The Watering Hole, Saturday, January 19, 2013: Will Republicans Ever Get It?

Republicans met this week in Williamsburg, VA, to discuss how they could improve their image as a party. They recognize that they are not very popular with women and minorities and they decided that this would be one of the discussion topics at the retreat. Unfortunately for them, their utter cluelessness led them to schedule a discussion of the subject in the Burwell Plantation Room. Yes, that’s right. The “Discussion on Successful Communication with Minorities and Women” took place in a room named for a wealthy Virginia family that owned many slaves. The irony wasn’t lost on everyone. A Congressman interviewed about it said that though the panel discussion would include three white men, it would also include several women. Sadly, he could only identify them as “a woman from CNN” and “Sean Duffy’s wife.” Is it any wonder the Republicans’ approval rating is only 27%?

Then there’s the debt ceiling. Setting aside the issue of whether or not a debt ceiling violates the 14th Amendment, for years the Republicans have been trying to forcefully tie spending cuts to increases in the debt ceiling. No spending cuts, no debt ceiling increase. This is ludicrous because future spending has nothing to do with past debts, and there are plenty of unpaid bills that can be directly linked to GOP policies and laws. For example, the Republicans passed a Medicare prescription drug bill that not only prohibited the government from negotiating with drug companies for lower drug prices for Medicare patients (like the Department of Veterans Affairs can), it also did not raise any taxes to pay for the new debt this bill brought. Add to that both the War in Afghanistan (which I refuse to describe as a “War on Terror” because that’s like having a “War on Fear”) and the War of Revenge in Iraq (which had nothing whatsoever to do with the people who committed horrific crimes on our soil on 9/11/01), wars that were kept off budget until President Obama put them in the budget (which is why right-wingers often like to falsely say that Obama increased the deficit) and you’ve got a huge mountain of IOUs. Some like to say the GOP spent like drunken sailors, but even sailors have credit limits on their credit cards, and the GOP happily increased the debt ceiling to cover their unfinanced spending without raising a peep about the effects on the nation’s credit rating. Their last standoff over the debt ceiling resulted in you and I paying billions of dollars more in interest on our existing debt. And just about everybody expected the Republicans to announce that they were drawing a line in the sand (again), putting their foot down (again), and refusing to raise the debt ceiling (again). So it was a bit of a surprise when GOP Leader Eric Cantor announced in a press release that next week, “We will authorize a three month temporary debt limit increase to give the Senate and House time to pass a budget.” I had always thought that this was a matter of some kind of principle (ill-defined and unspecified though it may be) with the GOP, but apparently they think nobody is paying much attention to what they’ve done in the past compared to what they’re doing today. I am.

For some reason, the GOP acts as though the American people want the GOP running the country, even though they know this isn’t true. They’ve even admitted that the only reason they currently control the House of Representatives is because of gerrymandered districts. Nationwide in 2012, the Democrats got more than a million votes more than Republicans. And despite this attempt at cheating (when, since 1980, has the GOP done anything honestly?), the GOP lost seats in both chambers of Congress. If the American people really wanted the country to be run by Republicans, wouldn’t both the White House and Congress be in GOP hands come Monday? So why do they continue to try to repeal the Affordable Care Act, despite its constitutionality and popularity? Why do they continue to restrict women’s reproductive rights even further? Why did they hold a meeting to discuss how they can reach out to minorities in a room named for a slave-owning family? Maybe it’s time the Republican Party face the facts. They have no idea what they’re doing and they’re just no good at governing.

An amusing side note, on Wednesday night, the GOP had blind mountain climber Erik Weihenmayer give an inspirational speech. Mr. Weihenmayer did something amazing despite being blind, and that was to climb to the top of Mt Everest a decade ago. (Well, they told him it was Mt Everest.) I did not recall hearing about the story when it happened, but I do remember this classic blooper from a news program where he was about to be interviewed.

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss clueless Republicans, pointless debt ceiling fights, or blind and/or gay mountain climbers.

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51 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Saturday, January 19, 2013: Will Republicans Ever Get It?

  1. Alabama Motorists Stranded By Snow

    As I-65 became snowbound during the day, and then iced over during the night, motorists found themselves either filling up local hotels or stranded right there on the roadway.

    Hundreds of people spent a cold night trapped on I-65. The storm dumped snow around the Southeast and caused at least one death in Mississippi.

    This has happened before. Why the State Troopers can’t see these things coming and divert traffic off the Interstate sooner is beyond me. Maybe the austerity leaves them shorthanded, but at least our rich folk don’t pay more in taxes!

      • That ‘salt’ builds up so much that even in warm weather, when it rains, it continues to rust away your cars. I couldn’t live where I had to leave my car in the garage all the time and drive a throwaway car.

        I don’t think anyone expected such a snowfall in the middle of the day. It caught people by surprise.

  2. The panel on UP just missed the news from yesterday while discussing the Gephardt Rule. Darrel Issa came out in favor of tying the debt to the budget.

    • Where’s the Repugnant Party with the outrage at the great loss of life in Algeria?
      This is a travesty that has not received much coverage…
      I realize it’s not as pertinent as a lying cyclist or a lying football player with a fake girlfriend, yet it should have received more in depth reporting.

      • I’m sure they’ll be plenty of blaming of President Obama, though I’m unsure why he’s responsible for security at a BP facility.

    • My takeaway from this is that the Algerian government was more concerned with the safety of the facility than the hostages, and returning to full production as soon as possible.

      • That was my thought, as well, House. They went in ‘with guns blazing’ and be damned collateral (human) damage.

      • After reading that story, I have to wonder if the Algerian government cared about the hostages at all. It seems they executed a poorly thought our rescue attempt that resulted in dead hostages, THEN tried to negotiate the release of the remaining hostages? I think you’re right, House. The facility was more important to them than ANY human lives.

  3. I have a comment ‘awaiting moderation’ because it has a number of links in it. I thought it might get caught with that many. No surprise that it did. Little help, please? TYVM!

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