Independents, Reaping What You Sowed: The Tea Party Kept Their Promise: Gridlock in Congress (updated 2/28/15) [68*1]

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Well, What Did You Expect To Happen?

FOR THIS HUB MY CONCERN ISN'T WITH THE Conservatives or is it the Tea Party, instead, it is for the Independents who voted for the Conservatives and Tea Party candidates in 2010 (and again in 2014). All I can say is, "I hope you are happy".

You had plenty of warning what has happened over the last nine (now 42) months was going to happen; the candidates you voted for told you this was going to happen; they didn't keep it a secret. Senator McConnell stood up on camera and said that his primary goal in the next two years was to make sure President Obama failed as a President, which, by extension, means America must fail as a Nation (fortunately he failed in keeping his promise and the Nation improved despite his Party's best efforts; just not as well as it might have if the Conservatives had been on America's side during such a time of crisis.) Didn't you listen to every Tea Party candidate tell you they were not going to compromise? Where you somewhere else when they said that there was no way on God's green earth they were going to allow any increase in revenues other than through increased economic growth? Didn't you think they were serious when you voted for them? Well, they were.

And now we are suffering the consequences. I must say, I didn't envision a downgrade in our credit rating but now that it has happened, I can't say that I am surprised. Why shouldn't they? What they saw was the American voter put into office a set of politicians dedicated to bringing down the government if they didn't get their way. They said they would do that, in so many words, and that is what they have done. What Standard and Poor sees a major part of our electorate that lives by slogans rather than their reason. They see an electorate that thought President Obama was supposed to be a superman in 2009 and got revenge by voting in gridlock in 2010 when they found out he wasn't superman because he wasn't able to put 12 million Americans back to work inside of two years.

We have gone way off the path of a Great Nation and I don't know if we can find our way back anytime soon, if ever; it is really starting to seem like Rome is burning and the American people are just fiddling around.


ALREADY, LESS THAN TWO MONTHS AFTER CONSERVATIVES assumed control of the Senate and increased their majority in the House, gridlock is taking hold. It started out inauspiciously for the House Republicans as Speaker Boehner had to fight back a rare uprising for his Majority Leader seat. This was followed by:

Bills Passed By House -

  • Jan 6, 2015: HR 3 - Authorize XL pipeline
  • Jan 6, 2015: HR 22 - Hire More Heroes Act of 2015 (a bill to weaken ACA)
  • Jan 6, 2015: HR 23 - National Windstorm Impact Reduction Act Reauthorization of 2015 (funds through FY 2017)
  • Jan 6, 2015: HR 25 - Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2015, (extends through 2020) - LAW
  • Jan 6, 2015: HR 30 - Save American Workers Act of 2015 (change ACA "full-time definition from 30 hours to average of 40 hours per week)
  • Jan 6, 2015: HR 33 - Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act (exempts, in certain cases, from ACA requirements) - Passed Senate, in reconciliation)
  • Jan 6, 2015: HR 37 - Promoting Job Creation and Reducing Small Business Burdens Act (seems to loosen regulation requirements of hedge funds for certain swap transactions)
  • Jan 8, 2015: HR 234 - Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) (directs intelligence sharing)
  • Jan 9, 2015: HR 240 - Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act (Fund DHS and gut President Obama's immigration reform.) - Successfully filibustered by Democrats in Senate; replacement still pending.
  • Jan 21, 2015: HR 7 - No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2015 (Attacks woman's right to choose and replaces bill pulled after revolt by Republican women)
  • Jan 28, 2015: HR 529 - To repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, and for other purposes. (Repeal ACA)
  • Feb 2, 2015: HR 629 - America's Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2015 (Makes permanent small business tax breaks.
  • Feb 4, 2015: HR 734 - Federal Communications Commission Consolidated Reporting Act of 2015 (Requires FCC to report every 2 years about the communications marketplace and identify geographic areas not covered by advanced broadband)
  • Feb 9, 2015: HR 810 - NASA Authorization Act of 2015 (Increases NASA funding to 2012 levels)
  • Feb 20, 2015: HR 2010 - STEM Education Act of 2015 (Requires NSF to give grants to alternative non-schools and reduces requirements to receive Master Teacher designation from needed a Masters to needing a Bachelor degree)
  • The House has initiated and/or passed many bills dealing with human trafficking

Senate Passed Bills

  • Jan 6, 2015: S 1- Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act - Vetoed

At this point in time (Feb 28, 2015) nothing of major national importance has made it through Congress and into law. The -

  1. Speaker Boehner beat back (and then punished those responsible) a rare attempt to deny him his Speakership
  2. Conservative attempt to ban abortions after 20 weeks was defeated by the women in the Republican Party
  3. Republican attempt to by-pass regular order and direct approval of the construction of the XL pipeline was vetoed. (ed..note. I think PBO should have withdrawn his objections well before the vote after the last major legal hurdle had been resolved.)
  4. Conservative's attempt to stop PBO's executive action on fair immigration practices was successfully filibustered by Democrats. Senate willing to pass a clean DHS appropriations bill but House is not. A one-week, lol, funding extension was just passed in the House.

That's all folks.


Did You Blame The Tea Party and Conservatives For the Downgrade in America's Credit Rating in 2011?

  • Yes
  • No
  • I blamed both Parties
  • I blamed no one
  • I didn't know who to blame
See results without voting

Who are You Going to Blame This Time Around if America's Credit Rating is Downgraded Further?

  • Democrats
  • Republicans in general
  • Conservatives, specifically
  • President Obama
  • President Obama and Congressional Democrats
  • Everybody
  • Nobody
  • Haven't a clue
See results without voting


Do You Tend to

  • Lean to the Left
  • Lean to the Right
  • Lean to the Left or Right, depending on the Issue
  • None of the Above
See results without voting


Are You

  • Female
  • Male
See results without voting

© 2011 My Esoteric

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Comments 16 comments

TTanglewood profile image

TTanglewood 5 years ago


I'll go a step further and place some blame on the Democrats who didn't bother to show up for mid term elections because they didn't understand the importance of how Congress works.

If more of the young people who voted Obama into office had showed up, maybe we'd actually have spent the past 6 months focusing on job creation.

In fact, I think I blame them MORE. At least the independents bought into what they believed.

My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 5 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

No doubt you are right TTanglewood, although the Democratic politicians had so blown the message, that I can't say I am all of that surprised about the poor turn-out.

For me though, I don't think I can go so far to say that most of those independents who voted for the Tea Party/Conservatives to unfilled expections, regardless of how unrealistic those expectations were, and populist rhetoric that sounded good on the surface but was hollow underneath where their ire with the economic situation at the time put the brakes on their God-given and often exhibited ability to reason and therefore were unable to perceive.

TTanglewood profile image

TTanglewood 5 years ago

A huge part of the problem is that GOP politicians are far better at lying with straight faces.

Democrat candidates tend to be willing to meet in the pragmatic middle, but don't move as a single homogenous unit. GOP candidates, by contrast, receive their marching orders and then parrot their message until they have enough voters believing it.

My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 5 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Believe it or not, when I was a Republican, they use to be like the Democrats in terms of being pragmatic. When the religious right began their conquest of the Republican party at the beginning of the Reagan administration is when pragmatism began turning into dogmatism. That is when I became an independent.

DannyMaio profile image

DannyMaio 5 years ago from New York

Wow S&P clearly told the whitehouse they need 4T over ten years and the republicans put just that on the table and the dems rejected it? If you actually followed the situation would know all the actual tea party people voted against it because there wasn't any real cuts. If you owned a business and tried this you would be bankrupt! you truly can not be that blind to see the real truth. you can not keep spending what you do not have! I'm a registered democrat and my party is not true dems anymore they are socialist! The independents did the right thing.

Bibowen profile image

Bibowen 5 years ago

I think I've heard it all. I guess next we'll be blaming antebellum slaves for the American Civil War because they wanted to be free....

TTanglewood profile image

TTanglewood 5 years ago


Actually, the White House put 4Trillion on the table including closing tax loopholes. It was the speaker who rejected that plan for the smaller 2 T package because he signed a pledge not to raise any taxes.

"UPDATE 37, Saturday, July 9, 1:35 a.m. EST (Nick Baumann): Last weekend, President Barack Obama announced that he would seek a $4 trillion deficit-reduction deal as part of negotiations with Republicans to raise the federal debt ceiling. But this Saturday, Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), the Speaker of the House, announced that he isn't on board with the president's goal. The problem is just what you might expect: The White House wants to see some tax increases as part of any deal, and many, if not most, Republicans want the deal to be made up entirely of spending cuts.

The GOP leadership will seek a smaller deficit-reduction plan in the neighborhood of $2 trillion as part of any deal to raise the debt ceiling, which the government is due to hit in early August. "

It is fine to have a difference viewpoint from others, we all welcome the discussion. Please ensure that you are using the correct facts when involved in said discussion.

And as for the spending portion of the equation, you can't keep giving back money you don't have. Tax cuts when the country is in the red is bad budgeting on the personal level and on the federal level.

My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 5 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

I appreciate your comments DannyMaio however, I would argue that the Democrats did put $4T of deficit Reductions vice Cuts on the table. The problem with theirs is it included revenue increases from simply closing tax loopholes (which,in effect is spending in and of itself) not even increasing the tax rates on billionairs back up to Clinton levels where the deficit was actually being reduced. The Tea Party would have none of it, period. They wanted nothing less than what would amount to the privatization of Medicare and the destruction of Medicaid; things close to all Dems hearts.

I do own a business and am the CFO of it and I can't run it like the government because I don't have the same objectives as the government; I am profit oriented while the government is service oriented. Consequently, the dynamics of how budgets are developed and executed are entirely different and follow different rules simply because the expected outcomes are so different.

Even so, let me borrow from an analogy another reader just presented in different hub I wrote, and just linked to .., "Another Look at Why ..." above. Assume my sales are equivalent to tax revenue and my expenses are like, well, expenses. Let's say things are going good and I buy a building to house my operation, the mortgage and upkeep were projected to be easily affordable given my projected sales. Now suppose the 2008 Bush recession comes along and cuts my sales (taxes) and I no longer can afford my expenses which now include the mortgages and building upkeep. What do I do? Well as a busines person I try to do TWO things, cut expenses and INCREASE sales (TAXES). As a Tea Partyer and Conservative, however, I do only ONE thing, cut expenses. Which do you think is the smarter choice if you are trying to apply this government scenario to your personal or business life?

@TTanglewood - :-)

My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 5 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Bibowden, Are you suggesting that the Slaves desire to be free wasn't involved in why the Civil War was fought; that is a fascinating theory. Please explain how the two are not connected.

lukegoldstein profile image

lukegoldstein 5 years ago from Sherman Oaks, CA

MyEsoteric, I agree here that the problem was clear as day down the road, but so few people chose to believe that our elected leaders would gamble with the wealth and credit of our nation. The 2010 midterms were not a sweeping victory for Republicans over Democrats, it was the reintroduction of ideology over reason. That's what the true danger is and we are only seeing the initial effects of that now. I hold some hope that now that we have been shown where this could all lead to, we might see some strong primary races against those immovable and uncompromising votes, but that is still to be seen. (Actually, today in Wisconsin might be a good bell weather for it).

My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 5 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Bravo Luke, and thanks for the comments.

Bibowen profile image

Bibowen 5 years ago

ME--The key word was not "involved" (in fact, I did not even use it); the operative word is "blame" as in blaming the Tea Party (which isn't even a party and has no institutional power) for the credit decline. I hope the left continues to propagate this refusal to take responsibility for their failures so that the American people will give them the heeve-ho come 2012.

lukegoldstein profile image

lukegoldstein 5 years ago from Sherman Oaks, CA

Bibowen - Not that I agree with what they stood for in the fight, I think the Tea Party caucus and their supporters in the House proved beyond any doubt that they do in fact have institutional power. They pushed the entire discussion and debate far to the right, way past where the mainstream Republicans would have compromised. You could see their power and pressure when Boehner walked away from the table after getting the exact deal he wanted, plus even more. The downgrade can in no logical way be blamed on the left, at least not alone.

My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 5 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Bibowden - OK, let me rephrase my comment: Are you suggesting that the Slaves desire to be free wasn't part of the blame, i.e. responsibility, in why the Civil War was fought; that is a fascinating theory. Please explain how the two are not connected.

Now to the definition of "Blame". According to Wikipedia "Blame" is "the act of censuring, HOLDING RESPONSIBLE, making negative statements about an individual or group that their action or actions are socially or morally irresponsible"

So, to restate your theory, "you can't blame the civil war, at least in part, on the desire of slaves to be free." Do I have your belief correct?

As to what you are implying about the Tea Party ... leader Dick Armey ... I defer to Lukes great response.

Bibowen profile image

Bibowen 5 years ago

LG, No, the left cannot be blamed alone. Conservatives were very unhappy with Bush and Paulsen's refusal to cut spending. But the Democrats ran saying they were going to do something about the economy. But their policies are what are sending it to the basement. Anyone that knows a fraction about international finance knows that our lowered credit rating had nothing to do with whether or not the Republicans or Democrats could "cut a deal." What we are experiencing are the consequences of irresponsible spending. And yes, if it will make you feel better, the Republicans are equally to blame. They were just sending us to the poorhouse at a slower pace; Obama & Co. accelerated the process.

My Esoteric profile image

My Esoteric 5 years ago from Keystone Heights, FL Author

Bibowen, It would be nice what you say is true, but it simply isn't. Look at what you get when you take 1980 as a starting point. For the first eight years you had politically a very conservative President and a mixed Conservative/Liberal Congress and in the process had the second worst non-war spending record and deficit/debt problem in American history.

In the next twelve years, political you had a moderate Republican President followed by moderate Democratic President with eight years of a Democratic Congress followed by four years of an extremely Conservative Congress. Economically, America had the longest running expansion in its history, the beginnings of a spending cut/taxation policy that led to first deficit reduction in many decades; this was in place before the 1994 takeover of Congress by the Conservatives.

Then, starting in 2000, for the next eight years, under a very Conservative administrative with an even more Conservative Congress, until the last two years, the country experienced the worst increase in the deficit/debt in American history coupled with a mixture of economic stagnation of the middle and lower classes that led to one of the largest increases societal economic stratification America has known to date; only to be capped by the worst recession since the depression of 1929.

That, Bibowen, is the real record as President Obama and the Democrats took office. You say, which is the common Conservative refrain, that it is the Democratic policies are "what are sending it [our economy] to the basement." I would assume you mean mainly the TARP (a Republican policy) and the Stimulus, since the other Democratic programs such as health care haven't had an appreciable effect on the budget yet. I would argue that it was the Bush administrations mismanagement of the economic that forced the Obama administration to take such measures. Failing Bush's economic debacle, there would have been no Stimulus.

Now, of course, you can argue that the Stimulus wasn't necessary and didn't work in any case. All I can do is point to the Panic of 1893 to see what happens when the government does nothing. To borrow your phrase, anyone that knows a fraction about economics knows that without the kind of intervention Bush and Obama made, this country, and the world, would probably have experienced the worst Depression in history. 700,000 jobs lost per month when Obama took office would be just a drop in the bucket if he had sat ideally by like the Conservatives wanted and let nature take its course.

I do know a fraction about international finance, by the way, but even if I didn't, I did listen to the S&P analyst who had a hand in the downgrade and he said pointblank that part of the reason was because the two sides couldn't cut a deal; are you saying he is lying? He also said another reason was having let it go on so long.

As to Obama & Co accelerating the process, I have to argue that without his policies, we would already be there.

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