Home > Right-Wing Extremism, Right-Wing Lies > Stop Hitting Yourself

Stop Hitting Yourself

April 3rd, 2011

Republicans continue to try to work the media and the public so they will believe that the government shutdown they have been working so hard to make happen is actually the Democrats’ fault. I am reminded of what child bullies sometimes do, pinning down another child and forcing the victim’s arm to hit the their face while the bully chants, “Stop hitting yourself! Stop hitting yourself!” That’s the GOP right now, forcing the government into a shutdown while chanting at the Democrats, “Stop shutting down the government! Stop shutting down the government!”

Really, it’s pathetic. Compromise is the way things work in Washington. It always has been; it’s precisely how things were designed to work. “No compromise” was the Republican’s plan, one which they stated boldly since the budget disagreements started last year. It was the Republicans who advanced the specter of shutdown, and it is they who dominate its discussion over the airwaves.

The Democrats have already compromised, they have lived up to their side of the bargain, coming literally halfway. Every time there was an extension, they participated. They have done everything reasonable to keep the government from shutting down. It is hard to blame them for refusing to cave in completely, to give up everything and get nothing.

The GOP, on the other hand, is demanding just that; give us everything, 100% of what we want and you get nothing, or else there’s no deal and no budget and the government shuts down–but it’s your fault if that happens. The problem is, it’s not reasonable on its face. It’s like co-workers jointly responsible for a project, but one of them says, “I get 100% of the bonus pay for this work, and you get nothing, and if you refuse, I’ll make us miss the deadline and assign all the blame on you.” The coworker being coerced does not truly have any blame so long as they are OK with a 50-50 split and work in good faith, which is exactly what the Democrats are are doing. Compromise is the reasonable settlement, and Democrats are already there.

And that’s the GOP’s dilemma: the shutdown will only work for them if the public believes that it is truly the Democrats’ fault. And with the GOP saying “no compromise,” and with the Democrats compromising, and with the GOP being the one shouting about shutdown all the time, it’s kind of hard for them to make their case.

That’s why they have come up with temporary extensions up until now–they don’t feel the public believes them yet. They remember the shutdown of 1995 in which Clinton successfully managed to make it look like the Republicans’ fault. Clinton, however, had it relatively easy–Gingrich had sourly complained about being seated in the rear of Air Force One when flying to Yitzhak Rabin’s funeral. This complaint was connected to Gingrich by the media, and made him look bad.

This time, the Republicans not only will not have that kind of blunder coloring perceptions, but they will have Fox News at its prime advancing their narrative 24/7, with most of the rest of the media likely following close behind.

Even so, it will be a tough sell. With all of this bluster behind them, it is doubtful they will simply decide not to pull the trigger, even if the chances are against them. Even if they are blamed, it is likely they will still see it as a agin for them, as bad perceptions of Congress in general will still probably play worst against Democrats in 2012.

Categories: Right-Wing Extremism, Right-Wing Lies Tags: by
  1. Troy
    April 4th, 2011 at 02:20 | #1

    The Democrats have already compromised, they have lived up to their side of the bargain, coming literally halfway

    A compromise that was already made when the dems agreed to extend the tax cuts on the rich for another 2 years.

    These spending cuts are just pure BS — cutting $100B from Democratic policy preferences.

    There is no real “compromise” here to be had, just cave-in.

    Though on constitutional principle the House does have “power of the purse” and the American people gave them a seat at the table WRT spending thanks to this.

    But this is a system of checks and balances and the House does not run the whole show. The President and Senate are free to block the House’s actions should they deem it necessary, throwing the issue to the court of public opinion (and, alas, the corporate media that largely informs this opinion).

    H.R. 1 was just a joke but I don’t think most anyone really knows how bad it was.

    $1.5B cuts to subsidized international food sales programs.
    $300M for Planned Parenthood — gone.
    Defunds PPACA implementation
    Eliminates management of the SF Presidio ($15M) — this is just dirty pool aimed at kicking Pelosi and Feinstein

    Stops the EPA from regulating pollution from cement plants

    Eliminates funding for senior white house special advisors (the “XYZ czars”)

    Eliminates $5M for organic farming research, $2M for studying a N Californian dam’s impact on salmon, $8.5M for EPA enforcement of greenhouse gases.

    Cuts billions of federal support for intercity rail programs.

    H.R. 1 is just Republicans being Republicans. It’s up the the American people if they’re really up for this.

    Maybe they still are.

Comments are closed.