Wednesday, August 14, 2013

GOP Clowns, Still Near The Edge

In the past, we've often used the metaphor of a clown to represent blithely clueless politicians. While we mean no insult to clowns, the metaphor couldn't be any more fitting this month - especially in light of the racist anti-Obama rodeo clown and his crew at the Missouri State Fair.

The clown has since been banned for life from working at the State Fair in Missouri and may end up being permanently banned from rodeos throughout the 'Show Me' state. Some may feel that punishment is a bit overboard, like getting kicked in the head by a bull. We believe the harsh punishment is likely the exact intention of the Missouri State Fair board: To make sure no one else ever tries another similarly disrespectful and stupid stunt. Hopefully, that clown learned his lesson.

Sadly, a large number of Republican clowns in Congress still haven't learned the harsh lessons of the 1995 Federal government shutdown, including freshman Republican Senator Deb Fischer of Nebraska. Fischer recently signed a letter stating - in effect - that she and the other Congressional Republican clowns would prefer the political equivalent of getting kicked in the head by a bull, and knocked over the edge into the political abyss during the next few election cycles.

Contrary to what you might have thought yesterday morning, Republican leaders have yet to pull their craziest members back from the abyss.

It's true that Senate Minority Leader Mitch 'My campaign manager hates me' McConnell made some noise on Tuesday that made it sound like he thinks a government shutdown would be stupid. But as Greg Sargent correctly notes, McConnell's comments are merely a political distraction, as many Republican leaders think voters aren't paying attention right now. In other words, Republicans in Congress may still shut down the government this fall, even though their leadership has admitted that shutting down the government won't stop Obamacare.

If you thought Newt Gingrich was acting like a three-year old having a temper tantrum when he and Republicans shut down the government back in 1995, Newt's antics from back then have nothing on the GOP clown show now.

If Republican members of Congress wanted to be even slightly constructive, they could at least be pretending to intelligently focus their criticisms on the bumpy rollout of Obamacare. Another adjustment in the rollout of Obamacare was announced on Tuesday - at which point, certain Republicans immediately began acting melodramatic about how the whole health care law is a disaster. However, as both Greg Sargent and and Ezra Klein noted Tuesday, and as the facts confirm, Obamacare is not a train wreck and this adjustment is just a slight delay.

Those facts still don't appear to be changing the antics of Republicans like Fischer, Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and Marco Rubio, who all seem more than willing to shut down the government, apparently just for their own enjoyment.

For her part, at least  Sen. Fischer hasn't been like most of her cowardly colleagues in Congress, who overwhelmingly have been avoiding holding town hall meetings during the August recess. Fischer has no less than a half-dozen public open town hall meetings scheduled over the next week - and if you're a constituent of hers, we highly recommend you attend.

Town halls or not, the facts remain as clear as a blast of seltzer to the face. Congressional Republicans like Fischer insist they're willing to shut down the Federal government in order to stop Obamacare, yet even their own leadership admits a government shutdown won't stop Obamacare. They can't "win" this game they're playing - so why the hell are Republicans looking to lose by getting kicked in the head and knocked into the political abyss?

Either they're clowning around or they really are suicidal.

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