The Blame Game (A.K.A . "Ideologues Gone Wild")
"I Don't Mind A Parasite. I Object To A Cut-Rate One."

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In his recent opinion piece published this morning in the Baltimore Sun, Jonah Goldberg tells it like it is regarding the blame game for the ongoing government shutdown. Here it is in its entirety:

"The GOP is to blame for starting the shutdown; Obama is to blame for not ending it

By Jonah Goldberg
6:00 a.m. EDT, October 7, 2013

Shutting down the government in an effort to use a budget fight to get rid of Obamacare is not the strategy I would have recommended for the GOP. And while Republicans can be blamed for starting the shutdown, it's increasingly apparent that President Barack Obama and the Democrats deserve the lion's share of blame for not only prolonging it, but for making it as painful as possible.

Mr. Obama has always had a bit of a vindictive streak when it comes to politics. I think it stems from his Manichaean view of America. There are the reasonable people -- who agree with him. And there are the bitter clingers who disagree for irrational or extremist ideological reasons.

In his various statements over the last week, he's insisted that opponents of Obamacare are "ideologues" on an "ideological crusade." Meanwhile, he cast himself as just a reasonable guy interested in solving America's problems. I have no issue with him calling Republican opponents "ideologues" -- they are -- but since when is President Obama not an ideologue?

The argument about Obamacare is objectively and irrefutably ideological on both sides -- state-provided health care has been an ideological brass ring for the left for well over a century. But much of the press takes its cues from Democrats and sees this fight -- and most other political fights -- as a contest pitting the forces of moderation, decency and rationality against the ranks of the ideologically brainwashed.

What's unusual is the way President Obama sees the government as a tool for his ideological agenda. During the fight over the sequester, Mr. Obama ordered the government to make the 2 percent budget cut as painful and scary as possible.

"It's going to be very painful for the flying public," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood warned Americans.

"The FAA's all-hands furloughs managed to convert a less than 4 percent FAA budget cut into a 10 percent air-traffic control cut that would delay 40 percent of flights," The Wall Street Journal noted at the time.

The Department of Homeland Security announced it might not be able to protect the nation's borders, and in an effort to prove the point summarily released a couple thousand immigrant detainees, many of them with criminal records.

Mr. Obama, the avowed problem solver, set out to create problems for the American people, just to prove how great government is and how crazy Republicans were for wanting to cut spending -- much of the money borrowed from China -- a little. But don't you dare call him an ideologue!

Now, with the government shutdown and the looming fight over the debt ceiling, President Obama's doubling down on this ideologically perverse strategy.

The National Park Service, which has somehow become the unofficial goon squad of American liberalism, reversed course and let American World War II vets visit the WWII memorial in Washington, D.C. This is obviously good news. (I was waiting to see if Steven Spielberg would come out with a new Obama-friendly director's cut of "Saving Private Ryan" in which the old guy at the end is dragged off in cuffs before he can reach Tom Hanks' grave.)

Still, it cost the government more money to try to keep WWII vets out of an open-air memorial than it would have to just leave it be. In Virginia, the NPS ordered the Claude Moore Colonial Farm to shut down, even though it's privately funded.

Far worse, Mr. Obama told CNBC's John Harwood that Wall Street should be far more panicky about Republican efforts to use the debt ceiling to win concessions from the White House. I don't blame President Obama for being annoyed with Republicans for trying to use the debt ceiling the exact same way he did when he was a senator. But normally the president doesn't try to talk down the economy just to win a political point.

Whenever the Bush administration issued terror warnings, Democrats insinuated that it was all a cynical political stunt. But this week, the White House sent out National Intelligence Director James Clapper to whip up fears that national security would be imperiled by a shutdown less than 48 hours old.

When Republicans vote to fund essential or popular parts of the government, the response from Democrats is, in effect, "How dare they?" Nancy Pelosi calls the tactic "releasing one hostage at a time" -- as if negotiators normally refuse to have hostages released unless it's all at once.

In the 17 previous government shutdowns since 1977, presidents have worked to avoid them or lessen their impact. Mr. Obama has made no such effort out of an ideological yearning to punish his enemies, regardless of the collateral damage."


The debt ceiling "crisis" is far more significant than the government shutdown. Especially when only 17% of the government is actually "shut down."


Latest Activity: Oct 07, 2013 at 2:32 PM

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PoliticsNation commented on Monday, Oct 07, 2013 at 14:42 PM


This shutdown is wholly on the GOP.

This is not about negotiating for the PPACA, because this IS NOT HOW NEGOTIATIONS ARE DONE.

This is about the GOP refusing to fund the Government because they object to a EXISTING LAW on ideological grounds.

Don't argue with the Teabaggers about the PPACA, that's not what this fight is about.

Newsflash, GOP/Tea Party:

In 2008 President Obama (Sen. Obama at the time) campaigned on Health Care Reform and was elected in a landslide.

In 2012 The GOP's CORE strategy for the Presidential and Congressional elections was to run on a platform of Repeal/Replace the PPACA.

They were soundly rejected by Voters, including in the House, where the Democrats got MORE TOTAL VOTES then Republicans, but due to gerrymandering are the minority by 20+ seats in the House (VERY Democratic, isn't it?)

Those voters choose to keep Democrats in charge of the Senate and Presidency, knowing it would mean the PPACA would become permanent.

The Voters have spoken in the only polls that matter, the elections. The GOP is holding the budget hostage in order to repeal/defund/SCORE SOME TYPE OF POINTS! against the PPACA despite being soundly defeated in the 2012 elections RUNNING ON THAT PLATFORM.


gacpl commented on Monday, Oct 07, 2013 at 14:45 PM

so harry reid brings a vote on the senate floor to "not negotiate", and you don't think that's part of the problem?

PoliticsNation commented on Monday, Oct 07, 2013 at 14:48 PM


The Senate did vote and voted against it! The House has the votes to pass a clean CR, but they won't even bring it for a vote becasue the TP'ers are holding the process hostage. They had already come to a concensus on the CR budget amount. Then the Repubs threw somethings completely unrelated into the discussion (ACA, morals clause) as they had promised to do last summer. The House refused to meet on the budget last year like they're supposed to do and as the Senate had passed a budget, they could have avoided this while mess, but that's the point: this was their plan all along (shutdown)! Passing a CR is not where you discuss already passed legislation!

sebekm commented on Monday, Oct 07, 2013 at 14:54 PM

The shutdown is NOT "wholly on the GOP." Leaders have to lead. A stance that "I will not negotiate" is not the way REAL leaders do it.

Mr. Obama owns the shutdown, just as he owns everything else on his watch. He is frustrated because he can't just DICTATE his wishes and have everybody cave. Remember this:


What's good for the goose is good for the gander. If he wants to end the government shutdown, he should come to the table and stop trying to inflict maximum pain on the American people to make his point. If he doesn't, he only makes his own problems worse, and further screws up his own legacy. The shutdown solution is the gateway to a debt ceiling solution. The President knows this just as the Republicans know this.

Mr. Obama needs to understand that taking a "non-negotiable" stance is not what leaders do - it's what DICTATORS DO. I'm hoping that he learns this lesson SOON.

sebekm commented on Monday, Oct 07, 2013 at 14:55 PM

PN: Repost all you want, but the copies don't make the point any more than the original does.

PoliticsNation commented on Monday, Oct 07, 2013 at 15:14 PM

You have never called John out for his poor leadership skills..The Republican party is fighting among themselves. If chicken little would lead his party instead of allowing a fresh senator to turn his party against him we just might get somewhere..

PoliticsNation commented on Monday, Oct 07, 2013 at 15:22 PM

If some of you'll did your research you'll see Senate Minority Leader Bob Doyle in 1993 sponsored a bill that included the individual mandate that the ACA has today, it's called the "Health Equity And Access Reform Today Act of 1993."

It's one of those things where the republican party was for it, before they were against it!

In November, 1993, Sen. John Chafee, R-R.I., introduced what was considered to be one of the main Republican health overhaul proposals: "A bill to provide comprehensive reform of the health care system of the United States."

Titled the "Health Equity and Access Reform Today Act of 1993," it had 21 co-sponsors, including two Democrats (Sens. Boren and Kerrey). The bill, which was not debated or voted upon, was an alternative to President Bill Clinton's plan. It bears similarity to the Democratic bill passed by the Senate Dec. 24, 2009, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

But once again, since President Clinton had a health plan, the republicans had to and cry moan, have their own. The very same oppose and obstruct game was even played in 1993......

JimmyMack commented on Monday, Oct 07, 2013 at 16:33 PM

You are so very correct PN. Attaching the ACA to the CR is extortion. The Right can spin and quote all the sources they want but in the end this whole scandalous shutdown gov't tactic by the Republicans will come back and bite them.... and bite them severely in the voting booth.

John Boehner is himself held hostage by the Tea Party members in his own party.

sebekm commented on Monday, Oct 07, 2013 at 16:35 PM

"John" doesn't really need any leadership skills, because he can't lead anybody anywhere. But - then again he's not the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES either. The President is THE leader and he is holding THE bag. He is the one who should be the MOST motivated to make things work. He didn't lead when he owned both houses of Congress, and he is not leading now. That's the problem we have here.

Also - I'll remind you that I am not now nor have I ever been a registered Republican. As such, I take a critical approach no matter where I see a leadership problem. The Republican "leadership" - such as it is - is by definition unable to "lead" this country anywhere because they are in the minority AND because their basic structure is now more fractured than it ever has been. They are doing EXACTLY what their individual constituencies want them to do, and believe that they will be voted out of office if they do otherwise. But that's not the case with the Democrats. They have cobbled together a monolithic operation who usually gives the President what he wants.

It is clear that the Democrats are applauding the shutdown and making its effects worse as a tactic to damage the Republicans, regardless of the effect their actions have on this country or our economy. But unlike the Republicans, the Dems own the White House and the Senate and COULD lead if they wanted to.

Clinton LEAD - and compromised - and got things done. Balanced budget. Surpluses as far as the eye could see. Despite the scandals and "the vast right wing conspiracy," compared to now there was a much more civil and conciliatory tone in Washington.

Mr. Obama could learn a lot from Bill Clinton.

JimmyMack commented on Monday, Oct 07, 2013 at 16:40 PM

Republicans are gonna take a beating for this.

sebekm commented on Monday, Oct 07, 2013 at 16:46 PM

No doubt. But I don't believe they will lose the House in 2014. And I do believe we will be inching further along the path to smaller government in the end.

sebekm commented on Monday, Oct 07, 2013 at 16:46 PM

Have to run errands. May not be back until tomorrow. It's been fun. Have a great day.

gacpl commented on Monday, Oct 07, 2013 at 17:25 PM

the house has voted and passed 26 different bills to fix this, the senate hasn't voted on one yet. and you say the REPs are the problem. at least they are doing there jobs and voting. why isn't the senate?

Sheran commented on Monday, Oct 07, 2013 at 20:44 PM
Sheran commented on Monday, Oct 07, 2013 at 21:34 PM

Instead of starting another blog... Here's some more to add to sembek's blog:

Sheran commented on Monday, Oct 07, 2013 at 21:38 PM
Sheran commented on Monday, Oct 07, 2013 at 21:39 PM
JimmyMack commented on Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 11:09 AM

Sheran Dearest....what case exactly are you resting Dear? You've got three Fox News links which is the network mouth piece for all you right wingers, and you still obviously do not understand the concept of Separation of Church and State.

JimmyMack commented on Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 11:23 AM

The Founding Fathers, many of them Christian, went to great lengths to insure that NO RELIGIOUS TEST would be required of citizens nor mandated by the Federal Government by writing it into the Constitution of the United States.

JimmyMack commented on Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 11:28 AM

You might have been absent from school on those days when the US Constitution was discussed. This malady seems prevalent among many on the right.

sebekm commented on Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 11:47 AM is the RIGHT which is always criticized by the LEFT when the Constitution is invoked. PLUS - the one of the IDEOLOGICAL tenets of the left is that the Constitution exists to be changed, while the right IDEOLOGUES contend it was designed to shape future events and to change it distorts the intent of the founding fathers.

But back to the main thrust of this blog: both sides have their ideologues who are "sticking to their guns" creating this impasse. Somebody has to budge - or "negotiate." I still say we'll see some movement from the Democrats between Friday and Monday. It also could be that they all kick the can down the road again and come up with some "interim continuing resolution" which re-opens the 17% (or less) of the government which is now shut down, and raises the debt ceiling to cover another six months or so. The theory for this goes that THEN they all will be in a better mood to "negotiate."

Wanna bet?

sebekm commented on Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 12:17 PM

I rest my case...."

Amen. The Dems are frantically spinning the "glitches" and "technological problems" with the attempts by virtually everyone to access the online or telephonic assistance for ObamaCare. If they really were planning for all of the people they say were going to sign up, you would think that they would have ensured that the system was ready to go. THIS JUST PROVES THAT AT LEAST THEY SHOULD HAVE DELAYED THE "INDIVIDUAL MANDATE" FOR A YEAR - JUST AS THEY DELAYED THE EMPLOYER MANDATE. Perhaps they would have been better prepared to run this system. But did they do this?


The babosos rammed it down the throats of the American people, just the way the Dems Rahmed it down the throats of the GOP when they passed the dam' thing in the first place.

In related news, I thought this article was interesting:

We KNEW our children were not competitive with kids around the world in education. Now we have test results which show our adults are dumber than the average international adult as well.

It would be interesting to find out the political persuasion of our test-takers. Since the article doesn't say, it means that the leftstream media was unable to pin THIS ONE on the Republicans.

JimmyMack commented on Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 14:33 PM

"wanna bet?" Not me, my friend. We are in unchartered waters but I would absolutely SWEAR ON THE BIBLE to do this if I somehow knew everyone else would do the same thing regarding this mess we are in: I would vote for ANYONE running against an INCUMBENT, no matter the Party affiliation, come the next opportunity to do so. That's right. I JimmyMack a Liberal Democrat would vote for who ever is running against the INCUMBENT even if it meant voting for a political 'newcomer' that was a Republican. If we all would\could make that pledge and actually do it, we the people, would take back our country.

What is happening now is despicable. Most all of us on the right, left, center, left leaning center, right leaning center, would\could actually do something revolutionary peacefully and without violence, name calling, finger pointing and blaming, and reclaim our country.

But....I'm not going to bet on it! But if there was a voice out there on the National level that could fire up this engine, I would buy the ticket and take the ride.

JimmyMack commented on Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 14:44 PM

Hi again Sebe. I tried pulling up the link you posted. It may be my computer but I get the message that the page I was looking for: could not be located. In fact, what is going on as I write this, is someone constantly touting some sort of Stock Purchasing strategy. Could be my computer, or I am hitting doing something on my end causing this problem.


Sheran commented on Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 16:51 PM

Starting Friday Truck drivers are shutting down the beltway in DC...

JimmyMack commented on Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 17:13 PM

Wow!!! Seems it is as Sebe has told us: "sometimes people must get angry in an attempt to effect change." (paraphrased, apologies if I got it wrong."

Oh my! I think I just contradicted my aforementioned rationale regarding Fox News. You got me again Sheran.

Sheran commented on Tuesday, Oct 08, 2013 at 20:57 PM

I'm post this with a big ole 'CHEEZIE GRIN".

JimmyMack commented on Wednesday, Oct 09, 2013 at 07:11 AM

I don't know what cheezie grin means but I post this one for the grinning Tea Partiers and Conservatives:

JimmyMack commented on Wednesday, Oct 09, 2013 at 07:15 AM

@Sebe: as far as the truth or falsity of "ideological tenets of the Democratic Party" goes and argumentative strategy: all is fair in Love and War and what's going on here ain't no Love in.

sebekm commented on Wednesday, Oct 09, 2013 at 14:24 PM

I guess its a "war-in." Hey - add "far" and you get "warfarin."

Far out! It seems like a little rat poison might do them some good.

Hi Jimmy: I think the link you tried to pull up was my copy of Sheran's from his Monday, Oct 07, 2013, 21:39 PM post. HIS link at that post is good. My copy is not.

As for the blame game - the latest polls show the Repugnicants get the lion's share of the congressional "blame" (by 2 to 1); HOWEVER, the same poll also showed this:

"Most Americans disapprove of the way Obama is handling his job, the poll suggests, with 53 percent unhappy with his performance and 37 percent approving of it."


So - his approval rating DID drop into the 30s (from 41% the other day), which you better believe had everything to do with Mr. Obama spending more than an hour in front of the cameras yesterday trying to spin his position. He knows the "legacy" is at stake and with an approval rating in the 30s, just about all of the independents now disapprove - with only the staunchest defenders (i.e., the Dems) still approving.

I still predict we'll see movement toward a resolution between Friday and Monday (but they could drag their feet until Tuesday or Wednesday of next week). Nobody wants the blame for the default, and they'll have to kick the can down the road at least. I note that the Ft Stewart Commissary was open for business yesterday, and the headlines today say that "most government workers" are back to work. I guess that means that the actual government shutdown has gone down from a 17% shutdown to "a-lot-less-than-17%" shutdown.

As for "cheesy grins," I've added a few of my favorites above.

JimmyMack commented on Wednesday, Oct 09, 2013 at 17:44 PM

Hi Sebe. Thanks for helping with the cheesy grin thing. As you know, I am not a smart guy. A smart A$$ maybe. But not just plain smart.

Everybody is unpopular with this thing including the POTUS. I have never said otherwise. What I have said is that the Republicans are going to take the big hit on this one. And for people interested in the vote counting business this is NOT a favorable thing.

What we are going thru is despicable and I wish we could all come together to vote out every incumbent when the time comes. But I believe that wish is somewhere over the rainbow and there ain't no Pot a Gold at the end of it.

Along with similar tastes in music, I believe Tot and I AGREE on this point in looking back at some of our interactions. How bout that? Voting em all out!!!!!

JimmyMack commented on Wednesday, Oct 09, 2013 at 17:52 PM

And my friend, you have a great sense of humor, do not take yourself too seriously, and express yourself very clearly. ACA may not go done as the Best Legislation ever inflicted upon the American people. However, the way the Republicans are playing politics with peoples lives by using their dissatisfaction with it is reprehensible. And I predict as a Party they will pay dearly at the voting booth next election cycle.

sebekm commented on Wednesday, Oct 09, 2013 at 18:34 PM

I still agree with Chris Matthews and Bill Press that the House ain't going nowhere, because the Repugnicants are doing exactly what their constituencies want them to do. There are very few GOP House seats in jeopardy - not enough to change the balance of power. And there's no guarantee that in some of those "red" states where Dems hold House seats, that the "Taxes Enough Already" mentality won't hold sway.

I was driving on Ft Stewart yesterday evening and turned on the radio which my wife had tuned to FNC. It was between 8 and 9 p.m., which caused Bill O'Reilly to be piped into my car. Before I could change the station I actually heard him say something that I agree with - basically that regarding ObamaCare everybody should just wait a year and "the folks" will tell us whether it is good legislation or bad. That's my sense, too. My prediction is that the 87% will be so cranked up about the way their rates have gone up and the way their choices have gone down (or away) that all of the 2013 "noise" about ObamaCare's implementation will be far in the rear view mirror.

Check out my latest blog. I see and hear more and more of these stories, where people are all fired up about how they are being screwed by a law which they thought was going to help them. My hunch is that in the end, those who are p*ssed off about ObamaCare will greatly outnumber those who think they were helped by it.

If that happens, it does not bode well for the Democrats come election time.

sebekm commented on Wednesday, Oct 09, 2013 at 18:41 PM

....that's "Taxed Enough Already"....

Funkentelecky commented on Saturday, Oct 12, 2013 at 20:40 PM


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