Author Topic: The far right starts another phony fight  (Read 275 times)

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Offline Lipstick on a Hillary

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The far right starts another phony fight
« on: January 17, 2014, 05:11:40 PM »
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2014/01/17/the-far-right-starts-another-phony-fight/

For some time, the right-wing has been trying to paint mainstream Republicans as amenable to keeping Obamacare. No, really. They suggest the John Boehners and Mitch McConnells of the political world would be content to keep the health-care law, maybe just fiddle around the edges. (One of those accused of such treachery, Doug Holtz-Eakin of the American Action Forum, says that is hogwash: “Nobody has written, researched, testified, or
 whined more about . . . ObamaCare than me.”)  The far right accused opponents of the shutdown as, in effect, voting for Obamacare. This is all poppycock, but it’s worth asking what the hard-liners are up to.

As a starting point, every GOP congressman and senator has voted multiple times to get rid of Obamacare, defund it, eliminate the individual mandate as a way of gutting it, stall it or offer “outs” from the mandate to, again, undermine the exchanges. It’s a ruse, a sneaky way of “accommodating” Obamacare, I guess. Moreover, if you look at all the Republican proposals for replacing Obamacare, they focus on creating patient-centered health care, eliminating the individual mandate and removing a minimum definition of “insurance.” This is true of everyone from Yuval Levin of the Ethics and Public Policy Center to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.). There is no “Obamacare lite” anywhere to be seen.  These and other conservatives (including every single House member in two budget votes) want to limit increases in Medicaid, block grant it and let the states experiment with various cost-effective methods for providing health care to the poor.

In other words, the right-wing echo chamber is making this up. Shocking, I know, from people who said all Republicans had to do was “not blink” in order to win the shutdown fight. A GOP operative involved in the Senate races says, “This is an incredibly disingenuous and false charge that highlights the extent to which some on the right are willing to blatantly mislead conservatives in order to advance their own agenda. It’s also sad that instead of keeping the focus and the fire on [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid and the Democrats, the Senate Conservatives Fund and its few remaining allies are willing to cannibalize the Republican Party at all costs.”

The rationale for making up such a story is simple: If RINOs are for the very same thing that “real” conservatives are, then there is no need for “real” conservatives to attack the “squishy” Republicans. Heaven forbid this should come down to tactics or judgment; if it did, voters would recall the immensely destructive shutdown, compare that to the full-court press possible only after the government shutdown ended and conclude the “real” Republicans can’t be trusted to go down to the corner drug store, let alone win nominations in states the GOP could capture.

There are real differences in the party on issues such as the National Security Agency, immigration reform and even gay marriage, but you can bet the ranch that you will find zero Republicans in 2014 running for House or Senate vowing to “mend, not end” Obamacare. The need to create disunity and ill feelings even when there is perfect consensus is one unfortunate habit of the far right. It’s also a giveaway.

These groups, bloggers and radio talkers thrive when the GOP loses and when they can gin up their followers against fellow Republicans. I suppose if they ever tried to gin up opposition merely to Democrats there would be nothing special about them, and they’d get no attention. But, as we know, Heritage Action, Madison Project and, especially, the Senate Conservatives Fund make a tidy living getting donors to give them money to attack incumbents and incumbents’ good-faith efforts to, with only a House majority, curtail the Obama agenda.

The desire for confrontation for the sake of confrontation is at odds with what the majority of the electorate wants, and the GOP vs. GOP fight instigated by the far right is like manna from heaven for the Democrats. They don’t need to run nasty ads against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) when the Senate Conservatives Fund does it for them.

The 2014 election will be critical not only for control of Congress, but also for control of the party. The shutdown, a plugged-in GOP activist pointed out to me, convinced main-street Republicans, business leaders and party loyalists that the far right was beyond reason. There is no accommodating the far right, they figured out, because the far right yearns for fights and is not amenable to logical arguments. Therefore, the only way to save the party and prevent its destruction at the hands of radicals is to win. A novel concept — beating the other guys in an election!

There are legions of pragmatic conservatives stepping up to the plate to guide the party back onto the rails and rally voters behind a banner of conservative reform. You now see a crop of solid, electable Senate candidates. You see groups like the Chamber of Commerce engaging in primaries. And you see elected leaders, including House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and McConnell pushing back against nonsense spread by the far right.

In actuality, it will be over, one way or another, in a few months when the primary results are all in. If the Senate Conservatives Fund goes to the mat on its crop of tea party candidates and loses decisively, it would suggest that it is out of touch, not the “establishment.”

This doesn’t mean there aren’t good-faith disputes between more-conservative and less-conservative members of the GOP. There certainly are. But it does point out that some right-wing operatives (bearing little resemblance to actual home-grown conservatives engaging with their leaders) may fall on their faces. Once the element dedicated to dissension and dissembling about fellow Republicans fails before the only people who really matter (voters), the gig is up.

Now don’t lose any sleep over how Senate Conservatives Fund will pay the rent. It and others will spin a tale of “big money,” betrayal and goodness knows what else to keep on plying the base for cash. But elaborate conspiracy theories no longer will work. They will cease to be taken seriously. There is nothing, in the end, as compelling as an election — especially one in which the margin of victory is substantial.

Offline Oceander

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Re: The far right starts another phony fight
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2014, 05:17:26 PM »
Article by Jennifer Rubin.

Offline rustynail

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Re: The far right starts another phony fight
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2014, 05:53:24 PM »
The author's tone keeps me from accepting her ideas.

Offline olde north church

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Re: The far right starts another phony fight
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2014, 06:06:42 PM »
great spot, does McConnell go independent if he loses GOP primary?
Why?  Well, because I'm a bastard, that's why.

Offline Oceander

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Re: The far right starts another phony fight
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2014, 06:08:23 PM »
The author's tone keeps me from accepting her ideas.

I wouldn't go as far as the author goes, but there is some truth to her accusations.  The right/conservative wing of the GOP has demonstrated a very lamentable inability to do what their hero, Reagan, did constantly: practice the art of strategic compromise to get at least some of your important goals achieved even if you give up on some of those that are of lesser importance.

I'll give you a very, very simple illustration:  abortion.  I'm sorry, I don't like it any more than most other people, but it isn't going to go away.  Conservatives will never be able to outlaw it, nor put so many restrictions on it that it becomes practically impossible to have one.  Supreme Court precedent is black and white on this issue and is so solid that it will not be overruled for at least 100 years, if ever.

That means that all the ranting and raving spent on abortion and on threatening to impose draconian restrictions on it is an utter waste of breath, time, money and, worst of all, political capital.  And yes, anti-abortion conservatives almost uniformly come across as making threats when they go off on abortion.  In other words, a rational politician who has a whole portfolio of other goals to achieve wouldn't engage in that exercise in futility if she or he wanted to achieve any of those other goals.  About the only thing conservatives/republicans accomplish with their fetishistic fixation on abortion is chasing away voters who would otherwise find much of the rest of their agenda consistent with their beliefs.

Of course there are some who are so opposed to abortion that they are willing to sacrifice everything else to speak out - testify against - abortion and I won't say that such a person should simply shut up, but I will say that such a person has to be willing to accept the consequences of their actions, and that includes accepting the fact that they do significant damage to the political party they claim membership in and that they have marginalized themselves and the rest of their agenda.

Civil protest is a right that should never be gainsaid to anyone, but Congress is not the best of places to engage in it, particularly right now.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2014, 06:10:53 PM by Oceander »

Offline truth_seeker

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Re: The far right starts another phony fight
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2014, 06:32:27 PM »
Insightful article.

Don't forget, the unelected heads of the "true conservative" organizations, are raking in money for fundraising and advertising, just like people do, in the "establishment."

And don't forget either, that it serves the democrats well, for the GOP to be at each others' throats.

So when you celebrate the fun of being engaged in a fight, consider who benefits, and what will be the results.

#NeverHillary

Offline sinkspur

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Re: The far right starts another phony fight
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2014, 06:56:35 PM »
It's all about money.  Jim DeMint and Matt Hoskins HAVE to fire up their narrow constituency, and challenging Democrats doesn't do it. 

Gotta go after those in your own family.  Nothing like a family fight to make people choose sides.

Again, it's about the money.  No angry constituency, no money.
From  "A Shining City on a Hill"

To "A global laughingstock"

Offline Oceander

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Re: The far right starts another phony fight
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2014, 07:04:25 PM »
*  *  *

And don't forget either, that it serves the democrats well, for the GOP to be at each others' throats.

So when you celebrate the fun of being engaged in a fight, consider who benefits, and what will be the results.

Words to live by

Offline rustynail

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Re: The far right starts another phony fight
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2014, 07:55:17 PM »
Thanks, Oceander.


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