Thursday, September 12, 2013

Return to Dysfunction Junction

Now that President Obama is pursuing a diplomatic solution to the Syria crisis, Congress is returning to the usual business. And of course, that means another G-O-TEA manufactured crisis. I'm not sure what else to say about this, so I'll leave the rest of the explaining to Ed Kilgore.

So having fought its way into the Syria debate just days ago, Congress is stepping aside—or perhaps it’s better to say it’s stepping out of one quagmire into another, the partisan fiscal conflict that’s no closer to being resolved now than it has been since 2011. Indeed, the House is about to adjourn for a long weekend, leaving itself just five working days before the end of the fiscal year. At present the GOP leadership doesn’t have the votes to pass a continuing appropriations resolution to keep the government functioning because it can’t find a formula that sufficiently “defunds Obamacare” to satisfy 30 or so conservatives.

All the earlier talk about how the Syria crisis was going to “distract” Congress from dealing with its other issues is now shown to have missed the point: time isn’t what Congress needs. It needs a Republican Party, especially in the House, that make decisions without constantly placating a faction willing to blow up the budget, the operations of the federal government, and perhaps the economy, if it is not allowed to nullify past laws and overturn past elections.

No wonder why Senator Harry Reid (D) doesn't "do social things". And now, he'll especially be needed. Why? I'll let Rep. John Dingell (D-Michigan) explain.

Oh, yes. That's right. The House G-O-TEA gang are still wasting time on their anti-Obamacare chicanery and tomfoolery! And as expected, Senator Reid has no interest in jumping on the "Defund Obamacare" train to Dysfunction Junction.

“I told [Boehner] very directly that all these things they’re trying to do on Obamacare is a waste of their time,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) told reporters. “Let’s stop playing these really juvenile political games.”

“Those in touch with reality should understand that passing a clean CR is the right thing to do,” he said. “Their direction is a direction to shut down the government. … If Republican leaders keep giving into tea party demands they must be rooting for a shutdown.”

The White House also reiterated Thursday that President Barack Obama would reject efforts to undermine Obamacare. “We will not accept anything that delays or defunds Obamacare,” spokesman Jay Carney told reporters.

While the G-O-TEA street theater may be entertaining, it ultimately accomplishes nothing. In fact, it's actually harming the nation. And we continue to suffer the awful policies that resulted from their histrionics.

So we've returned to Dysfunction Junction this week as Congress struggles to secure any kind of budget deal. What will it take for Republican "leaders" to agree to let the country escape? Maybe they like the dysfunction, but the rest of us are sick and tired of the manufactured crises and unnecessary drama.

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