Nuts to You, Creep!

John Boehner represents the 8th congressional district of Ohio. It’s made up of suburbs and farmland and sits along the border with Indiana. The biggest city in the 8th district is Hamilton, with a population of 62,000. Republicans have represented Boehner’s district since 1939. He got elected in 1990 after he challenged the incumbent congressman, who had been convicted of paying a 16-year old girl $40 for sex. Boehner has been elected without significant opposition since then, twice with no opposition at all. 

This creep, who is now Speaker of the House, has decided to shut down much of the federal government in a vain attempt to interfere with implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Senate Democrats have been asking for negotiations on the 2014 budget for six months, but Boehner and his Republican colleagues decided it would make more sense to become extortionists. Go back and renegotiate Obamacare, you Democrats, or else we’ll send 800,000 Federal workers home, force another million to work without pay, close various government facilities and suspend programs like the Special Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children!

There’s common agreement that there are some relatively moderate Republicans who would join Democrats in voting to keep the government open, if Boehner allowed that simple vote to take place. But he hasn’t done that yet. He’s apparently terrified that he’s going to lose the support of the craziest Republicans and not be Speaker of the House anymore. He might even lose his seat in Congress to some Tea Party clown next time the Republicans in the 8th district go to the polls.

If Republicans who don’t represent places like the 8th district of Ohio were allowed to “vote their conscience” (something members of the House might want to do sometimes), this stupid shutdown wouldn’t be happening.

There are two good things about it, however. The Republicans look bad and might even lose some seats next year. And the Democrats are holding firm. If I were Senator Harry Reid or President Obama, my answer to Boehner would be a simple “Fuck you!”, or, a bit more politely, what General McAuliffe told the Germans when they demanded our surrender at the Battle of the Bulge: “Nuts!”

P.S. — For some history regarding the Republican concept of “negotiation”:

The Republican position has been clear for three years: they will refuse to negotiate if negotiation could mean having to give something up. But they will loudly demand a negotiation over something that is not open to compromise, namely a settled law from 2009…

http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/01/the-g-o-p-definition-of-negotiation/?hp

6 thoughts on “Nuts to You, Creep!

  1. ramassist2

    If a ‘settled law’ is something too sacred to try to undo…

    why are democrats constantly trying to break the protections of the 2nd amendment.

    not trying to disagree so much as to understand.

    Reply
    1. Larry Post author

      Certainly “settled law” can be undone. No problem at all. The ACA isn’t anywhere near sacred. But what you need to do if you want to change the law, according to the Constitution, is win elections and then win votes in the legislature. Then get your proposed law past the President and the Supreme Court. That’s what the Democrats were able to do. If the Republicans want to delay the ACA, that’s what they need to do too.

      Not letting the government function until your demand is met isn’t politics or governance or negotiation. It’s extortion, like holding someone under water until they agree to give you all their money.

      Andrew Sullivan, who often expresses “conservative” opinions, says it better than I can here: http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2013/10/01/the-nullification-party/

      Reply
      1. ramassist2

        “he clings unconvincingly to the “conservative” label” quoted by Forbes in the article 25 Most Influential Liberals. Regardless of his label he is definitely a mix of opinions which tend to settle out somewhere in the Libertarian plane of existence, so we have something in common.

        as far as following the law….the ACA is indeed law, and needs to be implemented to it’s fullest extent. So why the waivers for so many companies but no waivers for the individual? Why the Democrat delay and ‘glitches’? Why the exemptions for members of Congress and the President? If it’s the law of the land then it must apply to all. No exceptions…or as you say…work within the system to change it, legally.

        Reply
        1. Larry Post author

          I know who Andrew Sullivan is, but don’t follow him, so I can’t really comment on how “conservative” he is these days. I saw a link to his post this morning and agreed with the substance of what he had to say so I shared it on an impulse.

          As for the ACA itself:

          I assume by “glitches” you’re not referring to the computer problems. That’s a technical matter that will be resolved in time as they make adjustments to handle the volume. Having worked in the data processing industry, I was a little surprised that a government project of this size worked as well as it did the first day.

          The ACA is clearly the result of a complicated, drawn-out process of negotiation in Congress, part of which involved lobbying by lots of interested parties, including the insurance companies, major corporations, unions and small business groups. I doubt if anyone thinks it’s perfect or completely fair. The people in Congress, for example, always find a way to take care of themselves. Some kind of pressure was brought on the Administration or arguments were made that resulted in certain features being delayed. That’s politics for you.

          The key point regarding who has to get health insurance (the anti-libertarian aspect of the law) is that if you’ve already got it, you aren’t affected (except for any effect the law has on the federal budget or the health industry). If you don’t have health insurance, you (the vast majority anyway) are supposed to sign up, even if you don’t want it.

          Personally, I think everyone should have it, unless they clearly have the resources to pay for any medical treatment they will ever require, such as incredibly expensive emergency room care after a car accident.

          But the only reason there is a requirement for most people to start getting insurance is that the insurance companies need a well-rounded pool of customers. If younger, healthier people don’t sign up and fork over some money (assuming they earn enough to not be completely subsidized by the government), the insurance companies will be stuck with an older, unhealthier pool of people to cover. That’s a problem if you’re an insurance company. They would lose money or have to charge even higher rates. It would be like having to provide accident coverage just for people who work in mines or on fishing boats. Those people have a lot of accidents.

          The government can do Medicare for old people because they don’t have to turn a profit. So long as the insurance companies are part of this system, there needs to be a broad population of people (aka patients, aka customers) participating to spread the risk. Hence, the individual mandate. I’m not an expert on the law, so I don’t know the ins and outs of individual companies being exempted, but I assume it was the result of lobbying or for some specific economic reason.

          The basic point is that younger, healthier people are being compelled to participate now, so that older, unhealthier people can be covered at reasonable cost within what is fundamentally a capitalist, profit-based system. As today’s younger people grow older, they will be helped by other, even younger people participating. Or maybe one day the U.S. will join the rest of the developed world and move toward a simpler, single-payer system.

          Thanks for your comments by the way.

          Reply
          1. Larry Post author

            P.S. It’s highly ironic that the Republicans oppose the individual mandate, when that’s a feature required by certain business interests, i.e. the insurance companies. This ACA is, after all, pretty much the plan that Mitt Romney supported in Massachusetts. I think what the Republican really fear is that the program will be successful, like Social Security and Medicare (which earlier Republicans vehemently opposed), and the majority of voters will support it when they see its benefits. But I’m not a Republican so it’s often hard for me to understand what they’re thinking.

            Reply
            1. Larry Post author

              I just noticed a story about how the Politico website makes news appear out of nothing. The general approach is that they think of a possibility, then ask people about the possibility, then report that people are talking about the possibility.

              It’s rather complicated, but the ACA exemption for Congress mentioned above appears to be another nothing story that got lots of people on the right wound up for no good reason. Unfortunately for the rest of us, that’s easy to do,

              http://www.salon.com/2013/10/02/how_politico_generates_news/

              Reply

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