Saturday, March 09, 2013


If I were President Obama, right now I'd endorse the Rand Paul/Ted Cruz drone bill. What does the president have to lose, really? Through Attorney General Holder, he's already expressed agreement with the narrow principle outlined in the bill ("The Federal Government may not use a drone to kill a citizen of the United States who is located in the United States. The prohibition under this subsection shall not apply to an individual who poses an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury to another individual") -- in fact, the bill seems to allow a targeted drone killing of a common criminal using deadly force, never mind a citizen terrorist. So, what the hell, Mr. President -- go for it. Say you'll sign it if it reaches your desk. Take the wind out of the Nu-Republicans' sails.

Because what else have these guys got that resonates with the broad public, as opposed to the usual gang of crazies in the GOP base? I saw that Rand Paul had written a Washington Post op-ed titled "My Filibuster Was Just the Beginning" and thought I'd get an answer to that question, but the op-ed has nothing whatsoever to say about further Nu-Republican agenda items. It's basically just an Academy Award acceptance speech for Paul's filibuster:
... ... Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.), who stayed for five hours, offered me his boots when I complained that I had not worn my most comfortable shoes. My good friend Rep. Thomas Massie from Kentucky came over. And then came the conservative cavalry of Reps. Justin Amash (Mich.), Ron DeSantis (Fla.), Doug LaMalfa (Calif.), Garland "Andy" Barr (Ky.), Trey Radel (Fla.), Michael Burgess (Tex.), Jim Bridenstine (Okla.), Raul R. Labrador (Idaho), Keith Rothfus (Pa.), Paul Gosar (Ariz.), Steve Daines (Mont.), Bill Huizenga (Mich.), Richard Hudson (N.C.) and David Schweikert (Ariz.).

Over the evening I had the support of Republican Sens. John Barrasso (Wyo.), Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), John Cornyn (Tex.), John Thune (S.D.), Pat Toomey (Pa.) and Ron Johnson (Wis.). And Sens. Cruz, Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.) used the opportunity to make their first speaking appearances on the Senate floor. Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) came at the end to speak....
All we get about the future is this:
I hope my efforts help spur a national debate about the limits of executive power and the scope of every American's natural right to be free. "Due process" is not just a phrase that can be ignored at the whim of the president; it is a right that belongs to every citizen in this great nation.

I believe the support I received this past week shows that Americans are looking for someone to really stand up and fight for them. And I'm prepared to do just that.
That's not an agenda. Those are platitudes.

In fact, once we get past the Nu-Republicans' one area of agreement with progressives and one deviation from GOP orthodoxy, we find that their agenda is ... the same old Fox News/talk radio agenda, except on steroids.

To see that same-old-but-worse agenda in action, read what Brian Beutler of Talking Points Memo wrote yesterday about a couple of Rand Paul's best buds. They're threatening to -- oh, this is new and original -- shut down the government over Obamacare:
Earlier this week, we learned that Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT) will demand yet another vote on defunding Obamacare when the Senate amends the House's government funding bill. And by demand, they mean they'll obstruct swift passage of the bill if they don't get their vote....

Enter Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), whose position on immigration reform is forcing him to lurch right on pretty much every other issue. He says he'll only vote for the continuing resolution if Cruz's amendment passes.

All the pieces are in place now for the right to get exercised and turn passage of the Cruz amendment -- or at least a vote on it -- into a litmus test for GOP support for the continuing resolution.
As Beutler notes, Mitch McConnell (who's running for reelection in 2014 and facing a possible tea party challenge) may have to allow these crazies to push us to the brink of a government shutdown, just to prove he's not a RINO. Same for John Boehner in the House, who really wants to keep his Speakership.

Once you get past their views on the use of force, this is all the Nu-Republicans have got. They're just like the horrible current Republicans, only much, much more so.


(In case it's not obvious, I stole the "Nu" in "Nu Republicans" from the rock genre term "nu metal," and also from the early-1980s "Nu Disks" put out by CBS Records. If I weren't afraid it would turn into gibberish on some browsers, I'd put an umlaut over the "u.")


The Left said...

This gets to something we have known for a very long time: the Republican Party is out of viable ideas. All they know how to do any more is say "no" and oppose everything that Obama and the Democrats stand for.

debg said...

We can use our imaginations for the umlaut. The mental picture of these stuffy white guys with big hair is irresistible.

aimai said...

So, nu?

Ten Bears said...

Gnu comes to mind. Gnu-Republicans and gnu-guano.

Roger said...

Husker Du?

Victor said...

These "Nu" Republicans keep threatening the same old things.

They'd best be careful, because like a 3 year-old who's forever throwing tantrums, or "The Boy Who Cried Wolf!", these "Nu" Republicans may develop a sense of "ennui" in the general public.

Ignore the 3 year-old, and eventually, he'll STFU!

Ignore the boy crying wolf, and hopefully eventually, he'll end up a wolf-snack.

Philo Vaihinger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Philo Vaihinger said...

Why is there a drone bill?

From your remarks it seems only to repeat the position of the AG and the president, like a congressional echo.

Constitutionally assigned powers cannot be altered by legislation, anyway.

Kathy said...

I thought it stood for Nugent Republicans.