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Tilting at Windmills

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September 20, 2010

STEVE KING EYES SHUTDOWN, DEMANDS 'BLOOD OATH' FROM BOEHNER.... Last week, we expanded our list of Republicans eyeing a government shutdown in the event of a House GOP majority. The list, however, keeps growing.

Roll Call reports today that Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) wants his party's leadership to sign a "blood oath" that they will include a repeal of the Affordable Care Act in every appropriations bill next year, even if it leads to a government shutdown.

King said the problem in 1995 wasn't the government shutdown under President Bill Clinton -- which occurred after Republicans attached Medicare cuts and other items to spending bills -- it was that Republicans blinked when they feared the polls were turning against them.

"We must not blink," he said, noting that money cannot be spent without the House voting to pass it. "If the House says no, it's no."

Their new tea party backers won't tolerate anything less than a full repeal of the health care law, he said.

"They will leave us if we go wobbly," he said. "I am worried about that, but that's why I think it's got to be a blood oath."

Faiz Shakir has more on this.

The Roll Call report gets back to something we've been covering for a while now. There's every reason to believe John Boehner knows that another government shutdown would be a disaster, would do his party no favors, and he'd be wise to avoid one.

But the party is already backing itself into a corner. The House Minority Leader has already said scrapping the entire health care reform law is his top priority, and Boehner's caucus -- and the party base -- will expect follow-through. Boehner could pass a repeal bill in the House, but after it failed in the Senate or got vetoed, he wouldn't be able to say, "Well, we gave it a shot; let's move on to other issues now." It's too late for that -- defunding the law is already far too popular within the GOP. There's an expectation that the fight has to happen.

King is demanding a "blood oath" to ensure it does happen.

Josh Marshall noted a couple of weeks ago, "When I first heard this talk of another 'government shutdown' in 2011, I figured it was just Democrats whipping it up as a cudgel for the election. Then I heard Republicans talking about it too. But I still figured it was just a way of ratcheting up their own core voters -- who of course loved the first one too."

But those perceptions are changing quickly, and for good reason. This really isn't manufactured drama -- much of the Republican Party is intent on making this happen. It's why talk of a shutdown is already being pushed by a House Republican leader (Rep. Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia); a Republican Senate candidate (Joe Miller of Alaska); a Republican House candidate (Teresa Collett of Minnesota); and a variety of prominent Republican voices (Newt Gingrich, Dick Morris, and Erick Erickson).

It's not theater; it's not posturing; it's not an idle pre-election threat. Voters should appreciate how serious this is before heading to the polls.

Steve Benen 10:40 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (36)

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Comments

Does King's shutdown include the stoppage of farm subsidies to farmers in Iowa? Or medical care to members of Congress?

Posted by: Tigershark on September 20, 2010 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

Gee, too bad President Obama didn't 'Sell' Health Care Reform when he had a chance
He could have held press confrerences Explaining what HCR entailed
He could have explained why we needed it
He could have denounced 'Death Panels' as lies
Instead, the Chosen One stayed mute, rising above the discussion
Great Strategy !!

Posted by: friscoSF on September 20, 2010 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

"We must not blink," he said,..."
This will actually work out extremely well for the Democrats. The only people who don't blink always turn out be either cyborgs or zombies. They'll be much easier to detect this way.

Posted by: chrenson on September 20, 2010 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

Without almost near-total unanimity among his caucus, Boehner might watch defectors and Democrats pass appropriations bills instead, making him look ineffectual. He really can't win here unless voters decide a government shutdown is a good thing -- a longshot if it means checks don't come.

Posted by: JMG on September 20, 2010 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

So to be clear:

1. The GOP supports keeping tax cuts that don't work, and which would also dramaticaly increase the national debt.

2. The GOP is keeping the economic "roadmap" laid out by Paul Ryan under wraps, because they're afraid of backlash.

3. There are some real batshit-crazy TPers running as Republicans.

4. The right-wing pundits, led by Rush Limbaugh, are the GOP's powerbrokers (see the emasculation of Karl Rove for evidence).

And finally;

5. Republicans are openly supporting a government shutdown if they are successful in November.

In a sane world, the modern Republican Party would go the way of the Know Nothings.

But like I said, in a sane world.

Posted by: 2Manchu on September 20, 2010 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

The stock market is not gonna like this, and if it happens, Republicans will get slammed big time.

Posted by: Bob M on September 20, 2010 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

May I suggest a new motto for the Republican party?

Blood and Honor.

Posted by: hells littlest angel on September 20, 2010 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

So Bin Laden wins. All he has to do is wait and we self destruct in a frenzy of tea bagger ignorance. Sheesh!

Posted by: Gandalf on September 20, 2010 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe King thinks that there are enough "Blue Dog" Democrats willing to override an Obama veto of a healthcare reform repeal.

I'm not sure that he'd be wrong.


Posted by: SteveT on September 20, 2010 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

NPR is doing their part to help the "America is undergoing a transformation to European socialism" meme along.

That asshole Tom Ashbrook was lapping up the bullshit from some rightwing "very serious person" this morning who was going on and on about "we just want our country back the way it was."

We are so screwed.

Posted by: karen marie on September 20, 2010 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

I agree. The Republicans should take a blood oath. In fact they should take several. Lots and lots of blood oaths. They should exsanguinate themselves taking blood oaths. That'll solve a lot of our problems.

(Hey, Gandalf? It's not "Bin Laden wins." It's "Bin Laden won." And that happened the day we went into Iraq.)

Posted by: Roddy McCorley on September 20, 2010 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

The Teabagger Strike

When it happens there will be a considerable number of teabaggers who will miss social security checks because of the teabaggers they elected. Which raises interesting questions:

Will the teabaggers be able to hold out against themselves?
Can they maintain union teabagger discipline and carry their anti-socialism and small gummint signs?

Should be fun strike to watch...
They are tough old buggers...
Be interesting to see how long they can continue to spite their noses...

Posted by: koreyel on September 20, 2010 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

It has to be made clear. If you like what the right is saying, you have a home electorally.

But if you are dismayed by what has been the democratic strategy and or priorities, and you loathe what you hear from the right, you must vote democratic this fall. Its simply the better choice.

If you don't like your choices, built momentum for a strong primary challenge within the party. But not voting would simply be enabling something worse than what you don't already like.

This is not rocket science. Its really straightforward actually

Posted by: no leaf clover on September 20, 2010 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

I seem to recall a sort of halfhearted effort to defund the Iraq War, back when the Republicans were on top. What was the reaction then, do you remember? I believe the term "traitors" might have been bandied about, as it often is when it's something being done to the Republicans rather than by the Republicans.

Posted by: Mark on September 20, 2010 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

Fortunately, the republicans have just the person to administer the blood oath:

Christine "I dabbled in witchcraft" O'Donnell.

"One of my first dates with a witch was on a satanic altar, and I didn't know it. I mean, there's little blood there and stuff like that," she said.

Ummm, what, exactly, were you doing on the altar, Ms. O'Donnell?

Posted by: Newton on September 20, 2010 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

You know what would be neat? If we had reporters in the media who would simply ask each Republican they talk to if they support this idea. Just a simple question. I kid.

Posted by: R. Porrofatto on September 20, 2010 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

"We must not blink," he said,..."
This will actually work out extremely well for the Democrats. The only people who don't blink always turn out be either cyborgs or zombies. They'll be much easier to detect this way.

Posted by: chrenson on September 20, 2010 at 10:59 AM

ROFLMAO

Posted by: Schtick on September 20, 2010 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

Let's call this a 'make or break' election. If moderates such as Steve can't make their case to the 'worst elements' sufficiently well in this almost comically contrasted contest, a Democratic Party including a left wing is just an illusion. Let the moderates embrace Ben Nelson and be done with the charade.

Posted by: Michael7843853 on September 20, 2010 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

A government shutdown would expose the contradictions in the GOP's base (particularly the 'Baggers). As you can tell from those signs at their rallies protesting cuts to Medicare, their backers love them so government benefits - so long as they are THEIR benefits that are involved, not the ones going to their enemies.

But I guess those are the sorts of political problems you inherit when your entire program is a cynical exercise in selling lies, distortions and confusion to the public. Good luck trying to simultaneously preserve the status quo while sacking it.

And if Boehner and McConnell think that they are going to control this new majority they are trying to assemble, they are dreaming. Or, in Boehner's case, they are drinking.

Posted by: Bokonon on September 20, 2010 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

I hope, pray, and may possibly burn incense if it helps each and every GOP candidate go on record with their blood oath before the election. They are relying on the "Obama made me do it" defense for a government shutdown. They really don't want to own this one, but DeMint and the tea partiers are giving Republicans much wiggle room.

Now all we need is a competent press to get them all on record. Oh, damnit.

Posted by: danimal on September 20, 2010 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

Oops. That should be "They really don't want to own this one, but DeMint and the tea partiers are NOT giving Republicans much wiggle room."

Posted by: danimal on September 20, 2010 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

I, personally, have no problems with both of them taking a blood oath. As long as the both run a 100 yard dash, and, then, puncture their respective carotid arteries.

Posted by: berttheclock on September 20, 2010 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

Just curious, it's been so long since the 95 shutdown - what is the immediate effect of a shutdown?

Do Social Security checks stop being issued? Do critical offices shut down? Exactly what happens the day after a shutdown vote?

It would be interesting to know whether it will make an immediate impact, and to whom.

Posted by: g on September 20, 2010 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

friscoSF must have been using a 'tongue in cheek' about President Obama, my TV had countless appearances of the president explaining the health care bill in minute detail, also he held many town hall meetings answering questions about the bill in great detail.

Posted by: js on September 20, 2010 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

God, I hope they DO repeal that POS health "care" bill. If only!!! But it's just more posturing, I'm sure, as Repubs and Dems are all beholden to the same masters... (which ain't us)

Posted by: TaosJohn on September 20, 2010 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

How they see themselves:

http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/cas/his/CoreArt/art/resourcesb/dav_oath.jpg

How they look:
http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/fa/10703/0/

Posted by: Steve Paradis on September 20, 2010 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

Huum... "blood oath"? I think I'm catching a whiff of 1930's Germany here...

Posted by: phoebes-in-santa fe on September 20, 2010 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

Blood oath???

Spoken like a true 14 year old boy!

Posted by: Chesire 111 on September 20, 2010 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

King wasn't elected until 2002 so if I were a Republican member of Congress I would tell him to shut it because he doesn't have a clue.

Posted by: ET on September 20, 2010 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

"my TV had countless appearances of the president explaining the health care bill in minute detail, also he held many town hall meetings answering questions about the bill in great detail."

The bill that was scrapped in September 2009...?

Posted by: Forrest on September 20, 2010 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

Last week, we expanded our list of Republicans eyeing a government shutdown in the event of a House GOP majority.

You can call these folks the GOP Suicide Bombers, willing to destroy the U.S. government if they can't have things _exactly_ their way.

Posted by: josef on September 20, 2010 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

I am certainly in favor of republicans taking a blood oath. I would like to send them directions on how to do this. First, I have to find out axactly where the femoral and carotid arteries are located.

Posted by: Tony Salvucci on September 20, 2010 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

I can see you really know what you're talking about!

Posted by: auto repair on September 22, 2010 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

I live in Iowa in King's demographic and frankly..HE scares me more than the other Stephen King!!

Posted by: Dana on September 23, 2010 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

Great information! Ive been looking for something like this for a while now. Thanks!

Posted by: radiology technician on September 29, 2010 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: home business news on December 12, 2010 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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