Friday, September 11, 2015

Another day, another 'Republican leadership clueless as to how to prevent shutdown' story

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner remain hostage to the extreme right-wing of their parties, knowing that the government shutdown over Planned Parenthood their right flank is pushing would be a political disaster but seemingly powerless to do anything about it. So they keep looking at ways to cajole and appease them.
At a party lunch Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) laid out a plan to Republicans to prioritize a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks in the hopes of assuaging conservatives seeking to cut off federal funding to Planned Parenthood, CNN reported. The calls for defunding the reproductive health organization came after a series of sting videos that anti-abortion activists claim shows Planned Parenthood was profiting from the harvesting of aborted fetal tissue. […] "I think it's nearly unanimous the view that a shutdown doesn't defund Planned Parenthood, and it doesn't help us maintain our majority so we can have some influence who the next members of the Supreme Court are and can elect a Republican president," said Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), the majority whip, according to CNN.

Likewise, the Senate GOP's Number 3, Sen. John Thune (R-SD) also admitted the political costs of a shutdown when explaining to the plan to focus on the 20 week abortion ban, instead.

"I think there's a good, strong coalition behind [the 20 week abortion bill] who want to see that bill debated, voted on, and so I think it's certainly something that's consistent with advancing the pro-life movement," Thune told the National Journal. "I think a lot of the pro-life movement also recognizes that a scenario that might end up in a government shutdown would not be good for the cause."

Just to be clear here, they're trying to figure out how to continue the War on Women, but without pissing off everyone else. Because, ladies, we're just here for their politics.

Meanwhile, there are five business days left for the Congress before government funding runs out, and what's standing in the way of a funding bill is one senator—Ted Cruz—and about 40 House members. Those guys and Boehner and his refusal to actually be a leader. Boehner could put an end to this by once and for all cutting them out of the equation and working with Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi to get the votes for a funding bill. Boehner shuts down the far-right minority of his conference and McConnell can much more easily isolate Cruz. Cruz only has power because of his House minions, and they only have power because Boehner is giving it to them.

Boehner's not going to lead and the chances of averting a government shutdown get smaller every day. That ultimately proves the point that the War on Women is job #1 for the powers that be in the GOP.

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