Wednesday, October 02, 2013

The Pit and the Pendulum

While Republicans continue to hold their breath, hoping to get what they want, they're getting something they don't want - blame. Polling shows that most people hold the GOP responsible for this government shutdown. Now my belief is that elected leaders have an obligation to govern, not play Russian roulette. Institutional integrity is decaying everywhere - in our professional sports, our churches, our banks, our educational system. Now it's Congressman who think their agenda matters more than government itself. If they won't listen to reason, perhaps they'll listen to the polls.

Most of the three dozen or so tea party Congressman in office are there precisely because at this time four years ago, people were angry at Democrats over Obamacare.
In town halls, and in the voting both, Democrats were sliced by the unforgiving pendulum of public opinion.

 Locally, it meant a Republican sweep in County Council at-large races. It nearly toppled Don Cunningham.

Now it is Republicans at the bottom of the pit. The pendulum has come for them. Though I doubt that the mood of the country will affect District Commissioner races, this could hurt Scott Ott and John Brown in the Executive races, especially since Ott is perceived as being a tea party darling. In Northampton County, it could hurt largely unknown Republicans in the at-large Council races.

42 comments:

Lighthouse said...

"By faction, I mean a group of citizens, either a majority or minority, united and actuated by some common passion or interest adverse to the rights of other citizens or to the aggregate interests of the community."

"If a faction isn't a majority, relief comes from the republican principle that enables the majority to defeat sinister views by vote. The minority faction MAY CLOG THE GOVERNMENT systems and convulse society, but under the Constitution it CAN'T execute and MASK ITS VIOLENCE." James Madions, Federalist 10.

Madison argued in the totality of Federalist #10 for a large republic to better control the effects of faction. However, thanks to gerrymandered districts--something Madison could not have accounted for-- a faction of I believe 80 Tea Nut Repubicans has been able to thwart and circumvent what Madison hoped would be controlled by a large enough republic. 80 out of 535 members of Congress.

To borrow from the Vietnam era, I believe the current Republican motto (to "save" us all from "socialism/communism") is that "it became necessary to destory the (country) to save it." More concerning than the shut down, which many of your readers have not, and likely will not fill the affects of, is the prospect of failure to raise the debt limit. Killing Romneycare and Obama to try to score points with the extreme base is more important than the good of the country.

Anonymous said...

The childish display of self-serving rage going on in Washington by Republicans is not playing well in the nation. Even with Fox news cronies blowing the horns, it is still falling on deaf ears.

These folks are screaming that you don't want government telling you what is right for you. Yet their cry is that despite elections, they and only they know how dangerous the law is and they will protect us from ourselves. The teabaggers need to look in a mirror and realize they are viewing the enemy of which they speak. What a convoluted message.It is senseless.

Holding the country hostage over not getting your way will get you the admiration of the rabid base but not the majority of the people.

Agree with the lighthouse that the ridiculously gerrymandered districts(both parties at fault for that) have created a strange status quo that is dysfunctional at best and dangerous for the Republic's future at its worst.

Anonymous said...

Obamacare is unconstitutional.

Anonymous said...

The Supreme Court passed obombercare care as a tax to get around the commerce clause. The constitution provides that all bills for raising revenue must oroginate in the House of Representatives. The Senate cannot initiate bills imposing taxes on the people. The power of the house that is supposed to represent us the people has been side stepped

Anonymous said...

The law is the law. It is the law of the land and everything else is just self-absorbed bullshit.

The Law is the Law!

Anonymous said...

So when President Obama and the senate democrats say they won't negotiate, period, why aren't they more responsible than the house republicans? Why are the house republicans the only ones that are being obstructionalists because they are doing what they were sent down there to do?

Anonymous said...

Republicans were sent to Washington to govern, not to shut the government down. This is an epic failure of ideology by the leadership in the House.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"So when President Obama and the senate democrats say they won't negotiate, period, why aren't they more responsible than the house republicans?"

Because they are not holding the country hostage to specific legislation. That would be tea party Republicans.

Anonymous said...

So when President Obama and the senate democrats say they won't negotiate, period, why aren't they more responsible than the house republicans? Why are the house republicans the only ones that are being obstructionalists because they are doing what they were sent down there to do?

They already exhaustively negotiated the law BEFORE IT PASSED and became law. The way you change a law is to pass legislation not negotiate it in the budget process.

Anonymous said...

"Because they are not holding the country hostage to specific legislation. That would be tea party Republicans."

That is such an incredibly weak distinction that I can't believe you proffered it. Of COURSE the senate democrats are holding the country hostage to specific legislation: the ACA which most Americans do not want.

Bernie O'Hare said...

While I disagree with the assertion that Obamacare was"exhaustively negotiated." It was adopted by a partisan vote and numerous attempts to make common sense changes were rejected. But it passed, is constitutional, and voters re-elected the president who pushed it. I agree that you don't renegotiate a law in the budget process.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"That is such an incredibly weak distinction that I can't believe you proffered it. Of COURSE the senate democrats are holding the country hostage to specific legislation: the ACA which most Americans do not want."

Proffer? You are aware this is a bottom-feeding blog, aren't you?

The distinction that appears to be eluding you is that the time to negotiate and renegotiate laws is when they are proffered. You don't make a proffered spending backage contingent on a law that has already been adopted.

I believe Obamacare is unpopular, but not wildly unpopular.

Anonymous said...

. . . holding the country hostage to specific legislation ...

So you are saying, Republicans are acting stupid, so it Ok not to negotiate. What a bunch of crap. Past shutdowns occurred over legislation including Medicare funded abortions and nuclear aircraft carriers. This is no different except that one party will not negotiate so it can continue the blame game of the past 6 years. -nlv

Bernie O'Hare said...

NLV (Dave), You have pretty clearly demonstrated in your ruminations on other matters that you are among those extremists who make governance next to impossible. This is simply irresponsible. This is not the way to negotiate legislation. But keep holding your breath.

Anonymous said...

"The distinction that appears to be eluding you is that the time to negotiate and renegotiate laws is when they are proffered. You don't make a proffered spending package contingent on a law that has already been adopted."

Hey, I didn't say that the distinction eludes me. I simply pointed out that it's a weak one.

I couldn't disagree with you more about not making "a proffered spending package contingent on a law that has already been adopted". The whole point of a "proffered spending package" is to determine which items should be funded and which should not. Clearly the House members don't believe their constituents want the ACA to be funded. So of course the time to try to strip that funding is during negotiations over the spending package. The democrats used this tactic repeatedly in the 90's and took no flak for it at all. Go figure.

Anonymous said...

Ok Bernie, attack me, but rather go back and read the accounts of every other shutdown, and there have been 17, all involving a specific piece of legislation which on party wanted included or excluded, in no case, none, except for today did one party refuse to negotiate.

If it is extreme for me to expect the two parties to talk, then I must be one "who make governance impossible" . I remember when our President said, we have no red states, no blue states ... We are not democrat or republican but American. The rhetoric coming from his administration show they don't believe that. So yes, I expect them to talk, like every Congress before them. Call me extreme because I expect them to talk. How silly. -nlv

Bernie O'Hare said...

David, I did not attack you. I simply told the truth. You are an extremist and are intolerant of any views that deviate from your own. You have demonstrated that in previous runs for office and in your views on county issues. Government shutdowns have happened but are by no means the norm. The fact that this has happened, mostly when we've had extremists in government, is no justification for the practice. It is irresponsible, prevents government from doing what it is intended to do, and even threatens our national security. To cause a shutdown if government operations over a law you don't like is simply childish. There is nothing to negotiate. Either you believe government should be funded or you don't. Keep holding your breath.

Bernie O'Hare said...

If you have a problem with a law, you repeal it. You don't have the votes so you hold all government operation hostage. And you don't get it. I don 't care which party is behind it and have no love for the Democrats either. Irresponsible is irresponsible.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, you say you did attack me, but then call me and extremist and intolerant. Hmm. . . Who is what?

I'm simply pointing out that there is enough blame to go around. The two parties should talk. The Party leaders should be in a room talking about what they can agree on and not come out til its done. No party should stand and refuse to talk.

If you cant see that, perhaps your own idelogy is blocking you. -nlv

Bernie O'Hare said...

David, I did not attack you, but simply told the truth about your own views. You are an extremist, so much so that voters in a conservative community continually reject you. You tend to be intolerant of views that differ from yours. I really have no "ideology," to be honest. I am a realist. But I have strong (perhaps extreme) beliefs about the importance of government and the role it plays in our daily lives.

Look at Lighthouse's comment, the very first, in this thread. This is what is happening.

Anonymous said...

My subjective personality, real or perceived, should not be at issue here today. I am running for nothing. Over the years you've posted about me, sometimes some downright nasty accusations, yet I've not worried about it. I dont attack you. So I think I've shown my tolerance for other views, inclduing yours, whether you accept that or not.

Lighthouse's comments aside, there is no excuse for the leaders not to be talking, clearly there is some ground they can agree upon. Exactly who is holding their breath because they don't like the other side. My mother always said it took two to fight.

I remember when the Republican's asked for a delay in the bill's passage. Pelosi said, we must pass it now to know what's in it. So one might say, they helped create the monster which they say is the Tea Party. Perhaps we are reliving that gaff.

The two parties must talk, both then and now. Their refusal to talk only exacerbates the shutdown, and that is also unreasonable and irresponsible. -nlv

Anonymous said...

And Bernie, thats not exactly true. I ran locally twice, I won once and lost once. I ran County wide once, and won my district by a large margin. wHile you brought it up, none of that has anything to do with todays discussion. Besides, I think for the most part, folks should be commended for running and trying to affect their communities. -nlv

Bernie O'Hare said...

Dave, you lost the county-wide race. You also lost your most recent effort in a local race. Perhaps voters view you as I do, too extreme.

Anonymous said...

Yes. But I beat your guy :-)
This just your attempt to obscure my point. . The Parties must talk! A refusal to negotiate is also reckless and irresponsible. I point that out. That is not extreme.

Bernie O'Hare said...

You don't want to talk. You want things your way or the government shuts down.

Anonymous said...

Now you are putting words my mouth. You are the one who said Harry Reid is correct in refusing to talk. Your idelogy on this point blocks you. By all means talk. Both sides agree their are problems with the act. Delay the mandates, (obama already delayed parts of it) for as long as an extension, form a comittee and fix it. Not talking is tantamount to a shutdown, or keep playing the blame game as you seem intent to do! nlv

Bernie O'Hare said...

Dave Najarian, you don't want to talk. You want your way. If you believe in government by political instability, move to Italy.

Anonymous said...

By refusing to talk, you avoid the opportunity to keep things running because of a perceived procedural inadequacy. That is really silly. -nlv

Bernie O'Hare said...

What's really silly is that you are hijacking this blog to make the same points over and over. Kinda' like the tea party GOP.

Anonymous said...

This just in Party leaders on both sides have agreed to meet face to face with Obama to discuss the matters. By your accounts above, this should not happen right? -nlv

Anonymous said...

There is nothing I said that was not on topic, invited or a rebuttal to your account, but I see you do not want me to comment. I will go. -nlv

Bernie O'Hare said...

You are being repetitive, and there are others who will have things to say..

Anonymous said...

What is there to negotiate. Obama and the Dem's wanted a government option. Most Dem's wanted a single payer. like most civilized countries. However, it was twisted and turned until it is now the very plan Republicans were "willing" to accept years ago before they became "crazy ideological teabaggers".

What is there to "negotiate", it is done, it is law. Why would the President 'talk" to people who have publically said they will do everything possible to destroy his presidency, who have continually voted to repeal and defund the ACA, who have called it the worst ;law in the history of mankind.

Do you really think anyone buys into your "pious" claim to just wait a year to iron out the kinks? Since 2009, you have not tried to "iron out" anything just destroy.

The trust level isn't there. The bagger Republicans are like a serial rapist knocking on the door, begging to be let in the house just once more because this time they really do care.

Same bullshit, different day.

Anonymous said...

Wow, name calling and intolerance of opposing views.

How Democratic!

Anonymous said...

While I disagree with the assertion that Obamacare was"exhaustively negotiated." It was adopted by a partisan vote and numerous attempts to make common sense changes were rejected. But it passed, is constitutional, and voters re-elected the president who pushed it. I agree that you don't renegotiate a law in the budget process.

Dropping the public option was a mammoth change that was compromised by the Democrats. It was exhaustively debated in both Congress and in public unless you don't believe 9 months is enough time to exhaustively debate something.

Anonymous said...

By refusing to talk, you avoid the opportunity to keep things running because of a perceived procedural inadequacy. That is really silly. -nl

The time to talk was BEFORE the legislation was passed and signed by the President. The time to talk is on the floor of Congress when you introduce new legislation to do what you want. Bohner isn't trying to get a better budget deal (which would be somewhat legitimate), he's specifically halting government in protest of a law that has been passed.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:20, but oh how true!

The new Iranian mullah has more credibility than the teabagger Republicans.

Anonymous said...

" It was adopted by a partisan vote"

Really? Not one single republican voted for Obamacare and it was passed with a bunch of shenanigans. Is that what you call a "partisan vote"????

Bernie O'Hare said...

Yes, that is a partisan vote. You need a dictionary, or need to cut down on the booze.

Kathleen Kane said...

"The law is the law."

Agree. Just because something is law in Pennsylvania doesn't mean I have to enforce or defend it. The oath I took is as big a bunch of bullshit as my claims about actually spending time in a courtroom. The law is what I feel like prosecuting or defending or not. What the legislature does is of no consequence. I run things regardless of current law.

K


PS (and keep this on the DL): the reason I don't want to defend the gay marriage law in court is because I have no fucking idea what to do in court. Hope to get there someday though! LOL TTYL!!!!

Anonymous said...

ACA is the law of the land.

The Law is the Law!

Lighthouse said...

I want to thank Charlie Dent for being a voice of reason. He did his initial partisan vote, but has since been trying to show more leadership than Speaker Boehner in advocating for a "clean CR".

I don't agree with him all the time, but I do probably more often than not. More importantly (something I cannot say about most members of Congress)I RESPECT him. I regret that the attempt to make Barletta's seat safer, which then forced changes to the 17th district, ripped eastern Northampton County out of the 15th and eliminated a "LV" congressional district.