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

“Crazy Is as Crazy Does”: Congress Is Off To Suck Up To Its Lunatic Tea Party Constituents

Four years ago, Democratic representatives went home for the August recess and found themselves under assault from angry Tea Partiers, who took over town meetings with shouting and fist-shaking over the Affordable Care Act in particular, and more generally, the theft of their country by the foreign Muslim usurper Barack Obama. This August, however, it’s Republicans who are under attack by some of those same people.

At one town meeting after another, hard-right Republican House members are being confronted by constituents accusing them of not being quite doctrinaire and reckless enough (see here, or here, or here). Once again the immediate topic is Obamacare, but now the question isn’t whether the law should pass, but whether Republicans should shut down the government in a futile attempt to defund it. The members catching the most heat are those who argue that shutting down the government is useless, because Barack Obama is never going to sign a budget that defunds his greatest domestic accomplishment, so the only thing a shutdown would do is create more political headaches for the GOP.

This outbreak of relative pragmatism on the part of some Republican members of Congress is of course seen by Tea Partiers as little more than weak-kneed appeasement. It suggests that there’s a shift underway among the Republican base, from simply favoring the threatening of a government shutdown as a way to extract concessions, to supporting a shutdown of the government even with the knowledge that doing so will produce no concessions from Democrats.

As many a Republican politician will tell you (ask Marco Rubio, for one), convincing the Tea Party that you’re sufficiently conservative and that you hate Barack Obama enough isn’t just a full-time job, it’s a game that almost everyone will eventually lose. At some point you’ll take some position or express some opinion that is interpreted as less than maximal anti-Obamaism, and all it takes is one slip to be declared a traitor forevermore. So as crazy as Republican politicians sometimes seem, don’t forget that they’re under constant pressure from a base that is even crazier.


By: Paul Waldman, Contributing Editor, The American Prospect, August 8, 2013

August 11, 2013 - Posted by | Congress, Tea Party | , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Share your comment

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: