If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again and again and again and….you get the point

I guess House Republicans are hoping the 33rd time is the charm!

It’s the second time the House has voted to repeal the entire health care law — and the 33rd time House Republicans have voted to repeal, defund or knock down any piece of the law. But like almost all of the other attempts, this measure is certain to die in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

I’m trying hard to figure out if House Republicans are really, really persistent or just really, really stupid.


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5 thoughts on “If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again and again and again and….you get the point

  1. They’re not stupid. As PT Barnum famously said “There’s a sucker born every minute.” Just keep bringing out the elephants, the clowns and the freaks and the people will show up and buy the corn dogs.

  2. “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

    “Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse deledam”
    “Furthermore, I think Carthage must be destroyed.”
    ~Cato the Elder

    Einstein and Carthage frequently come to mind when I think on contemporary politics…

    …in how unlike Einstein Conservatives are – how their methods “turn geniuses into fools” – to quote Alexander Pope’s “The Dunciad.” I am continually reminded how the Conservative Anti-Thinking approach corrodes responsible action.
    The repeal vote does seem to echo Einstein. Yet if, as I have said many times before, “the fish rots from the head down,” then this sort of single-minded pit-bullish behavior only strengthens the fanatical resolve of the base. It is, as I have mentioned in previous posts, an indication that they will never give up, they will never give in because what Conservatives are doing is not governing; they are engaging in political warfare. This is posturing. It is a display, a performance. It is not governance.

    Einstein and Carthage frequently come to mind when I think on contemporary politics…
    …in how very like the Roman Empire Conservatives are. Until Rome did destroy Carthage, after each speech no matter the topic, Cato ended with some combination of the phrase:
    “Furthermore, I think Carthage must be destroyed.”
    Or simply, “Carthage must be destroyed.”
    I’ve alluded before to Hannibal at the gates of Rome, poised on victory, needing only back-up from Carthage to finally defeat Roman imperialism. Reinforcements which he did not receive and which forced him to abandon the one chance remaining for Carthage to defeat Rome. This I’ve compared to the Wisconsin recall effort and the abandonment of that effort by the Democratic Establishment. It was a turning point, valiant and fleeting – a pivotal moment squandered. But worse than squandered – it was an extraordinary opportunity that could never be recreated or regained. Zach recently compared the new Democratic majority in the state senate as a pyrrhic victory. I can’t help but note that Hannibal and Pyrrhus were fighting the same enemy for the same reasons – Rome, hell bent on taking over the entirety of the Mediterranean. Pyrrhus was an excellent military commander and his battles were the last chance the Greek City states had in defeating a Roman take-over. Hannibal was well aware of Pyrrhus; he admired him as much if not more than he admired Alexander the Great. Ironically, Pyrrhus and Hannibal were both defeated for the same reason – for lack of support by the establishment on whose behalf they fought. Both handily defeated Rome on the battlefield, and both understood the pivotal moment they had forged, but both lost the war due to the hindsight of the establishment.
    Rome won because theirs was a war of attrition. Rome’s victory over Carthage, over the Greek city states, over the whole Mediterranean world was won by gradually eroding their opponent until their opponents’ victories were Pyrrhic and defeatist. It is the same strategy used by the Viet Cong and Osama Bin Laden. It is the same strategy Conservatives are using now.

    When looking at this 33rd vote to repeal the ACA – recognize it for what it is – posturing, attrition, and political warfare. Not governance.

  3. PJ: “When looking at this 33rd vote to repeal the ACA – recognize it for what it is – posturing, attrition, and political warfare. Not governance.”

    It’s all that, certainly. Moreover, by now it’s escalated to the level of performance art. Very, very bad performance art. Do they think they were elected for this?

    1. Marcie,
      To a large extent, yes. Posturing and obstructionism is what they were elected to do. This brand of non-governance is precisely what the rank and file expect. Remember that the Tea Party line is non-compromise, single-minded non-engagement, non-recognition of any stance other than their narrow policy positions and dedicated opposition. Not “loyal opposition” of traditional Conservatism, but unprincipled opposition.
      This approach isn’t problem-solving. Problem-solving is governance. Compromise itself isn’t governance, but compromise can play a role in good governance. Do nothing to further the “liberal agenda” is the Conservative goal. One way to do that is to muck up the legislative engine – inundate the engine with muck to thwart success of anything perceived as “liberal” but deliberately thwart anything supported by Barack Obama. If Conservatives can keep Democrats from actively legislating – keep them running and on the defensive, Conservatives win. Democrats cannot start anything new and they cannot cement anything finished. The “liberal” agenda can never go anywhere. Meanwhile the pieces in place can be chipped away to nothingness. That is attrition. Yes, the rank and file understands attrition. Yes, the rank and file believe attrition is good governance.
      Conservative rank and file have been taught that stopping the engines of government from functioning is governance. Obstructing responsible political discussion is governance. Ultimately they do not accept nor approve of government. Yet, they lack even a rudimentary understanding of government. The Tea Party line is government should bend to their will. Play close attention to their rhetoric of coercion. It is pure subversion. They so despise what has been identified for them as “government coercion” but simultaneously their approach to “governance” is coercive aggression. The rank and file’s entire approach to the electoral process is aggressively coercive. I’d go as far as calling it belligerent. The rank and file “electors” will cannibalize their own, the most conservative of their own representatives if those elected officials step one toe out of line by “primarying” them. This is learned belligerence to be sure. It makes for quite the effective feed-back loop.

  4. PJ, yes, you’re right, and I know that’s how it is. I guess my question was simply my rhetorical way of throwing my hands up in the air (as I seem to do many times daily now) in disgust at this pattern. Yes, they were elected precisely to be belligerent, crushing obstructionists.

    By the way, will their pals in the insurance industry stand for the repeal of the ACA? Isn’t there a conflict inherent in campaigning against this law, in that their wealthy corporate insurance-industry masters won’t accept repeal of what is essentially a huge gift to them of millions of new customers?

    In any case, I cannot wait for the day when this nation wakes up and collectively slaps its forehead saying, “For-profit health insurance industry? What on earth were we thinking?” and establishes a civilized universal, single-payer system. I just hope it comes in my lifetime.

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