2013年10月24日木曜日

Toxic Tea Party

米共和党が再構成しそうだ。
 米財政をめぐる政治混乱の余波で、野党共和党が内戦状態に突入した。
保守派の草の根運動「ティーパーティー(茶会)」は来年11月の中間選挙
に向けた党内予備選で、現職上院議員に対する対抗馬を次々に擁立。
混乱収拾のために民主党と打開策を練った上院共和党トップのマコネル
院内総務(南部ケンタッキー州選出)も「裏切り者」として標的になって
いる。

上院保守基金
Senate Conservatives Fund
・保守派の政治資金団体
・マコネル氏は今回の裏切りだけではなく、民主党に味方し、リベラルな
 政策を支持してきた経歴がある。
・ヘリテージ財団所長のデミント前上院議員が設立。
 茶会とも密接な関係。

Tea Party
・保守地盤のケンタッキーや南部サウスカロライナ、テネシー、
 ミシシッピ、中西部カンザス、ワイオミングへの予備選での決定力を
 背景に、下院共和党の指導部に暫定予算案への徹底抗戦を働きかけ、
 政府機関の一部を閉鎖に追い込んだ。
・来年に順次行われる党内予備選に活動を移した。

John Mccainらの穏健派(?)とTea Partyらの極右に分裂しそうだ。
Tea Partyも一時急拡大したが、結局、米国民には受け入れられなかった。
米政府は、Tea Partyに嫌がらせを行い、IRS Scandalとなった。
obamacare対策と言っているが、実際は、政争。米政府機関を閉鎖して、
指示を得ようとしたが、支持を減らすばかり。支持者は、国民皆保険に加
入していなかった経営者と保険の品質が落ちるのを嫌う労働者層のようだ。
最近のTea PartyをToxic Tea Partyと見る人は多いだろう。
毒茶会は、Sarah Palinらで注目を集め、反政府行動のマッチポンプ。
退役軍人組織(Million Vet March on the Memorials)を巻き込もうとした
が、"You're an idiot"と言う野次が飛び交ったようだ。退役軍人組織
は、ホワイトハウスで声を上げたのは毒茶会で、手法については指示しな
いと発表。

米国の教育はすごい。
小学生低学年から、「敵対国は皆殺し」と言う発想になるようだ。
学校だけでなく、親の教育か。

米大統領選 勝敗分析
OP Tomodachi need more HNS


Veterans Scold Sarah Palin: 'Republicans Shut Down the Gov't', 'You're an Idiot'


Kids Table - Government Shutdown


---茶会 現職に刺客続々 米共和党上院予備選---
2013年10月20日 朝刊
http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/world/news/CK2013102002000107.html

 【ワシントン=竹内洋一】米財政をめぐる政治混乱の余波で、野党共和党が内戦状態に突入した。保守派の草の根運動「ティーパーティー(茶会)」は来年11月の中間選挙に向けた党内予備選で、現職上院議員に対する対抗馬を次々に擁立。混乱収拾のために民主党と打開策を練った上院共和党トップのマコネル院内総務(南部ケンタッキー州選出)も「裏切り者」として標的になっている。
 保守派の政治資金団体「上院保守基金」は18日、ケンタッキー州の上院予備選で茶会系の新人を支援すると声明で表明。「マコネル氏は今回の裏切りだけではなく、民主党に味方し、リベラルな政策を支持してきた経歴がある」と述べた。
 この団体は保守系の有力シンクタンク「ヘリテージ財団」所長のデミント前上院議員が設立。茶会とも密接な関係にある。対抗馬支援の表明はケンタッキー州の保守層に「マコネル氏を落とせ」と号令をかけたに等しい。
 上院議員(定数100)は任期6年で、2年ごとに3分の1ずつ改選される。来年の中間選挙で改選される共和党の議席は14。茶会は「オバマ政権に妥協的だ」として、6人の現職議員に対立候補を擁立している。
 この6州はケンタッキーのほか、南部サウスカロライナ、テネシー、ミシシッピ、中西部カンザス、ワイオミングの各州。いずれも強固な保守地盤で、共和党候補に選ばれさえすれば、本選でも勝利する可能性が高い。
 茶会はこうした州の予備選での決定力を背景に、下院共和党の指導部に暫定予算案への徹底抗戦を働きかけ、政府機関の一部を閉鎖に追い込んだ。だが、医療保険改革法(オバマケア)を廃止に追い込めず、来年に順次行われる党内予備選に活動の重点を移した。
 保守層に影響力を持つ政治サイトの編集長はツイッターで「血の予備選」を呼び掛け。茶会は下院でも、オバマ政権に妥協的だとみた現職議員に「刺客」擁立を進めている。


---米国債務危機が示したもの---
2013年10月20日(日)
http://www.jcp.or.jp/akahata/aik13/2013-10-20/2013102004_01_1.html

基軸通貨国の威信低下
買い支える日本政府 債務不履行なら大被害

 米国の債務不履行(デフォルト)問題が世界の注目を集めました。米国では、16日夜、来年1月15日までの暫定予算と、2月7日までの間は現行債務上限を超える借り入れを可能とする法案が可決、成立、当面の危機は回避しました。期限となっていた17日のわずか1日前という土壇場での決着でした。しかし問題は先送りされただけ。このごたごたを通じ、基軸通貨ドルを発行している米国の威信低下が強く印象付けられる結果となりました。
(ワシントン=洞口昇幸、経済部=山田俊英)

各国から強い懸念
 今回のデフォルト危機には、各国から強い懸念が広がっていました。
 今月10、11の両日にワシントンで開かれた20カ国・地域(G20)財務相・中央銀行総裁会議の共同声明は、米国に「緊急の行動」を求めました。
 「米国への信頼や信用が失われると、基軸通貨としての米ドルの役割が損なわれる恐れがある」。米の有力経済紙ウォール・ストリート・ジャーナル16日付は専門家のこうした見解を掲載しました。
 ロイター通信は16日、「“脱アメリカ化された世界”の利益」と題するコラムで、世界経済の“主役交代”を印象付けました。米国は多くの未解決の問題があり、「米国型とは違った活力ある中核的存在」として中国や中南米諸国、インドなどを紹介。「やがて世界的な責任の一端を引き受ける」これらの国々・地域が、「より安定した将来を与える」との見方を示しています。
 土壇場まで決着が長引いた最大の理由は、共和党内の強硬的保守派「ティーパーティー(茶会)」によるオバマ政権への対決の構図があります。

民主・共和溝深く
 下院多数派の野党共和党は、政府機関の閉鎖解除と債務上限引き上げを駆け引き材料に、オバマ政権がすすめる医療保険改革法を大幅に見直すための交渉を要求。オバマ大統領は拒否し、対立が続きました。
 民主、共和両党間の溝は、今回の危機回避で埋まったわけではありません。
 16日夜の法案可決後、茶会系の上院議員は「(今後も)医療保険改革法を止めるために何でもする」と米テレビ局に答えています。
 同党は、無保険者解消のために財政支出を伴う同法を敵視し、実施の延長・阻止を目指してきました。今回も茶会が影響力を発揮、共和党は強硬姿勢を取りました。
 米調査機関ピュー・リサーチ・センターの16日発表の調査では、茶会を「好ましくない」とする答えが2010年の25%から49%に伸びました。
 しかし、共和党支持層の53%、無党派層の30%が「好ましい」と回答しています。
 この数字が14年の中間選挙、16年の次期大統領選挙を前に、茶会が共和党内で影響力を持つ理由だと米紙は分析しています。

第3政党求める声
 今回、「第3の有力政党」を求める声も6割と過去10年で最高(米ギャラップ社調査、11日発表)となり、米国民の二大政党への不信・不満が高まっています。
 来年2月7日の新たな債務上限の期限を前に、今年12月中旬までに超党派で財政赤字削減策もまとめなければなりません。
 「次のたたかいはほんの数カ月後だ」と、米CNNテレビは報じています。
 海外勢の中で米国債を買い支えているのは圧倒的に日本と中国です。米財務省の直近の統計(7月時点)によると、日本が保有する米国債は1兆1354億ドル(約111兆円)。米国外で保有される米国債の20%を占めています。2000年の約3000億ドルから4倍近くに急増しました。2008年以降、世界最大の米国債保有国になった中国(1兆2773億ドル、構成比23%)に次ぎ、日本は世界第2の米国債保有国です。
 米国債のデフォルトは先送りされたものの、危機が去ったわけではありません。米国債への信用が揺らげば、日本経済にも多大な影響が及びます。
 日本政府や金融機関が保有する米国債も価格が下がります。米国債を持つ銀行は保有資産に損失が出るため、貸し渋り、貸しはがしに走ります。投機筋が米国債を売り、資金の逃避先として日本国債を買うことで、円高ドル安が進む可能性があります。みずほ総合研究所の試算によると、5%の円高が生じるといいます。円高は日本の景気を冷え込ませ、賃下げや雇用情勢の悪化につながりかねません。


---共和党内の裏切りに反発 ティーパーティーや団体、対立候補支援へ---
2013.10.19 05:00
http://www.sankeibiz.jp/macro/news/131019/mcb1310190503010-n1.htm

 米議会は連邦債務の上限を引き上げ、政府機関の閉鎖を解除する法案を可決したが、ここにきて法案に賛成票を投じた共和党議員が窮地に立たされている。同党保守強硬派のティーパーティー(茶会党)と連携する団体が、こうした議員に対する支持の撤回を表明し、来年の中間選挙で別の候補を支援する考えを固めたためだ。
 ティーパーティーとともに特定の共和党議員への献金を行う2つの政治団体は18日までに、ミシシッピ州選出のコクラン上院議員を2014年の中間選挙で支持しない方針を表明した。今後は、州議会議員のクリス・マクダニエル氏を、対立候補に立てて、支援していくという。
 コクラン議員は16日夜の上院本会議で、オバマ政権に譲歩する内容の法案に賛成した。同法案に対しては、共和党の上院議員46人のうち18人が反対票を投じたが、コクラン議員と同様に次の中間選挙で改選となるマコネル院内総務なども賛成に回っており、支持団体から批判を浴びている。
 定数100人の上院で過半数獲得を目指す共和党だが、調査会社ギャラップが今月3~6日に実施した世論調査での支持率は過去最低の28%に落ち込み、民主党を15ポイント下回った。


---ティーパーティー、結束に乱れ-オバマケアで妥協の意向---
更新日時: 2013/10/07 07:56 JST
http://www.bloomberg.co.jp/news/123-MU9PN36TTDS801.html

 10月6日(ブルームバーグ):米医療保険改革法(オバマケア)廃止を目指すティーパーティー(茶会)に初めて結束の乱れが見られている。ティーパーティー系下院共和党議員3人がオバマケアに重点を置かない歳出法案を支持する考えを示した。
 ブレーク・ファレントホールド(テキサス州)、ダグ・ランボーン(コロラド州)、デニス・ロス(フロリダ州)の3議員はメディケア(高齢者向け医療保険制度)と社会保障の重要な変更や税法の大幅修正などの政策変更が含まれていれば、政府機関閉鎖の解除と債務上限引き上げでの合意を支持すると表明した。


---McCain seeks united Republican front against Obamacare as Cruz fights on---
Karen McVeigh in New York
theguardian.com, Sunday 20 October 2013 19.13 BST
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/20/mccain-cruz-republicans-obamacare-shutdown

Senior Republicans use talkshows to pile pressure on troubled healthcare rollout but sharp internal divisions remain

The battle within the Republican party highlighted by the recent government shutdown has damaged the party, hurt innocent Americans and taken attention away from the "fiasco" of the rollout of Obamacare, Senator John McCain said on Sunday.

McCain, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Lindsey Graham, a key McCain ally, tried to present a united front on the Sunday talkshows, insisting that the party's fight against President Barack Obama's signature healthcare reform would go on.

Ted Cruz, the first-term senator from Texas who led the charge by the party's rightwing Tea Party faction to shut down the government and bring the US to the brink of default on its debts, was less conciliatory. Appearing on CNN and ABC, he blamed Senate Republicans like McCain for abandoning their House colleagues over the shutdown and forcing them to accept a "lousy" deal which fell short of the goal of defunding the Affordable Care Act.

Cruz also suggested that he might seek to force another shutdown when the next deadline for agreeing a budget arrives, in January.

Polls show that support for the GOP, which is blamed for the shutdown, is at an all-time low.

Appearing on CNN's State of the Union, McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, said problems surrounding the rollout of Obamacare, which were acknowledged on Sunday by the treasury secretary, Jack Lew, would have been a bigger story if conservative Republicans had not staged a "fools errand" in their efforts to defund the law through shutting down the federal government.

"[There are] many ironies here, but one of them is the fiasco of this rollout has been obscured because of this internecine strife that's been going on in the Republican Party," McCain said.

Championed by Cruz, House Republicans insisted on attaching to spending bills provisions to defund Obamacare. The Democrat-controlled Senate refused to accept any such measures, leading to a stalemate that left the country in the grip of a 16-day government shutdown.

Asked if the end of the shutdown without any significant concession on Obamacare had seen Republicans enter a period of civil war, McCain said: "We have to have some straight talking. There are some divisions in the Republican party, we've had them in the past … it's very regrettable because our adversary is not each other and we will probably have to go through discussion and debate."

The Arizona senator, who was one of many senate Republicans to criticise the shutdown strategy, refused to single out Cruz directly. Instead he said he blamed the "whole effort".

"Those involved in it went on a fool's errand," he said, adding that Republicans should "keep up the fight against Obamacare, but don't shut down the government and have so much collateral damage to innocent Americans."
Cruz has not ruled out pursuing another government shutdown. McCain, pursuing the same line followed by McConnell on CBS's Face the Nation, said he was confident the American people would not let that happen.

"It will not happen," he said. "I am very confident the American people will not stand for another repetition of this disaster."

McCain did not call for the resignation of President Barack Obama's heath secretary, as other Republicans have done. Asked by CNN's Gloria Borger if he thought Kathleen Sebelius should resign, McCain said he supported the idea of congressional hearings to find out who was to blame.

"Let's find out who is responsible for this fiasco and then take the appropriate action," he said. "But this is just the beginning of the problems. That's why we Republicans have to keep up the fight. But we have to rifle-shot it rather than go at it with a meat axe, which cannot succeed."

He said Obamacare's rollout problems could be easily fixed: "Send Air Force One out to Silicon Valley, load it up with smart people, bring them back to Washington and fix this problem. It's ridiculous. And everybody knows that."

Cruz, who appeared on CNN's State of the Nation as well as ABC's This Week, did not rule out attempting to force another shutdown. Asked by ABC's Jonathan Karl whether he would rule out blocking funding of the government over Obamacare again, he said: "I would do anything and I will continue to do anything I can to stop the train wreck that is Obamacare.

"What I will do is continue standing [up for] the American people, because it isn't working, it's costing people jobs, and it's taking away their healthcare."

Since the launch of the insurance market federal website on 1 October, the rollout of the Affordable Care Act has been beset with problems. Users seeking to shop around for insurance have been unable to log in, there have been severe delays and some have reported seeing rates increase when they expected them to go down. The federal government has reported millions of visitors to the site, but have refused to give figures on how many people have actually enrolled.

A report by the Associated Press on Sunday showed that 476,000 health insurance applications had been filed for Obamacare through federal and state exchanges - the most detailed measure yet of the glitch-ridden site - but officials still refuse to release the raw data on how many people have enrolled.


---Government shutdown: Plenty of lessons to go around---
By Doyle McManus
October 20, 2013
http://www.latimes.com/opinion/commentary/la-oe-mcmanus-column-lessons-shutdown-20131020,0,7950565.column

But will Democrats and Republicans learn them?

Obama and the Democrats won; Republicans and the tea party lost. And both sides are gearing up for next time.

Now that our recent brush with financial crisis is behind us, it's time to start planning for the next one.

That's the problem Congress set up in the stopgap deal that ended the 16-day government shutdown and averted a collision with the debt ceiling. After all the sound and fury, the two parties agreed only on continuing federal spending at its current level until Jan. 15 and raising the debt ceiling until Feb. 7.

This was the epitome of a temporary cease-fire: An arrangement that freezes in place a situation neither side liked to begin with.

The deal didn't solve any of the long-term fiscal worries that landed us in this mess. It didn't even fix the sequester, the meat-ax budget cuts that hit good programs and bad ones without distinction.

Whether we can avoid a repeat performance this winter will depend on what lessons the two sides learn from the fiasco.

Let's take the Democrats first.

"There are no winners here," President Obama said politely Thursday morning as the government reopened.

But his aides and his allies in Congress don't really believe that - at least, not in a practical political sense.

They think the lesson of the crisis was straightforward: Toughness works. When Obama negotiated with House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) in 2011, he lost. The debt ceiling was raised, but Obama lost both on the substance of the issues and in the eyes of many voters. This time, when Obama dug in his heels and refused to negotiate over the debt ceiling, he won.

"Our goal was to prove to them that we were not going to engage with a gun pointed at our head," a White House aide told me. "That's accomplished."

That doesn't mean Obama won't negotiate with Republicans in the next round. Saying he wouldn't negotiate during the shutdown "was only a tactic; it wasn't a basic principle," the aide noted.

In the next round, Democrats hope to be negotiating from a better starting position. They believe Obama has shown he won't be pushed around, and they also are hopeful that Republicans got the message they can't use the debt ceiling as leverage any more.

"It's kryptonite; they won't want to touch it," the aide predicted.

In addition, next year's scheduled sequester cuts will slash defense spending more than this year's, a fact that might spur Republican hawks toward a deal Democrats want to soften both defense and domestic spending cuts.

And what did Republicans learn?

To Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the Senate Republican leader who negotiated the stopgap deal, the lesson was that government shutdowns end badly for Republicans, and he doesn't want to try another one. "There's no education in the second kick of a mule," McConnell told the conservative magazine National Review last week. "The first kick of the mule was in 1995; the second one was the last 16 days. A government shutdown is off the table. We're not going to do it."

Does that mean every Republican in Congress has sworn off trying to use the debt ceiling as leverage? Not necessarily.

To some of the tea party members of Congress who spearheaded the doomed strategy to demand an end to Obama's healthcare law as the price of keeping the government open, the lesson was that their own party wasn't tough enough.

"It was an incredible victory" at first, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) insisted in a radio interview - until more moderate Senate Republicans turned into an "air force bombing our own troops."

But the main lesson for many GOP House members, probably a majority, was that Republicans need clearer, more achievable objectives in the next round of negotiations.

"When you have multiple objectives, you can't have a clear strategy," a GOP strategist told me. "The Democrats have a clear goal - they want to undo the sequester and increase tax revenues. Republicans still haven't figured out what their goals are … [beyond] holding firm against tax increases."

Where does that leave us as the next budget battle approaches in January?

It's certain there won't be a "grand bargain" that trades long-term cuts in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security spending (Republican goals) for significant increases in tax revenue (a Democratic goal). That idea is now officially dead, at least in the short run.

Since 2014 is an election year, neither party is likely to make large concessions to the other; Republicans' ambitions to take control of the Senate and Democrats' hopes of taking over the House will make both sides cautious.

But it's possible that both sides might agree to modifying the sequester - a "mini-bargain." Both Obama and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) have talked about the idea of sequester "buy downs" - agreements to trade some sequester cuts for more careful spending reductions. "There's an acknowledgment on all sides that we can't live with the sequester," the White House aide said.

But the most likely outcome may look more like a "micro-bargain" - another agreement to kick the can down the road, perhaps with some modest new flexibility on spending cuts.

And for a Congress that defines dysfunction, even a stopgap solution that avoids a government shutdown or a financial crisis would look almost like a victory.


---Republicans seem no closer to unity for 2014, beyond but confident about elections---
Published October 20, 2013
FoxNews.com
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/10/20/republicans-seem-no-closer-to-unity-for-2014-beyond-but-confident-about/

Democrats are gloating that Republicans’ obsession with dismantling ObamaCare and other unreasonable negotiating tactics during recent financial talks to reopen the government has further divided their party and that they will pay in upcoming elections.

However, Republican strategists argue Democrats share the blame and problems with ObamaCare are just coming to the surface.

“There is plenty of blame to go around with regards to the shutdown,” say Joe Desilets of Harden Global, a Republican consulting firm. “While Democrats think that Republicans are taking all the damage, the truth is the shutdown will be long-forgotten as the problems of ObamaCare continue to come to light.”

The focus on the 2014 election continues to be on the House, which until recently Republicans were expected to retain, considering most members were in either solid red or blue districts with little possibility for an upset and most GOP incumbents more worried about a Tea Party challenge from within their own party.

However, Democrats point to a recent poll by left-leaning Public Policy Polling that shows registered voters have a 39 percent approval rating of congressional Democrats, compared to 29 percent for their Republican counterparts.

PPP said it found that 46 percent of voters would chose a Democrat and 41 percent would chose a Republican if a House vote were held today.

“Democrats continue to have the edge when it comes to who voters plan to support for Congress next year,” said firm President Dean Debnam. “They’re unhappy with everyone but they’re a lot more unhappy with the Republicans.”

Ben Tulchin, a Democratic pollster and president of San Francisco-based Tulchin Research, thinks voters are furious at Republicans for their recent negotiating tactics and for making Americans pay for the internal divide between its Tea Party and more moderate factions.

“Republicans got nothing out of this,” he told FoxNew.com “And a lot of districts that shouldn’t be competitive now are. They could potentially lose their last beach head -- the House.”

Desilets disagrees, saying Republicans will definitely keep the House and have the potential to close the gap in the Senate in the 2014 election.

“Few, if any, consultants believe that the shutdown will win out as an issue against Republicans in 2014,” he told FoxNews.com. “Democrats have few options if they think that the issue of the shutdown is how they will defeat Republicans at the ballot box. It simply has no legs.”

Tulchin says he has no problem with the Republican Party “needing to find itself” but thinks that needs to be played out in the primaries.

He says the New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie wing, the Tea Party candidates, social conservatives and others “have to have that debate but don’t take down the government.”

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio gave his support Sunday to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, following criticism he caved to Senate Democratic leadership and let down the House in the recent negotiations.

“I think he is trying to lead our conference,” Rubio told “Fox News Sunday.” “It's a diverse conference with a lot of different opinions, and that's a tough job to begin with. And of course, he's got to represent his own state.”

Still, Matt Bevin, McConnell’s biggest primary challenger and a Tea Party candidate, immediately after the Capitol Hill votes Wednesday that reopened the government and increase the federal debt ceiling said “Kentuckians were sold out” by the deal broker by the Senate minority leader and Majority Leader Harry Reid.

In addition, the Senate Conservatives Fund, the powerful political action group, has recently announced that it is going to support Bevin.

Potential 2016 GOP presidential candidates tried in the weeks surrounding the partial shutdown to distance themselves from the issue.

Christie and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said shutting down the government would violate the public trust.

Walker said shutting down the government violates government’s chief responsibility to run, and run efficiently. He views the next round of congressional campaigns as a referendum on ObamaCare, passed three years and two elections ago.

“The best way to fight it is in the 2014 elections,” he said last month. 

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal also have attempted to create some daylight between themselves and their would-be rivals.

Paul called a shutdown “a dumb idea” but said the fight about it was worth having.

Jindal has said Republicans need to be “more than the party of ‘no’ ” but that it’s a bad idea to take any option off the table, including government shutdown.

“I don’t think as a party we should negotiate with ourselves,” he said.


---McConnell vows no more government shutdowns. Does tea party agree?---
By Mark Sappenfield, Staff writer / October 20, 2013
http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/DC-Decoder/2013/1020/McConnell-vows-no-more-government-shutdowns.-Does-tea-party-agree-video

Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday that government shutdowns were a bad idea not consistent with conservative ideals. But it's unclear whether other Republicans agree.

Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R) of Kentucky said Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation": "There will not be another government shutdown. You can count on that."

It is an impressive statement, coming from the top Senate Republican. As the man who has finagled the Republicans out of two debt-ceiling crises, too, his voice carries no small weight.

Then again, it does bear noting: He never wanted this one, either.

And that probably means one of two things:

1. His statement is just political bluster designed to assuage a nation that, polls say, are angry at Republicans for a government shutdown that accomplished effectively nothing.

2. He is actually going to try to get tough on tea party Republicans.

If the answer is No. 1, well, we've seen this show before. But if the answer is No. 2, who knows what will happen next.

The government shutdown, in fact, looks a lot like No. 1. No establishment Republicans thought it was a good idea, and for all the complaining they've done about President Obama taking a "victory lap" post-crisis, many Senate Republicans are taking victory laps of their own, telling the tea parties how stupid this all was.

Yet what could they do to stop it? Admittedly, Senate Republican firebrands like Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky were marginalized, but Ted Cruz of Texas got more screen time than Kim Kardashian.The word "Cruzsade" was coined. Seriously.

And how about the conservatives in the House?

Like Senator McConnell, House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio didn't want a government shutdown. In fact, he pleaded with his colleagues not to do it. But they went ahead and did it anyway.

This accession to his caucus, of course, is in Mr. Boehner's political DNA. He is a legislator's legislator. Let the process work. Let the members speak. Let the House work its will. But what if he all of a sudden decided to go all Tom DeLay on us and started cracking skulls? What if he said, "enough is enough, there will not be another government shutdown"? And meant it.

If Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R) of Kansas is any indication, that might not work so well.

In December, the House Steering Committee, which is essentially an arm of Boehner's authority, removed Representative Huelskamp from his positions on the Budget and Agriculture Committees. Quite clearly, Boehner was sending a message to one of his most intransigent tea party insurgents: Pipe down.

In recent weeks, however, Huelskamp became virtually the spokesman for House conservatives during the shutdown - if anything, gaining clout on the Hill and cementing himself as a power player in the House.

With well-funded conservative activists and action groups calling for no compromise, they are always needing new heroes to tout - and to finance. Huelskamp has not gone away. He's gotten stronger.

Which brings us back to McConnell's pledge Sunday. Perhaps establishment Republicans can find a leash by which to bring tea partyers to heel. But they haven't yet. And with data suggesting that House Republicans are not driven by a few tea party members, but have in fact moved significantly rightward as a whole in recent years, how do you dictate terms to a whole caucus?

Perhaps conservatives themselves have come to the same conclusion as McConnell. Perhaps they have realized that government shutdowns are an excessively ineffective political tool - an enormous cost with no gain.

But the so-called "civil war" raging within the GOP has more than a note of truth. The tea party might not be an official party, but it continues to act like a separate rightist party in practice. Would adherents ever choose the good of the (establishment) Republican Party above their own ideology?

That, it seems, is the question for which McConnell has not yet found a satisfactory answer.


---Heckler Calls Palin An Idiot As She Says Vets Shouldn't Be Used As Pawns---
By Sarah Rae Fruchtnicht, Thu, October 17, 2013
http://www.opposingviews.com/i/politics/heckler-calls-palin-idiot-she-says-vets-shouldnt-be-used-pawns-video#

During a veterans march to the World War II memorial Sunday, former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin was heckled by activists, ironically, just when she was saying that veterans should not be used as political pawns.

“This is a matter of shutdown priorities,” Palin said over shouts and jeers.

“You’re an idiot,” shouted a male heckler, turning the heads of her Tea Party entourage and causing others to laugh.

“Our vets have proven that they have not been timid, we will not be timid in calling out any who would use our military, our vets, as pawns in a political game,” Palin continued.

Organizers of the “Million Vet March on the Memorials” said on its website that it resented Palin and Tea Party Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, hijacking the demonstration it says was meant to be “apolitical.”

The group says it just wants make sure memorials stay open during a shutdown as an essential government service, citing those vets who are elderly or sick and may be missing their last opportunity to visit these sites.

“We feel disheartened that some would seek to hijack the narrative for political gain. The core principle is about all Americans honoring Veterans in a peaceful and apolitical manner," organizers wrote.

The group said it was Tea Party activists who carried Confederate flags and called out in front of the White House for President Barack Obama to “put down the Quran” and “come out with his hands up.”

“While we support many of those groups common causes for Veterans, we do not support the manner in which they go about it,” the group said on Facebook. “We chose instead to not incite or create panic.”

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