"Do or Do not. There is no try."

“The Mitch McConnell Strategy”: The Republican “Just Say No” Approach To Governing

As David Firestone wrote yesterday, the standards for cooperation in Congress have fallen so low that Senators pat themselves on the back whenever they manage to pass legislation. If it seems like an achievement when the Senate does its job — wow! A farm bill! — that’s probably because some of its members are committed to making it as dysfunctional as the House.

Take Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who is warming a seat held with distinction by Kay Bailey Hutchison. In about six months in office, Mr. Cruz has devoted himself to opposing everything President Obama wants. (The Mitch McConnell strategy of 2009.)

Mr. Cruz tried to block the nomination of Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense, for example, by demanding that he prove that he wasn’t taking money from America’s enemies. He’s one of several Republicans who’ve tried to nullify agencies they don’t like — such as the National Labor Relations Board or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — by simply refusing to allow votes on Mr. Obama’s nominees.

This week, according to Robert Costa of the National Review, he’s been in Iowa, where he attended a meeting with conservative pastors. “Per pastors/attendees, Cruz told Iowa group this morn that conservatives must not fund the govt — ‘any CR’ — unless O’care ‘fully’ defunded,” Mr. Costa said on Twitter.

In other words, Congress shuts down the government, and presumably defaults on its debts, unless the Democrats agree to kill health care reform.

I presume Mr. Cruz thinks this is a winning strategy — at least among the Tea Party folks and other people on the far right. (Here’s a scary thought: Was he in Iowa because he’s thinking of a presidential run?)

But I’m not sure it’s going to play well with the rest of America, where contempt for Congress, and Congressional Republicans in particular, is evident in every poll. Some staunch conservatives are arguing that “just say no” is not working.

Jennifer Rubin, the right-wing commentator for the Washington Post, wrote on her blog yesterday that the House GOP has to come up with ideas of its own, starting with doing more than trying to delay or repeal “the noxious provisions” of the Affordable Care act:

“Without a GOP alternative to Obamacare, their complaints are empty and their votes unlikely to be taken seriously by voters. It is long, long past the point at which Republicans should have begun crafting and selling their alternative. To be frank, other than the budgets, when it comes to complex legislation (the details of tax reform, health care, education) this House has been weak. Where is the tax plan? Where is the market-based health-care plan? And of course we know they’ve been sitting on the sidelines in the immigration debate.”

Well put.


By: Andrew Rosenthal, Opinion Pages, The New York Times, July 19, 2013

July 22, 2013 - Posted by | GOP, Politics | , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. The Republicans can’t come up with their own plan because this IS their plan.


    Comment by Sharon Mills | July 22, 2013 | Reply

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