The Adult Republican Argument?

Nicolle Wallace was a senior adviser to John McCain’s campaign in 2008. She tried hard to sell Sarah Palin to non-gullible Americans and to put Palin’s muddled mind one McCain-heartbeat away from the presidency. That alone ought to keep her off TV for at least a decade. But Wallace is becoming something of a regular on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. She gets credit, these days, for not being one of those crazy Republicans we are used to seeing on TV, like, uh, Sarah Palin.

nicole wallace on msnbcWallace represents what some in the media are fond of calling the “adults” in the Republican Party. This morning she was explaining how politically dumb it is for Republicans like Ted Cruz to insist on going all-in on defunding ObamaCare. Pay close attention to her reasoning here because it constitutes the adult thinking in the GOP:

I have a two-year-old and sometimes when he’s on his scooter he wants to cross the street even when the light is red…it is your job as the parent to hold the child and the scooter from running into traffic ’cause he would get squished. It is the job of the adults in the Republican Party to tell—there is grass roots support in this country, among Republicans, among conservatives, among Tea Party members, to do this…Obama’s health care is incredibly unpopular, so Ted Cruz is responding to what is a genuine sentiment out there. However, when Republicans run into the street, despite the fact that there’s a flashing red light, they’re gonna get hit by the cars and killed. So this is stupid politically, this is stupid at a policy level because as the great Charles Krauthammer said, it has no chance of succeeding. This is Obama’s health care law, this is Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement, so they’re going to fail. 

So, we are at a moment…most of the country is pretty disillusioned with President Obama’s leadership on the world stage, a majority of Americans do not like his signature domestic achievement, which is the health care law. We’re actually at a moment, as Republicans, where even Bernie Sanders has described our party as “on the offense,” and now we’re going to let our party to run into moving traffic against a red light. It’s idiotic.

That pretty much represents what you hear from Republicans who don’t like what Cruz and other maniacs are trying to get their party to do regarding the defunding of the Affordable Care Act.

For clarification and enlightenment, let me summarize the adult Republican argument this way:

We Republicans are playing a good offensive game right now. We’ve helped make Obama look bad “on the world stage” by aggressively criticizing every move he makes, no matter what it is; we’ve exploited people’s ignorance about ObamaCare to the point where lots of Americans now don’t like the law, even though they admit they don’t know what’s in the law. That’s how brilliant we have been on this thing. A majority of Americans don’t understand the Affordable Care Act, but know they don’t like it, some even hate it, because we have aggressively attacked it night and day. So, why muck up all that good work we’ve done? We Republicans have Obama on the ropes, he’s going down on the canvas anyway, why risk pissing off the crowd now?

If you think that is a misleading characterization of the argument that Wallace and other Republicans are making, you haven’t been paying attention the last five years. Republicans have done all they can to destroy Obama’s presidency domestically, and now they take great delight in thinking that they have weakened him around the world. This is all, and I mean all, about politics, particularly crass and cynically opportunistic politics.

Nicolle Wallace didn’t breathe a word about what the shutdown of the federal government would mean to Americans, including those who work for the government and those—all of us—who depend on it for services. She never bothered to mention how damaging it would be for us to once again flirt with not paying our bills, including our creditors. She never discussed how a default would, in the words of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, be an “extremely dangerous and likely recovery-ending event.” She never noted how domestic interest rates would go up, making it hard for businesses seeking credit to expand, as well as making it difficult for consumers seeking credit to purchase cars and homes. She failed to explain how our national credit worthiness would take yet another hit at the hands of Republicans, resulting in higher financing costs for our nearly $17 trillion debt, which will then eat up more of the budget and cause Tea Party Republicans to demand even more draconian cuts in government spending—the ultimate goal of these ideological freaks.

No, all she essentially explained was that her party is doing okay right now with all the demonization of the President, all the dysfunction in Congress, and all the distrust in government these tactics have created among the American people. At such a shining moment for the GOP, she argues, Republicans shouldn’t push their luck.

That’s some adult argument.



  1. ansonburlingame

     /  September 19, 2013

    I acknowledge that the Tea Party is now becoming the third rail of American politics. It started as a very general dislike for every growing government. But in the details to retard that growth it has lost that fundamental message and now has been radicalized for the far right. It won’t work, politically to do what the Tea Party now espouses, “killing” ACA being a prime example.

    Eventually, if Americans ever get around to paying for all the demands placed on the federal government, like raising taxes to pay for ACA as a starter, then such social programs will bring America to its financial (economic) knees. We are making great progress right now doing exactly that, reducing America’s power and influence around the world and it all started at least 20 years ago, by both Dem and GOP White Houses.

    Keep that up and 20 years from now I cringe to imagine what this country will look like, either extreme (And in comparison to previous Presidents I put Obama on the extreme end of the left) gaining full power.

    We got a glimpse of that from 2008 to 2010. If the Tea Party keeps doing what it is doing we will see such again, a one party government. Given the political divide today, God help America if that happens, again.



  2. In would probably not call the Tea Party a “third rail” but rather a TURD rail leading the rest of the GOP into the cesspool it seems to have longed to drink from by throwing candidates like Ken Cuccinelli, Steve King, Louie Gommert, and Ted Cruz at the US voter.


  3. Your take on Nicolle Wallace is correct, Duane, and your “National Buffoons” poster of the dog with the gun to its head neatly sums up the situation. Again. Just like in 2011. How sad that it still applies, with only a minor edit needed: “If you don’t de-fund the Affordable Care Act, we’ll kill this dog.”


  4. Mike Gaden

     /  September 27, 2013

    Again with the idea that America must be the world-dominating power, Anson. In my opinion, no one country can sustain that position, either economically or philosophically. At least, no counlry or empire in human history has been able to do that. for more than 400 to 500 years (the Roman empire, and their world was a very small place then).

    If human beings are going to make it as a species, not kill themselves with weapons or rank stupidity, we have to learn to work together globally to solve problems for all the world’s inhabitants, not just the wealthy ones.

    The way the right is thinking at the present will not get us there; I’m not entirely sure that the left is capable either, but they have a better shot, in my opinion.


%d bloggers like this: