House Republicans would rather bully the country into accepting their will than actually negotiate. PHOTO: Reuters
The conservative Republicans in the House of Representatives are childish, tyrannical hostage takers who don't want democracy, they just want to win the game of thwarting Obama, even if it badly damages the country.
And here's the thing: that's not an especially bold claim.
There are plenty of past examples, but there's a fresh one, so let's focus on that:
in October, the U.S. will once again hit the debt ceiling, meaning it will have to raise the current limit of the national debt to pay the bills we have already put on the credit card. Often the minority party will use raising the debt ceiling to negotiate something that they want, but the thought that one party would let the country default on its bills was unheard of...until House Republicans actually did it in 2011. Now we're headed toward that train wreck again because the conservatives have laid out their conditions:
They refuse to raise the debt ceiling for anything less than delaying Obamacare by one year.
A one year delay in Obamacare might not sound like a huge concession, but the plan is to delay it once, then keep delaying it until they have the power to repeal Obamacare. They have said that they won't vote for anything less. In case you were wondering, there is no inherent reason to couple Obamacare and the debt ceiling. The GOP simply picked the biggest item on their wishlist and said "we get this or Christmas is cancelled for everyone."
And that leads me to my second point, which is that these guys aren't interested in democracy. They don't want to negotiate, make concessions, make deals. Some of the older Republicans still like that sort of traditional politics, but there's a younger breed, who likes playing "my way or the highway" and they think that that's American. It's not American, it's childish and tyrannical. They are like little kids with too much power. Instead of negotiating, House Republicans would rather take the U.S. government hostage. It's cynical, backwards and tragically popular among their far-right constituents.
The tragic figure in all this is Speaker of the House John Boehner. Boehner is very conservative, but he likes making deals, and he has pulled off some impressive negotiations with Obama. Boehner's caucus, however, is so conservative, so blindly anti-Obama and Obamacare and Obama-anything, that they will probably vote him out of his job as Speaker after the 2014 elections if he puts raising the debt ceiling with no strings attached up for a vote in the House.
The silver lining here is that as long as Republicans don't succeed in suppressing the vote too much, eventually these guys are going to conservative themselves out of office.