Republicans hate government. Well, unless they’re the ones running everything of course. Then they’re like kids in a free candy store. One of their favorite bits of political theater is shutting down the entire government. Because nothing says “we care about every day Americans” like shutting down the government agencies we depend on to keep our lives running smoothly. Who cares how hard they make life for everyone who needs to interact with their government? They have an ideological point to make, after all!
It seems the GOP is at it again. Yesterday in the Senate, Republicans killed a transportation spending bill. With only one member of the red team voting for it, the bill died under threat of filibuster, and the House’s transportation bill died a similar death. This is just the latest in a slew of attempts to get some kind of spending and tax bill through Congress to avoid shutdown of the government due to lack of funding. It’s becoming apparent that rather than compromise, Republicans would rather go into August with no spending and tax deals on the table, leading some to wonder if indeed a government shutdown is on the way.
But why would Republicans want to embrace such a tactic — one that will do nothing to repair their image as being the worst congressional body in decades? They’re stubborn ideologues, that’s why. However, I’ve been doing some deep cogitation, and I think there may be 5 other reasons why Congressional Republicans want to shut the government down, and here they are.,
Little does anyone outside of the GOP know, but The Shelled One as he’s called among his Republican peers, is quite the party host. Every summer McConnell invites every Republican member of Congress to his house for a massive block party. Last year John Boehner got so drunk he looked exactly the same as he always does! It’s such a carnival atmosphere! There’s the “Draw a Beard on the Beard” game featuring Marcus Bachmann, a roller coaster designed by libertarian Rand Paul — so there are no safety implements and you cannot sue if you die on the ride (free market, bitches!). Shutting down the government means they can all sit back and enjoy Mitch’s shindig in comfort.
Being the Republicans’ smarmiest of snake oil salesman means going through a lot a of grease and oil. Even though he’s only been in Washington a little over six months, Senator Cruz has spewed plenty of his toxic sludge. He’s voted against the Violence Against Act, he’s tried to filibuster every bill brought to the Senate floor that didn’t have a blatantly pro-right-wing agenda, and he’s managed to anger even members of his own party with just how disrespectful he is of anyone who isn’t named Senator Ted Cruz. Teddy’s hoping the government shut down will give him enough time to go back home to Texas and get filled-up on premium petroleum so he can come back to Washington and slip and slide around awhile longer.
Of course Republicans love Monopoly. It involves their two favorite things — money, and forcing people into the poorhouse. (Fictitious) Secret documents (not) found have revealed that Trent “Vagina Controller” Franks, Louie “Asparagus” Gohmert, and Eric “Beaker From The Muppets” Cantor have been locked in a long-running game of Monopoly since late 2011, and that’s why they’ve managed to not do anything, holding up their end of the bargain…the bargain of course being that Congressional Republicans will do nothing but write anti-abortion laws and faux-peal Obamacare.
Grover Norquist is the bearded little imp who has held our Congressional Republicans hostage with his idiotic tax pledge that he makes them all sign when they take office. Because you know — nothing says loyalty to your oath of office like taking a non-binding, citizens’ pledge to never, ever compromise on one of the most important subjects that Congress tackles every day of the year. This year, Republicans wanted to give him the gift he’s always wanted — a wholly non-functioning U.S. government. Imagine the tent in his trousers when Norquist awakes that morning, opens the paper, and sees he’s finally succeeded in drowning the government in the bath?
Perhaps unsurprisingly, today’s Congressional Republicans seem to be forgetting that they’ve tried to shut down the government before. In 1995 and 1996 the Republican-controlled Congress and then-President Bill Clinton had a similar budget showdown and the government shut its doors to non-essential services. At first, Clinton took a huge hit in the opinion polls, but later saw the highest ratings of his career, as it became obvious to the American public that the shutdown was all down to former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich’s temper tantrum over how he thought he was being treated by Clinton. The blow-back was severe for the GOP and it cost them the presidential election in 1996 as well as control of the House in 1998. Clearly they have no idea that the cards are all stacked up and it appears the same situation is in the offing now.