Government shutdown? GOP hardliners are being rational

  • Article by: Dana Milbank , Washington Post
  • Updated: September 24, 2013 - 10:34 AM

It has become fashionable to give a psychiatric diagnosis to those Republicans teeing up a government shutdown.

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eordropmeSep. 24, 1310:59 AM

I am a process engineer. When a process gets "out of control" the first rational step is to shut the process down.

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docgeddySep. 24, 1311:16 AM

Why have beliefs and convictions? Isn't that what you pay pollsters and ALEC for?

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endothermSep. 24, 1311:18 AM

Voters watched from the sidelines for years while Republicans redrew district lines to protect their own political power base. They created a system where moderates are punished and extremists are rewarded. It will be very hard to fix this situation, but the best first step would be for Democrats to find and run competent moderate candidates in EVERY district currently held by Republicans. We have to challenge the extremists everywhere, even the darkest red corners of Utah and Alabama and the messed up 6th district of Minnesota.

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fanofcaribouSep. 24, 1311:36 AM

I was wondering why a minority can hold an entire country hostage because of a law (correctly passed by a majority) they don't like. What the author says makes sense, further proving that once a person gets into congress, their only job is to try to stay in Congress. I hope they don't mess up the economy to badly for too long. Rep Massie's quote is a little scary. On the other hand I read somewhere that he has signed on to a bill that would congress have to get their healthcare through Obamacare. I think that's a good idea.

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lettem01Sep. 24, 1311:37 AM

Wouldn't this story read just about the same if you replaced Republican with Democrat and conservative with liberal. Once elected the primary job of those in either party is to keep getting reelected and they will do just about anything and take any position necessary to keep their job.

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julio57Sep. 24, 1311:41 AM

Regardless of where you or I stand on the issue, these are the facts. The GOP does not have the votes in the Senate to defend ObamaCare. There is no chance. Zero. And even if they did have the votes, Obama is not going to sign a bill to defund what he considers his biggest legislative achievement. So let's agree, that no matter what the Tea Party says or wants, ObamaCare will not be defunded. So in a calculated turn, the House GOP will not pass a continuing resolution to fund the govt. So non-essential services will shut down. The problem is, apparantly NONE of the current House GOP'ers learned a thing from Newt Gingrich. No matter what righties or lefties think, the public as a whole blamed the House GOP for shutdown. After the agreement was met Clinton's poularity skyrocketed and this no doubt helped his re-election campaign. If the govt. shuts down the same will happen here. 2014 will be another net gain for the Dems in the House and Senate and 2016 will go to the Dems because moderates will blame the GOP for any negative effects on the economy, and the GOP will most likly try to a Tea Partier like Cruz or Santorum, neither of which will stand a chance at drawing moderates. While I agree in principle with the GOP that spending is out of control, they are cutting off their nose to spite their face. I also have no problem with a person standing their ground politically, but at this point they will only cause more damage to the economy if they allow the government to shutdown. Maybe I will be proven wrong, and there will be tough negotiations and they will be able to talk Obama and the Dems into serious spending cuts in return for continued funding. The GOP has a great chance here to get some major spending cuts (especially if they sweeten the pot with defense cuts) out of Obama and get a deal signed that makes themselves look good and Obama look like he's trying to spend like a sailor on shore leave. Unfortunately, I don't think the Tea Party has the foresight to do this.

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daveaz555Sep. 24, 1312:01 PM

'One of the most honest assessments of the Republican position came from Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky, who explained last week why he favored the shutdown showdown: "All that really matters is what my district wants. And my district is overwhelmingly in favor of my position."' Here's the problem. Mr. Massie, along with several other house members, have no interest in what's best for the country, just what will get them re-elected. Doing the right thing is no longer in the vocabulary, especially on the right. Very short sighted and stupid, if you ask me. Sad... With these guys, China will own us sooner rather than later, and then they won't have a job in government, because we won't be in charge any more...

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texas_technomanSep. 24, 1312:06 PM

If Obamacare is as distasteful to the American citizens as the GOP says, I guess that would explain why Romney got elected president, right?

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crystalbaySep. 24, 1312:14 PM

The GOP has been reduced to the extreme fringe wing or their party taking them as well as the whole country hostage to their demands. In order to sweep the 2010 elections, they've created a monster which has long since intimidated and taken over rational, moderate voices and created endless crises for the nation. My view is that the tail is wagging the dog, and the dog is rabid at this point. The problem remains that most of these ideologues are from districts which support extreme positions and since these miscreant are ONLY interested in holding their seats, they will keep on trying to take down the captain even if it means sinking the ship of state.

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mnbusdrSep. 24, 1312:22 PM

This is the logical end state for the process begun 35 years ago by Lee Atwater. The propaganda network, the approved lists of words used to demonize and dehumanize political opponents, the fear card, all point to this as how the GOP will meet its end. Their nominating process is now controlled by a base that truly believes that Obama is a Kenyan Muslim Socialist, that the ACA is an existential threat to America, that the destruction of the US federal government would be a good thing--except for the military, and on and on. They only know what is let into their information bubble and have been conditioned to reject any information not approved by their sources. They are great at firing up the base with fear and anger but they are totally unfit to govern due to a total rejection of any real world information. They amount to about 20 percent of the voting public and their wildly disproportionate power will eventually cause the other 80 percent of Americans to retire the GOP permanently.

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