fresh voices from the front lines of change







Earlier today on MSNBC, I participated in a panel discussion, following an interview with GOP Rep. Sean Duffy. The congressman was in exceptional “up is down” mode”

“The President has won. He can’t take yes for an answer. We’ve said OK, let the excahnges go up, let Obamacare go forward … we think just because … middle-class families in America … don’t have big lobbyists in Washington … doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be treated with that same delay for the requirements of Obamacare like he gave Big Business.”

Um, no, you have voted to repeal Obamacare over 40 times, and when that didn’t work, you shutdown the government.

“We do small piecemeal measures. That’s the way the process work. We do appropriations bills throughout the summer of every year, and then vote on those and pass them by the start of the calendar, which is October 1st. That hasn’t happened because the Senate hasn’t taken up those bills.”

Um, no. The House passed only 4 of the needed 13 appropriations bills to fully fund the government. And what did get passed was designed to cut domestic programs even deeper than sequester levels in order to spend more on the military, a strategy intended to force gridlock.

“The bottom line is the President has to talk to people. He hasn’t moved off any of his positions. He hasn’t compromised.”

Um, no. As I noted in The Week, the President has already offered Republicans the stingier Social Security cost-of-living formula known as Chained CPI in a larger budget deal. And I noted on MSNBC, the Democrats collectively have agreed to accept sequester budget levels in the next government operations bill, despite deep opposition to continued austerity.

What have Republicans offered as a concession? Nothing. Moving from “defund ObamaCare” to “delay ObamaCare,” as Duffy pleaded, is not a concession. It’s a different demand.

It’s exactly this sort of up-is-down mentality that has kept the Republican Party in a delusional bubble.

The result? In May, Republicans and Democrats were tied in the Quinnipiac poll asking which party will you support for Congress next year.

And as of October 1st, Democrats are up 9 points.

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