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“Hijacked By The Hardliners”: Threatening To Gum Up The Confirmation Of Loretta Lynch Is Just The Latest GOP Tantrum

On Sunday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared he really, really likes having Eric Holder as attorney general. He essentially told CNN that unless Democrats concede to anti-abortion language Republicans snuck into a human trafficking bill, the nomination of Loretta Lynch to succeed Holder would not move forward.

First of all, whether Republicans accept it or not, abortion is a legal, constitutionally-guaranteed medical procedure in this country, for sex trafficking victims or anyone else. And second, this is indicative of the hostage politics we’ve come to expect from a party that refuses to govern. There is no issue, no matter how humane, and no funding need, no matter how dire, that cannot be hijacked by the ideological hardliners in the Republican Party.

We could have had immigration reform a year ago, without the threat of a Department of Homeland Security shutdown, if Speaker of the House John Boehner had told the bigots in his own caucus to take a hike and held a vote on a common-decency bill that would have passed. Republicans did shut down the government and harmed Colorado’s flood recovery efforts thanks to tea party intransigence on the Affordable Care Act. And we came to the brink of ladyparts shutting the whole thing down in 2011 thanks to Republican opposition to Planned Parenthood funding for health care screenings and services.

And no, it’s not “both sides.” I will cheerfully provide a swift wedgie to the next smug pundit who tries to blame Democrats for Republican failure to act like adults. President Barack Obama waited a year and a half for Boehner to move on immigration reform, and Boehner decided to abdicate his leadership to Iowa Rep. Steve King, who has accused undocumented immigrants of being a bunch of drug dealers with “calves the size of cantaloupes.”

Meanwhile, the Denver Post editorial board (or more accurately, publisher Dean Singleton’s ire at former Sen. Mark Udall) continues to rack up bonus points with the most credibility-damaging, fatuous endorsement of 2014, Republican Sen. Cory Gardner. The editorial actually claimed electing Gardner would “usher in a new era of bipartisanship”, that the Senate wouldn’t follow the House’s infantile, truculent lead and it would actually be “more productive.”

How’s that working out for you, Denver Post editorial board? Because Gardner didn’t get the memo.

He was one of the 47 Republicans to “pull a Dennis Rodman” and decide to communicate directly with a foreign government in order to undercut Obama. Given the backlash, Rodman’s North Korea visit may have been more effective and less comical, but this remains yet another example of Republican ineptitude. As conservative Michael Gerson put it, “This was a foreign policy maneuver, in the middle of a high-stakes negotiation, with all the gravity and deliberation of a blog posting. In timing, tone and substance, it raises questions about the Republican majority’s capacity to govern.”

Gerson’s right, and it’s only going to get better from here. According to Talking Points Memo , there are five more policy “cliffs” awaiting Congress, including the debt ceiling, funding for the Child Health Insurance Program and the end of overall funding for the federal government on Sept. 30. Obama has so far managed to outmaneuver these fools, but at some point voters need to stop rewarding failure by electing a party that is utterly incompetent at the basic functions of government.

 

By: Laura Chapin, U. S. News and World Report, March  16, 2015

March 20, 2015 - Posted by | GOP, Governing, Republicans | , , , , , , ,

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