nears end game
John Boehner (R-Hell), likely to lose his job – and part of his caucus. Click image to enlarge.
IT HAS BECOME INCREASINGLY apparent that the long national nightmare over the government shutdown is nearing an end.
With the Republican Party in disarray and its Tea Party wing increasingly isolated, the question has become not “if” but “when” it would cave on its outrageous demands.
The answer: sooner that most of them thought.
The steadfastness of the president and his refusal to negotiate with a gun pointed at his head seems to be paying off.
The last time the GOP sank this low in the polls was during the Clinton impeachment in 1998.
It’s time to reopen the government and move forward.
THE SIGNS WERE everywhere, beginning Wednesday when the major funder of everything that led to the shutdown – Koch Industries – tried to distance itself from the consequences.
In a letter to members of the U.S. Senate, the firm’s chief lobbyist, Philip Ellender, president of government and public affairs for Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC, said:
The Koch letter to members of the U.S. Senate. Click image to enlarge.
“Koch has not taken a position on the legislative tactic of tying the continuing resolution to defunding Obamacare nor have we lobbied on legislative provisions defunding Obamacare.
“Congress should focus on these efforts: balancing the budget, tightening and cutting government spending, curbing cronyism and eliminating market distorting subsidies and mandates.”
This came days after a major expose of the role David and Charles Koch played in getting the U.S. into the current crises.
We reported on this in Vast right wing conspiracy exposed on Oct. 7. That report was sub-titled: “The most powerful men you never heard of – till now!”
The Koch letter received considerable exposure, particularly where it matters most: Washington, D.C.
The web site of The Hill, the small Washington, D.C. publication with outsized influence. Click image to enlarge.
The small but influential publication, The Hill, had it first, it seems.
It’s story was headlined: Koch Industries to senators: We haven’t lobbied to ‘defund ObamaCare’
“Koch Industries dismissed accusations it has endorsed the Republican tactic of linking language to defund ObamaCare to government spending bills,” The Hill reported.
The was followed a few hours later with a report on NBC News headlined: Kochs to Congress: Focus on spending, not Obamacare
Correspondent Michael Isikoff wrote: “In a move that highlights a growing rift in conservative ranks, Koch Industries – the privately held energy conglomerate owned by billionaires Charles and David Koch – distanced the firm from allied political groups lobbying to keep the government shut down unless Obamacare is defunded.
“A letter, signed by the company’s chief lobbyist and sent to members of Congress, says that Koch Industries has taken no position on the shutdown dispute in Congress “nor have we lobbied on legislative provisions defunding Obamacare.”
The floodgates were then opened.
ON HER WEB site Maddowblog, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow followed up Thursday morning with Obama poised to meet with (some) House Republicans
Rachel Maddow dissed the GOP on her blog on Thursday, but made some excellent points. Click image to enlarge.
“President Obama extended an invitation to the very House Republicans responsible for the government shutdown and looming debt-ceiling crisis. How many GOP House members is the president prepared to visit with? All of them,” Maddow wrote, tongue in cheek.
“House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) accepted the invitation, but took it upon himself to narrow the guest list.
“Boehner will instead dispatch 18 House Republicans –whom the Speaker has designated ‘negotiators’ ….”
After dissing the response to the invitation, Maddow pointed out what should be obvious to everyone by now.
“One of the key lessons of 2013 is that Boehner is Speaker In Name Only (emphasis added) and has very little control and/or influence over what actually happens in the chamber he ostensibly runs.”
There was more disarray in the Republican Party this week, further indications that it was caving.
One of the main ultra-conservative political action groups sent out a bulletin to its members headlined: Action Alert: Call Your Representative – Shutdown is About Obamacare.
Authored by Jack Minor on Wednesday, the letter said:
“Ten days into the government shutdown, after having multiple continuing resolutions to fund the government blocked by Harry Reid and Senate Democrats, the House is losing sight of what this fight is about.”
Indeed, it has been completely blind about it.
“Remind your Member of Congress that the shutdown is about Obamacare and that he or she needs to stand for you and the American people by focusing on the full defund of Obamacare,” Minor wrote.
As if anyone needed a reminder!
Didn’t Minor get the memo from the Koch brothers?
THEN CAME THE startling crescendo. The New York Times published what became the lead story in Thursday’s national editions.
The knockout punch delivered on the front page of The New york times on Thursday. Click image to enlarge.
In Business Groups See Loss of Sway Over House G.O.P. it emphasized the growing rift between House Republicans and a huge part of their base – giant corporate benefactors.
We wrote about this as long ago as Sept. 6 in Business losing clout with GOP when we said the waning influence of the business lobby on Capitol Hill is a surprise – but it is real.
In The New York Times on Thursday, Eric Lipton, Nicholas Confessore and Nelson D. Schwartz wrote:
“As the government shutdown grinds toward a potential debt default, some of the country’s most influential business executives have come to a conclusion all but unthinkable a few years ago: Their voices are carrying little weight with the House majority that their millions of dollars in campaign contributions helped build and sustain.”
If the radicals in the GOP in the House are not responding to a huge portion of their base, they are in serious trouble.
“Their frustration has grown so intense in recent days that several trade association officials warned in interviews on Wednesday that they were considering helping wage primary campaigns against Republican lawmakers who had worked to engineer the political standoff in Washington,” the Times report said.
“Moreover, business leaders and trade groups said, the tools that have served them in the past — campaign contributions, large memberships across the country, a multibillion-dollar lobbying apparatus — do not seem to be working.”
They drained their corporate treasuries – at shareholder expense – for naught, it seems.
No wonder the GOP is caving under the pressure.
The pressure is coming from its own base, the very constituency it thought it was serving by bringing the United States government to its knees – and threatening a global economic calamity.
What a gigantic miscalculation.
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