Author Topic: Out of ideas, House GOP considers Hail Mary By BYRON YORK  (Read 1217 times)

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Out of ideas, House GOP considers Hail Mary By BYRON YORK
« on: October 03, 2013, 08:49:06 AM »
http://washingtonexaminer.com/out-of-ideas-house-gop-considers-hail-mary/article/2536754?custom_click=rss

Out of ideas, House GOP considers Hail Mary
By BYRON YORK | OCTOBER 3, 2013 AT 6:31 AM

As the partial government shutdown enters its third day, many House Republicans are determined to keep fighting, even though they see no plausible way out of the current impasse, because they've come so far they cannot imagine backing down now. "I think there's a sense that for us to do a clean CR now -- then what the hell was this about?" one Republican House member told me. "So I don't think it's going to end anytime soon."

Wednesday was the best day in a while for Republicans, but not because of any progress they made toward their goal of defunding, delaying, or limiting Obamacare as part of a resolution to fund the government. Rather, Wednesday was a good day because Democrats handled their end of the crisis so badly. First, the Obama administration inexplicably went out of its way to barricade popular open-air monuments and memorials on the Washington DC mall, in particular closing off the World War II memorial to groups of elderly, Greatest Generation veterans who had come to the capital to pay their respects to a heroic moment in American history. Republicans couldn't believe what they were seeing. "That looked atrocious," said one well-connected GOP strategist, who suggested it proved once and for all that the ham-handed Barack Obama is no Bill Clinton when it comes to handling a government shutdown.


Then, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid badly bungled a question about a House Republican bill that would fund, and re-open, the National Institutes of Health. "If you can help one child who has cancer, why wouldn't you do it?" asked a reporter. "I have 1,100 people at Nellis Air Force base that are sitting home," Reid said. "They have a few problems of their own. This is -- to have someone of your intelligence to suggest such a thing maybe means you're irresponsible and reckless." Republicans jumped on Reid's gaffe -- and why shouldn't they, since they often face such why-are-you-so-heartless questions themselves? By late Tuesday, Reid was reduced to pledging that he does, indeed, care about children with cancer.

"I think they're stepping in it a bit," said the GOP congressman, clearly relieved that Democrats were taking a turn making mistakes. But as much as the Democratic missteps buoyed Republicans, they didn't do anything to solve the problem. "They were positive tactical moments that gave some breathing room," said the strategist. "But there has yet to be a strategic moment that is a clear, outright win."

"It's sort of like when you have a temperature and you take an aspirin and your temperature goes down," the strategist continued. "You still have a problem."

For Republicans, the problem is that they don't know how to get out of the impasse they created when they embarked on a strategy to attach Obamacare measures to continuing resolutions needed to fund the government after Sept. 30. Senate Democrats and the president rejected all of them, Sept. 30 came and went, and now the government is partially shut down.

The GOP's latest tactic, to pass small, targeted bills to fund the National Institutes of Health, which would take care of the children-with-cancer problem, and the National Park Service, which would take care of the veterans-who-can't-visit-their-memorial problem. The House passed those bills Wednesday night and now lawmakers are waiting to see whether Senate Democrats will vote down measures to fund public health and the nation's historic and natural heritage. Reid's statements Wednesday suggested Democrats will do just that, but Republicans are waiting to see if they really do.

In any event, the small-bore bills are just a small-bore solution to part of the problem. There is still no government funding, and beyond the targeted measures, Republicans have no new ideas about what to do. One possibility is to pass yet another continuing resolution, this one with just one Obamacare measure attached to it. Perhaps it would be the repeal of the medical device tax, or perhaps it would be some variant of the Vitter Amendment, to forbid members of Congress and staff from receiving special subsidies when they purchase health insurance on the Obamacare exchanges. Maybe Democrats will finally accept one of those, some Republicans think, since there is clear and substantial Senate Democratic support for repealing the device tax, and clear and substantial public opposition to Congress making special deals for itself.

So perhaps Republicans will try one more continuing resolution, with just one attachment. It would fit the pattern. In the last week, House Republicans have made progressively weaker demands with the continuing resolutions they have passed, first to defund Obamacare entirely, then to delay it for a year, then to delay just the individual mandate, and now this. Perhaps the latest idea will work, although there's no real reason to think it will. And beyond talk about perhaps passing a continuing resolution with a non-Obamacare attachment -- maybe a measure to finally build the Keystone Pipeline -- Republicans don't have any other plans to fund the government.

Of course, the House GOP leadership could always decide to propose a "clean" continuing resolution that doesn't touch Obamacare, a move that insiders estimate would win the support of perhaps 175 of the House's 232 Republicans. With Democratic support, a clean measure would win overwhelming passage. But the leadership is apparently dead set against that, at least as the shutdown begins Day Three.

So what now? House Speaker John Boehner and leading Republicans like Paul Ryan and Dave Camp are apparently reviving the old goal of a "grand bargain" -- a budget deal that would include entitlement reforms, tax reform, and a new budget agreement, while also restoring government spending and raising the debt ceiling. The idea is that with the debt ceiling deadline coming up on Oct. 17, Republicans and Democrats could fix all, or at least many, of their problems in one fell swoop.

Such "grand bargain" attempts have failed in the past, and there is little reason to believe one will succeed now. And not just because Obama and Democrats are intransigent, which they are. The fact is, this is Oct. 3, meaning there are just two weeks before the nation hits the debt ceiling. Could Republicans get even their end of a "grand bargain" together in time? "Look at tax reform," said the GOP strategist. "If you took Democrats out of the mix entirely, I don't think Republicans could come up with a tax reform package by Oct. 17. There is a huge range of opinion on what direction to take." The first "grand bargain" Republicans would have to reach would be among themselves.

Nevertheless, some Republicans are grasping at the idea that a "grand bargain" will somehow solve their problems. Meanwhile the shutdown goes on. Before October began, Republicans privately expressed the opinion that a shutdown of two or three days would probably be politically acceptable; after that, they said, the repercussions could be quite serious and entirely unpredictable. Now, some Republicans are talking about a shutdown that drags on while both sides work on a "grand bargain." It has become an attractive course mostly because GOP leadership, having rejected the option of passing a clean continuing resolution, simply doesn't have any other ideas on how to get out of the current mess.

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Offline happyg

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Re: Out of ideas, House GOP considers Hail Mary By BYRON YORK
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2013, 09:19:18 AM »
Republicans need to get louder and in-your-face. That is the only way they will be heard. Dirty Harry and other democrats do that, one even screaming (literally) that this is a republican jihad against Obamacare. That is what people are hearing. This polite gobbledygook by reps are missing the radar, particularly since the democrats control the MSM.

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Re: Out of ideas, House GOP considers Hail Mary By BYRON YORK
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2013, 10:22:47 AM »
Quote
So perhaps Republicans will try one more continuing resolution, with just one attachment. It would fit the pattern. In the last week, House Republicans have made progressively weaker demands with the continuing resolutions they have passed, first to defund Obamacare entirely, then to delay it for a year, then to delay just the individual mandate, and now this.

Any objective observer can see that the Republicans are losing.  What leverage does the GOP have?  Begging for a "conference"  is a very weak negotiating position.

Obama's objective all along has been to break the Republicans, to break the Tea Party, and, to his surprise, all he has to do now is sit still, do nothing, and watch House members rip each other apart.

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Offline sinkspur

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Re: Out of ideas, House GOP considers Hail Mary By BYRON YORK
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2013, 10:23:53 AM »
Republicans need to get louder and in-your-face. That is the only way they will be heard. Dirty Harry and other democrats do that, one even screaming (literally) that this is a republican jihad against Obamacare. That is what people are hearing. This polite gobbledygook by reps are missing the radar, particularly since the democrats control the MSM.

Yeah, that's the ticket.  Yell and scream and come across crazier than you already look.
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Offline happyg

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Re: Out of ideas, House GOP considers Hail Mary By BYRON YORK
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2013, 10:34:26 AM »
Yeah, that's the ticket.  Yell and scream and come across crazier than you already look.

It works for the democrats. So, republicans shouldn't fight back?

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Re: Out of ideas, House GOP considers Hail Mary By BYRON YORK
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2013, 10:36:26 AM »
Any objective observer can see that the Republicans are losing.  What leverage does the GOP have?  Begging for a "conference"  is a very weak negotiating position.

Obama's objective all along has been to break the Republicans, to break the Tea Party, and, to his surprise, all he has to do now is sit still, do nothing, and watch House members rip each other apart.

B.S.! I say they are winning the argument at present and will win big if they just hang in there and keep fighting!
“It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.” —Voltaire

Offline andy58-in-nh

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Re: Out of ideas, House GOP considers Hail Mary By BYRON YORK
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2013, 10:44:44 AM »
Any objective observer can see that the Republicans are losing.  What leverage does the GOP have?  Begging for a "conference"  is a very weak negotiating position.

Obama's objective all along has been to break the Republicans, to break the Tea Party, and, to his surprise, all he has to do now is sit still, do nothing, and watch House members rip each other apart.

The only people doing any "ripping" are members of the GOP Surrender Lobby who refuse to fight for anything that even looks like a principle. If you want smaller government, you can't agree to fund an ever-growing one.

Regardless of whether Republicans capitulate, Progressives will come back next year and demand spending and tax increases, as they always do. Republicans have locked themselves into a losing game: every year, they accept bigger government and more spending - but less than what the Progressives want. 

And after each new "deal". the Left comes right back and demands even more than they wanted the last time, using their public relations arm - the American news media - as a weapon to press their agenda and impugn the intentions and character of the very people who just gave them most of what they wanted. Because the Left uses compromise not as a means of facilitating governance, but as a weapon.

The game needs to end. And it needs to end now. We are hurtling headlong toward financial disaster - not in the distant future, but very, very soon.

Constitutional Conservatives need a party that reflects their and values principles, not a watered-down version of Progressivism.

It's time for "business as usual" in Washington to end. They are living large on OUR money, while and we are out here on the outside, looking in at the lavish party being thrown at our expense.

A little rebellion, every now and then is a good thing.

It's about time we had one.
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Re: Out of ideas, House GOP considers Hail Mary By BYRON YORK
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2013, 10:49:16 AM »
 :amen:

Offline sinkspur

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Re: Out of ideas, House GOP considers Hail Mary By BYRON YORK
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2013, 10:53:34 AM »
The only people doing any "ripping" are members of the GOP Surrender Lobby who refuse to fight for anything that even looks like a principle. If you want smaller government, you can't agree to fund an ever-growing one.

Regardless of whether Republicans capitulate, Progressives will come back next year and demand spending and tax increases, as they always do. Republicans have locked themselves into a losing game: every year, they accept bigger government and more spending - but less than what the Progressives want. 

And after each new "deal". the Left comes right back and demands even more than they wanted the last time, using their public relations arm - the American news media - as a weapon to press their agenda and impugn the intentions and character of the very people who just gave them most of what they wanted. Because the Left uses compromise not as a means of facilitating governance, but as a weapon.

The game needs to end. And it needs to end now. We are hurtling headlong toward financial disaster - not in the distant future, but very, very soon.

Constitutional Conservatives need a party that reflects their and values principles, not a watered-down version of Progressivism.

It's time for "business as usual" in Washington to end. They are living large on OUR money, while and we are out here on the outside, looking in at the lavish party being thrown at our expense.

A little rebellion, every now and then is a good thing.

It's about time we had one.

That's all well and good.  You write beautiful essays.  Really.

Now, what do we actually DO?  Ask for the Keystone XL Pipeline and hope, just hope and pray, that Obama will yield? 

He has the whip hand here, andy.  We are going to get nothing.  We took a hostage, and the hostage is beating the hell out of us.
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Re: Out of ideas, House GOP considers Hail Mary By BYRON YORK
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2013, 10:55:18 AM »
B.S.! I say they are winning the argument at present and will win big if they just hang in there and keep fighting!

Offering progressively weaker bills is not a sign of winning, Bigun.  We're down to taking any bone Obama will throw us.
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Re: Out of ideas, House GOP considers Hail Mary By BYRON YORK
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2013, 10:56:32 AM »
It works for the democrats. So, republicans shouldn't fight back?

We fought on the wrong battlefield.  Cooler heads said, for a month, give on the CR and fight on the debt ceiling.

Nope. Had to fight on the CR and now we're going to get nothing.
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Offline happyg

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Re: Out of ideas, House GOP considers Hail Mary By BYRON YORK
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2013, 10:58:34 AM »
We fought on the wrong battlefield.  Cooler heads said, for a month, give on the CR and fight on the debt ceiling.

Nope. Had to fight on the CR and now we're going to get nothing.

You keep spouting off about things, but that's all it is, with no substance to back you up. It's either attack! attack! attack! with you, or one-liner insults about politicians most of us respect.

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Re: Out of ideas, House GOP considers Hail Mary By BYRON YORK
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2013, 11:13:21 AM »
A accurate assessment of your true situation on a battlefield is an absolute necessity. (before, during, after)

Controlling only one chamber, with a less than veto proof majority is that accurate assessment.

Ignoring that is a good way to allow Obama to set the 2014 table, for the GOP to fail taking the Senate, and possibly lose the House.

Public polls blame the GOP, more than the democrats, as Obama and Reid wagered.

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Re: Out of ideas, House GOP considers Hail Mary By BYRON YORK
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2013, 11:21:07 AM »
You keep spouting off about things, but that's all it is, with no substance to back you up. It's either attack! attack! attack! with you, or one-liner insults about politicians most of us respect.

Read my post, which you quoted, then read your post below it and tell me which post has no substance.
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Re: Out of ideas, House GOP considers Hail Mary By BYRON YORK
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2013, 11:38:42 AM »
That's all well and good.  You write beautiful essays.  Really.

Now, what do we actually DO?  Ask for the Keystone XL Pipeline and hope, just hope and pray, that Obama will yield? 

He has the whip hand here, andy.  We are going to get nothing.  We took a hostage, and the hostage is beating the hell out of us.

I appreciate the complement - thanks.

I think we are in far better shape than one might suspect from either a review of past shutdowns or of current news coverage.

The Democrats are overplaying their hand, and the public language that they are using (calling us hostage-takers, jihadists, terrorists) speaks of desperation.  It does not, and will not resonate well with even their own voters.

The more time that goes by, the more the public will become aware that the government shutdown is having virtually no effect on their lives. And it will not. That will provide more time, and more leverage.

The House leadership can play a variety of cards - for example, agreeing to an increase in the debt ceiling in exchange only for the Democrats' agreement to negotiate face-to-face on spending. Or even without any prerequisite at all. The debt ceiling has to be increased, and there's no way around it. So, get it off the table and start a discussion about Obamacare's implementation and spending limits. That's just one approach.

What is Harry Reid going to do, reject a "clean" debt ceiling increase because the GOP refuses to budge on delaying or defunding Obamacare?

I really think that time is on our side here, and the more that Republicans appear to be standing up for fiscal sanity and Constitutional principles, the more their arguments will resonate with the public.  What has gotten them in trouble in the past is compromise, by means of selling themselves short. If you don't appear to believe in your own stated values, people aren't very likely to trust you - and with good reason. Republicans must stand together now, because the consequences of continuing down the path America is presently on are not merely depressing, but dire.   
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Re: Out of ideas, House GOP considers Hail Mary By BYRON YORK
« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2013, 11:42:15 AM »
I think we are in far better shape than one might suspect from either a review of past shutdowns or of current news coverage.

The Democrats are overplaying their hand, and the public language that they are using (calling us hostage-takers, jihadists, terrorists) speaks of desperation.  It does not, and will not resonate well with even their own voters.

The more time that goes by, the more the public will become aware that the government shutdown is having virtually no effect on their lives. And it will not. That will provide more time, and more leverage.

The House leadership can play a variety of cards - for example, agreeing to an increase in the debt ceiling in exchange only for the Democrats' agreement to negotiate face-to-face on spending. Or even without any prerequisite at all. The debt ceiling has to be increased, and there's no way around it. So, get it off the table and start a discussion about Obamacare's implementation and spending limits. That's just one approach.

What is Harry Reid going to do, reject a "clean" debt ceiling increase because the GOP refuses to budge on delaying or defunding Obamacare?

I really think that time is on our side here, and the more that Republicans appear to be standing up for fiscal sanity and Constitutional principles, the more their arguments will resonate with the public.  What has gotten them in trouble in the past is compromise, by means of selling themselves short. If you don't appear to believe in your own stated values, people aren't very likely to trust you - and with good reason. Republicans must stand together now, because the consequences of continuing down the path America is presently on are not merely depressing, but dire.

I couldn't agree more! For whatever that is worth!
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Re: Out of ideas, House GOP considers Hail Mary By BYRON YORK
« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2013, 11:53:10 AM »
Quote
The House leadership can play a variety of cards - for example, agreeing to an increase in the debt ceiling in exchange only for the Democrats' agreement to negotiate face-to-face on spending.

Obama would take that in a heartbeat. 

By resolving the debt ceiling, all that's left is a CR to fund the government.  And Boehner keeps offering weaker and weaker bills on that.  Plus there's no time limit, so Obama can just sit back and wait Boehner out.
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Re: Out of ideas, House GOP considers Hail Mary By BYRON YORK
« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2013, 12:28:03 PM »
Obama would take that in a heartbeat. 

By resolving the debt ceiling, all that's left is a CR to fund the government.  And Boehner keeps offering weaker and weaker bills on that.  Plus there's no time limit, so Obama can just sit back and wait Boehner out.

Boehner is no longer running the show. He is now, to coin a phrase, "leading from behind". And Republicans know that they can wait Obama out as long as he can stand it, which, if you've taken a measure of Obama's character, won't be very long.

Obama not only likes to win, but relishes the chance to to rub people's noses in it. He cannot stand being challenged, and never really has been challenged, not seriously. The GOP should commit to making him as angry as possible, using his own pathologies against him. It will make him flustered and reckless, out of control, angry.

Good.
 
Make new offers every day, publicly, each one proposing to deny or delay ObamaCare's worst elements - the Congressional exemption, the medical device tax, the "Cadillac plan" tax, which is creating huge problems not for Richie Rich and Maggie McMoneybags, but for unionized municipal employees, like those in my hometown of Manchester, NH.

In the interim, ObamaCare's manifold difficulties will continue to mount, moving public opinion and helping to create a momentum, abetted by voices in the alternative media, the blogosphere, and from Republican, libertarian and Tea Party organizations. It's Politics 101... but for a new age.   
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Re: Out of ideas, House GOP considers Hail Mary By BYRON YORK
« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2013, 03:57:19 PM »
I appreciate the complement - thanks.

Thanks for the increasingly rare intelligent, mature discussion.

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Re: Out of ideas, House GOP considers Hail Mary By BYRON YORK
« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2013, 08:28:59 PM »
I would just like the Republicans to get back to the Repeal & Replace message they used during the 2012 election.   It did not carry enough weight during the campaign because people were still ignorant about Obamacare and too many thought it would be a good thing. But now the numbers have shifted heavily. We can do two things, keep fighting the budget battle with the Democrat controlled Senate blocking every move and blaming the Republicans for all the woes, or get back on message - If we can take back control of both houses, we will vote to repeal this disaster and replace it with something that works.
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Re: Out of ideas, House GOP considers Hail Mary By BYRON YORK
« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2013, 08:50:13 PM »
I would just like the Republicans to get back to the Repeal & Replace message they used during the 2012 election.   It did not carry enough weight during the campaign because people were still ignorant about Obamacare and too many thought it would be a good thing. But now the numbers have shifted heavily. We can do two things, keep fighting the budget battle with the Democrat controlled Senate blocking every move and blaming the Republicans for all the woes, or get back on message - If we can take back control of both houses, we will vote to repeal this disaster and replace it with something that works.

Precisely.  Shutting down the government in a fight we cannot win is ridiculous.  Get out of this mess and get back to pointing out the flaws in Obamacare.  Just now, several IT executives are stating that the reason the federal exchange is unresponsive is not volume, but software design.  Do you realize how serious that is, if true?  To try to go back now and REDESIGN is nearly impossible.

As many of us predicted, this thing is not going to work or work so poorly the numbers enrolling will be in the single digits, percentage-wise.     Continue to talk it down, point out the flaws, highlight the horror stories.

If we want to win the Senate, we're going to have to win on the basis of fighting against this flawed healthcare system, not in gumming up the works and losing anyway.
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