The GOP’s attempt to kill its own creation

The war between the crazies and the not-crazies in the Republican party seems to be shifting into high gear. Always keep in mind that this division in not ideological at all, except on the most minor issues. The party is pretty much united in wanting to march lock step into a future in which the few rich control everything, the poor are kicked to the curb, the social safety net shredded, the diminishing middle class squeezed, and a backward Christian mentality determines all social values.

They only differ on the tactics to adopt.

The not-crazies want to achieve their goals the old-fashioned way by forging coalitions with the Democratic party, many of whom also share these appalling goals, except for some moral issues. But the crazies see the Democratic party as the spawn of Satan and president Obama as the anti-Christ and the very idea of forming coalitions with them to achieve incremental gains is anathema to them. They think they should go for the jugular and, despite all the evidence to the contrary, think that the majority of people are behind them and are just waiting for the revolution to start before swarming the gates of Babylon, aka Washington, DC. And they seem to be running the show right now.


The not-crazies seen to have finally realized that they need to fight back in some organized way if their party is not to be destroyed altogether.

But The Daily Show emphasizes what I have been saying all along, that the Republicans who are now sounding the alarm are the same ones who helped the crazies to gain the prominence they now have, a classic case of the chickens coming home to roost.

(These clips aired on October 22, 2013. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post.)


  1. wtfwhateverd00d says

    First, please understand I would have preferred a single payer, kick the insurers to the door plan. And I absolutely will need and will rely on and ACA for my insurance.

    However, do you recall how the peace dividend from the collapse of the cold war never materialized as the various administrations just found new ways to spend the money? As one example, apart from MythBusters, is the closed Naval Air Station Alameda doing anything close to what it was supposed to be doing? (Military aerospace engineers working on bombers and fighters transformed into working on public transportation?)

    Do you recall how your state most likely squandered its tobacco settlement as politicians found little pet projects to spend it on? (

    Have you read why failed — it probably wasn’t the website itself but the 55 contractors brought in to develop it based on interfacing with legacy systems never meant to sustain that throughput and overseen by a gov’t agency with little experience in large IT / web projects?

    So, I see no reason to believe that any of the cost savings of Obamacare will come to pass. It just doesn’t seem to be in the nature of bureaucracies to do that.

    Oscar Wilde — ‘The bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy.’

    And in that sense I am very sympathetic with tea baggers and Republicans and libertarians who want to defund much of government.

    The difference perhaps is that I would like to see all laws and all programs have 20 or 40 year sunsetting to them. And an ethos that it’s okay and good to sunset programs and either rejustify them or examine past results and reset them as needed Experiment is good, and the states should be used as 50 laboratories of democracy.

    While the teabaggers and republicans are wrong to just want to tear down tear down tear down, and while their non keynesian economics is also almost certainly wrong, I think “our” demands that every program is good and can never change is just as wrong headed.

    Think back to 2008 and the stimulus package and how almost none of it went to fixing infrastructure apart from potholes in large parts because Lawrence Summers “didn’t believe in infrastructure projects” but also because few states and cities had infrastructure projects ready to go, or feared environmental lawsuits delaying the projects for years.

    Now reimagine that if the Obama, even prior to taking office, had told cities and states: create a prioritized list of infrastructure projects, include costs, include jobs created, included anticipated environmental issues — as part of our stimulus plan we aim to fund these, and to place them on a fasttrack and have special courts and mediators set up to deal with the environmental issues.

    Instead we got temporary jobs in the form of temp gov’t workers.

    Anyway, my guess is that the way our country is currently set up, we won’t see much in the way of healthcare reductions from Obamacare.

  2. smrnda says

    I suspect a reason for bureaucratic inefficiency is that we don’t have a set of shared goals in government. A bureaucracy to handle health care only works if you don’t have a chunk of the people in government who disbelieve that health care *should* be a function of the government. When you have disagreements like that, you get people who try to sabotage any attempt to handle a issue as a way of getting the issue dropped as a concern of government.

    All said, as a software developer and such, I’m surprised we relied on such incompetent developers. I would have voted to have some known developer of high-quality software to handle the problem through some kind of public/private partnership.

  3. wtfwhateverd00d says

    Well, I certainly think that Obama’s CTO needs to resign, and I would be totes okay with sending the Attorney General after any contractor AND any government manager that signed off on delivery for such poorly tested crap.

    Over at Hacker News they talk about Clojure, Scala, Hadoop, JSON, and global scalability via large server farms … from what I’ve read it sounds like it was one an accreted amalgamation poorly designed and performing enterprise system after another. Maybe written in Java, maybe written in COBOL, maybe transferring information by XML. Probably transferring in some ad hoc variable field record format.

    It sounds as though none of this integration was tested at all, much less tested under loads it could never have sustained.

  4. wtfwhateverd00d says

    The Big Kludge

    The good news about, the portal to Obamacare’s health exchange, is that the administration is no longer minimizing its problems. That’s the first step toward fixing the mess — and it will get fixed, although it’s anyone’s guess whether the new promise of a smoothly functioning system by the end of November will be met. We know, after all, that Obamacare is workable, since many states that chose to run their own exchanges are doing quite well.

    But while we wait for the geeks to do their stuff, let’s ask a related question: Why did this thing have to be so complicated in the first place?

  5. sigurd jorsalfar says

    The ‘sane’ wing of the GOP thought they could use the ‘crazy’ wing for their votes and for their maniacal energy. They thought they could bring them to prominence yet control them at the same time.

    It’s a classic conservative strategy, whose most notable failure was (at the risk of going Godwin) the case of Adolf Hitler, whom the conservative establishment tolerated and placed in power in the belief that they could make him their puppet. Given that precedent, I have no sympathy for ‘sane’ Republicans who are now alarmed at the monster they have unleashed on the rest of the world.

  6. raven says

    Hold on here.

    It makes a nice story. Monster turns on its creators. A lot of movies have been made about Frankenstein.

    1. I’ve been hearing things like this off and on for decades. It’s never been more than talk.

    2. There really isn’t a mechanism or way to get rid of the crazies. The parties are run on more or less democratic principles of one sort or another. This isn’t the communist party of the USSR. They can’t really purge people and send them to the Gulags. (Although some of them probably wish they could.)

    3. And who is winning the monster versus normal people contest anyway? AFAICT, the Tea Party owns the GOP and the few moderates left have been slowly filtering out. IIRC, one of the moderate GOP senators from Maine just got tired of it all and is dropping out.

    I’m sure we will hear more about the monster problem of the GOP because it makes a good story. And most likely it is just talk meaning nothing.

  7. trucreep says

    This is why I feel almost sad for the Tea Party. They are absolutely correct when they say the cronyism and the corruption in Washington is out of control. That our tax dollars are squandered and that politicians waste our money on their “pet projects” as you pointed out.

    The problem is that they have allowed themselves to be co-opted by the people that are responsible for many of the things they complain about, and have become the tools to perpetuate the very things they claim to hate. The only difference between a Tea Party Republican and an “Establishment” Republican is they are beholden to different players in the game. The Tea Party Republicans are under the impression they are simply representing their constituents beliefs and values, when in reality those “beliefs and values” have been shaped and warped by a few very wealthy individuals. The corruption travels through many more channels before it reaches the voters, and therefore is easier to hide.

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