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Tim F. gets the prize for best summation of Republican health care obstructionism in the House:

Reviewing Republican behavior during the Health Care Reform debate on Saturday, you would think a militant band of spoiled toddlers with Tourette’s had occupied the right half of the House. Or howler monkeys. If it was not the most embarrassing display of bad behavior in recent government history, it is only because of everything else Republicans did lately. When lying didn’t work (they want to euthanize granny!) they tried hyperbole (health insurance reform is LITERALLY THE SAME THING AS STALIN TIMES THE HOLOCAUST!). Then they tried lying again. Then lying plus hyperbole, stamping their feet and shouting.

Normally the side that doesn’t have the law on its side, and doesn’t have the facts either, recognizes that you just lose twice if you throw your credibility and reputation into a losing fight. This fight was clearly different for Republicans, and you know what? They’re right. If the GOP had not pushed the Overton Window way to the right compared with where we started when Single Payer was still on the table (ish), Democratic moderates would have no problem supporting the watered down “moderate” compromise that the House finally passed yesterday. The bills would have steamrolled both houses of Congress with decent support from swing-district Republicans if the party had not made it a hill to die on with an emphasis on die.

Bill Kristol had it right in 1994. If Democrats effectively fix health care then Republicans are screwed. Any health care reform that does not suck even worse would effectively be written in stone as soon as it passed. Realigning their issue set to stay relevant could be quite awkward since Democrats already claimed most of the issues that Americans don’t hate. To stay alive Republicans would need to tack somewhere less crazy, but that would motivate Michelle Bachmann’s twenty-some percent of crazy people to go third party. Those two factors would effectively doom Republicans to share a shrinking back bench with the conservative fruitcake party and their pet schmuck Joe Lieberman.

So yeah, Republicans pulled out all the stops on this one. If they can find another stop before the Senate vote they’ll pull that one too. Pretty much the only institutional incentive not pushing them towards brinksmanship at this point is that desiccated raisin occupying space where most people would have a conscience.

  1. schu says:

    When you have sold your soul to the corporations all you have left is your mistress. They talk the talk of family values but not many can walk the walk. They claim to be Christians but they will not live the way Christ showed us how to, and they can only preach hate. They are a party of liars and thieves who see the government as their own private hog wallow.

  2. Brad says:

    you would think an militant band of spoiled toddlers

    Change "an" to "a".

  3. Teramis says:

    Actually, I'm thinking the reasonable conservatives will tack someplace sane, and it will be away from the Bachmann/teabagger/Beck/Boehner/Cantor agglomerate is so busy distilling the GOP into a petty, reactionary shadow of its former self. I would even take bets that we'll see a third part evolve out of this demise of the GOP: a party that accomodates moderate conservatives and a lot of independents. I think that would be great for the country, the balance of power and the national dialog.

    Bush, Boehner et al have run the GOP into a ditch and I'll be very surprised if they pull it out under their own steam. They're following the same path to oblivion that the Whigs did.

    • schu says:

      Since the far right has turned the GOP into their own religious party, any sane conservative will have to create their own party. And I believe that you are correct in the believe that a lot of independents would follow. This would allow the religious right to show its true colors as in their believe as we do or be damed, while the rest of us can get back to the business of running the republic.

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