“Sensible” Extremism

Please, God. Purty Please? Let the so-called civil war in the Republican Party—between the establishment extremists and the anti-establishment extremists—continue until both sides are nothing but rotting corpses on the electoral battlefield. Amen.

If you doubt the accuracy of my characterization of feuding Republicans—the fight is over whether to shutdown the government in order to kill ObamaCare—as “establishment extremists” versus “anti-establishment extremists,” then you don’t know these people very well. They are all extremists on this issue.

Just this morning on MSNBC, Joe Scarborough was pretending to be a sensible conservative by suggesting it was nuts for Republicans to shutdown the government in order to defund the Affordable Care Act. He cited several other conservatives he considers sensible, including Charles Krauthammer, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, and Oklahoma senator Tom Coburn, all of whom have come out against the shutdown strategy.

Now, if you are citing Krauthammer, Walker, and Coburn—all extremists in one way or another—as sensible, level-headed conservatives, then the Republican Party no longer has in its membership any sensible, level-headed conservatives.

And to demonstrate that more clearly, Joe Scarborough added this comment to the mix:

Krauthammer, myself, Scott Walker, Tom Coburn, we’d all support shutting down the government, if shutting down the government would end ObamaCare. It won’t end ObamaCare, it will just end conservative chances of winning in 2014.

Think about how radical and extreme Scarborough’s suggestion is, particularly coming from someone who fancies himself—and others do too—a common-sense conservative and who gets much flack from the Neolithic wing of the GOP for some of the stands he has taken.hitler-t-4-obamacare-nazi-socialist-barack-hussein-obama

Scarborough would actually support shutting down the government—sabotaging the well-being of the country—if it would achieve for Republicans what they couldn’t achieve at the ballot box and if it weren’t so politically perilous.

That, my friends, is a kind of radicalism that shouldn’t be ignored. It may be ever-so-slightly to the left of Ted Cruz and Rush Limbaugh, but it is way, way out there. As I said, when it comes to the Affordable Care Act, these folks are all extremists. They all want to kill it, bury it, and piss on its grave. The only argument is over how to put it to death: suddenly, with a government-shutdown bomb in October, or slowly poison it over time?

The proper method is all that separates extremists like Scarborough and Krauthammer and Walker and Coburn from extremists like Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Marco Rubio, and Rush Limbaugh.

In the mean time, for all the talk of killing the Affordable Care Act, for all the votes cast in the House of Representatives to lynch ObamaCare, Republicans offer nothing, absolutely nothing, to replace it. You know why? Because, as Wonkblog’s Dylan Matthews pointed out recently:

Obamacare bears a heavy resemblance to basically every real universal health-care plan that Republican legislators have proposed in the past half century, including the Patients’ Choice Act, Sen. John Chafee’s (R-R.I.) plan offered as an alternative to Hillarycare in 1993, and the universal plan Richard Nixon offered at the end of his presidency.

Rightly or wrongly, Democrats have adopted Republican ideas on how to reform the healthcare system. And now not only are Republicans fresh out of ideas, they are all—every last one of them—viciously attacking their own schemes.

If that ain’t extremism, tell me what is.



  1. You have described it very well, Duane. The ACA is the perfect example of reducing a complex issue to a polemic by renaming it after its primary advocate. While this won’t happen, it would be amusing, albeit tragic, if the complete repeal of ObamaCare were to succeed. There would be a massive void to be filled, as in millions of college students suddenly without insurance and millions of others with preexisting conditions suddenly not covered. Would the GOP then proceed to dismantle MediCare as well? I think not. They would be scrambling for some way to restore ObamaCare under another name. WalkerCare? KrauthammerCare? LimbaughCare? Ugh.


  2. Anonymous

     /  August 7, 2013

    Ugh, is right. I still can’t help believing that, given all the trouble Republicans have given Democrats over the ACA–not to mention their attempts to first destroy it and lately their attempts to undermine it–our side should have just gone all in on a better (read:single payer) system and be done with it. At least the fighting would have been over something much more radical than the federal version of RomneyCare that is the ACA.


  3. ansonburlingame

     /  August 8, 2013

    OK, here we go again.

    The real issue of course is what to do about health care all over America for all Americans. NO ONE knows how to resolve that problem, practically, pragmatically and for sure, politically, all in one fell swope so to speak.

    To suggest that universal HC, European style will work, long term in America is crazy thinking, at least to me. First of all Europe is NOT American. Never has been and never will be, in my view.

    ACA was a bold, political strike, almost akin to using military power to get one’s way. Of course it was electoral power, not military, but the result was the same, we got something that a lot of people don’t like, now.

    Well after a blod and popular “strike”, America “got” the Cold War against the Soviet Union. It took a long time to untangle that mess I suggest but ultimately containment worked. We accepted a bad situation and simply did not allow it to “grow further”. Ultimately communism in the Soviet Union failed, miserably and we did not have to fight a war to end it. Instead we constructed a strategy of containment to only let it stay were it already had taken root, so to speak.

    It is senseless for the GOP to keep voting down ACA. It would be akin to shooting unarmed missiles at the former Soviet Union. It won’t hurt them but for sure will piss them off, the Soviet Union or Progressives in America today calling for not only ACA but the futher spread of socialized medicine in America tomorrow.

    ACA alone will untimately “die” just as communism died in the Soviet Union. Simply economics caused the “death” of the Soviet Union and so will such cause the ultimate failure of ACA, alone, much less further spread of socialistic programs. How long it will take or the destruction that will result in the meantime is of course anyone’s guess. But fail, yep history suggests such will happen, eventually.

    So a conservative solution, if you will, is let time and economics take their inevitable courses.

    Let ACA stand as the law of the land, BUT MAKE damn sure we pay for it along the way, legally. Congress can control the purse strings to fund ACA and should do so, conservatively. Force all the American people to PAY FOR that which some have clamored for.

    First up in all the clamoring, if ACA is to be funded as it calls for, is the millions of young Americans that will be “forced” to pay for health insurance that they would not normally purchase. I suspect we will find that those Americans, for the time being will simply opt for the IRS fines instead of the bigger financial burden of buying unwanted (but needed according to progressives) HC insurance. We will hear those screams come 2014, I suspect. And of course by only paying fines to the IRS, the faster decline of private insurance businesses will happen. But so what as that is exactly what progressives want, no more greedy insurance companies of any sort, right?

    Businesses received a one year reprieve from being forced to pay for HC insurance mandated by ACA. Certainly that was the expedient thing to do, politically, which Obama is very good at being, politically expedient, until he gets caught in a lie like Benghazi!!! So we can now wait until 2015 for the coming “bigger impact on businesses” of ACA. But “come” it will, eventually, unless the law is changed.

    HC solutions in America are not a short term war to be won in a few years. It is a long terms, systemic battle, a cultural battle if you will.

    But I do agree with Duane in one way. A long term cultural war can be won by “continue until both sides are nothing but rotting corpses on the electoral battlefield. Amen.”

    Of course by “both sides” he only intended to point out GOP “sides”. I instead would suggest that “both sides” will contain “normal Americans”, those pursuing the American Dream in traditional ways. All of those folks will become “rotting corpses” and guess who will remain standing at the end of the “war”. Citizens such as now seen in Detroit????


    PS: For Kabe, before you jump on me again for being unconcerned about poor people in Detroit, remember I “harp” on that situation only as an indicator to me at least of the future decline in the broader America unless we start thinking straight. One does not have to go too far back in THIS blog and comments thereto where I was told “Detroit is getting better” or words to that effect!!!! If “better” is “today” in Detroit, well I rest my case from a year or so ago.


  4. Hurt'n in Kansas

     /  August 11, 2013

    Follow the trail of money if you can, after the SC decision and you will find the reason the GOP is so adamant in defeating the new healthcare law. It’s the reason most extremists in the House were elected in the first place.Just ask Koch,how many elections can $1 billion buy? It’s not going to get any better!


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