Now that the cliff has been breached, conservative grifters are back scheming how best to serve their rabid, dwindling base without losing everyone to the left of Mussolini. First up, vulnerable Senators will have to pretend they have serious reservations about fellow Republican Chuck Hagel to serve a stint as SecDef, simply because he was picked for the job by the much hated Kenyan usurper in chief:
NBC News — Hagel’s biggest obstacle to confirmation isn’t his controversial comments about Iran and Israel or his “overly aggressive gay” remark. Rather, it’s that he’s a man without a party. If Hagel were a Democrat, for instance, you would have seen someone like Sen. Chuck Schumer (D) embrace his potential nomination on “Meet the Press” recently instead of being tepid about it. And if Hagel were a true-blue Republican — having campaigned for Mitt Romney and other GOP candidates last fall — you wouldn’t have seen folks like Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) speak so critically of him.
Expect much posturing and pretend second guessing of Obama’s judgement, punctuated by the occasional inconsistent demands by conservatives when discussing other issues that if only the President would lead in a bipartisan way! BTW the real motivation for some of the more clever Senate Republicans to shoot down Hagel is they know he is being used to put bipartisan cover on a great DoD downsizing beginning in 2014. Overspending on defense is critical to the conservative deficit hysteria side of the con they run whenever democrats are in power. And then Hagel will be confirmed.
Next up are House Republicans and the debt ceiling, and about 50 or 60 of these guys aren’t just grifting, they actually believe a lot the crazy shit they say. Their initial premise when you try to correct them is facts don’t count. Which leads to flaky conclusions on their part, sometimes laughable ones, but potentially serious too.
A good illustration is Todd Akin’s statement that women could “shut down” the sperm from a “legitimate rape”: it wasn’t fake, a sitting US congressman favored to win the a senate seat literally believed that and was prepared to enact laws about rape based on that belief that would affect millions of women, including thousands of rape victims. What if they literally believe they can cripple or kill the world’s largest economy, forever or for any arbitrary period of time they decide, without any adverse consequences to anyone? Slate assumes more sanity:
“It’s a shame that we have to use whatever leverage we have in Congress to get the president to deal with” overspending, [Senate Minority Leader Mitch] McConnell said on Meet the Press. On Face the Nation, he was asked whether he’d support House Speaker John Boehner’s demand for $1 in spending cuts for every $1 in debt-limit increase. McConnell retreated to the same timid language: “We have to use whatever leverage we have. And there are some examples of leverage coming along. The debt ceiling is one of them that hopefully would get the president engaged.” Whatever leverage we have? Hopefully? Engaged? That isn’t how you talk when you have leverage. It’s how you talk when you know your leverage is fake. Republicans don’t have enough members willing to tank our credit rating or shut down the government.
This is all fake, at least on Mitch’s part, he’s not insane or delusional, just corrupt and soulless. And odds are they’ll pass the debt ceiling too. But Mitch doesn’t speak for the House, and we can’t keep doing this hostage crisis over and over, its injurious to everyone and potentially catastrophic for the nation and the world.
Republicans have to broken of this habit for the good of the nation, and it’s better for that happen to sooner, not later. If the GOP gets to keep taking the nation hostage on everything with a deadline, and extracting what basically amounts to ransom every few months — which translates into punishing the poor and the middle class as much as possible every single time — damage will be done all along the way and sooner or later they’ll miscalculate and accidentally or intentionally shoot the country in the head. If that’s going to happen, better to happen now and minimize the collateral damage.