball caucus. The House nutball caucus expects to pass it and then expects Cruz and company to filibuster in the Senate. The Senators are freaking out that it might actually happen, especially Mitch McConnell who's trying to be both a Tea Partier and a sane person so he can get re-elected (a daunting task, needless to say.) It's a GOP clusterfuck.

So, let's just sit back and watch the show. It's a shame for the country, but I suppose it's what we deserve. We've enabled these people for a long, long time. It was inevitable that they'd finally just explode into crazy one day.

Update:  They've taken to twitter:

House Republicans have quietly resented how much pressure has been put on them to carry out a plan hatched in the Senate, and the two chambers have been passing the hot potato for the past week about who would be the ones to actually vote down a government funding bill if it comes to that. Cruz's comments were apparently the the last straw for some. A spokesperson for House Speaker John Boehner immediately put the pressure back on the Senate—"We trust Republicans in the Senate will put up a fight worthy of the challenge that Obamacare poses"—but other Republicans had stronger words.