Mysterious goings on with the shutdown


Cruz above gives you an idea of how far some will push this con. They’re ruthless and reckless often, but right now more than ever. Cruz is feeling the heat, his body language is subtle but clear. Most of our intel and other super-secret assets are furloughed because of the Republican Shutdown. So, like a good strategist, he’s setting up to deflect blame for any terrorist attack that might come and get dumped on the GOP, and on Cruz most deservedly. If Cruz is rattled they all are, regardless if it helped out their personal warchests runing the funding plea con, the concern and possible consequences for the party as a whole are getting through. Enough that Cruz knows he’s lost control of the news cycle and trends, he knows he has to take some bigger chances now. What if we could use that growing awareness of futility against them?

Desperate opponents make for productive negotiation. A meeting is underway between President Obama and leading members of both parties from the House and Senate. That has everyone nervous. The Teaparty is nervous their suicide bomber may lose his nerve and the rest of us are nervous Obama might be enticed. I don’t know that we have to worry about that part:

WaPo — The president planned to urge the House leaders to pass a “clean” continuing resolution — without what Obama has called “ideological demands” such as riders aimed at undermining his signature health-care law — so that the government can reopen. … “During the course of my presidency, I have bent over backwards to work with the Republican Party and have purposely kept my rhetoric down,” the president said in an interview with CNBC. “I think I’m pretty well known for being a calm guy; sometimes people think I’m too calm. But am I exasperated? Absolutely, I’m exasperated. Because this is entirely unnecessary.”

Obama also warned investors they should take the threat of a default seriously — after markets had brushed off for weeks the brinksmanship in Washington as the usual partisan theatrics

“This time, I think Wall Street should be concerned,” Obama said on CNBC. “When you have a situation in which a faction is willing to default on U.S. obligations, then we are in trouble.”

Boehner just came out all dejected saying the WH will not negotiate, whine whine. By negotiate he probably means Obama won’t cancel Obamacare and insists the debt ceiling be part of the negotiations now that the GOP has painted itself so far into the corner. Stalemate, but time is on or side.

What conservatives don’t understand is we progressives could care less about the medical device tax or enforcing the mandate in 2014. The tax isn’t a make or break deal and we could use that concession to paint the repubs as deficit wasters whenever we wanted. It would give us an out if the program ended up costing more … “We’ll if repubs hadn’t demanded doing away with this and accepting responsibility for the consequences, the program would have broken even …” that kind of thing.

We also don’t care if the mandate, that all eligible people enroll in a health insurance program or face a $95 annual fee, starts this year or next. That was an olive branch to the insurance industry, to get as many young healthy people to sign up as possible. You may have heard dems underscore how important the mandate is to the viability of the program, and over the course of a decade or two it might be.

But the reason they say they care so much about this year is because we/they cut a deal with the insurance industry, get them max new customers in a guaranteed lucrative new field and they don’t lobby against the ACA. It’s no skin off my nose if Republicans screw that deal up for a year or two. That’s the insurance industry’s problem and they have plenty of lobbyists to bribe Republicans along eventually.

Like most people, the idea of negotiating away stuff I don’t care about is still nauseating when done thru extortion. But I’m also pragmatic.

What the Teaparty is doing, the hostages they have chosen, are revolting. But this ugly stuff happens in politics all the time, the rich and the powerful are always going to try and take from the weak and powerless. From Jim Crowe to jus primae noctis. Sometimes they succeed and sometimes they don’t. It happens in democracy just as in other forms of government. The difference is we often get something significant in return. The debt hostage returned safely for a year and Obamacare still running would be hugely significant. So I’m willing to keep an open mind and willing to take full advantage of any GOP freak out. As long as it’s a fair deal, for us, and as long as it defuses the wingnut suicide bombers for a year or more.

If the GOP were to get so desperate the halfway sane wing would be willing to take care of the six-week CR and the looming debt ceiling later this month, in exchange for delaying the mandate or the device tax for a year or more, I’d think our side should at least consider it.

Remember, it’s not just that the Teaparty wing wants to eliminate the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, what’s important to understand is the Teaparty base genuinely believes that’s what will happen, that’s inevitable, and they’ve been conditioned to reject anything less with complete fury and utter contempt as a sell out by Boehner and the other squishes. No matter how reasonable or painful it might seem to progressives and indies. But in the real world, that’s never, ever going to happen as long as Obama is President. They’re deluded, the ACA is already up and enrolling people as I write this.

If we give the halfway sane ones a tiny something, and in return they agree to give up their hostage for a year or more, that might be worth it. Getting rid of the device tax and/or postponing the penalty for a year leaves the ACA intact, it doesn’t cost poor people any extra or take away benefits, it makes Obama look eminently reasonable, and best of all it leaves the Teaparty absolutely furious while giving mod repubs like Boehner and others a big leg up at their expense.

And if the don’t? We have the bully pulpit and the WH will be using it. We are totally united in a way I’ve never seen before. The people don’t want a shutdown over this by almost four-to-one. And every day it goes on more people discover the ACA, the thing conservatives are screeching will destroy the nation is just a boring website with a bunch of insurance policies that offer affordable healthcare. If they want to hold this small hill to the last man, we’ll let em.


  1. mithrandir says

    One proviso about negotiating on the individual mandate or the medical device tax: I would insist that the CBO score the resulting bill before voting – removing either of these things would be a straight-up deficit increase, and I’d be fascinated to see how the Tea Party wing responds to that.

  2. says

    And to add to mithrandir, say to the CBO “no magic asterisks allowed”, which rules out the Romney/Ryan concept.

    Of course, as has been pointed out, they’ve already got the Romney/Ryan budget, they’re fighting to slash it even further, despite having lost three separate elections (Pres, Senate, Congress, in each Dems outpolled the Repubs) pushing it.

    All so they can try to repeal a Heritage-Institute-developed, Romney-implemented handout to the insurance industry that is likely to be wildly popular for several of its provisions (like the “no banning based on PEC” thing that will affect millions and millions of USans).

  3. Johnny Vector says

    The problem with delaying the individual mandate (aside from the fact that it guarantees the TP will try exactly the same tactic at every future must-pass opportunity) is that it will almost certainly cause premiums to go up. This will then be used as proof that Obamacare is sending health care costs through the roof. They’re already saying “premiums have risen since it started” when they know full well the rate of increase has gone down. Imagine what they’ll do with a new increase.

    Or are the rates already locked in? The bill is awfully long (nowhere near the mythical 2400 pages, but still too long for me to go through even in my furloughed free time), and I don’t want to add load to the servers just to find out.

  4. Reginald Selkirk says

    If the GOP were to get so desperate the halfway sane wing would be willing to take care of the six-week CR and the looming debt ceiling later this month, in exchange for delaying the mandate or the device tax for a year or more, I’d think our side should at least consider it.

    If we offer them that now, what will we offer them in six weeks? And six weeks after that? This appears an attempt to turn extortion into a subscription service.

  5. DonDueed says

    It’s “Jim Crow”, not “Jim Crowe”! I demand that you correct it instantly or I shall order Russell Crowe to shut down the government!

  6. cheesynougats says


    That implies the TP actually cares about the deficit. I think this is still up for debate; their record on actual opportunities used to reduce the deficit is not stellar. Their record on reducing women’s reproductive rights, however…
    There may have been an actual kernel of fiscal conservatives in the TP at the beginning, but they have left and the social conservative loonies have free rein.

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