Saturday, February 15, 2014

Boehner and McConnell fall on swords to stop Tea Party bitten by amnesia bug

This past  week, John Boehner, House Speaker  and 27 of his fellow Republicans, fell on their swords to aid their party  when they joined with Democrats   to raise   the debt ceiling  with no strings attached and to block  Tea Party  threats to shut down the government again. The Senate then passed the legislation on a party line vote, though  enough Republicans led by  minority leader Mitch McConnell,  voted to break  the filibuster rule requirement of 60 votes. The GOP leaders realized the Tea Party must have been bitten by the amnesia try to repeat their last fiasco and other failed strategies.   
Last fall,  Boehner let the Tea Party have their way and the GOP did shut down the government. The  political backlash   was so severe , Republicans  even feared they would lose seats in the 2014 midterms and set up another Democratic win for the White House in 2016.   The GOP was  saved by   the bungled roll out of Obamacare, charges the President’s” lied” about keeping insurance,   and a budget deal.
That Boehner’s action risked  his  speakership and Mitch McConnell gave fuel to Tea Party opponents in his upcoming primary  shows that the Tea Party has   nearly   completed their takeover  of the Republican party.   In Colorado,  traditional  business oriented Republicans are only bystanders in a battle between the Tea Party Express and local ultra conservatives   to see who can endorse the most conservative candidate to take on Democrat Sen.  Mark Udall in November.  Similar battles elsewhere   guarantee that Democratic candidates for state houses and  Congress in blue and purple states will have an advantage in facing  the most extreme opponents who will have problems  pivoting to the center to  appeal  to moderate middles in the general election.  
This year the situation is different . The web site works. As of February 1 nearly 14  million are already covered by Obamacare (3.3 million through the exchanges; 7 million through Medicaid expansion and  3 million young adults on parents’ policies).  An estimated 60% of the  5 million losing individual insurance have found other insurance policies or qualified for cheaper ones.. By the 2014 mid terms, the administration  projects    six  million will have signed up through Obamacare  exchanges. .  The Tea Party still is adamantly advocating  total repeal and no replacement. All those  benefiting  by November 2014  will not look kindly on candidates wanting to take away their newly acquired affordable  insurance coverage.
The Tea Party’s domination of the GOP will also help  Democrat’s chances of holding onto the Senate since key states with large Hispanic populations swung  blue in 2012  by their  disaffection with the GOP’s perceived hostility, Colorado included..   Thanks to Tea Party fanatics in Congress, Boehner was forced to back down from any compromise or even a piecemeal approach to immigration reform this year.
The Tea Party  continues to  alienate  unmarried women, a must win voting block.   Anti choice platforms and  Insults  continue, the latest by former  Gov. Mike Huckabee who opined   women wanted the pill  because they could not keep their “libido” under control.   The GOP ‘s repeal  of  Obamacare would   eliminate  Obamacare  standards  that prohibit  higher  premiums  for women  or covering  mammograms  and birth control pills sans  co-pays. Since women comprise much of the minimum wage workforce, GOP opposition to raising it is one more  turnoff.

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