Let’s assume for the sake of Happy Clappy Optimism, that the deal brokered in the U.S. Senate will hold and the United States has avoided pureeing international markets into glop sauce, what have we learned?
Not all that much about the Democratic Party. The Affordable Care Act repeal was never negotiable. Going over the fiscal cliff was never an option. Shutting down the Federal government was not appealing. However, we seem to have been treated to a full dress rehearsal of the GOP’s version of Coriolanus.
According to Caius Martius those plebians bellowing in the streets about the lack of bread are not worthy of grain because they haven’t volunteered for military service. Evidently, Americans who can’t afford health care insurance are unworthy because they are Lazy Takers, although often working two jobs.
We might imagine a production of this lesser known play as imagined by the current Republican Party? The Patricians keep upstaging their cohorts, while Coriolanus and his contingent eat the scenery. Act I, Scene 1: It was about Obamacare! It was NOT about Obamacare?
Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ): “They may try to throw the kitchen sink at the debt limit, but I don’t think our conference will be amenable for settling for a collection of things after we’ve fought so hard,” says Representative Scott Garrett (R., N.J.). “If it doesn’t have a full delay or defund of Obamacare, I know I and many others will not be able to support whatever the leadership proposes. If it’s just a repeal of the medical-device tax, or chained CPI, that won’t be enough.” [Dkos]
Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA): “America is going to be destroyed by Obamacare, so whatever deal is put together must at least reschedule the implementation of Obamacare,” he says. “This law is going to destroy America and everything in America, and we need to stop it.” [Dkos]
Enter the Tribunes (and the Chronicles, and the Gazettes, and the Bugles):
“You guys in the media continued reporting that what the conservatives were asking for was the full repeal of Obamacare. That’s absolutely false,” said Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID), a member of the Republican Study Committee and the point person during the Wednesday briefing. [TPM]
Interesting, since the the Republican Study Committee, of which Rep. Labrador is a member, opened with these lines on the House version of the Continuing Resolution (H.J.Res 59):
“The amendments made in order would make a number of changes to the Senate passed continuing resolution. The House passed continuing resolution that was amended by the Senate was passed on September 20, 2013 and included language that funded the government through December 15, 2013, at current operating levels (discretionary spending of $986.3 billion), permanently defunded the Affordable Care Act, and incorporated a modified version of the Full Faith and Credit Act (H.R. 807)” [RSC pdf] (emphasis added)
Perhaps this production has too many writers? Directors? Then there was thenot-s0-helpful amendments from the choragus maximus of the Tea Party plebians —
“Although he vowed to continue his fight against the Affordable Care Act, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said Wednesday that he has no intention to block or delay a vote on a proposal to raise the debt limit and reopen the shuttered government. Cruz told a gaggle of reporters that he has “no objections” to the Senate holding a vote on the proposal Wednesday, and that a delay on such a vote would be moot.” [TPM]
And, so they troop about the stage, seeking the microphones, missing their cues, and stepping on each others’ lines.