A small minority of mostly white men have the power to tell America how it will be governed.
This is the tea party. Republican extremism. And it is how we will be governed because the mainstream Republican Party is afraid of the tea party.
‘Seventy-six of the members who signed the Meadows letter are male. Seventy-nine of them are white’.
‘These eighty members represent just eighteen per cent of the House and just a third of the two hundred and thirty-three House Republicans’.
‘They were elected with fourteen and a half million of the hundred and eighteen million votes cast in House elections last November, or twelve per cent of the total’.
‘In all, they represent fifty-eight million constituents. That may sound like a lot, but it’s just eighteen per cent of the population’.
‘Obama defeated Romney by four points nationally. But in the eighty suicide-caucus districts, Obama lost to Romney by an average of twenty-three points. The Republican members themselves did even better. In these eighty districts, the average margin of victory for the Republican candidate was thirty-four points’.
‘On August 21st, Congressman Mark Meadows sent a letter to John Boehner. Meadows is a former restaurant owner and Sunday-school Bible teacher from North Carolina. He’s been in Congress for eight months. Boehner, who has served in Congress for twenty-two years, is the Speaker of the House and second in the line of succession if anything happened to the President’.
‘Meadows was not pleased with how Boehner and his fellow Republican leaders in the House were approaching the September fight over spending. The annual appropriations to fund the government were scheduled to run out on October 1st, and much of it would stop operating unless Congress passed a new law. Meadows wanted Boehner to use the threat of a government shutdown to defund Obamacare, a course Boehner had publicly ruled out’.
“Since most of the citizens we represent believe that ObamaCare should never go into effect,” the letter said, “we urge you to affirmatively de-fund the implementation and enforcement of ObamaCare in any relevant appropriations bill brought to the House floor in the 113th Congress, including any continuing appropriations bill.”
‘They ended the letter with a stirring reference to Madison:
‘James Madison wrote in Federalist No. 58 that the “power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon … for obtaining a redress of every grievance…” We look forward to collaborating to defund one of the largest grievances in our time and to restore patient-centered healthcare in America.
Not everyone thought it was a terrific idea or one worthy of comparison to the brilliance of the Founders’.
‘Noting the strategic ineptness of threatening a government shutdown over a policy that neither the Democratically controlled Senate nor the President himself would ever support, Karl Rove railed against the idea in the Wall Street Journal. The conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer dubbed the eighty Republicans the “suicide caucus.”
From : http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2013/09/meadows-boehner-defund-obamacare-suicide-caucus-geography.html?currentPage=all
‘And yet, a few weeks later, Boehner adopted the course demanded by Meadows and his colleagues’.
‘The ability of eighty members of the House of Representatives to push the Republican Party into a strategic course that is condemned by the party’s top strategists is a historical oddity’. It’s
‘It’s specially strange when you consider some of the numbers behind the suicide caucus. As we approach a likely government shutdown this month and then a more perilous fight over raising the debt ceiling in October, it’s worth considering the demographics and geography of the eighty districts whose members have steered national policy over the past few weeks.