wadingboots: (wading boots)
wadingboots ([personal profile] wadingboots) wrote2009-03-29 04:21 am

Going From "No" to "No Clue"

So, I guess lately Congressional Republicans have beeing feeling a little.... unwanted. Maybe it's their poll numbers, maybe it's the fact that Americans seem to support the things they oppose and oppose the things they support. Maybe it's the fact that after their infamous and attention-whoring snub of Obama's stimulus plan, he stopped asking them what they thought about things. Either way, the Republicans know what the problem is: they've developed a reputation of just knee-jerkingly saying "no" to the anything the democrats want.

A "Party of 'No'", if you will.

Going From "No" to "No Clue"

So, we know about the split between Michael Steele and the rest of the GOP. We know about the split between current Republican politicians and alumni from the 90's and earlier in this decade. We even know about the split between the GOP and their crazy right-wing base, evidenced by the weird interplay between Rush Limbaugh and everyone else. But, up until now, there had been no reason to think that the congressional wing of the Republican Party was anything but unified.

And thanks to this crazy budget debate, that is now out the window. Because, even though everyone in the GOP hates the budget (or at least, hates that the opposition gets to pass a budget that funds all of their priorities with extra cheese), no one can quite agree with what the hell to do about it. They've been asked repeatedly if they have any, you know, ideas, and the responses have been varied.

A Question of Strategy

The Senate republicans would like you to know that they have no ideas, intend to have no ideas, and are frankly insulted that you would suggest that they ought to have ideas. This is because the Senate GOP is quite intelligent- they know that when Obama asks them to develop their own budget if they dislike his so much, it is a trap. It is a trap because (a) many of the enormous deficits in Obama's budget are leftover garbage from the Bush years and cannot actually be removed until 2010, and (b) very few people in this country actually support Republican policies when they're laid out in a set of budget priorities.

Senate Republicans know the truth: a hypothetical Republican budget is way better than a real Republican budget could ever be. Far better to point out things Americans will unanimously agree with (A trillion dollars is a lot of money!) than try to legislate. They ran the legislative branch of this country for 12 years, and where did it get them?

House Republicans, for whatever reason, though, really want to show you that they can have ideas, too. I have no idea why. Maybe they're not smart enough to understand the Master Plan, maybe they want to show off just how conservative they are to their base. Maybe they are really affected by the Party Of No talking points and want everyone to know that They Have Ideas, Good Ones! Either way, they split with the Senate a few weeks ago and have been working by candlelight to get an alternative budget proposal out.

And then some asshole decided to ruin everything.

Some Asshole Ruins Everything

There are conflicting reports, here, but it sounded like House Minority Leader John Boehner with some others decided to get on camera as quickly as possible to present the budget, even if they didn't yet have a, you know, budget. My question here is whether Boehner was pissed off that Democrats got to frame the debate until Republicans showed something anything off, or whether he came to the same conclusion (too late) that his Senate colleagues did- that ideas are awesome until you commit them to paper and count up how much everything costs, and then you realize that your budget costs $300 Billion more than the democrats' and doesn't have anything about Healthcare in it.

Either way, congressional aides are having arguments in front of the press about who sucks more, Cantor or Boehner, while their bosses are trying to play it classy. The interesting thing, though, is that when you combine this snafu with the way the voting fell out over AIG bonus taxation (Cantor and his buddies voted for it, Boehner and his buddies voted against), and I'm starting to wonder if all of the little mini-schisms in the Party aren't part of the larger one- the conflict between guys like Cantor and guys like Boehner.

I'm starting to wonder if the floor of the House isn't where this will end up coming to a head.