Category Archives: Republicans

House Republicans and Their Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad First Week of Congress

With the 115th Congress beginning this week and the President-Elect’s inauguration taking place in two weeks, Republicans have a responsibility to govern and get things done for the American people.

“It’s put-up or shut-up time for Republicans…Republicans who have shied from the responsibility of government will now be called upon to support increases in the debt limit, approve annual budgets, endorse spending bills and back other must-pass measures that they formerly left to the Democrats and some of their more compromising colleagues.” [NY Times, 1/2/17]

But just days into the new Congress, Republicans are off to a rocky start. Instead of working with Democrats on bipartisan priorities, they began the week facing immense public outcry after attempting to gut the independent ethics office and they continue to struggle with deep divisions over their efforts to Make America Sick Again. Here’s a look at how the new Congress is playing out so far:

Reversing Course on Gutting the Office of Congressional Ethics:

Washington Post: A day of chaos at the Capitol as House Republicans back down on ethics changes

“A day of pageantry to open the 115th Congress and usher in a new period of Republican governance was overtaken Tuesday by an embarrassing reversal on ethics oversight, with the GOP gripped by internal division.”
New York Times: House Republicans, Under Fire, Back Down on Gutting Ethics Office

“It was supposed to be a triumphant morning for Republicans on Capitol Hill…By noon, party leaders had a message for their charges: It was not going smoothly.”

“‘It was a stumble,’ said Representative Mark Sanford, Republican of South Carolina…‘Probably not the way you want to start out.’”

Politico: House GOP reverses course on gutting ethics panel

“Following a public outcry… House Republicans reversed course Tuesday on a proposal to gut their own ethics watchdog.”

“‘We shot ourselves in the foot,’ said Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), who said the ethics snafu was an unnecessary self-inflicted wound. ‘Sometimes people have to learn the hard way.’”

The Hill: House GOP scraps plan to gut ethics watchdog after emergency meeting

“The 115th session hadn’t even formally gaveled in before House GOP leaders held an emergency conference meeting to discuss blowback against the party’s vote to gut the chamber’s independent ethics watchdog… [A] barrage of negative headlines and public outcry made it difficult for Republicans to stand by the measure…”

NPR: After Backlash, Including From Trump, House GOP Drops Weakening Of Ethics Office

“After a storm of criticism… House Republicans have reversed themselves and restored the current rules of the Office of Congressional Ethics.”

“Public outcry, opposition from ethics watchdog groups, a divided GOP, and two tweets from Trump critical of the rules change prompted a swift reversal of the proposal…”

USA Today: House Republicans drop plan to gut ethics office

“After public denunciations from watchdogs and criticism from President-elect Donald Trump, House Republicans on Tuesday reversed course and dropped plans to gut an independent agency that polices potential ethical wrongdoing by lawmakers.”

“The controversy over GOP plans to sharply curtail the powers of the Office of Congressional Ethics overshadowed the opening day of Congress…”

“‘House Republicans made the right move in eliminating this amendment that should never have seen the light of day,’ said David Donnelly, president and CEO of Every Voice watchdog group, on Tuesday. ‘Not one voter went to the polls in November hoping Congress would gut ethics oversight.’”

Deep Divisions Over Their Efforts to Repeal the Affordable Care Act and Make America Sick Again

New York Times: Turmoil Overshadows First Day of Republican-Controlled Congress

“Budget language released on Tuesday gives House and Senate committees only until Jan. 27 to produce legislation that would eliminate major parts of the health care law.”
“The document does not specify which provisions of the law may be eliminated and which ones may be preserved. Nor does it specify or even suggest how Republicans would replace the Affordable Care Act, which the Obama administration says has provided coverage to some 20 million people who were previously uninsured.”

Washington Post: Why Obamacare is unlikely to die a swift death

“Congressional Republicans have long boasted that once they claim the reins of power, they will act quickly and decisively to roll back what they view as the most onerous piece of President Obama’s domestic agenda: the Affordable Care Act.

“… [W]hile Republicans are determined to rapidly repeal as much of Obamacare as they can, they have not settled on a replacement plan or on when that plan should take effect.”
“The rush to immediately chip away at Obama’s regulatory and domestic policies through the complex process known as budget reconciliation could create months of messy GOP infighting.”

Politico: GOP airs Obamacare divisions in Pence meeting

“Republicans are fast-tracking the process of repealing Obamacare, aiming to get it done in several weeks. But they’re not even close to agreement about what comes next — or even when the repeal should take effect.”
“Those disagreements spilled over Wednesday at a closed-door meeting with Vice President-elect Mike Pence that had been intended to unify the Senate GOP…After nearly eight years of fighting Obamacare, Republican leaders and the incoming Trump administration are still trying to sort out the basics…”

The Hill: Ryan: ObamaCare replacement coming this year

“Ryan’s commitment that the replacement will occur this year means Republicans will have to put in the hard work of ironing out the details of a bill and dealing with competing interest groups and winners and losers.”
“Republicans currently do not have a consensus on a detailed replacement plan, which requires hard tradeoffs to put together.”

The Solid White Vote Explained – Alexandria Gazette

Alexandria Gazette, Volume 89, Number 266, 12 November 1888

Chairman Barbour, of the State democratic committee, and every one of the Virginia democratic Congressmen elected last Tuesday, may thank the Negroes — who voted solidly against them — for their success; for it was nothing else than the dread of the effects of a black republican victory, and consequently of black supremacy, with all its necessarily incident disorder, confusion and danger, that kept thousands of white men within the democratic lines. A solid negro, naturally tends to make a solid white vote, and it is upon the latter that the welfare of every Southern State depends.

Negro Dupes – Alexandria Gazette, November 10, 1888

Alexandria Gazette, Volume 89, Number 266, 10 November 1888

Few intelligent men, familiar with the true condition of affairs in the South, blame the Negroes of this section for voting invariably as a unit for republicans, and, as a rule, for the worst ones they can find; nor for the disorders they create, nor the outrages they commit. The negroes, notwithstanding the quarter of a century of free schools, are utterly ignorant. They are, therefore, the easy dupes of low, selfish, and vicious white men, who lead them like so many sheep. The account of the negro outrage in Raleigh, referred to in yesterday’s Gazette says “the negroes were incited by white men.” It is so everywhere. The fault lies with the white republicans, who, however, during such dangers as follow, escape and allow their poor dupes to suffer.

Cleveland Loss Due to Recognition of Negroes – Alexandria Gazette

Alexandria Gazette, Volume 89, Number 264, 8 November 1888

Mr. [Grover] Cleveland, gave some of the best places at his disposal to negroes in order, as he said, that the colored citizens of the country should be recognized. The colored citizens in New York and Indiana, by voting solidly against Mr. Cleveland, gave both of those states to Mr. Harrison, and thereby elected him. Mr. Cleveland’s recognition of the negroes was bad for the Democratic party.

The Environment

Alexandria Gazette, Volume 89, Number 260, 3 November 1888
Saturday Evening, November 3

There are only two days between this and election day. If there be any white man in Virginia in whose mind a single doubt yet remains concerning the ballot he shall cast, let him reflect that to every Virginian who has any interest in the welfare of his State, the result of the election will be of the greatest importance. To every such man the tariff, the internal revenue, the Blair bill, and the refusal of Mr. Vilas to appoint ex-confederates to watchmen’s places, are insignificant when compared with the injury that would be inflicted upon every industrial interests in Virginia by the almost necessary effect of a republican victory. The republicans themselves avow their intention, in case of success, of reopening the Southern question, and that, of course, would at once revive all of the now almost settled sectional and race animosities in the South; and all men of common sense know that business could not prosper under such a condition of affairs. And besides, so ignorant are the vast majority of the negroes, that they would look upon a republican victory as a complete license for any impudence of which they might choose to be guilty; and it would be but a step from such impudence to actual outrage. The impudence would naturally be resented, and the outrage certainly be prevented, and the whole State be thrown into confusion and trouble, and a general depression in all kinds of industry be the inevitable result. The condition of the people of Virginia is bad enough as it is, in all conscience, but it would be infinitely worse if the South hating party should regain control of the government. Better bear the ills we have than fly to those worse ones, which we know of by bitter experience.

—-

An intelligent and thrifty foreign born resident of the city told the writer of this article yesterday that he had always, heretofore, been a republican, but that he had lived to see the error of his way, and had learned that so far as the Southern States are concerned, it is for the interest of every one of them, and of that of all their people, black as well as white, that every white man in them should vote the democratic ticket. The issue in the South, he said, is white or black supremacy, and when reduced to that, every white man should vote the same way, for blood is thicker than water. He had found, he said, by long experience, that if the negroes be given an inch they will demand an ell, and that the best way to get along with them was to keep them in their place. He had, he said, recently seen groups of young negro men on the outskirts of the city, either gaze insultingly at young white women, or else so obstruct the sidewalk as to make them take the roadway in order to pass. Some native born residents of the city would do well to follow the example set them by their foreign born fellow citizen referred to.

It Can’t Be Clearer

In an article discussing the Club for Growth’s effort to derail GOP Presidential candidate, Donald Trump:

“Time is running out,” said Club for Growth spokesman Doug Sachtleben. “Trump could cost us a good shot at the White House, the Senate majority, and ultimately, the Supreme Court.”

I guess I’m naive, but I never thought the Supreme Court was something you actively sought to control.

Silly me.