Hm. I think Sorchus has a point even so- having an election NOT be preceded by a year of systematic, carefully synchronized advertising campaigns might actually be a good thing for America, because it would compress and reduce the horse-race aspect of the election, shifting a bit more of the focus onto the issue that caused a no-confidence scenario in the first place.
Also, it just plain lights a fire under the congressman's ass. See, MPs everywhere are not that hot for elections: some love campaigning and the whole shebang, but most are at least stressed over losing their seat, at worst actively hate it. Having their cadence cut can be a real bother for all but the most hardcore ideologues, and even ideologues would have to be re-elected in order to keep pushing their ideology.
Hm. Yes. I can see how the threat
of a no-confidence dissolution of the government would have a salutary effect. Here I was focused on the actual consequences of the dissolution itself.
We've got a split in the government between one party that says "let's keep the basic structure as is, and maybe enact a few extensions of the welfare state which have been proposed/debated on and off for fifty years
by various members of both parties." And one party which says "we want radical changes to the current structure, we want them now, and we're anarchist enough to think the American people would be better off without the government, so we'll stop the government from functioning in order to get those changes!"
When there is a roughly equal split between those two parties, it is very difficult to construct a functioning government. Because one side will, if put into power, immediately act to sabotage and destroy large parts of the government's function. And the other side can't negotiate effectively and will soon get tired of trying, because even preserving the status quo
requires endless headbutting matches with the radicals.
Simon, I can respect it when people admit to to the fact that they would rather shut the government down than kill the ACA - and you know that. Honestly, I don't know who is going to take the blame for this - it really could go either way.
If it were a case of "delay the ACA to keep the government running indefinitely
," I might well say "delay the ACA." But this is more like a case of "let the government shut down, or make the fundamental mistake of negotiating with a blackmailer." Once you've agreed to let the blackmailer/hostage-taker/whatever manipulate you by saying "obey me or I will shut down the government..." he is never going to stop
. He's got you by the short hairs and he knows it now.
And I would rather deal with a single prolonged government shutdown that is not repeated, than deal with repeated
shutdowns and policy disasters. Which would be caused by the Tea Party threatening a shutdown every few months when they don't get their way. I deal with enough of that kind of endless, childish irresponsible willingness to shoot oneself in the foot to get one's way at work; I don't want to see it in politics.
The pre-2010 Democratic Congress was only barely able to accomplish major policy goals, because even in the minority, the Republicans would consistently vote in lockstep to an extent that required every single Democrat to vote in lockstep for anything important to happen over a filibuster. The post-2010 Republican Congress took that and put actual power behind it, beyond the "Ils ne passeront pas!" aspect of the filibuster.
There is no grounds for, and not much hope for, the effectiveness of negotiations in this situation. And I would argue that the tone for this has been set by the vast majority of congressional Republicans consistently supporting even the most bizarre and stupid excesses of the Tea Party congressmen. The most hilarious moment of the past few years in the House, in my opinion, was the day the Democrats abstained from voting on one of the Tea Party budgets... and suddenly you saw a mass of Republicans switching votes when they realized "well hell, this thing might actually pass for a change, and it's a total embarassment!"
They have shown themselves to be corrupt, and to be honest, I think all of the groups should be reviewed - to a reasonable set of standards. The problem those who argue against allowing the conservative groups the status ignore is that if the status is revoked prior to cleaning out the entire IRS divisions that were responsible for the misconduct (as well as anyone above them), then it reverts to looking like partisan retribution.
If the IRS had done nothing but stage a lot of investigations and hammer, say, eight conservative and maybe one liberal "nonprofit" for being PACs, there are two possibilities.
The one is that the IRS's investigations branch has, in the course of four years under Obama (how many people has he actually appointed, what's the turnover been since Bush?), become so corrupt and partisan that it cannot be trusted to detect only crimes which exist.
The other is, well, there are a lot of conservative PACs masquerading as nonprofits. Why are you so confident that you refuse to even seriously entertain this second explanation?
[Come to think of it, where are all the Bush-era hires in the IRS whistleblowing on this, if there really is such a blatantly partisan slant to their investigations?]
Prosecutorial misconduct is always poisonous, and certainly a prosecution against an incumbent in election season will benefit their opponent.
Ah, so now the question becomes "Was the Election of Mark Begich fraudulent, and if so, are the bills that were passed with him as a critical vote [ie those that were passed with him as the50, 51, or 60 votes depending on the circumstances] fraudulent?"
Does it count as fraud if you try to suppress voter turnout by telling people to show up to vote on the wrong day? Just wondering.
Because this is a sword that can so
cut both ways.
Well, seeing as Comrade Pelosi was the one incharge of the House back in 2009 and 2010, you can't blame it on all on Boehner. Also, so what if they established that their goal was to make Obama a one term president - that's part of their job as political party leaders. It's not their job as members of the Legislature, but they do wear two hats.
I have to ask- if the Reid/Pelosi Congress of, say, June 2010 had passed a budget, would you now blame the House Republicans for failure to do so at any time since? Just wondering.
Because your argument seems to be "well, the Democrats didn't pass a budget when the only thing they had to worry about was overcoming a Senate filibuster,* so obviously it's their fault that they aren't doing it now when the Republicans have the whole House on their side."
If they had
pushed a budget past a Republican Senate filibuster, would it become the House Republicans' fault that they did not push a budget past a Republican House? Would you actually be up and saying this? Or would you just find some other justification for portraying the hostage-takers as the reasonable party here?
*Which you have to know was a serious challenge at that time whenever major legislation cropped up, because of the intense struggle to get to not 50 but *60* votes in the Senate to pass Obamacare...