As we continue the descent into madness that is the partial government shutdown, one source of amusement, not to mention rage, is watching Republicans and their defenders try to justify it or downplay the effects. While it’s easy and cathartic to take swipes at the callousness of an extremely vocal faction of the GOP, I think it’s important recognize those that are being reasonable. At least, comparatively so.
1. Peter King gets props for being honest about the politics of all of this and about why it’s so hard for moderates to break through. From the Los Angeles Times:
“If it was a secret ballot, you’d have three-fifths, two-thirds, voting to end it all,” King said. “On this one, it was particularly hard because it looked like if you were voting no, you were voting to protect a privileged class. That’s the way it would be played in a primary, which is what Ted Cruz people want to do — run primaries against Republicans.”
2. Richard Burr recognizes that this is an unwinnable battle. From the Huffington Post:
“I think some of these guys need to understand that if you shut down the federal government, you better have a specific reason to do it that’s achievable,” he said. “Defunding the Affordable Care Act is not achievable through shutting down the federal government. At some point you’re going to open the federal government back up, and Barack Obama’s going to be president, and he won’t have signed this illusion of the Affordable Care Act.”
3. Richard Hanna, seems to address the fact that repealing Obamacare would actually adversely effect women’s lives. Weird. From pressconnects:
“I continue to support repealing and replacing Obamacare with reforms that actually reduce health care costs and increase coverage for upstate New Yorkers,” Hanna said. “But as a lifelong and consistent supporter of women’s rights and health care, I do not support addressing divisive social issues such as access to birth control on a last-minute continuing resolution.”
4. Former George W. Bush speech writer Michael Gerson takes us out with with this sick burn. From The Washington Post:
We are no longer seeing a revolt against the Republican leadership, or even against the Republican “establishment”; this revolt is against anyone who accepts the constraints of political reality. Conservatives are excommunicated not for holding the wrong convictions but for rational calculations in service of those convictions.
Of course, when it comes to Republican elected officials, especially in the House, words are cheap. It’s what they do that has a real impact. The Daily Kos points out that many GOP congress people who have come out against the government shut down actually voted to do exactly that. So words are nice, but come on, Congress. We’re waiting.
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