Monday, October 28, 2013

Running on Empty

With Republicans in the U.S. Senate now trying to undermine a comprehensive immigration bill--despite widespread public support--and their fellow right-wingers in the House at a loss for something to do during the 19 days left in their legislative calendar for 2013, Steve Benen of The Maddow Blog can’t help but ask congressional Republicans,
what is it, exactly, you intend to run on in 2014? I don’t mean that in some kind of obnoxious, snarky way; I genuinely want to know.

I’m trying to imagine the message a year from now: “We shut down the government, we used the debt ceiling as a weapon, we killed immigration reform, we ignored efforts to reduce gun violence, we never even considered the possibility of a jobs bill, we tackled some culture-war bills that no one beyond our base cares about, we voted to take away Americans’ health care benefits 46 times, and we demanded unpopular cuts to Social Security and Medicare in exchange for nothing. Two more years!”

After the Republican shutdowns in the mid-’90s, GOP lawmakers were desperate to pass some big-ticket legislation so they’d have some accomplishments to run on. If immigration is suddenly no longer an option for Republicans, how do they intend to spend the next year? Going after contraception?

Ideally, elected officials would think first about what’s right for the country, then what produces the best political results. But even if we skip past the first step and overlook why immigration reform is sensible on substantive grounds, are GOP lawmakers convinced that another do-nothing Congress is in their own best interests?
Read Benen’s full comments here.

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