Lying as policy

All politicians lie.  But currently, only the Republican party proudly promotes lies and deceptions as its policy.

A few days ago, I wrote about the “2.5 million unemployed by Obamacare” lie they are peddling.

I now see that that they are claiming that “Obama caused the government shutdown.”

Here’s how it really went down:

“Hey, President Obama!  It’s us, the Republicans!  Remember how we voted against Obamacare but it still passed?  And how we challenged it in court and lost?  And how we nominated a candidate who ran on a platform of repealing it and he lost?  And how we voted 42 times to repeal it, losing each time?  And how we have tried to defund it and lost?  

Well, we now demand that despite all this, you defund it and thus kill it, or else we will shut down the government.  No?  Okay, you asked for it!

Look, everyone!  We, the Republicans, have shut down the government until Obama gives us what we want!  We’re proud of this accomplishment!

Okay, Obama, now will you defund it?  No?  Well, will you cut the budget in a few places?  No?  Will you  at least cut this one thing?  No?

Wait a minute … the American people hate this.  Our poll numbers are lower than they have been in the history of poll numbers.  

Okay, fine, you can reopen the government.

Wow, the public really hates us.  Guess we have to use our old standby policy to get out of this one.  Everyone, ready?  Good. Start lying.

Obama caused the shutdown!!!”

Fortunately, rational and reasonable people are laughing at this.  Here’s a nice video of journalist Bob Schieffer giggling uncontrollably when Ted Cruz claimed that Obama caused the shutdown:

… And here is an article from last December where Ted Cruz brags about causing the shutdown.

This is just outright lying, isn’t it?  I mean, is there another explanation?

Despite what some defenders claim, this is not the same thing as picking and choosing which facts to highlight when pushing your agenda.  It’s not the same thing as “spinning.”  It’s not even the same thing as not pursuing your campaign promises.  This is lying as policy.  To defend this is despicable.  (And I applaud those Republicans who are refusing to follow the party line here.)

Tomorrow, I’ll discuss the current GOP strategy of creating fake fraudulent websites designed to purposely mislead people into thinking they are donating to Democratic candidates.   I am not making this up.

Party Before Country: Cruz profits while we suffer

Senator Cruz tried to spin his loss in the Shutdown Showdown by saying that he had succeeded in bringing the issue of Obamacare to everyone’s attention.

Let’s discount the fact that more people like Obamacare now than they did before Cruz started his tilting at the windmill, and let’s look at what he really gained: Money. Lots of it.

Yep. Good old Cruz and his right-wing buddies raised a ton of campaign cash thanks to the Shutdown. They used it to send out all sorts of fundraising letters and their campaign coffers are now overflowing.

So who cares if the country is now further in debt because of this? The Republican party is now richer, and isn’t that more important?

Disloyalty on the right?

by Guest Blogger Steve Vaughan

You can’t be an American patriot and advocate that we default on our debt.

If you believe in American exceptionalism, you can’t also believe that our country should behave like some Third World banana republic and not pay its bills.

That’s aside from the fact that the international monetary system is based on the bedrock that “the full faith and credit of the United States” actually means something. We inherited that role from the British. No one is prepared to inherit it from us. The Chinese don’t abide by international monetary norms. I suppose if the Tea Party throws the world into a period of economic chaos that will make the Great Depression look like a minor slump; Germany might emerge as the central economic power. That would be pretty stupid given that our problems are fixable, easily fixable, given the political will.

But that’s not what one is hearing from the political right this week, with the federal government shut down for two weeks.US_Capitol_west_side

Instead, we hear serious arguments put forth that it would be better for the U.S. to default on its debt now, rather than later. Because these “conservatives” believe that this is it for America that we’ll never pay our debt back or get our financial house in order and that default is “inevitable.”

They’ve given up on America.

Not me. I say, let’s get the government back open without holding the Affordable Care Act hostage. And let’s raise the debt ceiling so we can pay the bills on what Congress has already put on the credit card.

Then let’s look at what we can do to get our financial house back in order.

Spending cuts? Absolutely. Let’s start with the oil depreciation allowance, all farm subsidies and about half our military installations in Europe – which were designed to perform a mission that no longer exists.

Then, let’s do some common sense entitlement reform that everyone knows we need. Phase in a higher retirement age and eliminate the income cap on Social Security taxation. It wouldn’t break my heart to see Social Security means tested either.

That’s about all it would take to put us back on the path to fiscal sanity that we were on before we decided to fight two wars and fund a major entitlement reform on the credit card.

And then conservatives can go back to whining about social issues and how America’s morals are going to Hell in a hand basket – because that’s what they are really good at.

Steve Vaughan is a reporter and political blogger who has at various times worked on political campaigns and written speeches for prominent officeholders.

GOP: No pretenses about taking America hostage

The Republican Party has today, on the 11th day of the Shutdown, admitted to what we always knew: This is a hostage situation.

Previously, the hostage was Obamacare: “Defund this or we won’t take care of our financial obligations.”

That didn’t work, so now there is a new hostage. “OK, then how about Medicare? Will you change that?”

At least they are admitting at this point that they are holding a gun to America’s head until they can get what they couldn’t accomplish through democratic means.

Seriously, what is the message they are sending? If you don’t win elections and don’t have enough votes to get what you want, then threaten to destroy everyone until you get your way? This is democracy? This is what our forefathers planned?

At least with this new action, the Republicans are pretty much admitting this, because there really is no other explanation that you can give with a straight face.

GOP hits lowest favorability rating ever

Gallup says this is lowest either party has ever rated in twenty years, since they started asking this question.

Look at the numbers. And look at that drop, which matches perfectly the shutdown (or as the Daily Show calls it, “Shut Storm”). Americans are smart enough to know who to blame for this.


As my last two posts have commented, this is suicide for the Republican party. The fact that they cannot see that it is shows how deluded they are and how out of touch with the American people.

If the election were held today …

Speaker Pelosi would be once more moving this country forward, if the election were held today.

I’ve already pointed out more than once that this shutdown is suicide for Republicans, but that they are so much in the bubble that they cannot see this. Since they only listen to Fox News and talk to each other, all they ever get are reassurances that everyone agrees with them when that is far from the truth.

The latest polls have shown that if the election were held today, they’d lose the House. This was not true a month ago.

Of course, a year is forever in politics and anything can happen by next November, but you would have to be absolutely clueless and/or stupid to deny that the shutdown is bad for the GOP. Yet I still have friends on Facebook who support it and who blame Democrats for it.

One Facebook friend today posted that we should all email the White House to demand that Obama negotiate. When I pointed out that Obama had invited Republicans to the White House and most of them refused to attend, his response was along the lines of “Sure, why should they since it won’t accomplish anything?” (Pause for laugh track.)

OK, fine, don’t listen to me. I don’t mind that you’re committing suicide — good riddance. But do you have to kill my country along with you?

Cruz Control

Senator Cruz has been practically giddy with the government shutdown. As a man who has never seen a government program he liked that did not involve regulating women’s reproductive rights, this has been a lifelong dream.

“And why stop here?” the Senator asks. “If this works, we can force Obama to get rid of other laws that have passed. Why limit ourselves to just laws that have passed and been upheld by the Supreme Court in the past two years? The Civil Rights Act, Social security, votes for women — the list is endless!”

“I never realized that people who hate government could possibly try to destroy that government once elected,” said one clueless voter.

Other clueless voters have different views. “Our government may be destroyed, we may lose our place as the richest country in the world, and we may never again have the respect of the world when it comes to our good credit, but at least in exchange we’re letting poor people without health insurance die, right?”

Cruz sees no problem with his venture, and thinks it fits perfectly with his idea of the desires of the Founders. “Simply because the law was passed and signed by the President and then upheld by the Supreme Court and has already been implemented despite our 43 failed votes to repeal it doesn’t mean we can’t keep fighting to get rid of it,” he says. “As every schoolchild knows, once a bill becomes a law that doesn’t mean it gets implemented.”

Editorial cartoon of the day

GOP betting the House

The GOP only won the House of Representatives in 2012 because of gerrymandering — more people voted for Democrats overall but because of the way districts are drawn, the majority didn’t win.

Thanks to the Shutdown, which most Americans correctly attribute to Republicans, there are enough Republicans in jeopardy of losing their seats that we could see Speaker Nancy Pelosi in 2016.

Of course, this poll is of the “If the election were held today, who would you vote for” variety, placing the incumbent against a nameless opponent. These are tremendously unreliable because (a) anything can happen within a year; and (b) people compare their current representative with an ideal opponent of the other party, and that’s usually not what happens.

Still, this poll is important because it emphasizes what many of us have been saying: This shutdown is hurting Republicans. They are so much in a bubble that they do not see this, but the numbers don’t lie.

Editorial cartoon of the day