Blog No. 139. The Border Wall: The Death of a Symbol?

Asked on April 21 by the Associated Press whether he would sign a bill without border funding, Trump replied: “I don’t know yet. People want the border wall. My base definitely wants the border wall. My base really wants it.” In what passes for good news, it now appears that a Continuing Resolution (CR), necessary[…]

Special Bulletin. John Boehner R.I.P.: A Tribute and a Call to Action.

Two weeks ago, in a mildly prescient post, we discussed the brewing revolt against John Boehner and the toxic contribution of Donald Trump. (Blog No. 77. Embattled John Boehner: The Oozlum Caucus and the Trumpian Virus.) With the announcement by John Boehner that he will retire at the end of October, the Oozlum Caucus (aka the Freedom Caucus and the Tea Party Caucus) have clearly achieved a victory. The extent of their triumph is yet to be determined but the prospect for responsible governance in the House of Representatives is not encouraging. […]

Special Bulletin. The Planned Parenthood Wars: A Footnote.

In recent posts, we argued that an attempt to deprive Planned Parenthood of federal funding would be a mistake, and that under no circumstances should such an attempt be pursued at the risk of a government shutdown. On September 8, The Wall Street Journal published an editorial, “Government Shutdown Redux,”  in which it also argued against a government shutdown. Along the way, however, the Journal cited the controversial undercover videos of Planned Parenthood to suggest that defunding it would be a “laudable goal.” In response to that editorial, we wrote a letter explaining why the that goal was not at all laudable.

On September 12, the Journal published our letter in part–its final paragraph. The abridgement of the letter did not distort its meaning and we appreciate the Journal’s willingness to publish at least a portion of it. (We have found over the years that the Journal is considerably more more willing to publish letters expressing opposing views than is The New York Times.) Nevertheless, we thought that anyone who saw the editorial and our letter, might be intereted in the complete version. It was as follows: […]

Blog No. 77. Embattled John Boehner: The Oozlum Caucus and the Trumpian Virus.

It has been obvious for some time that this autumn would be a contentious period in Congress. The most significant, and most immediate, issues to be resolved were approval or disapproval of the nuclear deal with Iran and the passage of a Continuing Resolution to keep the government in operation past September 30. Not much further down the road are the need to increase the debt ceiling and the issue of highway funding. All of that would have been quite challenging enough for the Republican leadership, John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, dealing as they must, with not only the White House and Congressional Democrats, but the obstreperous rebels on their own right flanks. As long-time readers of RINOcracy.com will recall, our term for the latter group is the Oozlum Caucus, named for the legendary bird that flies in ever decreasing concentric circles until it flies up into itself and disappears. (See, e.g., Wikipedia.) That is, we have suggested, the kind of flight plan the Congressional Oozlums would dictate for the Republican Party. […]

Blog No. 76. The Assault on Planned Parenthood

Republican leaders in both the House and Senate have been reported to be in a state of some panic trying to figure out how to avoid a government shutdown over the issue of defunding Planned Parenthood. The issue arises by reason of the need to pass a spending bill by the end of September in order to continue government operations. Both John Boehner and Mitch McConnell have learned the lessons of the past: that government shutdowns accomplish nothing except to damage the reputation of the Republican Party. Inexplicably,Senat but not surprisingly, those lessons have escaped the most prominent architect of the current plan to cause a shutdown, Senator Ted Cruz aka “Senator Shutdown.” […]

Special Bulletin. Frolics of the “Stupid Party”

Two years ago, Bobby Jindal, the Republican Governor of Louisiana notably, and wisely, observed that Republicans had to “stop being the Stupid Party.” Since then Republicans have reminded themselves of Jindal’s advice from time to time, but more often have chosen to forget or ignore it. Recent days are replete with examples. […]

Special Bulletin. Annals of Self-Inflicted Wounds: Immigration and DHS Funding

In Blog No. 55, on December 20, we discussed the objections to the Omnibus Spending Bill raised by opponents of the President’s executive action with respect to immigration. We wrote:

We too have objected to the President’s action, but have noted that as a practical matter there is likely little that Republicans can – or should attempt to – do about it. (The omnibus bill funded the Department of Homeland Security only through the end of February so as to present another opportunity at that time for budgetary mischief inspired by Obama’s immigration initiative.) We are hopeful that cooler heads will again prevail in February.

Our view has not changed, but we are still waiting—and hoping—for the cooler heads to take control.Elephant-Fight1 […]

Blog No. 55 The 113th Congress RIP (With Reflections on the CIA and the Omnibus Spending Bill)

Few will mourn the passing of the 113th Congress. Senator Joe Manchin no doubt spoke for many when he said “Thank God! It’s over.” Still, Congress ended not as some expected, with only the whimper of lame ducks, but with a pair of modest bangs. The first bang was the release by a Senate Committee of its long-awaited (and in some cases, perhaps, dreaded) report on the interrogation techniques employed by the CIA following 9/11. The other bang was provided by the passage of a $1.1 trillion spending bill over opposition from the more extreme elements of both parties. Further bangs will doubtless come in the next Congress, but what they will turn out to be remains to be seen. In the meantime, however, we offer some thoughts on the work of Congress in the final weeks of 2014. […]

Blog No. 28. RINO Heroes of the Month: Boehner and McConnell (and the Anti-Hero, Ted Cruz).

Blog 28 picRINOcracy.com has not always been an unalloyed admirer of Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Nevertheless, credit must be given where credit is due, although being named a RINO Hero is probably an honor that neither would relish. In any case, both gentlemen deserve credit for acting with skill and courage to avoid a “crisis” over the increase in the debt ceiling.  As RINOcracy.com had previously noted, the increase in the debt ceiling was inevitable, but it was not at all clear that it would be accomplished with a minimum of embarrassment to Congressional Republicans. Moreover, as events unfolded, the seemingly irrepressible Ted Cruz did his best to create that embarrassment. […]