No, The Republicans Have Not Gone Crazy (even though their tactics look crazy)

With shutdown fever gripping the Republican party and the commentariat, it’s easy to argue the Republicans have clearly gone insane.  Their tactics – from repeatedly holding votes to repeal the ACA to threatening to shutdown the government to threatening to crash the world economy by refusing to raise the debt limit – are self destructive behaviors of a party gone crazy.  I disagree.  Republicans have not gone crazy.  From the conservative perspective, America is careening wildly toward destruction – worse it’s self-destruction in the form of “creeping socialism” symbolized by the Affordable Care Act.  Republicans are pursuing tactics that can be understood simply as “Desperate times require desperate measures.”

Conservative critiques of the ACA portray it as a government takeover of health care that will lead to catastrophic outcomes – brutal rationing of care and prescription medications, senior citizens denied health care, a nameless faceless board in DC dictating to doctors what treatment their patients can receive (one scenario actually included doctors being issued government controlled iPads that would transmit treatment instructions from DC to the doctors – my boss made company management attend a speech by the ill informed MD claiming this outcome).  If you live in Teabagistan, you’ve heard these stories and you’ve never heard them debunked.  You and your friends have linked and shared atrocity tales about the outcomes of socialized medicine in other countries (a favorite meme is that Canadians are all frantic to come the US for health care because they’re being denied life saving treatment in Canada – usually some experimental treatment).  Again, those stories have been debunked but you’ve never heard it because in Teabagistan, nobody hears the debunking and if they do, they dismiss it as a liberal conspiracy.  For the teabaggers, the ACA is not just a bad policy, it is an existential threat to America.  If it is allowed to go into full effect, the ACA will destroy America.

Believing we face such dire circumstances, the teaparty contingent in Congress (driven by their base which believes we face such circumstances), is fully prepared to do anything to “save” America.  They were sure the Supreme Court would strike down the ACA.  They were certain they could recapture the Senate and White House in 2012.  Those things didn’t happen.  Legitimate, normal avenues of preventing the ACA from taking effect, normal avenues for repealing it were closed.  Repeated House votes to repeal it haven’t worked (despite the obvious problem with those repeated votes, conservative voters read articles saying “House votes to Repeal Obamacare” and then read that it’s still going into effect and conclude some devious force must be at work to frustrate an outcome they believe should be happening).  So conservatives are left with drastic measures.  If you genuinely believe the ACA is an America destroying bill, a government shutdown and all the attendant disruption is a small price to pay to “save” America.  It doesn’t hurt that many teabaggers genuinely believe the government is irrelevant on a daily basis anyway.

Better to suffer through what conservatives believe will be short term discomfort than allow the ACA catastrophe to occur.


  1. #1 by Richard Warnick on September 24, 2013 - 9:56 am

    It’s reassuring to know that during a government shutdown those who hate “socialism” and think federal government is irrelevant will still get their monthly Social Security payments.

    Then again, the ACA will be implemented too. A shutdown won’t stop it.

    Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee now plan to filibuster the same bill they told the House they wanted passed.

  2. #2 by Richard Warnick on September 24, 2013 - 10:59 am

    TPM points out that the Tea-GOP has already effectively won the government shutdown battle.

    President Barack Obama and Democrats won’t cave on Obamacare. But they’re poised to cave when it comes to continuing spending at austerity levels ordered by sequestration — across-the-board cuts put in place under the 2011 debt limit agreement.

    …That’s what is actually up for grabs: how much the government will spend when the new fiscal year begins Oct. 1. But conservatives were so successful at putting Democrats on defense over Obamacare that Democrats barely even waged a fight on spending.

    More austerity. Continued economic failure in the form of the jobless recovery. Republicans will blame guess who?

    If there is a government shutdown, it helps accomplish the Tea-GOP mission of economic sabotage.

    Economists estimate that were a short-term shutdown to occur next month, it “would do significant economic damage, reducing real GDP by 1.4 percentage points.” A two-month shutdown could “precipitate another recession.”

  3. #3 by Richard Warnick on September 24, 2013 - 2:46 pm

    Senator Cruz had to settle for a mock filibuster, due to the rules.

    David Kurtz:

    Cruz may be able to talk for quite a while, but it’s not a filibuster. The technical term for it is … grandstanding.

  4. #4 by Richard Warnick on September 24, 2013 - 4:16 pm

    Glenden is right about “Teabagistan.” Here’s a guy who wants to overthrow our government with a coup.

    Larry Klayman wrote Monday in Renew America that he’s established Nov. 19 as the date that Obama will be forced to answer for his “criminality” and “Muslim, socialist, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, anti-white, pro-illegal immigrant, pro-radical gay and lesbian agenda.”

  5. #5 by Richard Warnick on September 24, 2013 - 4:46 pm

    Josh Marshall is one of those who think the Tea-GOP is desperately afraid the ACA will work (after all, it was originally a right-wing proposal):

    Republicans know that if Obamacare gets in place, they’ll never be able to repeal it. Just as everyone across the political spectrum now has to pledge fealty to Medicare and Social Security even though they were in their time equally awfully assaults on America, freedom and everything else. That doesn’t mean that Obamacare will be perfect. And our politics is so polarized today that it will take many GOP ideologues a very long time to warm to it. But going back will quickly become politically unviable. That’s why they’re fighting so hard.

    • #6 by Glenden Brown on September 24, 2013 - 4:58 pm


      I think those of us who favor further reforms of our dysfunctional health care system need to start working on our arguments now. If it works, I think we’ll see Tea-GOP arguing that we don’t need other reforms because look how great the ACA turned out to be and it was a conservative idea. Suddenly, a public option in the marketplaces will be verboten simply because “look how well they work without it”; other reforms or expansions will become dangerous because they might destroy what’s already working.

      If it works, conservatives will love it because the subsidies will become a target of their ire – “creating a cycle of government dependency” and they’ll be able to complain endlessly about how it’s some nefarious plot to sneak socialism into the US.

  6. #7 by Thomas Atwater on September 24, 2013 - 10:04 pm

    The US government is hardly irrelevant, it is the greatest threat to its own people and world peace in its entirety.

    At this point anything to stop it in its tracks is what any Sworn American is obligated to undertake.

  7. #8 by Richard Warnick on September 25, 2013 - 9:04 am

    Ted Cruz was still talking this morning. The highlight last night was his moving recitation of “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss. But he missed the point of the story.

    McCaskill: Cruz Doesn’t Understand The Moral Of ‘Green Eggs And Ham’

  8. #9 by cav on September 25, 2013 - 9:43 am

    Was he thrown out of Canada? Is that how he came to be in Texas?

    Of course, if that were so, it would speak well of the prior and not so well of the later.

    But, really just another load of diversionary BS.

  9. #10 by cav on September 25, 2013 - 9:59 am

    The republican’ts may very well be crazy.

    House Republicans hate “Obamacare,” but seem just fine with the “Monsanto Protection Act.”

    • #12 by brewski on September 25, 2013 - 1:27 pm

      I thought that would make you happy.

      • #13 by Richard Warnick on September 25, 2013 - 2:56 pm

        Not really. I’m a stockholder. Are you happy?

        • #14 by brewski on September 25, 2013 - 3:06 pm

          I’ll be thrilled when you answer any of my questions.

          • #15 by Richard Warnick on September 25, 2013 - 3:07 pm

            You didn’t ask a question.

          • #16 by brewski on September 25, 2013 - 3:22 pm

            Are Pat Smith and Charles Woods liars?

  10. #17 by Richard Warnick on September 25, 2013 - 4:38 pm


    You gotta be kidding me.

    • #18 by brewski on September 25, 2013 - 4:46 pm

      Still waiting. Chicken.

      • #19 by Richard Warnick on September 25, 2013 - 6:24 pm

        I feel sorry for you. Faux News Channel lied, and you bought it hook, line, and sinker. The same thing happened to Willard (“Mitt”) Romney in the second debate last year, and I felt sorry for him, too.

        • #20 by brewski on September 25, 2013 - 7:23 pm

          I take that as your concession.

          Thank you.

          • #21 by Richard Warnick on September 26, 2013 - 8:58 am

            The Benghazi fake scandal has been completely debunked. Thanks to the GOP’s reckless decision to politicize it from day one, we’re probably not going to get to have a serious, grownup debate about what the CIA was doing in Benghazi and whether it was a good idea.

          • #22 by brewski on September 26, 2013 - 9:45 am

            At the memorial service in the hangar did Hillary tell the parents it was caused by the video? Yes or no?

  11. #23 by cav on September 25, 2013 - 6:01 pm

    Yes, the republicans HAVE gone Crazy – even though their tactics may suggest ever so sketchily, there’s something else behind their madness. Some say glue sniffing in the halls of congress is rampant.

    Rational leadership, my ass.

  12. #24 by Richard Warnick on September 25, 2013 - 6:35 pm

    On cable TV tonight, they are talking about how the Republicans are divided. They aren’t divided over whether or not to support the ACA (which if it were labeled truthfully would be known as Romneycare, Republicancare, or perhaps Corporatecare). No, sir.

    What’s got Republicans at each other’s throats? Some of them want to shut down the government to demonstrate how much they hate “Obamacare.” The rest want to crash the world economy to show how much they hate their own party’s health care “reform” policies.

  13. #25 by Richard Warnick on September 26, 2013 - 9:56 am

    brewski– We’ve been over this. Perhaps you can’t remember. Secretary of State Clinton said:

    This has been a difficult week for the State Department and for our country. We’ve seen the heavy assault on our post in Benghazi that took the lives of those brave men. We’ve seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful internet video that we had nothing to do with. It is hard for the American people to make sense of that because it is senseless, and it is totally unacceptable.

    This is a completely true statement. Clinton was addressing the big picture, partly because Egypt is far more important to U.S. foreign policy than Libya. Note that there is a U.S. consulate in Benghazi, not an embassy. In no way did she suggest the Benghazi attack was because of the video.

    You ought to be ashamed of yourself, relying on the out-of-context quote that appeared in the right-wing media.

    • #26 by Richard Warnick on September 26, 2013 - 11:54 am

    • #27 by brewski on September 26, 2013 - 1:37 pm

      No we have not “been over this”. I keep asking and you keep chickenshit dodging.

      Those were her prepared remarks.

      According to two parents of the dead, Hillary and others came up to them individually and blamed the video for the deaths of their kids.

      Did those parents lie? yes or no?

      • #28 by Richard Warnick on September 26, 2013 - 2:04 pm

        I wasn’t there, and neither were you. But as a general rule, I would not believe anything I heard on Faux News Channel without doing a thorough fact check – which we can’t do in this case.

        The desperate attempts of Faux News and others to find something they can call a “scandal” are documented here: Explainer: A Year Of Benghazi Myths

        I find it ironic that the Bush administration’s abject failures leading to the September 11, 2001 worst-ever terrorist attacks are seldom mentioned, while right-wingers instantly politicized Benghazi and have spent a year (so far) hunting fruitlessly for something they can use against President Obama and Hillary Clinton.

        • #29 by brewski on September 26, 2013 - 3:27 pm

          Two parents were there and they said so.

          Did they lie? Yes or no?

          • #30 by Richard Warnick on September 26, 2013 - 3:33 pm

            There is no way to check. I said that. All we have on the record is the prepared remarks, which clearly did NOT say the Benghazi attack had anything to do with a video.

            This is an incredibly ridiculous tangent to go off on, because even in Egypt the video was just a handy talking point for the demonstrators/attackers. After what we did to Iraq, nobody hates America simply because of some video. From a Washington DC diplomatic viewpoint, it makes sense to cite the video as if U.S. war crimes aren’t an issue.

          • #31 by brewski on September 26, 2013 - 3:55 pm

            What a pussy.

  14. #33 by Richard Warnick on September 26, 2013 - 4:13 pm


    Here’s the difference between the reality-based community and the right-wing myth-makers: the former sticks to verifiable facts, and the latter just makes stuff up. I have no verifiable source for what Hillary Clinton said in a private conversation, and I was not there. So why ask me?

    • #34 by brewski on September 26, 2013 - 7:16 pm

      Two un-related eyewitnesses. People get convicted of murder on less evidence than that.

      You do too have verifiable sources. You have their names are Pat Smith and Charles Woods.

      • #35 by Richard Warnick on September 27, 2013 - 7:22 am

        You haven’t even provided a link to a quote. Pat Smith went around during a presidential election saying stuff like, “Obama murdered my son.” How is she a credible person? Emphasis added:

        Patricia Smith, who voted for Obama in 2008 at the insistence of her son, said reporting by Fox News is the basis for much of her belief that Obama is ultimately responsible for her son’s death.

        I looked up Charles Woods. What did Charles Woods say? Was he on Faux News when he said it? What about Jan Stevens and Barbara Doherty?

        • #36 by brewski on September 27, 2013 - 8:39 am

          Explain to me why it matters where Charles Woods says something. If Charles Woods says something then those are his words and not the interviewer’s.

          Your partisan smearing of the grieving parents makes me want to vomit.

          • #37 by Richard Warnick on September 27, 2013 - 8:50 am


            Thanks for not answering my question about Pat Smith. You have conceded her utter lack of credibility.

            On Faux News, anybody smearing the Obama administration isn’t going to have to defend his position.

            In fact, Charles Woods did not say what you claim he said. Maybe that’s why you didn’t give a link when I asked for one several times. So Pat Smith is the only witness you have.

            Of course, the whole reason for your stupid question, which cannot be answered yes-or-no, is to call me a partisan. I’m not, as anyone who reads this blog already knows.

            What about Jan Stevens and Barbara Doherty?

          • #38 by brewski on September 27, 2013 - 9:18 am


            That is rich. You saying that I didn’t answer your question. Pretty fucking funny considering I have asked you one simple question 20 times now and you STILL haven’t answered it.

            The simple question is, two unrelated parents both said the same thing happened. It is also consistent with other events at that time including the Susan Rice lies and the Obama UN General Assembly speech. So do I believe that is what was said to them at the time? Hell yea.

  15. #39 by Richard Warnick on September 27, 2013 - 9:26 am


    It was a simple question. How is Pat Smith a credible person? You could have answered it by giving a link to something she said that’s true. But no such link exists.

    No, Charles Woods did not say what you seem to think he said. What is your source, if any? Susan Rice did not lie.

    We’ve been over the President’s U.N. speech already. He said, “There’s no video that justifies an attack on an embassy.” Like the attacks that took place in Egypt, Yemen, Sudan, Tunisia, Lebanon, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Iraq.

    I really doubt that Secretary of State Clinton blamed the Benghazi attack on a video in a private conversation at the same event where she gave a speech saying the opposite.

    What about Jan Stevens and Barbara Doherty?

    • #40 by brewski on September 27, 2013 - 11:49 am

      How can you with a straight face ask me any question at all when you continually refuse to answer any of mine? Are you seriously this stupid?

      • #41 by Richard Warnick on September 27, 2013 - 1:50 pm

        I answer all your loaded questions. But when I ask you for facts to back up your theories, I get nothing.

        Give me a link that quotes Charles Woods saying what you claim, or else admit you’re wrong.

        And what about Jan Stevens and Barbara Doherty?

        • #42 by brewski on September 27, 2013 - 3:52 pm

          You didn’t answer shit.

          • #43 by Richard Warnick on September 28, 2013 - 12:01 pm

            Maybe in the future I’ll just ignore your questions, then.

          • #44 by cav on September 28, 2013 - 3:54 pm

            A wise course of action me thinks. Would also most assuredly brighten one’s mood.

          • #45 by brewski on September 28, 2013 - 9:36 pm

            He’s ignored every question I have ever asked.

  16. #47 by Richard Warnick on September 29, 2013 - 1:22 pm

    brewski has ignored every one of my questions, but once in a while if I beg for a link he’ll give one – not always.

    • #48 by brewski on September 29, 2013 - 3:01 pm

      Here is your big chance:

      Did Pat Smith lie?

      • #49 by Richard Warnick on September 29, 2013 - 9:42 pm

        Asked and answered at least twice! Now, when are you going to answer MY questions or provide the links I asked for to back up unsupported statements YOU made?

        • #50 by brewski on September 29, 2013 - 9:51 pm


          Fail again.

  17. #51 by brewski on September 29, 2013 - 9:59 pm

  18. #52 by brewski on September 29, 2013 - 10:02 pm

    • #53 by Richard Warnick on September 30, 2013 - 7:29 pm

      Already answered.

      • #54 by brewski on September 30, 2013 - 7:58 pm

        Not once.


        • #55 by Richard Warnick on September 30, 2013 - 8:26 pm

          Answered twice, in point of fact. Playground name-calling means you have nothing logical to say.

          • #56 by brewski on October 1, 2013 - 11:28 am

            I don’t equate dodging and slipping as answering twice. You have not at all.

            As for name calling, then that means that you have never had anything logical to say given your proclivity for name calling.

          • #57 by Richard Warnick on October 1, 2013 - 11:51 am

            I don’t do name-calling. I answered your loaded questions the best way I could.

          • #58 by brewski on October 1, 2013 - 1:01 pm


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