Politico: For the first time in months, House Republicans are facing no immediate cataclysmic deadlines, and GOP leaders are struggling to come up with an agenda to fill the 19 legislative days that are left in 2013.
Need evidence? The House votes Monday evening and will finish its work week Wednesday. After that, the House is out of session until Nov. 12. Internally, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and senior Republicans aren’t discussing coming back early from the scheduled recess, but instead, they are wondering if they’ll cancel some of the remaining days in session.
Without an Obamacare windmill to joust with, they got nothing. The Republican Party now stands for one thing -- fighting Democrats. And when they have to put that one thing aside, they become legitimately confused. It's not like the nation has no problems to address, but that the GOP is a party without any ideas of their own. They've become so entirely reactionary that it seems impossible for them to think for themselves and come up with new ideas. Proaction is beyond their abilities or understanding. They need Democratic ideas to tell them what they're against. Without anything to obstruct, they're rudderless.
In fact, it's so bad that one of their big ideas in the period of Obamacare truce is to fight Obamacare. Seriously.
On Monday, House GOP chiefs of staff are meeting with leadership and the House Administration Committee on how members and staff will handle enrollment in the health care exchanges mandated under ACA. Boehner and House Republicans unsuccessfully pushed legislation that would end the government’s employer contribution to health care for lawmakers and aides. Now that they have to sign up, House Republicans face numerous questions on how to do so and who is covered.
In the meantime, it appears that the House will — once again — vote to delay portions of Obamacare, setting up another fight with Senate Democrats and the White House.
That there's what you call your one trick pony. Worse, it's a trick this particular pony can never pull off.
So the GOP's big plan for what little remains of the legislative year is to waste everyone's time -- just like the rest of the year. After 40-some failed anti-Obamacare bills, what's one more, really? Besides, if they stop fighting the Affordable Care Act. they'll be forced to admit that they no longer stand for much of anything at all.
This is a party in their death throes, being led off into oblivion by a final delusion. There's a long tunnel, a bright light... and wait, is that Ronald Reagan waving to them and offering to kill Obamacare? Maybe there is life after 2012 after all. They don't have to kiss up to minorities, women, gays, or those snotty little millennials, not when paradise awaits. They need only be faithful to the party's one remaining core belief -- that liberals are always wrong and their ideas need to be opposed.
Now Republicans just have to wait for liberals to propose something. so they'll know what to do. Never mind that being the reactionary party means giving up all pretense of leadership -- after all, you don't lead by letting someone else make the first move. But they'll just stay right here, treading water by losing a fight against Obamacare again, until someone comes up with something else for them to oppose.
Republicans know exactly where they're going -- in the opposite direction of everyone else. Now if only someone else would move, so they could know which direction that is.
[photo Wikimedia Commons]