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The GOP Chooses Pottersville, Again

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By:Tom Piatak | December 12, 2014

Last night, John Boehner convinced 162 House Republicans to vote for a bill funding the federal government, with the exception of the Department of Homeland Security, through September. Boehner couldn't convince 67 House Republicans to vote for the bill, but it passed the House, since the White House was able to convince 57 House Democrats to back Boehner's bill.

Although the vote was on an arcane spending bill, it represented yet another gross betrayal of Republican voters by Republican leaders. After President Obama announced his illegal executive amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants—which even Yale Law School professor Peter Schuck conceded was an impeachable offense—Republican leaders were filled with outrage, when preening before the TV cameras. But, in quieter venues, they did everything they could to scuttle any effective measure to thwart Obama's executive amnesty.

First, they declared that impeachment was off the table. Then, they said that any effort to defund the amnesty was also off the table, because Congress could not defund programs paid for by fees, as many immigration programs are. After the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service provided many examples of Congress successfully shutting down programs paid for by fees, some Republican leaders still stuck to that line, while others said that they couldn't defund Obama's amnesty because they couldn't risk a government shutdown.

Last night's vote showed how disingenuous that last argument was. The reason Barack Obama had to corral recalcitrant Democrats to vote for the bill was because the GOP leadership—which refused to allow any rider defunding the Obama amnesty—had allowed 100 other riders. One of these scuttled regulations limiting the ability of banks to trade on derivatives. And this last rider nearly caused the government shutdown the GOP leaders said they couldn't allow. In other words, the GOP leadership was willing to go the mat to help the big banks, but wouldn't lift a finger to stop Obama's disastrous executive amnesty.

Millions of people who voted for the GOP in last month's midterm elections did so because they were opposed to the amnesty Obama had said was coming after the elections. No ordinary Americans voted for the GOP because they wanted more gambling on derivatives by banks. When campaigning, the GOP professes its fealty to Bedford Falls. But, in power, it chooses Pottersville time after time again.



Clyde Wilson
Columbia, SC
12/12/2014 07:29 PM

  So, what else is new?

12/12/2014 08:03 PM

  Dr. Wilson, I recall a while back you suggested that the entire reason the GOP exists is "to capture and diffuse any conservative impulse which might inspire the ordinary citizen or his kin." I think Mr. Piatak's excellent conclusion -- "When campaigning, the GOP professes its fealty to Bedford Falls. But, in power, it chooses Pottersville time after time again," is simply another piece of a long list of demonstrative evidence substantiating your thesis about the lying GOP

David Smith
Montgomery County
12/12/2014 08:44 PM

  "It's those lousy RINOs who've betrayed us conservatives again!" exclaimed the conservative voter. No, foolish boy, the RINOs are, and always have been, the true Republican Party!

Christopher Ikaris
Brooklyn, NY
12/13/2014 07:16 AM

  Sometime in the late 1970s, a friend once advised me to always vote Republican because, according to his reasoning, the Republicans always make things worse and only when social and economic conditions get really bad will the American people wake up and support the solution that they really needed, which to him was socialism. I pointed out that even if the Republicans always do make things worse in his view, the only other party that could gain political power was the Democratic party and they were moderate to liberal, and not a socialist party. He admitted that the Democratic party was not yet a socialist party, but countered that by the time the Republicans made things really bad the Democratic party would be a socialist party. I thought his ideas and electoral approach were completely crazy and I told him so. That was the end of our friendship. In the meantime, over the years, I voted Republican as every good, decent and moral American does, thinking that the Republican party was a good, decent and moral party led by good, decent and moral men looking out for the safety and prosperity of the country, which equated to me and my neighbors. Now, after all these years, the Republican party has made the country far worse, and the Democrats have become a socialist party and are on the verge of destroying America forever. I suppose I owe my former friend an apology.

Vince Cornell
King George
12/14/2014 12:19 AM

  We actually just finished watching "It's a Wonderful Life" with the kids. The sad thing is that there is no more Bedford Falls. No more local drug stores. Hardly any local places to eat. Certainly no local building & loans place. It's all national banks, national chains, Walmarts, CVS Pharmacys . . .etc. The few places out in the country that are not completely awash in National Pottersville-ness are, thanks to the fairly wretched economy brought to us by Wall Street and Free Trade, dirt poor and often welfare ridden. Can you imagine, today, a large community of folks pooling their resources to save a member of their community who seems to have fallen on hard times? Today, George Bailey would be smeared by the local media, folks would be Tweeting about him and Violet, and wallets would stay firmly shut as folks, safely ensconced in impermeable shells of self righteousness, "tut tut" the fall from grace of the man who seemed to be so virtuous but who, of course, was really just a horrible evil person anyway. I don't have any love lost for the Republicans. In fact, I can't stand them. But we have such bigger problems facing us.


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