Columbia prof: Blame the RINOs, not tea partiers, for the shutdown

posted at 3:21 pm on October 18, 2013 by Allahpundit

So says John Huber in a guest post at WaPo’s nifty new Monkey Cage blog. Same basic point that I made myself two days ago: For all their grumbling about tea partiers, centrist Republicans in the House are strikingly reluctant to vote against them even when they’re doing something that moderates think is frankly nutty.

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.

They hated the shutdown but they hated the thought of losing their jobs in a primary challenge more, and they voted accordingly. That in itself is an interesting gauge of how little serious political damage even the doomsaying centrists in the caucus think the GOP will suffer from closing down the government for two weeks. After all, you don’t worry about a backlash in the primary if you’re worried about a bigger backlash in the general. Whether they would have behaved differently and crossed the aisle if hitting the debt ceiling, a much greater risk, looked like a real possibility on Tuesday night, we’ll never know. (Although we may find out in February.) I know which way I’d bet, though.

I’d also bet that if you asked the centrists in the caucus about this privately, they’d tell you that occasionally going along with a tea-party adventure, however quixotic, actually helps keep the caucus more centrist than it would be if they resisted. If, say, 30 RINO House members declared on September 30th that they’d vote with Pelosi to block a shutdown, tea partiers would be scrambling to primary them. As it is, despite the complaining from people like Peter King and Devin Nunes, it’s not the RINOs in the House who are the main lightning rod for grassroots upset. It’s higher profile people like Mitch McConnell, who are better funded and better able to repel a challenge. If the RINOs end up getting primaried, you’re left with a bunch of districts that will end up either much redder — which increases the odds that tea-party brinksmanship in the next Congress might force the Speaker to hit the debt limit — or suddenly bluer after a moderate Democrat defeats a tea-party nominee who defeated the RINO incumbent in the primary. I think the Kings and Nuneses ultimately figured that, given how low the stakes are in a shutdown and the odds that failed brinksmanship right now would discourage any more of it for awhile, they were doing not just themselves a favor by sticking with tea partiers but doing a favor for the cause of centrism too.

The bottom line for anyone who wants RINOs in the House to stop grazing and start charging is that they need assurance they won’t be easy prey in a primary. That’s why you’re suddenly hearing murmurs about business interests backing primary challengers to libertarian types like Justin Amash. If grassroots conservatives successfully primary a few RINOs but big-money Republicans successfully primary a few tea partiers, that’ll change everyone’s calculations about the balance of power in the House.

“I don’t know of anybody in the business community who takes the side of the Taliban minority,” said Dirk Van Dongen, longtime chief lobbyist for the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, who has known Boehner since the lawmaker’s first election.

In the hallways of the country’s leading trade associations, there is talk about taking on tea party Republicans in at least three states.

The first is Michigan, where Rep. Justin Amash, who had been challenging Boehner during the debt-ceiling fight, is facing a possible challenge from a business-backed candidate. Business lobbyists also talk about funding a challenge to another tea-party-backed Republican incumbent, Rep. Kerry Bentivolio.

Another area for possible combat occurs in a special election next month in the 1st District of Alabama, where former state senator Bradley Byrne, a self-described business-oriented Republican, faces off against Dean Young, a tea party-endorsed candidate who says he’s “against homosexuals pretending that they are married.”

The fourth possible race is in Idaho, where business groups are talking of lending support to Rep. Mike Simpson, a Republican incumbent. Simpson faces a tea party challenger who has pushed the eight-term House veteran to support the “defund Obamacare” strategy adopted by the tea party.

Says Politico, “Donors and business leaders, whose words used to carry great weight with candidates ever worried that the money spigot might be turned off, now face a new reality. It’s a Frankenstein syndrome of sorts, in which the candidates they’ve helped fund, directly or indirectly, don’t fear them, and don’t think they need them.” Solution: They’ll start backing more loyal candidates. In other words, they’re going to try to do for business interests in Republican primaries what Mike Bloomberg’s trying to do for gun-control interests in other elections. If they win a few races, that’ll offset tea-party victories in other primaries and preserve a rough status quo; even if they don’t win, by pouring money into select challenges against tea partiers, they could bait grassroots conservatives into pouring money into those races too, which would leave the tea party on the defensive instead of the offensive. End result: The GOP’s reputation as the “party of big business” will be even more entrenched than it is now, despite the best efforts of populists to make headway against Beltway “crony capitalism.” Not good.

Exit question via Ross Douthat: Why aren’t House conservatives angrier at Boehner for getting nothing from the shutdown saga? Boehner himself allegedly told Obama the day after the shutdown began that he’d been “overrun,” which is all you need to know to see how reluctant he was to follow through on the “defund” strategy from the beginning. I’ll leave you with this from Douthat:

If Boehner’s strategy was so obviously the biggest problem here — if he really was just a terrible dealmaker who failed to figure out what his members were actually willing to sign off on and then negotiated with himself — it seems like this would be a moment ripe for a Gingrich-in-1998-type revolt. But the fact that both conservatives and moderates have mostly rallied around him after this ignominious showing suggests that at some level, they understand the impossibility of what was being asked of him, and recognize that the caucus rather than the Speaker bears the primary responsibility for this fiasco.

This, again, doesn’t let Boehner off the hook for blame. But it’s evidence that the problem here runs much, much deeper than the House leadership, and most everybody involved knows it.


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But the face of halitosis should be happy. Since he said WE are the real RINO’s, it stands to reason that HE is the REAL TEA PARTY.

CurtZHP on October 18, 2013 at 3:24 PM

Blame the oaf who is chief and his capo, Harry Reid.

What bunch of weasels the Rs are – they let all to define them.

Be scroomed, royally, idiots.

Schadenfreude on October 18, 2013 at 3:30 PM

All these republican civil war stories being posted today are mighty suspicious. You trying to incite inter-elephant violence today HA?

Defenestratus on October 18, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Anybody who flings expressions like “Taliban minority” sort of loses his credibility, Mr. van Dongen, at least with me.

Drained Brain on October 18, 2013 at 3:32 PM

Taliban minority,” said Dirk Van Dongen, longtime chief lobbyist for the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, who has known Boehner since the lawmaker’s first election.

What’s the difference between dem talking points and those of the establishment R’s? Nada…

Gohawgs on October 18, 2013 at 3:32 PM

Crazy talk. Everyone knows that the best strategy for entering negotiations is to telegraph that you’re going to fold and give up all of your demands, and any other demands that you may make in the future. That’s just good negotiating skills. Negotiation 101.

besser tot als rot on October 18, 2013 at 3:33 PM

Is it wrong to tax the middle class out of existence?

Amjean on October 18, 2013 at 3:35 PM

Anybody who flings expressions like “Taliban minority” sort of loses his credibility, Mr. van Dongen, at least with me.

Drained Brain on October 18, 2013 at 3:32 PM

But, that is the Republican party. And I can’t believe that I’ve been such a fool for so long to support, for decades, a party full of politicians who think of me and others like me in this manner.

besser tot als rot on October 18, 2013 at 3:36 PM

Crazy talk. Everyone knows that the best strategy for entering negotiations is to telegraph that you’re going to fold and give up all of your demands, and any other demands that you may make in the future. That’s just good negotiating skills. Negotiation 101.

besser tot als rot on October 18, 2013 at 3:33 PM

Well that and counter offer on your own offers.

melle1228 on October 18, 2013 at 3:36 PM

We need a thoughtful column by Karl Rove and it will be complete…

d1carter on October 18, 2013 at 3:37 PM

There was a government shutdown?

WhatSlushfund on October 18, 2013 at 3:39 PM

did anyone expect to win anything or really force some meaningful concessions? From where i’m sitting conservatives have been told for years “not this fight we’ll make our stand on the next hill.” well people finally picked the GOP’s hill for them. Handed them a rifle with precious little ammunition and said “this is your hill you are going to die on it and you are going to like it.” We’ve all become convinced the GOP won’t fight for anything, Rome is burning, Obama is fiddling but the GOP are his back up musicians.

bannor on October 18, 2013 at 3:40 PM

I don’t blame anyone for the shutdown other than Harry Reid and Dear Leader…

d1carter on October 18, 2013 at 3:40 PM

…raising the debt ceiling, which has been done over a hundred times, does not increase our debt.

Yep, it was all worth it…giving in… not cutting spending… kicking the can down the road.

$400 billion? In 1 day? Topped $17 trillion?

Well, that can just popped up real quick now.

LoganSix on October 18, 2013 at 3:41 PM

Now the RINO’s are calling small government conservatives Taliban. Awesome.

bigjack on October 18, 2013 at 3:43 PM

If the Republicans made up their minds, and remained united, that they are the new unmovable object in town– the way the media and Democrats glibly propagandize that Obama and Reid are (and they are, because Republicans, especially the “centrists” openly acknowledge it)– they would be. Because whoever controls the money controls the game. And that, per the Constitution, is the House. It’s a power they need to learn how to use again.

Wouldn’t it be refreshing to hear the media cautioning Democrat pols: “You know, there’s no point in your doing this or that, or fighting on this point, because, well, the House…” as if the House was as important a consideration as Reid or Obama.

No, I know that will never happen with the media, but so what? If that were the reality anyway, those who needed to know would know…

de rigueur on October 18, 2013 at 3:45 PM

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.

Yes. It’s just that Democrat’s don’t play by those rules. They say, “Uhm, I think we’ll…. NOT negotiate. How ya like them apples?”

Dongemaharu on October 18, 2013 at 3:46 PM

Here’s Dirk’s email if you want to let him know what you think about being called the Taliban minority.

dvandongen@naw.org

bigjack on October 18, 2013 at 3:47 PM

RINOtastic text too long, didn’t read. Just long enough to get to the ‘dont blame the Tea Party, blame the Tea Party’ part.

Didn’t take long.

Midas on October 18, 2013 at 3:50 PM

Kenneth

sartana on October 18, 2013 at 3:51 PM

In other words, they’re going to try to do for business interests in Republican primaries what Mike Bloomberg’s trying to do for gun-control interests in other elections.

How did that work out for Bloomy?

pain train on October 18, 2013 at 3:58 PM

Bottom line is everyone of them aren’t interested in what’s good for the country but winning elections and protecting their turf.

iamsaved on October 18, 2013 at 3:58 PM

the debt clock just went past 17 trillion..!!!…yeahhhh

going2mars on October 18, 2013 at 4:00 PM

Now the RINO’s are calling small government conservatives Taliban. Awesome.

bigjack on October 18, 2013 at 3:43 PM

I seriously think the RINOcans and their cheerleaders are seriously underestimating how much they have already – and continue to – alienate a *significant* portion of their base.

I think there’s a very, *very* serious probability that they will be extremely surprised in 2014 that not only did their base not rally to thrash the Democrats, it stayed home in HUGE swathes, returning the raised middle finger that the establishment has been flashing at the ‘extreme fringe, hard-right-wing wacko-bird hobbit Taliban’, that makes up a very large portion of their base, costing them the House.

My first election ever was Reagan, 1984. I was excited. I’ve voted reliably GOP ever since. I’m conservative. GOP, lean in real close…

F*ck you. Ya reading me? I’m gone. I swear to you, not kidding. Not one more vote. Not one more dollar. I’ll channel my old-school Melville/Kahn for a second;

“To the last, I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart, I stab at thee; for hate’s sake, I spit my last breath at thee.”

You’d better f*cking well pull your heads out and pay attention pretty f*cking quick.

Midas on October 18, 2013 at 4:00 PM

“I don’t know of anybody in the business community who takes the side of the Taliban minority,” said Dirk Van Dongen, longtime chief lobbyist for the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, who has known Boehner since the lawmaker’s first election.

Anyone who refers to the Tea Party as ‘the Taliban’ deserves to be inundated with mail and boycotted. It is a despicable label. When the Tea Party, or any political group in America for that matter, stones Mr Van Dongen’s wife, throws acid in the face of his daughter and/or saws off the head of his son, then his grotesque, vicious, unAmerican, and hateful rhetoric will become the opposite of what it is. Until then, a pox on your house, pig.

Resist We Much on October 18, 2013 at 4:07 PM

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! I love the picture of King – who farted?

HomeoftheBrave on October 18, 2013 at 4:11 PM

Given that the “Taliban Tea Party” are representatives of a grassroots movement of people like… me, it chaps me no end that the GOPe has revealed to me the error of my ways.

Primary here we come.

Turtle317 on October 18, 2013 at 4:11 PM

Resist We Much on October 18, 2013 at 4:07 PM

your just too cute when your knickers are in a bunch…

today is a day for a party…champagne..streamers…fireworks..
we are 17 trillion in debt…
and if we can feel this great at 17..
i almost cant wait for 18…or 19..or 20..
oooohhhhhh…20 trillion in debt……
sounds…..yummy..!!!

going2mars on October 18, 2013 at 4:15 PM

going2mars on October 18, 2013 at 4:15 PM

I just emailed the bastard. Snicker.

Resist We Much on October 18, 2013 at 4:15 PM

I don’t blame anyone for the shutdown other than Harry Reid and Dear Leader…

d1carter on October 18, 2013 at 3:40 PM

But wait, our own HA writers say that “Republicans shut down the government”, implying a total shutdown, for which we are totally responsible. You dare disagree with them?

slickwillie2001 on October 18, 2013 at 4:15 PM

But wait, our own HA writers say that “Republicans shut down the government”, implying a total shutdown, for which we are totally responsible. You dare disagree with them?

slickwillie2001 on October 18, 2013 at 4:15 PM

But WAIT! Could it be that our very own HA writers are more out of touch with its readership as much as our dear leaders in Congress?

Nahhhhhhhhhh…

Turtle317 on October 18, 2013 at 4:19 PM

Resist We Much on October 18, 2013 at 4:15 PM

you emailed him…to send congrats on
the US debt being over 17 trillion ??..
invite him to the party …’going for 18′…??

surely its not because the man calls
us dogs …and were …concerned about it..??

going2mars on October 18, 2013 at 4:21 PM

This website is getting more left by the day! The villification of the Tea Party is the Rino’s , or “moderates”, using Alinsky-dem tactics to demonize and destroy Tea Party types, who mainly believe in Constitutional and limited government, with minimal intrusion on our lives, as our founders envisioned….they warned against the power struggles and corruption that could ensue….as it did with our absent landlord, the King of England!

Some things never change….human nature being one of them! That’s why Socialism and it’s attendant, social engineering, has always failed…..as it will, eventually, in the USA! It’s not nice to fool with Mother Nature!

tomshup on October 18, 2013 at 4:24 PM

going2mars on October 18, 2013 at 4:21 PM

I emailed him to tell him what I thought of his Taliban comment. I wouldn’t even call OWS the ‘Taliban.’

It is despicable and, frankly, unAmerican.

Resist We Much on October 18, 2013 at 4:28 PM

Resist We Much on October 18, 2013 at 4:28 PM

i am so glad im not on your bad side..
and thrilled your on our side…

your a machine RWM..you go..!!

going2mars on October 18, 2013 at 4:30 PM

I think we should knock the consultant class and business pimps out. I will take a couple of cycles. So it is a sustained effort.

antisocial on October 18, 2013 at 4:30 PM

Midas on October 18, 2013 at 4:00 PM

Only that, when that does happen, the RINOs Socialist Dems in the GOPe will STILL blame conservatives for not showing up to vote.

They love to blame everyone but themselves.

Myron Falwell on October 18, 2013 at 4:31 PM

Doesn’t it boil down to who you want to ultimately piss off, donors or voters. Poor babies, deciding is hard but it’s “fun” watching them trying to have it both ways.

Cindy Munford on October 18, 2013 at 4:35 PM

From the WaPo article:

Another area for possible combat occurs in a special election next month in the 1st District of Alabama, where former state senator Bradley Byrne, a self-described business-oriented Republican, faces off against Dean Young, a tea party-endorsed candidate who says he’s “against homosexuals pretending that they are married.”

For the record, Bradley Byrne is a great Conservative candidate.
All things being equal, he should actually be our Governor in Alabama right now.

Instead, the Alabama Educators Association formed an unholy alliance with the son of a former governor who himself (the son) was also running in order to snipe at Byrne just enough to allow a Dark Horse to squeak by in the Republican primary.

Now, Governor Bentley is doing a decent job… but I think Bryne would have done better.

Anyone who raises the ire of the Teacher’s Unions is doing something very, very right (in my opinion).

RightWay79 on October 18, 2013 at 4:45 PM

For all their grumbling about tea partiers, centrist Republicans in the House are strikingly reluctant to vote against them even when they’re doing something that moderates think is frankly nutty.

Allahpundit, YOUR preferred candidate, Romney exposed his own personal hatred of Conservates during the last election cycle and LOST!

Hotair has turned into a RINO disgrace since MM left.

Freddy on October 18, 2013 at 5:57 PM

anyone calling an American “Taliban” doesn’t know what Taliban are, and have forgotten the war against the Taliban that we still fight. Pathetic sorry attempt to castigate normal taxpaying people.

So the GOP should acknowledge our extreme views of limiting government debt, wanting doctors choice and confidentiality, insurance choice and free markets with insurers across state lines, and Marketwatch thinks the Republicans will lose the House for making a skirmish.
Don’t forget that Obama was offered everything he wanted this past weekend, and waited the most recent legislation before anything passing on Wednesday night.
Businesss were bought off so they didn’t interfere, hence the employer mandate delay.
I am still waiting for the grand announcement from own President that he and his family have signed up for their Affordable Care Act insurance.

mdetlh on October 18, 2013 at 6:03 PM

Definition of a moderate:
1.Somebody who usually agrees with a Democrat.
2.A liberal with no gonads.
3.Suffers from confused political party identity.
4.Someone who has no political principles whatsoever.
5.Somebody who has no underlying political philosophy upon which to make decisions on issues.
6.A republican who has one foot nailed to the ground and spins endlessly from the prevailing political winds.
7.A political pundit who likes wine and cheese parties more than taking principled political stands.
8 Lying,thieving,spineless,corrupt,unprincipled Republicans who will look you straight in the face and tell you they are conservatives to get your vote,then laugh at you for being stupid enough to give it to them.
9.Beloved by the liberal press because they kiss ass so readily,and apparently don’t mind being instantly discarded after being used.Probably due to their inherent need to be influential and the fact that using/abusing people is genetic for them.
10. Soon to be out of jobs when conservatives finally get counseling for allowing themselves to be used and abused and stay home in November,bringing the Gelded Old Party to its knees.

redware on October 18, 2013 at 6:04 PM

Wordcloud of tweets by members of congress by Democrat, Republican Yes Vote, and Republican No Vote, in the 24 hours surrounding the end of the government shutdown (Figure: Pablo Barbera; Data: smapp.nyu.edu)

Note how the wordclouds of the Democrats & the ‘Yes’ Republicans both have the word “DEFAULT” featured predominantly.

The ‘Yes’ Republicans were speaking exactly like the Democrats.

And note how the wordcloud of the ‘No’ Republicans does not show the word “DEFAULT” at all.

Default was a red herring, a false threat.

It was only the false threat of a default on 10/17 that allowed Harry Reid’s bill to pass the Senate and House on 10/16.

McConnell, Boehner, and the rest of the “Yes” Republicans fell for the False Dilemma.

Faced with a choice between passing Harry Reid’s bill vs. default, they chose to pass Harry Reid’s bill.

But we would NOT have defaulted on 10/17!

Why wouldn’t we have defaulted?

Reason 1: The “X date” was not October 17th. The Bipartisan Policy Center estimates that somewhere between October 22 and November 1 is when “Treasury will have exhausted all its extraordinary measures and run out of cash on hand“.

Reason 2: Even when we hit the “X date”, there is plenty of revenue coming in to pay the interest on our debt (Why Default Won’t Happen), and we would only default if Obama CHOSE to default.

I’m pissed that Senate Republicans did not stand firm in opposition to Harry Reid’s bill, and that Boehner broke the Hastert rule to let Democrats help the Republican establishment pass Harry Reid’s bill because they were full of FEAR about something that wasn’t even real!

THE STUPID PARTY.

ITguy on October 18, 2013 at 6:07 PM

My last comment appears to have gone to moderation…

ITguy on October 18, 2013 at 6:10 PM

Please see the comment I left in the headline post on this same story…

http://hotair.com/headlines/archives/2013/10/18/stop-blaming-the-tea-party-its-the-moderate-republicans-fault/comment-page-1/#comment-2478690

ITguy on October 18, 2013 at 6:13 PM

most republicans seem to like participating in group reach arounds than actually sticking to their professed (fake) principles.

dmacleo on October 18, 2013 at 6:48 PM

The term “moderate” really has little meaning as applied to politics. Both parties are leftist, the GOP just not as far left as the raving left Dimocrap party. People like Peter King, Boehner, Cantor, McCain, McConnell, and Graham, are not moderates, they are leftist mushes that are simply protecting their political posteriors. The run as conservatives, then go to the district of corruption and act as anything but. Increasingly they are feeling the contempt of voters and I think some of those idiots are going home at the end of 2014 to stay.

Quartermaster on October 18, 2013 at 6:53 PM

Personally, I would love to believe that this thoughtful analysis would take hold and people would start to rethink their votes, however we have an entrenched group of establishment Republicans who look on the tea party congressmen as insurgents. In that regard they join the Democrats and Obama trying to marginalize the tea party and, if it weren’t for the tea party, Peter King, et al, wouldn’t be in the majority. It takes courage and leadership to be in the majority, it’s a lot easier to let Nancy Pelosi set the agenda and disagree with her. If you set the agenda, you have to justify it, debate it, and win those debates. Apparently, King, Cantor, McCain, McConnell and Graham are incapable of doing that.

bflat879 on October 18, 2013 at 7:40 PM

Murdercrats,or their Repubicronies, what’s the dif? Third party or bust!

S. D. on October 18, 2013 at 7:40 PM

Gist of this column? Dems and Rinos want politics as usual, Tea Partiers do not.

Vince on October 18, 2013 at 8:07 PM

It “respectable” Republicans alienate their base so much they get a bad result in the next election, they’ll use that as a reason to give in to Democrats on every front, and call for more moderation from the right.

If “respectable” Republicans were to win everything, like the do-nothing heavily Republican legislature Bush had, they’d say that proved the value of their moderation, and as for actually doing anything conservative they’d say you have to give us even more seats. More! More!!

After they alienated their base so much they got a bad result in the next election, they’d use that as a reason to give in to Democrats on every front, and call for more moderation from the right.

David Blue on October 18, 2013 at 8:22 PM

There’s a saying going around that goes “A moderate Muslim is a Muslim that’s out of ammunition”. Well if that’s true, “A moderate Republican is a Republican that has run out of backbone.” And that my friend is the source of the Republican Party’s suicidal tendencies.

savage24 on October 18, 2013 at 10:17 PM

EXPOSED!!!! Biggest Slime Trail in the GOP

RdLake on October 19, 2013 at 12:31 AM

Meh. How can you take any editorial seriously that repeats the lie of “Tea Party extremists?”

There’s nothing extreme about the tea party

There Goes the Neighborhood on October 19, 2013 at 1:04 AM

BTW, moderate Republicans are more properly called “squishy” Republicans — because they won’t stand on any principle.

But if you really want to find the extremists in Washington, it’s very easy. Just look at the people in control of the Democratic party. Obama, Reid, Pelosi, Schumer, and Feinstein are all extremists. Obama is so far to the left on abortion and big government, and the only reason the media can’t see his extremism is because they’ve been fed the same kind of extremism all their lives, and think it’s normal.

There Goes the Neighborhood on October 19, 2013 at 1:12 AM

These are Republicans of various ideological persuasions who understand that American institutions are designed to require compromise between three branches of government

The problem with this White House is that compromise means capitulation. Even RINOs (with the exception of John McCain who needs to be taken to the home) understand this.

georgeofthedesert on October 20, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Crazy talk. Everyone knows that the best strategy for entering negotiations is to telegraph that you’re going to fold and give up all of your demands, and any other demands that you may make in the future. That’s just good negotiating skills. Negotiation 101.

besser tot als rot on October 18, 2013 at 3:33 PM

Exactly right. Boehner was not a serious negotiator and Obama had nothing to say to him.

The real GOP traitors are the senate old-guard that would not force McConnell to lead a charge. The House did their job. The Senate folded. As usual, McCain was the focus of their disunity.

virgo on October 20, 2013 at 2:26 PM