Talk about a hot mess! Just try unravelling the lunacy contained in this article by Sarah Mimms. As best as I can understand it, she is suggesting that perhaps Sen. Tom Cotton has come up with a new way for the “conservative firebrands” to blow up hostages in light of the fact that Republican leadership is thwarting their attempts to do so via the legislative process.
Just look at Cotton. His letter criticizing the administration’s attempts to craft a deal with Iran—and his relentless pursuit of signatures from conservative and establishment Republicans—has driven the conversation in the Senate all week and has 2016 candidates clamoring to join his effort. Cotton, with a few mere months under his belt in the upper chamber, arguably holds more power on the issue of Iran right now than Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker and, perhaps, even McConnell himself.
Whether he can translate that into legislative victory remains to be seen, but Cotton is creating a model that conservatives hope to follow. But by getting out ahead of the issue, Cotton has forced leadership to include him in the conversation from the start, rather than having to try to outmaneuver the establishment in a floor fight after the fact.
Mimms alludes to previous legislative battles where conservatives tried to shut down the government over funding of Obamacare or deny DHS funding over executive actions on immigration only to eventually be thwarted by Republican leadership’s mastery of the “rules” of the legislature.
But its really not that complicated. Leadership had to amend legislation in a way that attracted enough votes (including Democrats) to actually get passed. That’s called “governing” – something about which those conservative firebrands seem to be completely oblivious.
But this is the paragraph where Mimms really got me scratching my head with a “whuuuu?”
What’s often lost in those fights is that on the biggest issues facing Republicans, conservatives and their leadership are on the same page. The difference is in how and when to fight those battles. If it were possible to gut the Affordable Care Act or overturn Obama’s “executive amnesty,” as conservatives term it, leaders would have done so by now.
She’s right…on most of these issues Republicans are on the same page. But the difference isn’t about “how or when to fight those battles.” It’s that as long as Barack Obama is in the White House and Republicans can’t put together a veto-proof majority to roll back his policies, it can’t be done – not unless you are willing to blow up the hostage. THAT’S the big difference between those she calls “conservatives” and the Republican leadership.
Ever since our founding, politicians have gone to Washington and found it difficult to accomplish their agenda. That’s because our Constitution sets it up that way. Actual governing requires working with the opposition, negotiation and compromise. What Mimms and these conservatives are trying to come up with is a way to avoid all that.
If you are looking for a culprit that could destroy our democracy, you need look no further than those who continue to threaten to blow shit up if they don’t get their way. Sen. Cotton tried to find a new way to do that with the Iranian negotiations. It’s pretty clear by now that he has failed. Rather than cheer him on, those who value our democratic process should be breathing a sigh of relief.