It is clear that “Repeal and Replace,” the Republican mantra for several years, is dead. And while there were several who bear responsibility for its demise, none was more prominent than the Freedom Caucus. RINOcracy.com has never been an admirer of the Freedom Caucus and, indeed, our preferred term has been the Oozlum Caucus, named[…]
We found watching the Republican debate to be, on the whole, a dispiriting experience. Part of the problem lay again with the format and the approach of the “moderators.” We have previously observed that such events are not debates in the usual sense of the word, but are more similar to a joint press conference. The moderators seem intent not so much on moderating, or exploring issues, as attempting to embarrass the candidates or provoke hostility among them.
Facing determined opposition from the Freedom Caucus (or, as we prefer, the Oozlum Caucus), Kevin McCarthy suddenly withdrew from the contest to replace John Boehner. Because there is no obvious candidate who could command the support of the Freedom Caucus and more mainstream Republicans, House Republicans have been left in a state of chaos. […]
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. […]
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. […]
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. […]
The beginning of 2015 has seen not only a blizzard on the East Coast but a blizzard of activity among potential Republican candidates for 2016. Some observers have seemed as unenthusiastic about the political blizzards as most snow bound residents were for the natural variety: “Oh, no. Do we really need this much, this soon?” The PBS NewsHour has identified no less than 17 individuals who have indicated that they’re “interested” or “actively exploring” a presidential bid. In alphabetical order: John Bolton, Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, John Kasich, George Pataki, Rand Paul, Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, Donald Trump, and Scott Walker. Just this morning the NewsHour list had one addition and one subtraction. Mitt Romney announced that he had abandoned any plan to run, while Senator Lindsey Graham took the initial step of forming a PAC. Other prominent figures who have made no announcement but are thought to be waiting in the wings include Governors Bobby Jindal and Mike Pence.
A starting place for discussing the current furor over President Obama’s actions on immigration is to understand that the President and many Republicans have, each for their own political purposes, exaggerated the impact of those actions. Speaking on Fox News Sunday on November 16, in anticipation of the President’s announcement, George Will wisely observed that: “It’s going to shield from deportation millions of people who actually face no realistic prospect of deportation. He’s going to give work permits to millions of people who are already working.”
Will went on to describe the proposed policy as one about which intelligent people could agree or disagree. He focused his criticism on the process, which he described as “execrable” and a violation of the “etiquette of democracy.” In a somewhat similar vein, we had observed in Blog No. 50 that:
We sympathize with the President’s goals in this area and understand his impatience, but we believe that creating protections for illegal immigrants that the law does not authorize, and that Congress has thus far declined to provide, would be a serious mistake. Although we support comprehensive immigration reform generally, and in particular the bill passed by the Senate, we think that acting outside the law and in defiance of Congress would be a major setback to reaching agreement on immigration, and most likely, a range of other issues.
Nothing in the President’s actions, or the reaction to them, has changed our mind. […]
Tuesday was a good day for the Republican Party because it brought the resounding victory of Governor Chris Christie. Christie demonstrated convincingly that, even in a decidedly “blue” state, a Republican can win with an appeal that crosses economic and ethnic boundaries. As the Wall Street Journal argued, Christie is a “conservative” and not a “moderate:”
The Governor has by and large governed as a conservative reformer. He vetoed a tax increase on millionaires and capped property taxes. He pushed tenure reforms that will make it easier to fire bad teachers, and he extracted far more pension reform out of a Democratic legislature than did Democratic Governors Jerry Brown in California or Andrew Cuomo in New York.