Quotes of the day

posted at 10:41 pm on October 17, 2013 by Allahpundit

Ted Cruz wishes some of his Senate Republican colleagues had put up more of a fight to defund or delay Obamacare over the past few weeks.

“Instead, unfortunately, the Senate Republicans were divided and became basically an air force dive-bombing the House Republicans and conservatives,” Cruz said on Fox News on Wednesday night as the House was set to approve the Senate deal that would end the shutdown. “Once that happened, there was no way to hold the line with the American people and actually achieve meaningful relief from all the harms coming from Obamacare.”

***

Costa: When did you know this standoff was finally ending?

McConnell: I can tell you when I knew that we’d end up here — July. We had extensive discussions in July about how the defund strategy couldn’t possibly succeed. And it’s really a matter of simple math: 54 is more than 46. And, of course, when you add in the president, you knew it had no chance of success. So I knew we’d end up in the place where we ended up. What I could not have predicted is that we’d end up in that place and have so few cards to play. To use a football analogy, by the time it was clear the House couldn’t pass anything, I was on the two-yard line, trying to see how I could punt to get us into a better field position to live to fight another day without raising taxes or busting the [Budget Control Act] caps…

Costa: One last thing: What’s your take on Senator Ted Cruz, who led the “quixotic venture”?

McConnell: I don’t have any observations to make on that.

***

Tired of feeling taken for granted by a party that alternately panders to them and sells them down the river, in their view, Tea Partiers and others on the right are in revolt. The Republican Party itself is increasingly the focus of their anger, particularly after Wednesday’s deal to reopen the government, which many on the right opposed. Now, many are threatening to take their business elsewhere.

“Conservatives are either going to split [from the GOP] or stay home,” Erickson, the influential editor of RedState.com and a Fox News contributor, told me. “They’ll first expend energy in primaries, but if unsuccessful, they’ll bolt.”…

In the Tea Partiers’ view, the clueless establishment hasn’t yet internalized the seriousness of the threat to its supremacy. The grassroots has taken control, and it will have its way or secede. “This is where the wind is blowing,” Deace said. “I don’t think you can put Humpty Dumpty back together again. People like me are not just taking marching orders anymore—they actually want something in return for a vote.”

It will not be possible, Deace predicted, for the two factions to coexist. “This is going to end in divorce,” he said. “One side is going to win control, one side is going to lose, and the losing side will go do something else. There will not be a reunification.”

***

Democrats now say they’ve successfully put Republican majority at stake in 2014, as the GOP’s numbers are in the cellar.

“Is there short-term damage? Yes,” Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) said. “Is there long-term damage? We’ll see.”

Asked who won in these two weeks, Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.) said “the people that managed to raise a lot of money off this.”

Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) said that there are many Republicans who “are less likely to go along with the fringe elements of our caucus.” Dent, who publicly pushed Republicans to end this battle last week, said he hopes: “Everybody has learned a lesson.”

***

If you’re a Republican lawmaker fending off a Tea Party challenge and you voted to end the government shutdown Wednesday night, you’re not having a good day.

Conservatives looking to score early points against incumbent Republicans in races across the country pounced almost immediately after the votes were cast. In some cases, even the lawmaker who toed the Tea Party line and voted against the bill have been criticized for being squishes in conservative clothing. The swiftness and intensity of the onslaught underscore just how closely incumbents are being watched by their party’s right wing as it the conservative movement strives for ever more ideological purity…

“We’ll stand with Ted Cruz, we’ll stand with Rand Paul, we’ll stand with Mike Lee. You’ll have a fourth up there fighting the battle,” Bright said. “I’m ready to go to war.”

***

I can hear many conservative friends saying to me right around this point: “Jim, we agree with you that ObamaCare is going to wreck the country, but elections have consequences.” I have three responses.

The first is that ObamaCare was not the central fight in 2012, much to the disappointment of conservatives. Republicans hoped that negative economic news would sweep them to victory, and exit polls confirmed that the economy, not health care, was the top issue. The best thing is to declare last year’s election a mistrial on ObamaCare.

Second, the lives of most Americans are not dominated by the electoral cycle. They shouldn’t have to wait three more years for Congress to give them relief from this law, especially when the president has so frequently given waivers to his friends. Full legislative repeal may not be possible while President Obama remains in office, but delaying implementation by withholding funds from a law that is proven to be unfair, unworkable and unaffordable is a reasonable and necessary fight.

There’s a third reason not to stop fighting. Forget the consultants, the pundits and the pollsters; good policy is good politics. If the Republicans had not fought on ObamaCare, the compromise would have been over the budget sequester. Instead, they have retained the sequester and for the past three months ObamaCare and its failings have been front and center in the national debate. Its disastrous launch was spotlighted by our defund struggle, not overshadowed, as some contend. With a revived and engaged electorate, ObamaCare will now be the issue for the next few years.

***

Given this institutional setting, the reason we ended up in such a mess over the last few weeks is not because the tea party is extreme. And it’s not because of anything Speaker John Boehner did or did not do. None of this would have happened if more moderate Republicans had not caved to extreme pressures within their party and instead had exercised their procedural rights to force a more centrist outcome in the House.

Although there was much hand-wringing about the direction of the Republican Party after the 2012 election, in this era of polarization, many would argue “moderate House Republican” is an oxymoron. But in fact there are moderates in two respects. First, there are House Republicans who are “ideologically” moderate in the sense that they represent relatively moderate districts. There are 28 members representing districts where Obama received more than 48 percent of the vote in 2012, 18 where Obama received more than 49 percent, and 13 where Obama received more than 50 percent of the vote. All of these members are badly out of line with their district sentiment if they pursue anything but a moderate agenda, and one would think they risk losing their seat to a Democrat if they move too far to the right. Second, there are “process” moderates. These are Republicans of various ideological persuasions who understand that American institutions are designed to require compromise between three branches of government. In early October, 22 such House Republicans committed publicly to supporting a “clean resolution” – that is, to allowing an up-or-down vote on whether to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling. Of these, eight were in rather safe Republican seats (where Obama received less than 46 percent of the vote) and one other was in a district where the president received less than 48 percent of the vote. So no matter how one counts, there were plenty of Republicans with which the Democrats should have been able to work. But these Republicans never bucked Speaker Boehner or the majority caucus. Instead, they let the House wreak havoc, and they are the ones who truly deserve the blame, because they could have marshaled the votes for a sensible solution but did not.

***

Whatever rational, impressive candidate lays claim to the GOP nomination in 2016 — say, the popular, newly trimmed-down but currently-all-too-moderate New Jersey governor, Chris Christie — is now going to have to out-Cruz Ted Cruz. And that’s just not possible

GOP strategists will say they’re changing the rules, cutting the number of primary debates so the next Republican nominee is not subjected to the same “traveling circus” (as national chairman Reince Priebus called it) that Romney was. But that’s not going to change the tenor of those debates, in which the candidates will have to outflank each other on the right. They also say, well, you’ll see, the tea party movement is fading, or at least becoming more manageable. But it’s not, as we saw when 144 Republicans in the House voted against the reopening of the government and extension of the debt ceiling Wednesday night, costing John Boehner the support of most of what used to be known as “his” caucus. More to the point, several of those who might be considered serious GOP 2016 contenders for the presidency also voted in favor of the first default in American history in order to stay in the tea party’s good graces, including Paul Ryan, Cruz, Rubio and Rand Paul (supplying the first fodder for those Hillary 2016 attack ads).

***

The consensus (more or less) among political analysts was that the GOP was likely to lose in the shutdown showdown, but was unlikely to suffer serious electoral consequences. The first prediction appears to be the case (but see Peter Beinart’s smart contrarian take). How about the second one?

It is early, but what evidence we have seems consistent with the idea that the GOP didn’t take on much electoral water from this loss. This isn’t to say that there isn’t any evidence that the shutdown hurt Republicans, but the idea that their prospects were seriously jeopardized is thin

This isn’t to say that everything is great for Republicans. In particular, I credit Stu Rothenberg’s observations that the divides in the party could trigger recriminations in primaries, hurting the GOP’s chances. The Republican base may become demoralized, preventing the traditional GOP edge in off-year elections from materializing. And we might see Democrats’ fortunes grow now that the shutdown has been resolved in their favor (we probably will, in fact, at least in the short term).

But for now, there’s really not much evidence that Republicans took it on the chin, at least electorally speaking.

***

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who helped broker that deal, made it clear today that he would not entertain a second government shutdown.

“One of my favorite old Kentucky sayings is there’s no education in the second kick of a mule. The first kick of a mule was when we shut the government down in the mid 1990s and the second kick was over the last 16 days,” McConnell told The Hill. “There is no education in the second kick of a mule. There will not be a government shutdown.”

“I think we have fully now acquainted our new members with what a losing strategy that is,” he added.

***

***

***

Via the Daily Rushbo.


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cmsinaz on October 18, 2013 at 6:59 AM

Thank you, ma’am!

kingsjester on October 18, 2013 at 7:04 AM

Good take, KJ! You just keep writing ‘em and I’ll keep reading ‘em! Oh, and FUBO.

Naturally Curly on October 18, 2013 at 7:12 AM

Naturally Curly on October 18, 2013 at 7:12 AM

Thank you, ma’am!

kingsjester on October 18, 2013 at 7:15 AM

My take: President Obama Told You to Ignore Me

kingsjester on October 18, 2013 at 6:53 AM

….I can’t!….I CAN’T!
(:->)

KOOLAID2 on October 18, 2013 at 7:20 AM

Here’s some ‘INCREDIBLY SMALL’ reading to make you laugh and shake your head:

Progtard Stupidity At Its Finest!

lolz

Resist We Much on October 17, 2013 at 10:59 PM

I laughed right out loud when I saw this, I knew what was coming. He represents my mom’s district in Frankfort, I can guaran-da*n-tee you, he has no idea where it is located.

It ain’t Kentucky, either!

Good morning, kids!

herm2416 on October 18, 2013 at 7:41 AM

Second, there are “process” moderates. These are Republicans of various ideological persuasions who understand that American institutions are designed to require compromise between three branches of government. In early October, 22 such House Republicans committed publicly to supporting a “clean resolution” – that is, to allowing an up-or-down vote on whether to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling.

There is no ideology behind proceduralism: when process is put first and any goals put second, then the goals always lose to the process.

Unfortunately these people are misguided in that their opponents are no longer operating under proceduralism and are working with ‘winner take all’. When these two meet the ‘winner take all’ always gets more because the proceduralists seek to ‘negotiate’ and that means always giving more to the ‘winner take all’ group. Without an ideological foundation first and procedure put second, then the process, itself, is one without internal guidance and put in the hands of the ‘winner take all’ group who will always gripe that they didn’t get ‘all’ and still continue after it. Proceduralists have no remedy for that because the put ‘compromise’ between the existing status quo and what the ‘winner take all’ group wants and always change the status quo to bend to the latter.

Without set goals what you get is a slight damper on ever expanding government and without goals set by an ideology rooted in anything, there is no good argument to offer to stopping the ‘winner take all’ group. This is not being a ‘moderate’ as a ‘moderate’ must have goals and ideology that can be clearly stated that is separate within the party and amongst parties and then demonstrate what they are doing to accommodate the party they are in and yet willing to part ways with it in a given set of circumstances. Proceduralists do not have that to fall back upon and are the flywheel that is easily thrown off kilter towards the direction of more government and are not a positive force to reduce government: every brokered ‘agreement’ between the status quo and those wanting more government will always, without fail, get you more government to mollify the ‘winner take all’ group and they are never, ever mollified by such agreements as they are ‘winner take all’ not in it for compromise.

It is these R’s that need to be find a Primary with someone who can state a coherent ideology for smaller government and fiscal soundness that must work to counter the expanding size of government and point to the incumbent as part of the problem. Proceduralists love bills with their names on it and giving goodies away to buy votes: that is corrupt and crony oriented as well since they are willing to be bought off by the ‘winner take all’ group to get a vote that is a ‘negotiated agreement’. Yet this government is not set to be run as a ‘negotiated agreement’ government that is all about process – it is not about having government run continually and continuity is not an end in itself – because the three branches are set up to counter each other and the Congress divided to provide balance and a final balance rests amongst the States, the federal government and the people. By compromising with the ‘winner take all’ group at the federal level the States and the people are easy sacrifices to get to an ‘agreement’. Yet that is not the role of Representatives who are to represent the interests of the people in their district, not to keep government running just so that it can keep on running, but to put goals and ideology on the line to change the course of government in ways that can be expressed beyond feel-goodism. Proceduralists will always lose to feel-goodism put as a smiley face on the ‘winner take all’ more government types: that isn’t moderation, that being dragged around by the nose and saying that at least you haven’t fallen on your face and that you are still walking.

And if they can’t win in districts where Obama won, and state a clear ideology for pointing out the problems with the Obama Way, then they do need to be replaced via Primary or their opposition so that clear lines are drawn behind who wants a tyrannical government and who does not… these in-betweeners are supporters of it by default and seek to weasel their way out by pointing to continuing process, but are never asked what that process has as its ultimate goal. These ones need their legs tripped up so they can either find a spine or fall on their faces.

ajacksonian on October 18, 2013 at 7:45 AM

Of interest in determining who the leaders in Congress are; that is, who represents the people.
http://blogs.rollcall.com/hawkings/many-exisiting-and-would-be-gop-leaders-opposed-fallback-budget-deal/

onlineanalyst on October 18, 2013 at 7:49 AM

kJ, another wonderful piece! Think you weren’t scathing enough, though : ))))))

herm2416 on October 18, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Do you believe that if God had a purpose he intended to carry out that any person on earth could stop Him?

We tend to forget that it is God that has the final say, not man.

bluefox on October 18, 2013 at 1:11 AM

So God got Obama elected twice to ‘fundamentally change our foundation as a country’

Ridiculous.

Redford on October 18, 2013 at 8:25 AM

In December I’m moving from a Leftist Congressional district to a district represented by a fiscal Conservative who voted “no” on the final Senate shutdown deal.
I have already pledged a campaign contribution to thank him for taking up this “pointless” fight.

mjbrooks3 on October 18, 2013 at 8:35 AM

herm2416 on October 18, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Thank you!

kingsjester on October 18, 2013 at 8:40 AM

Too bad Mitch and the boys didn’t work as hard toward defund or coming up with a winning strategy as they did working against Cruz and Lee. A little unity would have gone a long way in this fight against total transformation.

Kissmygrits on October 18, 2013 at 9:12 AM

KOOLAID2 on October 18, 2013 at 7:20 AM

LOL!

kingsjester on October 18, 2013 at 9:17 AM

HeH!…Of COURSE this Blog isn’t Covering this but, GOD!! I LOVE Ted Cruz!!! He’s Awesomely AWESOME!!

williamg on October 18, 2013 at 12:56 AM

Yes he is!! That article shows it was posted 8 hrs ago. Couldn’t find a specific date. However, there are over 8,500 comments.

I’m grateful that we finally have someone on guard!!

bluefox on October 18, 2013 at 1:35 AM

I didn’t see a HA post on this…….but GREAT! Can you post a link to the HA post?

williamg on October 18, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Too bad Mitch and the boys didn’t work as hard toward defund or coming up with a winning strategy as they did working against Cruz and Lee. A little unity would have gone a long way in this fight against total transformation.

Kissmygrits on October 18, 2013 at 9:12 AM

As ajacksonian wrote, McConnell was more interested in his Kentucky Kickback than giving support his foot soldiers. He got his.

Proceduralists love bills with their names on it and giving goodies away to buy votes: that is corrupt and crony oriented as well since they are willing to be bought off by the ‘winner take all’ group to get a vote that is a ‘negotiated agreement’.

Fallon on October 18, 2013 at 9:42 AM

My take: President Obama Told You to Ignore Me

kingsjester on October 18, 2013 at 6:53 AM

Allow me to translate. after all, ignorant ol’ crackas like myself, living here in America’s Heartland, may have trouble understanding a brilliant Hahvahd Graduate like yourself. What I believe you were saying was…

All of you peons need to understand who is charge around here. Dissent will not be tolerated. You will bow down and obey my commands, fulfilling my desire to make America a socialist nation. If you disagree with me, I will pout. Then, I will call you out, in front of the Main Stream Media, who will then attack you like a bunch of coyotes attacking a wounded deer. Placating the 47% is what is important…for as long as we give them their “benefits”, we Democrats will keep getting re-elected. And, if you Vichy Republicans want to keep your perks and privileged status, you will shut up and go along with whatever I want. Because, whatever I want, is what is best for the country…regardless of what Americans actually want. After all…what do they know?

Yup. Heard him loud and clear. Us rubes could even ‘cipher the message yesterday. My president hates me.

Fallon on October 18, 2013 at 9:48 AM

bluefox on October 18, 2013 at 1:11 AM

So God got Obama elected twice to ‘fundamentally change our foundation as a country’

Ridiculous.

Redford on October 18, 2013 at 8:25 AM

You may want to read my comment again. It wasn’t a stand alone comment, it was a response to what sartana on October 18, 2013 at 12:55 AM posted.

Clearly you didn’t understand it the first time:-)

bluefox on October 18, 2013 at 10:16 AM

bluefox on October 18, 2013 at 1:35 AM

I didn’t see a HA post on this…….but GREAT! Can you post a link to the HA post?

williamg on October 18, 2013 at 9:34 AM

There was no HA post on that article. The comments were in the article you linked to:

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/u-senator-cruz-blocks-confirmation-fcc-chairman-203107887.html

I was commenting on that yahoo/reuters article. It gets confusing around here, LOL

bluefox on October 18, 2013 at 10:25 AM

onlineanalyst on October 18, 2013 at 7:49 AM

Bookmarked for later, thanks!

bluefox on October 18, 2013 at 10:30 AM

Going grocery shopping, company coming!

Will read your take asap KJ!! If what Fallon posted there is a part of it, I know it will be good:-)

bluefox on October 18, 2013 at 10:34 AM

bluefox on October 18, 2013 at 1:11 AM

So God got Obama elected twice to ‘fundamentally change our foundation as a country’

Ridiculous.

Redford on October 18, 2013 at 8:25 AM

You may want to read my comment again. It wasn’t a stand alone comment, it was a response to what sartana on October 18, 2013 at 12:55 AM posted.

Clearly you didn’t understand it the first time:-)

bluefox on October 18, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Gotcha you:) I don’t get alerts when comments are made, etc..not sure why, but I never have. thanks!

Redford on October 18, 2013 at 12:56 PM

bluefox on October 18, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Gotcha you:) I don’t get alerts when comments are made, etc..not sure why, but I never have. thanks!

Redford on October 18, 2013 at 12:56 PM

No problem, just wanted you the point I was making to sartana.

I don’t think HA’s format is set up for that:-) Some other sites are and some like it and some don’t.

bluefox on October 18, 2013 at 2:33 PM

bluefox on October 18, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Gotcha you:) I don’t get alerts when comments are made, etc..not sure why, but I never have. thanks!

Redford on October 18, 2013 at 12:56 PM

No problem, just wanted you the point I was making to sartana.

I don’t think HA’s format is set up for that:-) Some other sites are and some like it and some don’t.

bluefox on October 18, 2013 at 2:33 PM

Quick question bluefox…when you comment, do you get notice that someone has commented on your comment? I don’t. One of the reasons I have trouble following.

Redford on October 18, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Quick question bluefox…when you comment, do you get notice that someone has commented on your comment? I don’t. One of the reasons I have trouble following.

Redford on October 18, 2013 at 4:16 PM

There are no notifications. The system is linear; it doesn’t know you are responding to any particular person. By convention, we quote the person (at least the name) and respond, and we look for ourselves being quoted. So, I’m talking to you. :)

You can get Twitter about it, throw out a commercial-a, something like:

@Allahpundit

– or whatever; but generally, we quote.

It’s pretty easy when you get the hang of it.

Some people really, really want these comments to be like other hierarchical comment systems, but I think linear’s better. It’s much more like a running conversation in a room; ongoing conversations continue to appear as they are happening, instead of being buried from new people, that kind of thing. The next revision, they’ll probably nuke it in favor of Disqus or something — but it’ll be a bummer.

Axe on October 18, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Quick question bluefox…when you comment, do you get notice that someone has commented on your comment? I don’t. One of the reasons I have trouble following.

Redford on October 18, 2013 at 4:16 PM

There are no notifications. The system is linear; it doesn’t know you are responding to any particular person. By convention, we quote the person (at least the name) and respond, and we look for ourselves being quoted. So, I’m talking to you. :)

You can get Twitter about it, throw out a commercial-a, something like:

@Allahpundit

– or whatever; but generally, we quote.

It’s pretty easy when you get the hang of it.

Some people really, really want these comments to be like other hierarchical comment systems, but I think linear’s better. It’s much more like a running conversation in a room; ongoing conversations continue to appear as they are happening, instead of being buried from new people, that kind of thing. The next revision, they’ll probably nuke it in favor of Disqus or something — but it’ll be a bummer.

Axe on October 18, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Thanks Axe…I think I got it:)

Redford on October 18, 2013 at 4:52 PM

bluefox on October 18, 2013 at 2:33 PM

Quick question bluefox…when you comment, do you get notice that someone has commented on your comment? I don’t. One of the reasons I have trouble following.

Redford on October 18, 2013 at 4:16 PM

No, I don’t get any notice either. I think that has to do with which software the website uses. IIRC, the rightscoop website tried a couple of different ones not long ago. They use Disqus now.

I just usually keep a window open that I’ve commented on and check back. Even with that I’m sure we all miss a few now and then:-)

bluefox on October 18, 2013 at 4:59 PM

No, I don’t get any notice either. I think that has to do with which software the website uses. IIRC, the rightscoop website tried a couple of different ones not long ago. They use Disqus now.

I just usually keep a window open that I’ve commented on and check back. Even with that I’m sure we all miss a few now and then:-)

bluefox on October 18, 2013 at 4:59 PM

Thanks Bluefox…Ax explained in above comment. I believe Disqus is probably in the near future…might be wrong…

Redford on October 18, 2013 at 6:43 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3 4