0

ROBINSON: GOP Too juvenile to govern

Eugene Robinson

Eugene Robinson

WASHINGTON -- With budgetary tantrums in the Senate and investigative play-acting in the House, the Republican Party is proving once again that it simply cannot be taken seriously.

This is a shame. I don't share the GOP's philosophy, but I do believe that competition makes both of our major parties smarter. I also believe that a big, complicated country facing economic and geopolitical challenges needs a government able to govern.

What we don't need is the steady diet of obstruction, diversion and gamesmanship that Republicans are trying to ram down the nation's throat. It's not as if President Obama and the Democrats are doing everything right. It's just that the GOP shrinks from doing anything meaningful at all.

The most glaring example, at the moment, is in the Senate. For four years, Republican senators lambasted their Democratic colleagues -- with justification -- for not approving a budget, one of the basic tasks of governance. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and others regularly took to the Senate floor to announce the number of days since the Senate last produced a spending plan and to blast Majority Leader Harry Reid for this shocking failure.

Two months ago, Reid and the Democrats finally passed a budget. Since the House has already passed its version -- the controversial plan authored by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. -- the next step should be for both chambers to appoint members of a conference committee that would iron out the differences. But Republicans won't let this happen.

Specifically, far-right conservatives including Ted Cruz of Texas, Marco Rubio of Florida, Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky are refusing to allow the Senate to appoint its representatives to the conference. Yes, having demanded this budget for four years, Republicans are now refusing to let it go forward.

Some Republicans, that is. Establishment types such as John McCain of Arizona are apoplectic at the antics of their tea party-inspired colleagues, which McCain called "absolutely out of line and unprecedented."

Cruz and the others are worried that a conference committee might not only work out a budget but also make it possible to raise the federal debt ceiling without the now-customary showdown threatening default and catastrophe. They believe that brinkmanship is the only way to stop runaway government spending, which produces massive trillion-dollar deficits, which add to the ballooning national debt, which ...

Hold on, senator. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the deficit is shrinking rapidly and will fall to $642 billion this fiscal year. That's still substantial, but it's less than half the deficit our government ran in 2011. More important, if annual deficits continue to decline as the CBO predicts, the long-term debt problem begins to look more manageable. That's good news, right?

What Republicans ought to do is declare a victory for fiscal conservatism and move on to the battle to have their priorities reflected in the budget -- a promising fight, since the conferees appointed by the GOP-controlled House are hardly going to be flaming liberals. Instead, the party seeks not consensus but crisis.

This is no way for a 2-year-old to act, much less the self-proclaimed "world's greatest deliberative body."

And speaking of juvenile behavior, I would be remiss not to mention how Rep. Darrell Issa of California and his GOP colleagues in the House are embarrassing themselves by straining to turn Obama administration missteps into Watergate-style scandals.

The deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, resulted from a security lapse of the kind that every recent administration, unfortunately, has suffered. Since future administrations will have lapses as well, congressional oversight could be useful in at least making sure the specific mistakes of Benghazi are not repeated. But instead, House Republicans summon the television cameras and ask round after round of tendentious questions -- without paying the slightest attention to the answers.

Similarly, on the question of how and why the IRS gave added scrutiny to conservative "social welfare" groups seeking nonprofit status, House inquisitors seem barely interested in what actually happened. "What did the president know and when did he know it?" was an appropriate question. But the follow-up -- "Harrumph, well then, why didn't he know sooner?" -- isn't much in the way of scandal material.

And concerning the Justice Department's overzealous crusade to thwart classified leaks -- and investigative reporting -- it is amusing to watch House Republicans twist themselves into champions of the hated Lamestream Media. Who knew?

None of this is boosting the GOP's poll numbers. I've got an idea: Why don't they try doing the people's business for a change?

Eugene Robinson's email address is eugenerobinson@washpost.com.

Comments

JV 1 year, 3 months ago

Appalling lack of intelligence here. Robinson calling republicans infantile and we have a potus who only seems to now how to play golf and basketball and is most certainly an empty suit. What is written here does not reflect most of the country's sentiments. It is sad and also scary that Eugene Robinson and others who believe the way he does are so blind and obtuse that they do not see the obstruction, diversion, and gamesmanship being played by Obama, his administration, and Democrat members of Congress. Robinson, clueless as usual.

2

Jan 1 year, 3 months ago

Please! Do not arbitrarily group the sentiments of Americans to be reflected in your extremist opinions. Polls demonstrate that you are in the minority. Even many Republicans are critical of the infantile like behavior brought on by the surge of the tea party voters electing representatives that are only interested in blocking any real progress. The big problem with Obama is that he is too interested in bipartisanship and has ceded too much to republicans his efforts for compromise. Now Republicans in the House seem to think that they can dictate terms and accuse the President of obstruction when they don't get their way. They have even had the gall to pass the overturn of the affordable health care act, at my last count, 37 times - probably more by now. They know full well that this is nothing more than political posturing and a significant waste of time and tax payer dollars. They should spend that time on things like reconciling the differences in the Ryan budget and the one passed by the Senate, but the no compromise blockers are not interested in anything except tax breaks for the wealthy, making guns available for criminals and getting reelected through the funding of special interest groups.

1

Haughton 1 year, 3 months ago

Ms. Jan

Your constant regurgitation of BHO talking points show a lack of education on your part. BHO and the continual Blame GWB and the Republicans are childish arguments. BHO and the Democrats are the definition of Juvenile, and your caustic rhetoric backs up that fact.

I have provided links to 4 articles written by former BHO followers that are waking up to the reality of a failed prophet. It appears these people have grown up. Perhaps you should do the same?

http://www.blackagendareport.com/content/reject-obamas-personal-responsibility-snake-oil

http://www.blackagendareport.com/content/freedom-rider-obama-%E2%80%9Cdog-whistle%E2%80%9D

http://www.blackagendareport.com/content/cornel-west-obama-%E2%80%9C-war-criminal%E2%80%9D

http://www.blackagendareport.com/content/obama-legacy-pt-1-many-top-ten-things-black-america-will-have-show-8-years-president-obama

2

JV 1 year, 3 months ago

Love your desperation. Enjoy...

Rate Shock: In California, Obamacare to Increase Individual Health Insurance Premiums by 64-146%

http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/05/30/rate-shock-in-california-obamacare-to-increase-individual-insurance-premiums-by-64-146/

2

jack 1 year, 3 months ago

"The big problem with Obama is that he is too interested in bipartisanship ......"

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA (wipes tears from eyes) HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

1

skalawag 1 year, 3 months ago

Republicans make a lot of claims but produce no examples to back up their claims. What obstruction, diversion and gamesmanship? It sounds to me to be just a reiteration of right-wing talking points.

1

Haughton 1 year, 3 months ago

Mr. Skalawag

And where are your facts and links to support your claims? One would think since you are attempting to support BHO that you could do him justice and show factual information, other than what the BHO media regurgitates on a daily basis.

Here is an example of what former BHO followers are publically saying about him. Enjoy the adult world reading:

http://www.blackagendareport.com/content/obama-legacy-pt-1-many-top-ten-things-black-america-will-have-show-8-years-president-obama

2

Weston69 1 year, 3 months ago

Thank You Jan JV was making no sense at all. Your use of facts is much appreciated. Mr.Robinson made a good point, why not have a conference committee go forward?

0

Haughton 1 year, 3 months ago

Silly Mr. Robinson

BHO and the Democrats are the ones that are too juvenile to govern. BHO was given the presidency with no experience. He was then given the job again with dismal historic numbers. Uneducated voters put him into office two times. A popularity contest and playground promises that never come to fruition are childish reasons to give BHO the presidency.

The biggest show of immaturity by BHO and the Democrats is blaming everything that happens on GWB and the Republicans.

How much more juvenile can BHO and the Democrats get?

2

FordGalaxy 1 year, 3 months ago

So the current administration, beseiged as they are by scandals on all sides, and continually deflecting criticism by blaming George W Bush or the Republicans for every little thing, is a good model of governance, eh? We're told that Barack Obama is the most intelligent man to ever be President, and yet, for some strange reason, his own advisors keep information from him. The media, until recently, has protected him at every turn. Criticism of his policies is easily disregarded as "racist."


And now we learn that wanteing to hold people accountable for their actions, and wanting to cut spending and limit the growth and scope of the federal government is "juvenile." You've got liberal congressmen saying that the tea party types who want to cut spending and frankly don't care about their own re-election are dangerous. But this is the type of discussion you're bound to get in a society that has career politicians.


The truth is Barack Obama is better at campaigning than governing. He's always in campaign mode. He doesn't really have control of his cabinet, as evidenced by them holding information from him (ostensibly to protect him from scandal). One of the key members of his cabinet from the early days, Ms. Valerie Jarrett, actually delivered a line that should've given insight into his administration. She said he would be "ready to rule" from day one. Presidents don't rule, they are supposed to be leaders. Newsweek editor Evan Thomas, commenting on the political clamor of the day, claimed that Obama was "...standing above the country, above -- above the world, a sort of god." Just imagine the uproar if Glenn Beck or Bill O'Reilly had ever said the George W Bush was "sort of god."


But Robinson is right...it's only the GOP and the Tea Party who are juvenile. After all, the Tea Party spat on black congressman and called them racially insensitive names (none of which is proven, by the way). The Tea Party is "admittedly racist" (stated by Julian Bond, the NAACP Chair Emeritus) (also unproven). The GOP wants to take from those who have and spread the wealth around (like petulant children...oh wait, Obama's the one who said that). The Republicans are juvenile...it's all George W Bush's fault.

2

kevin 1 year, 3 months ago

It is so funny to see what words Robinson will play in his writings. Once he shows his "hand" it is so obvious that he is such a jerk. Never gives facts from both sides. His deck of cards (his words) are so full of holes (and loaded) it is always a good laugh to see how good an effect Fox news is having on him and the Liberals..

We like our liberties and freedoms. If you do not Mr. Robinson, the door to this country swings both ways.

As for your comment, "Why don't they try doing the people's business for a change?" I would like to see you have the guts to ask Obama that just once!! Is it because Obama and his administration have no experience and no how? Or is it simply power and greed?

2

SuxBeanU 1 year, 3 months ago

Gino, someday when you grow up you may learn to be objective, until then jus tgo back down to your room in the basement of the white house.

2

SuxBeanU 1 year, 3 months ago

ROBINSON: GOP Too juvenile to govern ** FLASH** ROBINSON: I'm Too juvenile to be an opinion writer

2

notblind 1 year, 3 months ago

I'm sure the whole purpose of having northern liberal newspaper columns printed here is to educate the natives about the thinking of the typical yankee. Since northern states are shedding citizens southward this should be a wake up call on the voting instincts of many if not most new residents to the south. Anybody that feels confident about our future please speak up.

2

JV 1 year, 3 months ago

Excellent point. Here is why I feel confident.

Fact 1: U.S. House - Reps 231 > Dems 201

Fact 2: U.S. Governors - Reps 31 > Dems 19

Fact 3: State Senates - Reps 32 > Dems 18

Fact 4: State Houses - Reps 31 > Dems 19

2

notblind 1 year, 3 months ago

That's now, not the future. It will take some time before the demographic changes take full effect.

1

Jan 1 year, 3 months ago

Anyone that resorts to blackagendareport.com as a source is really desperate. Glen Ford does have a knack for twisting the facts to suit his agenda but he does not present them accurately. If you want your "facts" to be given any credence, you should not cite extreme sites -- left or right -- They are weighted down so much with biased opinion to make them unreliable as a final source.

0

Haughton 1 year, 3 months ago

Ms. Jan

My sources trump your lack of sources, facts and links. If you want to be taken seriously, you really should practice what you preach.

I will continue to use links to sources as I see fit as related to the topic. You seem to be the lone opinion regarding my credible links.

Good day Ms. Jan

3

jack 1 year, 3 months ago

Haughton-
Jan is a Mr., not a Ms.

That does not change the fact that he is quick to denigrate others sources as "extreme" while rarely divulging the source(s) of his "facts".

1

Jan 1 year, 3 months ago

While it is true that I rarely give sources, I do give factual information that I have researched from multiple sources. If I tell you where to find it, you have learned very little. If I can encourage you to hone your research abilities, then you might actually learn something useful. How can anyone take you seriously when you apparently are dependent on a single source? You will notice that I am not directing this at Jack since his comments do reflect an ability to check multiple resources on many issues, even though we disagree on many points.

0

Haughton 1 year, 3 months ago

Ms. Jan

So you are agreeing with Mr. jack that you "denigrate others sources as "extreme" while rarely divulging the source(s) of his "facts".

An admission of guilt?

3

Haughton 1 year, 3 months ago

Ms. Jan

You never give sources or links and quite frankly every time you post the majority of your information is opinion, fantasy and pure rubbish. Stating that you are encouraging research from others is total hogwash, that is just another liberal talking point that can be found wildly slung around the internet. Even John Kerry (D) has been forced to admit that party followers are uninformed.

http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/us_politics/2010/09/john_kerry_democrats%E2%80%99_woes_stem_uninformed_voters

The internet is filled with information and links to back the hollow liberal mindset. The media makes it easy for you and liberal loyalists and provides slanted information. Informed Democrat is an oxymoron.

Ms. Jan, your posts are making you the poster child of this entire original topic. Your juvenile cries of "my sources are better than yours" is confirmation that your party is desperate and grasping at straws to hold on to the little dignity you have.

3

kevin 1 year, 2 months ago

Just another cartoon article in the GDP.

0

Sign in to comment