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. […]
As regular readers will be aware, RINOcracy.com is no friend of Ted Cruz. Nevertheless, it seemed that his first-off-the-blocks entry into the Presidential race should not go unremarked upon. Lest there be any misunderstanding, we do not consider him to be an acceptable candidate for the Republican nomination or, worse yet, a candidate in the general election. As we have remarked before, the only possible merit we can see to a Cruz candidacy in the general election is that his trouncing might put to rest the shibboleth that the way for Republicans to win the presidency is by nominating a “real” Republican or a “real” conservative.
Cruz Control. By Adam Zygis, The Cagle Post. http://www.cagle.com/2013/09/cruz-control/ […]
It is an overused cliché to say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. Yet how better to describe the actions of the House Republicans in insisting that they must “get something” in order to vote for an increase in the debt ceiling? It is a demand that has the intellectual gravitas of a child refusing to eat her spinach unless she is given a cookie. […]
A subscriber called my attention to an article by the distinguished journalist and political commentator, Bernard Goldberg, which included the following observation: The Tea Party folks are very proud of the fact that they stand on principle. Bulletin: so do less hardline Republicans. But the hard right calls everyone to the left of Ted Cruz[…]
The latest episode of our Washington soap opera descended into self-parody, recalling Carol Burnett’s classic “As the Stomach Turns.” Faithful to the formula, the episode ended with the major characters surviving but faced with dire predicaments just ahead. So it was with the bill finally passed by the Senate and House to end the government shutdown and the threat of imminent default. The crisis is over, but not for long: the operation of the government has been continued only through January 15 and the debt ceiling suspended only through February 7.
The most popular phrase to describe Wednesday night’s Congressional action is “kicking the can down the road.” If the beloved William Safire were still among us, he would no doubt enlighten us as to the origin of what has now become a cliché. In Safire’s absence, Timothy Noah of New Republic used Nexis to trace the term back to arms control discussions in the eighties. Noah suggested that kicking the can down the road had not been a bad idea in the earlier context and, writing last January, argued that it might even be the best approach to the budget deficit. Indeed, even in the most recent crisis it was certainly preferable to allowing a government default or even prolonging further the shutdown. But surely enough is enough. Lurching from crisis to crisis is not only a distraction from addressing other important issues, it also deepens public cynicism, and exacts a toll on the economy when we can ill-afford such a burden. That toll could be dubbed most fittingly “The Tea Party Tax” (or in the lexicon of RINOcracy.com, “The Oozlum Tax”). […]
Ted Cruz and the Oozlums have worked their will and the government has shutdown, at least in substantial part. (Newcomers to RINOcracy.com see Blog No. 12 for a definition of Oozlums.) Ironically, owing to the structure of appropriations laws, and arcane interpretations of the Anti-Deficiency Act, one part of the government that will not shutdown is…Obamacare. But elsewhere pain aplenty there will be.
Blog No 12 pointed out that a neither a shutdown, nor a default precipitated by a failure to raise the debt ceiling, are likely to escape punishment by the financial markets. Evidence of that result has already begun to accumulate. The losses in the stock market have thus far been manageable, but if the shutdown continues very long, or as the specter of default draws closer, the financial consequences will inevitably become more severe. At that point, Senator Cruz and the Oozlums will be widely recognized for their accomplishments as Wealthbusters. […]
It is difficult to describe the radical Republicans in Congress without resort to metaphors. As followers of this space know, the term favored here is Oozlums—referring to the legendary bird that flies in ever-decreasing concentric circles until it flies up into itself. That is indeed the flight path the radical “conservatives” have prescribed for the Republican Party. The current crusade of the Oozlums to attempt to defund Obamacare at all costs has earned them another fitting term. On Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal, surely not a watering hole for RINOs, described the frenzied crusaders as the Kamikaze wing of the party: “Republicans must threaten to crash their Zeros into the aircraft carrier of Obamacare…. Kamikaze missions rarely turn out well, least of all for the pilots.”
After the debacle of the 2012 Presidential election, The Republican National Committee undertook to assess the party’s condition and chart a way forward. The attempt took the form of a “Growth and Opportunity Project,” (handy acronym GOP), which produced a 97 page Report in March. The Report was quickly dubbed “The Republican Autopsy.” The RNC may echo Mark Twain in claiming that reports of its death are exaggerated, but the Report presents convincing evidence that without strong medicine the present condition of the party might indeed be terminal.
For several months, we have been spared the drama of a manufactured fiscal crisis. That period of relative calm has allowed the stock market to reach new highs and the broader economy to show signs of improvement. So favorable an environment, however, may soon be coming to an end: there are two fiscal deadlines this fall that could precipitate a crisis brought on by an imminent or actual government shutdown. Those deadlines arise from the need for a continuing resolution to continue funding the government after September 30, and the need to raise the debt ceiling. If either deadline should in fact precipitate a crisis, the precise consequences are impossible to predict, but it is certain they will not be pleasant—for the country or for Republicans.
It was a banner week for ROCs in the House of Representatives. On Wednesday they announced that they would simply refuse to consider the immigration bill passed by the Senate—or draft a comprehensive bill of their own. If immigration reform is dead for the foreseeable future, as it may well be, responsibility for the execution will be clearly theirs. Moving from one triumph to another, the following day the ROCs passed a Farm Bill providing largess for agribusiness while stripping out any authorization for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, aka Food Stamps.
So the ROCs are in full flight. You may think that “ROC” is a reference to the mythical bird of prey. There is, however, another avian myth that is even more fitting: the Oozlum. The Oozlum bird is concisely described in Wikipedia: […]