The fake shutdown confrontation

Whichever party yields, winds up being blamed for any disruption caused.

Therefore, the party with the weaker hand should always yield swiftly, and the party with the stronger hand should never yield.  And since the constitution gives the party that controls the house of representatives the overwhelmingly stronger hand, the Republicans would win – except that the whole thing is staged.  They intend to lose, in order to persuade their voters that they have no choice but go along with Obamacare.

Spending bills must originate in the house of representatives.  So the house of representative can vote to fund and open anything that the senate defunds and shuts down.  Suppose, for example, the government shuts down the Applachian Home for Homeless Kittens.  Pitiful youtube videos appear of lost and homeless kittens, mewling sadly.  Then the House of Reps simply passes a bill to fund the Applachian Home for Homeless Kittens.  The senate then has to reject the bill, (because it fails to fund Obamacare as well as kittens) and look like bad guys.

If the senate allows the bill to fund the Applachian Home for Homeless Kittens, then the Republicans just fund the entire government piecemeal, except for Obamacare.

Republicans should be working around the clock to continually send funding bills to the senate, which those cruel flint hearted kitten hating Democrat senators have to reject around the clock.

If the Republicans were serious, they would be sending a stream of bills to the senate day and night to fund anything and everything, except Obamacare.  Especially to fund kittens.

Which is to say, they would pass a budget or budgets, legislation that authorizes the government to spend on some things and not other things, something that has been missing from Washington for many years.

Instead, after seven days of completely symbolic government shutdown that does not inconvenience anyone, they will cry,

Oh, we cannot take the pain, it is horrible, horrible, far too horrible.  We capitulate.  We tried, and tried, but we have no choice but to vote to fund Obamacare.

Then after voting to fund Obamacare, their polls will take a dive, and they will say:

See how terrible it is to oppose any government spending.  We have absolutely no alternative but to exponentially increase government spending without end.

If they are not voting to fund the poor little kittens, which is to say, passing a budget, they are not serious.

10 Responses to “The fake shutdown confrontation”

  1. Nick Land says:

    Perhaps the most important sign of an approach to crisis is the collapse of all serious strategic questions into games of Chicken. The only way to win is to demonstrate, starkly, that you are less reluctant to take things to the brink than the other side. Everything else is secondary to that. Since the Democrats clearly have far more invested in the frictionless funding of government than the GOP, and incomparably more than the GOP Tea-Party wing, the natural advantage in this particular instance should be with the right. The most useful type of pressure that could be applied is a specific consensus on shaming: Losing Chicken games is the most despicable and humiliating thing you can do at this time (and it will destroy your political career). From that, everything else would unfold almost automatically. Not that I expect it to happen. (The GOP isn’t on our side, and doesn’t want to win.)

    • Thales says:

      It has been nothing but Chicken games since 2010. The Inner party simply will not tolerate these novice members of the Outer party who don’t know their place — it doesn’t matter what seats or houses the Outer party occupies, “all power rests with the Inner party, dammit!” — that is the order of things.

      Boehner knows the order of things, wants to go down, but can’t go down without a fight. When this breaks the way Jim has prognosticated, the establishment Outer party will get back to business-as-usual, which is what they wanted all along.

    • jim says:

      The cause of the chicken games is that we no longer have a budget – which is an indication of loss of self control, of public funds becoming a commons.

      The commons simply has to be enclosed, and one way or another, will be.

      The ultimate form of enclosure being feudalism.

  2. josh says:

    wouldn’t the senate just send the kitten bill to committee forever?

    • jim says:

      Well of course they would, but then the comments of the you tube videos featuring lost and frightened Appalachian kittens would fill up with urgent demands that the Senate get a move on.

  3. Handle says:

    The have sent piecemeal bills through another process for ‘essential / exempted personnel categories’. Military, Air Traffic Control, Medical, lots of federally-regulated DC workers, and, going along with your kittens example, even zookeepers and K9 handlers and all people who sustain public animals.

    Just this morning I drove through a drug/bomb sniffing K9 which carried it’s own exemption memorandum is the side-saddle pocket of its adorable SWAT-looking outfit. It still gets kibble, but it has to work for its kibble!

    • jim says:

      That is interesting. “Another process”? Is it the house of reps issuing these exemptions, in which case they can simply exempt everything except Obamacare, or is the permanent and fireproof government exempting itself?

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