The real issue here isn’t simply Republican opportunism and hypocrisy—although, please, let’s not ignore that either. The real issue is about the true trade-offs of policy. Both sides offer them. With Obamacare, a small number of people lose their current insurance but they end up with alternative, typically stronger coverage. Under the plans Republicans have endorsed, a larger number of people would lose their current insurance, as people migrated to a more volatile and less secure marketplace. Under Obamacare, the number of Americans without health insurance at all will come down, eventually by 30 or 40 million. Under most of the Republican plans, the number of Americans without insurance would rise.
3 theories for why the House GOP is about to totally crack up
Some members of the House GOP conference are certainly petulant in tone and are vigorously partisan to boot, but the White House line suggests that they are mostly opportunistic and cynical in their policy druthers, taking as their lodestone and first principle the need to oppose anything Obama favors.
Once Democrats recognize that killing the filibuster is in their interest, they should become much more willing to do it, knowing full well that they can live with the consequences.
If the primary process is unlikely to yield a candidate who can moderate the party, then the Republican House would be wise to preemptively bail out the next Republican candidate, and relieve them of the obligation to oppose a pathway to citizenship, background checks on gun purchases, or whatever else.
What does the Catholic church have to say about Paul Ryan’s budget plan?
"Republican leaders have repeatedly cited support of (some) Catholic leaders in their opposition to the Obama Administration’s health care policies—particularly a requirement that insurance plans cover contraception, which the Church opposes on principle. But now Republicans are the ones catching grief from Catholic leaders, for violating a different set of Church teachings: about the need to protect the poor and vulnerable.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops sent a series of stern letters to Republican committee chairman in the House. The subject was proposed cuts to programs like food stamps and housing assistance, consistent with the overall spending blueprint that House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan has put forward. The message: Don’t slash the safety net, particularly if you’re doing so to finance tax cuts for the wealthy.”
Jonathan Cohn: Unholy Cuts: The Bishops Decry Ryan Budget
Photo courtesy of CLR Forum
Would the best tax reform be to do nothing?
"Democrats and Republicans agree that the federal income tax must be reformed. They even agree on some common goals. President Obama’s budget proposal calls for “fundamental reform” that would “simplify the tax code and lower tax rates” while eliminating “inefficient and unfair tax breaks.” House budget committee chairman Paul Ryan’s budget proposal, which the House passed in March, collapses the existing six tax brackets into two, both of them (10 and 25 percent) much lower than the current top rate (35 percent), and similarly pledges to eliminate “special-interest loopholes.” The Obama budget and the Ryan budget, a Bloomberg View editorial notes with approval, “aren’t as far apart as you might think.””
- Timothy Noah, No Deal
Photo courtesy of Exchange Gold For Cash
What would William F. Buckley think of the GOP of today?
"Buckley felt that outlandish stances discredited conservatism by making it seem “ridiculous and pathological,” as he wrote to a supporter who had criticized his editorial. They allowed the media to tar all conservatives as extremists, and turned off young people. He insisted that conservatism had to expand “by bringing into our ranks those people who are, at the moment, on our immediate left—the moderate, wishy-washy conservatives” who comprised the majority of the Republican Party. “If they think they are being asked to join a movement whose leadership believes the drivel of Robert Welch,” he warned, “they will pass by crackpot alley, and will not pause until they feel the embrace of those way over on the other side, the Liberals.” Buckley consistently maintained that conservatism was the “politics of reality.”"
- Geoffrey Kabaservice “What William F. Buckley Would Think of Today’s GOP”
Photo courtesy of the Atlantic
Who are Mitt Romney’s supporters?
"The Post’s David Fahrenthold did manage to dig up a few “Romniacs”—“the sasquatches of American politics: rumored, hoped-for, so elusive that they can seem imaginary.” He found a grandfather in Virginia who “set off crisscrossing the country in a 14-year-old truck” on Romney’s behalf; a woman in Arizona who was moved to write verse: “Mitt Romney is his name / He wants to help America / ‘Fix It’ is his game”; and a woman in Orem, Utah who in 2008 named her son “Mitt”—or rather, “Little Mitt.”"
- Alec MacGillis, “Mitt Romney’s Lonely Hearts Club”
Photo courtesy of The Washington Post