Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I guess planning ahead isn't their forte

Now that we are days away from the funding deadline, Congressional Republicans are learning that the unwinnable fight they picked with the President over DHS funding is unwinnable. The great mystery is why they keep manufacturing crises without an endgame.

My theory is because their bases refusal to ever acknowledge that they made a mistake. That means that past mistakes, like the 2013 government shutdown, get spun into successes when the story gets retold to the true believers or reported on partisan news outlets. But if the base believes those things were successes, they will pressure members of Congress to do it again. Which puts people like Mitch McConnell in a difficult situation. He can refuse to bring the government to the brink of another shutdown crisis, which his voters will see as throwing away an effective tool they have against the president, or he can go along with what his voters want, even though he knows the tool is not effective. So he chooses the latter, except eventually it will get to the point where the ineffectiveness of his tool is evident, he has to give up on the plan and at that point (which is to say, this point), his base will see him throwing away what they believe is an effective tool for no reason.

Why McConnell et al didn't use last week's District Court decision against the president's executive action as a way out is the mystery within the mystery. It really could have been the perfect escape hatch.