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Old 10-01-2013, 12:27 AM  
|Zach| |Zach| is offline
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For House Republicans, confrontation is safer than compromise

By Andy Sullivan
WASHINGTON | Tue Oct 1, 2013 1:04am EDT

(Reuters) - For most Republicans in the House of Representatives, the only greater peril than shutting down the federal government would have been fighting to keep it open.

While a shutdown could hurt the Republican Party's ability to win the Senate next year or take the White House in 2016, that's not the concern of party members in the House, who led the push to pair continued government funding with measures that would delay President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law.

"There's a large cohort of members here who don't feel themselves harmed by a bad brand name for the party," said Sarah Binder, an expert on Congress at the Brookings Institution.

Instead, the peril comes from being seen as too flexible.

Republicans won control of the House in 2010 with help from the grassroots Tea Party movement, which combines strident conservatism with a mistrust of Washington dealmaking.

The standing of the movement in public opinion polls has declined somewhat since then, according to a recent nationwide Gallup poll.

Tea Party lawmakers don't run for office nationally, but in districts where they are more secure than ever in their jobs, thanks to careful redistricting after the 2010 census and increased polarization among voters.

The Cook Political Report, a Washington tipsheet, estimates that 205 of the chamber's 232 Republicans can count on a safe re-election race a year from now. Only 11 Republican seats are viewed as competitive.

With little pressure to court centrist voters, Tea Party-aligned Republicans face greater pressure to show conservative activists that they are staying true to their ideological roots than working to keep the government operating effectively.

Thus it may be easier to allow the government to run out of money rather than face accusations that they did not fight hard enough against Obama's Affordable Care Act.

"They're in a much better position when they go home and explain a 'no' vote that they cast as a protest vote against the White House than a 'yes' vote where they have to explain what they voted for," said Kevin Madden, a former Republican House leadership aide.

HEADS THEY LOSE, TAILS THEY LOSE

Republicans stood little chance of emerging victorious from the fight. Obamacare will begin enrolling uninsured Americans as scheduled on Tuesday, and if the government shuts down, voters are likely to blame Republicans.

A CNN poll released on Monday found that 46 percent of those surveyed would hold Republicans responsible, while 36 would blame Obama. The poll also found that two of three voters say it's more important to keep the government open than to block Obamacare.

As House Republicans worry more about a challenge to their right flank than defeat from a Democratic challenger back home, they push their party farther from the mainstream even as their own seats remain secure.

That could complicate the party's efforts to appeal to a greater cross-section of American voters nationally after two successive presidential defeats, veteran Republicans say.

"It's a definite move towards helping make sure that the Republican Party is a regional party that probably controls the House of Representatives for the foreseeable future, but jeopardizes the ability to take back the Senate and the White House in 2016," said former Representative Steve LaTourette, a moderate Republican who retired last year.

Paradoxically, the secure electoral status of Tea Party lawmakers has undercut their party's ability to advance its agenda. House Speaker John Boehner has struggled to keep his party unified on key votes ranging from farm policy to transportation issues to tax increases.

Those Republicans who have defied Boehner most consistently tend to come from districts where Obama only won 35 percent of the vote in the 2012 election, according to an analysis by Binder. Those who have consistently backed him on high-profile votes are from districts where Obama got an average of 43 percent of the vote.

Boehner had trouble keeping his troops in line during the shutdown fight as well. Mindful of the negative fallout his party faced from the last government shutdown in 1995 and 1996, he urged his colleagues to avoid a confrontation.

But his words have carried little weight. House Republicans voted three separate times to pair continued government funding with steps that would weaken Obamacare despite a veto threat from the president.

No matter how the current battle ends, other showdowns - notably the debt ceiling - loom in coming weeks as conservative lawmakers look for additional chances to stand up to Obama.

"There's going to be a number of crises from here all the way to Election Day," Madden said. "This is only one part of all these battles."

(Editing by Fred Barbash and Philip Barbara)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...&dlvrit=574655
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:28 AM   #2
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Andrew has reduced himself to a guy whose sole metric as to whether to don sackcloth and wail openly for every enemy combatant hangnail, or to chuckle heartily about how issues like the poisoning of Syrian citizens is all part of some big Coyote-v-Roadrunner cartoon [that Obama TOTALLY PWNs, . . . Meep Meep], is how it all relates back to Sarah 'icky vagina haver' Palin.
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Old 10-01-2013, 03:09 AM   #3
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The guy is schizophrenic. I used to enjoy reading him, but it's hard to keep up with his wild mood swings.
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Old 10-01-2013, 04:58 AM   #4
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It's weird how that headline says "House Republicans" instead of "Obama and Reid" given that the former have offered a compromise and the latter demand all or nothing.
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Old 10-01-2013, 05:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baby Lee View Post
Andrew has reduced himself to a guy whose sole metric as to whether to don sackcloth and wail openly for every enemy combatant hangnail, or to chuckle heartily about how issues like the poisoning of Syrian citizens is all part of some big Coyote-v-Roadrunner cartoon [that Obama TOTALLY PWNs, . . . Meep Meep], is how it all relates back to Sarah 'icky vagina haver' Palin.
This article does not have the tone you claim. It is written as a newstory and not an opinion column.

Andy Sullivan of Reuters is not the Andrew Sullivan that you dislike.
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Old 10-01-2013, 05:39 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Taco John View Post
The guy is schizophrenic. I used to enjoy reading him, but it's hard to keep up with his wild mood swings.
Did you read the quoted article?

Do you take exception to his citations or something?

Do you know this author?

Are you confusing this author with somebody else?

Why did you not answer my direct questions asking you to explain your claims about "big business" and "Congress" getting exceptionally great treatment compared to the great unwashed rabble who face the possibility of being able to go to the doctor without having to declare bankruptcy?

Since you are such a fan of communication, you ought to write a doctoral dissertation on how persuasive intentionally misleading political propaganda tends to be over time. The funny thing about the GOP is it keeps focus group testing wordsmithed horsesh*t lines and phrases and these focus grouped tested quips are not effective because they do not ring true.
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Old 10-01-2013, 06:13 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
It's weird how that headline says "House Republicans" instead of "Obama and Reid" given that the former have offered a compromise and the latter demand all or nothing.
If this was a compromise what did the Republicans give up and what did Democrats gain?
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Old 10-01-2013, 06:23 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Loneiguana View Post
If this was a compromise what did the Republicans give up and what did Democrats gain?
I think they are offering to give up the above average chance they have to become the Senate majority for 2015 & 2016 after the 2014 election before becoming the minority again after 2016 election knocks out enough of the 2010 GOP Senate class.
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:55 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Loneiguana View Post
If this was a compromise what did the Republicans give up and what did Democrats gain?
That's a bit redundant. The democrat gain is the same as the Republican concession. In this case, Republicans gave up on defunding Obamacare completely. By contrast, democrats want it all or they're going to blow the place up.
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:58 AM   #10
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For Obama, confrontation is safer than compromise
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:01 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Prison Bitch View Post
For Obama, confrontation is safer than compromise
It's strange that this is so obvious but yet so hard to grasp for some.
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:09 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
That's a bit redundant. The democrat gain is the same as the Republican concession. In this case, Republicans gave up on defunding Obamacare completely. By contrast, democrats want it all or they're going to blow the place up.
You really believe this?

So if the GOP was just trying to fund the budget and the Senate dems position at the beginning of this had been they wouldn't fund the government unless the House passed single payer, and then last night at 11pm they dropped it down to just adding a public option to Obamacare, you think that would be a reasonable compromise?
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:14 AM   #13
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You really believe this?

So if the GOP was just trying to fund the budget and the Senate dems position at the beginning of this had been they wouldn't fund the government unless the House passed single payer, and then last night at 11pm they dropped it down to just adding a public option to Obamacare, you think that would be a reasonable compromise?
I think it would be a compromise. I don't think Obamacare is reasonable.

But the difference between the current compromise offer and your example is huge. Republicans are seeking a one year delay in the implementation of one facet of Obamacare that mirrors another facet that has already been delayed, a repeal of another relatively minor component (a tax that is unpopular with both Republicans and democrats), and a conscience-based exception that has already been endorsed by at least one federal court as constitutionally required. The compromise in your example is the creation of a vast new entitlement.
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:16 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
That's a bit redundant. The democrat gain is the same as the Republican concession. In this case, Republicans gave up on defunding Obamacare completely. By contrast, democrats want it all or they're going to blow the place up.

And what possible reason would Obama/Democrats have to believe that the Republicans wouldn't do the exact same thing next year? And the year after?

Obama would have to be a moron to go for this "deal".
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:24 AM   #15
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It's strange that this is so obvious but yet so hard to grasp for some.
You severely underestimate the power of the media on commoners.
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