Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Exercises in Self-promotion

So this is (August) recess. What has Congress done? Other than the usual slew of ideological circle jerks meaningless votes, the G-O-TEA run House hasn't allowed for much of anything to get done.

And now, even as August Recess is just beginning, talk of another manufactured crisis is already underway. Why? The supposed Senate G-O-TEA "leader" now fears "the base".

“I’ve watched [Senate Minority Leader Mitch] McConnell [R-Kentucky] closely and after the fiscal cliff resolution he’s taken on a very different role, including last week sabotaging Susan Collins on the transportation bill. He’s very fearful of a challenger to his renomination,” said Norm Ornstein, a scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. “And stepping in at the last minute to do a budget deal or save us from breaching the debt limit would be disastrous for him.”

Senate Democratic leaders also worry that his re-election dynamics make crisis likelier, especially with Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) more powerless than usual, having promised his ultraconservative members he won’t negotiate privately with President Obama.

“His lurch to the right and his desperation to portray himself to the Tea Party as the chief opponent of the President absolutely makes it more difficult to get a deal,” said a senior Democratic aide, speaking anonymously to discuss internal matters. “In the past he would swoop in at the end and negotiate, and now we just can’t be sure he will be able to do that.”

Of course, their latest obstruction gambit may ultimately fall apart come October. And they may not really care. After all, it's just another round of theatrics meant to rile up the "TEA" fueled base.

Indeed, we talked last week about House Republicans voting for the 40th time to repeal all or part of "Obamacare"? Why would they do this, over and over again? Some of this surely is intended to confuse the public about the stability of the health care law and some of it probably has to do with public relations.

But let's not overlook the most obvious motivation: these are politicians who want to take in a bunch of cash and see repeal votes as a reliable hook for a fundraising appeal.

Even Jennifer Rubin, a far-right writer at the Washington Post, is calling them out on the scheme: "This is a shopworn tactic: Stake out a ludicrous position, insist you are serious and then blame other pols (the sober ones) or even the public when the whole thing collapses. Really, do they imagine voters are so dim as to not realize this is purely an exercise in self-promotion and a fundraising technique?"

And that's truly what this is all about. It's an exercise in self-promotion and a fundraising technique. And unfortunately for all the rest of us, certain G-O-TEA all-stars on Capitol Hill will keep doing it so long as they think they can cash in on the latest & greatest manufactured crisis.

Well, they are in August Recess. And they are supposed to be engaging in "constituent outreach". Maybe it's time for constituents to finally ask them why they continue wasting (our) time & money on these ridiculous exercises in self-promotion.

No comments:

Post a Comment