Sen. David Vitter is a co-signer along with 11 other Republicans in the Senate on a letter threatening a government shutdown unless Congress votes — and the president signs a bill — to defund Obamacare. Specifically, the letter threatens to block an upcoming continuing resolution to fund the federal government and pay its debts, a move that would threaten the U.S. and world economies and could, even if the threat isn’t carried out, once again strike a blow against the United States’ credit rating.
The letter was sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, who quickly reminded his cry baby colleagues what happened the last time a party brought the U.S. government to the brink of disaster over policy disagreements:
I suggest to any of my Republican colleagues who have this idea, give a call to Newt Gingrich. He will return your phone calls. Ask him how it worked. It was disastrous for Newt Gingrich, the Republicans, and the country. It didn’t work then and it will not work now. If Republicans threaten catastrophic default on the nation’s bills, the economy will suffer, and that is an understatement.
The knuckle-headed threat has members of Vitter’s own party violating Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment:
U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.: “It’s a terribly dangerous and not successful strategy. You’re going to set an expectation among the conservatives in our party that we can achieve something that we’re not able to achieve. It’s not an achievable strategy. It’s creating the false impression that you can do something when you can’t. It’s a denial of reality mixed with a whole bunch of hype to promote groups and individuals who are saying, ‘I’m going to give you hope’ for something that we can’t do. The underlying premise is intellectually dishonest. … Creating false expectations and being less than honest about how you’re going to do this is the worst of politics.” [Washington Examiner, 7/29]
U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, R-NC: “No, I think it’s the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard of… Listen, so long as Barack Obama’s president, the Affordable Care Act is gonna be law… I think some of these guys need to understand that, you shut down the government, you better have a specific reason to do it that’s achievable. Defunding the Affordable Care Act is not achievable by shutting down the federal government. At some point, you’re gonna open the federal government back up, and Barack Obama’s gonna be president, and he won’t have signed the dissolution of the Affordable Care Act.” [Think Progress, 7/29]
U.S. Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., Deputy Majority Whip: “Shutting down the government is a suicidal political tactic. Eventually it will be reopened, but the president will not have capitulated and you will have discredited yourself and along the way you will have hurt the American people.” [MSNBC, 7/29]
Cole again: “The only way Republicans will lose the House is to shut down the government or default on the debt.” “Shutting down the government is not in the best interests of the American people and it makes you look politically irresponsible.” “I’m not inclined to jeopardize the crown jewel, and the House of Representatives is the crown jewel in this election cycle.” [Newsmax, 7/26; Twitter, 7/24; Politico, 7/29]
U.S. Rep. Peter King, R-NY: “There’s no reason to be threatening to bring down the government, let’s make this work, get spending cuts we need, but the American people get turned off with the threat of terror politics.” [Political Wire, July 28]
U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-AL: “It’s foolish.” [Huffington Post, 7/26]
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DEC 20 The Robertson family is playing hardball in their dispute with A&E, the network that airs the wildly profitable "reality" show about their family, Duck Dynasty. Patriarch Phil Robertson was suspended by the network after GQ printed an interview with him that contained his (unedited) comments about gay and black folks. Here's a link to their statement, in which they say they can't imagine the show without papa and announcing that they are in negotiations with A&E about the future of the show.
DEC 20 Blogger Robert Mann (also a journalism prof at LSU and thus an authority on the First Amendment) says something in this post of which a lot of Fox News anchors and internet trolls should take heed: the Constitution says you have freedom of speech. It does not say you can't face consequences for what you say. He also takes a look at what our governor has to say -- and ole Bobby had to drag Miley Cyrus into it.
DEC 20 Blogger Tom Aswell says Governor Bobby Jindal has now had more to say about the comments a "reality" star made about gay and black people than he has had to say about the problems in his own voucher program or the sinkhole in Bayou Corne. In fact, Tom points out, Bobby's all over the Phil Robertson "issue" like "a duck on a June bug."
DEC 20 Here's an interesting post from blogger Katie East in DIG Magazine about celebrity passings. She understands why so many would be sad because of Mandela's passing -- he was an international figure, a political figure, an activist. But there is similar wailing following the passing of people who may not have had the same impact, she says -- like the guy who starred in the Fast and Furious movies. She wants to know: why is that?
DEC 20 Columnist James Gill writes about Louisiana's embattled voucher program in this post. Just because a child attends a private school does not mean he's going to get a good education, Gill writes. Gov. Jindal likes to say the program helps kids get a great education, but whether it does that is open to "considerable doubt," Gill writes.
DEC 20 Gambit's Clancy DuBos writes about the NOLA mayor's race in this post. For a while, it was assumed that it would be a quiet one, given the amount of money Mitch has in the bank. But at the last minute, a (possibly) formidable candidate threw his hat in the ring. The question is, Clancy says, why?
DEC 20 In Louisiana's education system, the state takes over a school that is designated as "failing." The assumption is, that's a good thing and will produce improvement. But is that the case? Blogger Mike Deshotels takes a look at how takeovers perform in one area of testing, the ACT.
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