Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wendy Davis's Filibuster Was Admirable, But I'm Not Sure It Was the Best Thing for Democracy

[This article also appears on You can access it from my author page here.]

Let me start out by saying that I have nothing but respect and admiration for Wendy Davis, the Texas state senator who filibustered the draconian anti-abortion bill the Texas senate was about to pass last night, and I fully agree with and support her opinion on the issue. I could not back more strongly a woman's right to choose. And there is something especially odious about a group of mostly men telling women what they can and can't do with their bodies. The Republican war on women, which has extended beyond Texas, including the party's obsession with abortion, is truly sickening.

But I strongly disagree with Davis when she said, referring to her successful filibuster and the protest at the capitol that helped push the vote beyond the midnight deadline, "Today was democracy in action." Because while I am happy with the practical outcome (abortion clinics not being closed in Texas), I don't think what happened last night in Austin is a victory for democracy.

Before I explain, I want to make clear my purpose in writing this piece. I am afraid that the courage and conviction of one remarkable woman has overshadowed the larger issue of the values the Republican party has been trying to legislate, especially since the party's victories in state and federal elections in 2010. I think it is clear that the GOP's war on women, minorities, unions, immigrants and essentially any citizen who is not among the nation's wealthiest is a threat to the country's democratic essence.

The Republicans seem to realize they can't muster a majority nationally for their far right, serve-the-wealthy policies, so they have resorted to trying to suppress votes from groups with whom the party does not do well, as I discussed with regard to the Supreme Court's Voting Rights Act decision.

But in conservative states like Texas, the GOP agenda is in full bloom. And it's not like Davis's victory will stand in the long-term. As the state's lieutenant governor said about last night's events, "It's over. It's been fun. But see you soon."

So Davis's actions, while a short-term victory, don't address the moral rot at the heart of the GOP agenda, including the party's all-out assault on a women's right to choose what happens with her body. In the long run, it is more important to focus on what the Republicans are trying to do to our country, and why it is so important to let them do it in places where they are the majority.

With that in mind, let me explain why I don't see Davis's filibuster as pro-democratic.

First, regardless of my beliefs on an issue, I think it is important to consistently support the democratic process. I have written about how Republican obstructionism and abuse of the filibuster in the U.S. Senate has hurt the country and subverted democracy, and I would feel hypocritical supporting a filibuster in Texas, just because it's now being employed by someone who shares my viewpoint on the issue under consideration. If the filibuster is wrong in Washington, it's wrong in Austin.

Which brings me to my second, larger point: I believe strongly in democracy, and I think part of that is understanding that electoral choices have consequences. The people of Texas elected this group of legislators, and a draconian abortion bill is exactly what the people of Texas should get (I don't mean that punitively, but rather as the function of democracy, to enact the people's will).

This is a state that twice elected Rick Perry to be governor, watching him veto a bill supporting equal pay for women but signing a bill protecting people who want to say, "Merry Christmas." This is a state that is so abortion-crazed, it banned any state money going to Planned Parenthood, even though the organization primarily provides women with health care, performing few abortions. This is a state that rejected federal money for expanded Medicaid solely for ideological reasons. And this is a state that regularly boasts of a lack of health and safety regulations as part of a pitch to lure businesses to Texas.

Remember, this is also a state that handed the far-right, glass-bubble-dwelling, nutjob Ted Cruz a senate seat by an overwhelming 56.6 percent to 40.5 percent margin. It is a state that sent Louie Gohmert to Congress five times, even as he says things like sex eduction reminds him of the Soviet Union in the 1970s and Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier are members of the Muslim Brotherhood. This is a state where a state representative said rape kits "cleaned out" a woman if the attack resulted in fertilization, so no rape exception to an abortion ban was necessary. And this is the state that sent Ron Paul to Congress and gave him a national platform for his anti-government beliefs. I could go on.

Let's face it: The politicians chosen by a majority of Texans hold some pretty extreme right-wing views. And it's pretty safe to say, given the publicity around the elected officials' actions and their popularity, the people know for what they are voting.

So when Davis said last night about the protesters at the capitol, "You all are the voices we were speaking for from the floor," the "voices" she was talking about were of the minority. The people of Texas, speaking through their votes, asked for that crazy abortion bill. And if we believe in democracy, they deserve to get it.

If the state wants to make a political show of rejecting free money to help provide healthcare to its less-well-off citizens, all because it is attached to a health care law they don't like, then the people of the state deserve to watch as 1.5 million Texans go without health insurance, all as they have to pay hundreds of millions of dollars more in health care costs. If the state wants to play politics and ban Planned Parenthood, then its citizens have to watch as up to 200,000 women go untreated and unchecked. And if the state wants to lure businesses with promises of lax health and safety regulations, sometimes fertilizer plants will blow up and kill 15 people, while the governor continues to brag about the state's lack of regulation.

Simply put, the people of Texas have spoken loudly and clearly about what they want. It may be odious, but subverting the will of the voters isn't democratic.

My goal here is not to protect the people of Texas. That is, I don't feel any moral outrage that they have been denied the right to essentially close most of the state's abortion clinics. The pursuit of the Texas government is so amoral, I don't care that they are not getting what they want.

But rather, I am interested in preserving democracy, and I mean that in two ways. In the literal sense, the people's representatives should be able to legislate consistent with the ideals they espoused in their campaigns. But also, as a democracy, we cannot function if there are no consequences for policy decisions based on those ideals. We have to know, if we legislate X, Y will result.

Policy choices without ramifications that are visible do not give voters a true basis on which to make decisions.

Davis's filibuster is a victory, in the sense that for however long she and her allies can keep the abortion clinics open, women in Texas will keep control over their bodies. But her courageous stand did not change the hearts and minds of the citizens of the state.

I know writing a piece like this throws a wet blanket over the joy many are experiencing over Davis's stand. My Twitter and Facebook feeds were filled with support for her filibuster. But I am afraid it is a Pyrrhic victory, only obscuring the larger problem associated with what Davis was fighting, mainly the backward-looking, hateful, anti-democratic agenda being pursued by Republicans.

A feel-good moment is great, but it should not allow a false set of satisfaction to set in. Defeating the Republican anti-women agenda isn't pushing a vote beyond midnight, it is electing representatives who wouldn't vote for the bill in the first place. And as the lieutenant governor said, the supporters of the bill will be back. Probably soon. And that is the real story.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

SCOTUS's Gutting of the VRA Is the Fulfillment of Lewis Powell's 42-year-old Battle Plan

[This article also appears on You can access it from my author page here.]

In 1971, Lewis Powell wrote a confidential memo to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, urging corporate leaders to mobilize the massive resources at their disposal to set up an infrastructure to shift public opinion toward business conservative values.

Powell, who would soon become a Richard Nixon-appointed justice to the U.S. Supreme Court, but at the time was a corporate lawyer, was writing at a time when his views were not shared by those in power in Washington. Even though a Republican president occupied the White House, the previous seven years had seen the enacting of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as well as Lyndon Johnson's Great Society programs (the creation of Medicaid in 1965 and other anti-poverty, education and education legislation passed in 1965) and an expansion of the Clean Air Act in 1970 (signed by Nixon), and the Clean Water Act was in the pipeline (signed by Nixon in 1972).

In short, Powell recognized that the country still embraced basic New Deal values, with an acceptance that the government should act to remedy inequality, injustice and other ills that could result from corporate power (like income inequality and damage to the environment). And he (and many other business leaders) didn't like it and wanted to do something to change it.

If Powell was alive today, he would be smiling from ear to ear upon hearing that the U.S. Supreme Court had overturned the heart of the Voting Rights Act. Of course, Powell would be happy with the result, but what would really make him happy is that the ruling was a direct effect of the successful effort to institutionalize his business conservative beliefs in the government, especially on the Supreme Court. After all, Powell watched as a young business conservative lawyer named John Roberts spent the 1980s trying to upend the Voting Rights Act, and now Roberts is the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, sitting next to fellow corporate conservatives Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Anthony Kennedy, and in a position to rule against legislation that went against business conservative values, especially high-profile flashpoints like the Voting Rights Act.

Much to Powell's glee, I'm sure, there are now five justices on the Supreme Court who put the interests of corporations over those of ordinary citizens, and who have a distaste for government that far outweighs any concern about inequality, unfairness or injustice for any non-wealthy Americans, especially minorities.

Powell's vision of 1971 has been realized, as his beliefs in empowering corporations at the expense of ordinary citizens is no longer a powerless minority view, but rules the mainstream of the Republican Party, and thus controls the House of Representatives and the Supreme Court, as well as commanding the 40+ votes necessary to stop the Senate from doing business.

I think it is safe to say that today's ruling gutting the nearly-50-year-old Voting Rights Act cements the idea that Powell's ideals now rule the country (or at the very least have the power to prevent opposing policies from being adopted).

All of this would be fine if the rise to power of Powell's view of America came about by popular vote. That is, if a majority of Americans clamored for the institution of Powell's policies, it would be hard to argue that democracy had worked.

But the problem is that the rise of business conservatism has come despite a lack of majority support. Republicans don't have a majority in the Senate, and yet the party can block anything Powell wouldn't have liked from getting through the chamber. Republicans control the House thanks to gerrymandering, as the party's candidates got more than a million fewer votes in 2012 than Democrats did.

And when Americans were offered a clear choice in 2012 between a presidential candidate who was the classic business conservative with disdain for government and one who offered the government as a partner in solving America's problems, the electorate made a clear choice against the business conservative.

But most of all, the Court's decision today to gut the Voting Rights Act was, by definition, anti-democratic. That is, the legislation was designed to help make it possible for as many people to vote as possible--and to have their votes count in a meaningful way, and by striking down the law, the Court made it easier to suppress votes.

After all, the challenge to the VRA didn't come in vacuum, but rather it is part of the Republicans' ongoing effort to suppress minority votes, most visibly through enacting voter-identification laws that serve no purpose other than keeping groups who traditionally do not vote for the GOP's platform of business conservatism (minorities, the poor) away from the polls (something that Republicans have admitted to in less guarded moments).

So don't get bogged on the legal arguments offered by Justice Roberts. First of all, in effect, what the Court did was reject Congress's interpretation of voting data in favor of its own (even though the House voted 390-33 to reauthorize the VRA in 2008). This is Roberts and his business conservative colleagues inserting their far-right interpretation of the law ahead of 48 years of the act being accepted as being well within the bounds of the constitution.

But even more importantly, the legal argument is pretense, an excuse to allow five business conservatives to undo a key piece of legislation that did huge work in giving more Americans the power to vote and govern themselves, but made it harder for business conservatives to win elections.

Today's Supreme Court decision is just the latest blow to American democracy and the ability of ordinary Americans to try and make their way in a country increasingly controlled by corporations and beset by income inequality that funnels all the financial gains of the country to the very wealthiest Americans. Where once the U.S. was a symbol to the world of social mobility, we now lag behind most Western democracies in that regard. And it's due to the rise of Powell's business conservative vision over the last 30+ years.

As long as Americans allow their representatives to look out for the wealthiest at the expense of the rest of the country, Powell's vision of America will be able to thrive. And with devotees of his ideology established in the Supreme Court, business conservatives will be able to protect their interests at the expense of the rest of us for years--maybe decades--to come.

Today's ruling on the Voting Rights Act is just one of many in this regard. There are surely more to come.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Filibuster Reform Reminds Us that the Real Scandal Hurting the Country Right Now Isn't in the Executive Branch

[This article also appears on You can access it from my author page here.]

When I saw the Huffington Post banner headline "End of the Line" Thursday, linking to a story on how Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is considering changing the chamber's filibuster rules based on a majority vote, it occurred to me that this was an issue that is worthy of major coverage in the mainstream news media. And yet, I was quite sure it wouldn't be enough to push the White House "scandals" off the front burner.

After all, if you flipped on a news or entertainment program for the last two weeks, you have likely been inundated with news and jokes about the three "scandals" affecting the Obama administration. The fact that this is the narrative shows how truly corrupted our political process has become, and how lazy the news media have become in utterly failing in their role as the fourth estate, holding elected officials accountable for their actions.

Yes, the coverage of the White House "scandals" is looking at what government officials did, but the issues are so unimportant compared to real malfeasance that is having a real effect on the country.

If the job of the press is to report on how the conduct of elected officials has an actual impact on how we live our day-to-day lives, and on behavior that is consciously and directly bad for the vast majority of the country and the day-to-day workings of the government, there should be a tsunami of coverage of how Republicans in power in Congress are trying to subvert American democracy and putting iron-clad ideological beliefs (that are far out of the mainstream) ahead of governing and doing what is best for the country. Specifically, Republicans in the Senate are abusing the filibuster to keep jobs--in both the executive and judicial branches--unfilled while sitting idly by and letting economic growth take a hit in the name of ideology.

I'll get to specifics in a minute, but first, no, I am not writing this because "my team" is being targeted. Let's quickly go over the three Obama administration "scandals" and why they are either non-stories or minor ones.

- Benghazi. Republicans are using the tragedy of the death of four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, to score political points. They have lied about what was in State Department emails. And they have been lying about what went on in the first place. Think the fact that Hillary Clinton would be a formidable presidential candidate in 2016 has anything to do with the Republicans politicizing an American tragedy? Considering Karl Rove's Super PAC ran ads smearing Clinton in conjunction with Benghazi, GOP motives are quite clear.

Benghazi is a scandal all right, but the scandal is the Republican abuse of power. Rep. Darrell Issa has abused his position as chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to investigate non-scandals for political gain. So it was a great moment when Attorney General Eric Holder went Joseph Welch on Issa during a House Judiciary Committee meeting, calling his conduct "unacceptable" and "shameful."

- IRS. Clearly, if a government agency targets organizations based on their ideology, that conduct should be investigated and condemned. So what did the Justice Department do upon finding out about the potentially illegal conduct? It launched an investigation. And what did the president do when he found out about the alleged IRS conduct? He condemned it. There is no evidence the president knew about the alleged Tea Party targeting, let alone that he ordered it. And it's not like there isn't reason to investigate if Tea Party groups were misusing apolitical, tax-free organizations to do political work without disclosing their donors. (After all, when you think of Rove, the first thing you think of is charity work, right?)

So while there may have been some unethical and/or illegal activity at the IRS, the Obama administration (and the president himself) has appropriately responded. Where is the scandal?

- AP. The fact that Republicans are complaining about government breaches in investigating media to determine the source of leaks is a dictionary-worthy example of the pot calling the kettle black. The GOP is screaming bloody murder over behavior they have engaged in for years. More importantly, like with the IRS investigation, there is no evidence that the president was involved in the decision to pull the AP phone records.

None of these "scandals" reveal any corruption in the Obama administration (or the president himself), and any wrongdoing is being investigated. None of what has happened has an impact on the life of the average American. The news media, of course, should cover what has happened, but they have to do so in perspective. None of these stories involve larger scale problems with the integrity of the government. And the impact is far less to the economy, our government and our democracy than what is resulting from what the Republicans are doing in Congress. The GOP's actions are unprecedented in modern history.

Which leads us back to the Republican abuse of the filibuster and other procedural devices that prevent Senate votes not only on legislation, but on confirming nominees for federal court judges and executive department positions. In fact, they are trying to incapacitate the National Labor Relations Board by not approving nominees for new members, so that when the chair's term expires in August, there will be nobody left on the board. What the GOP is doing is nothing short of an assault on the federal government.

There are 79 judicial vacancies in federal courts right now, an unprecedented number. The lack of judges is affecting the ability of the federal judicial system to function. The reason is simple: Republicans in the Senate are refusing to allow a vote on the president's nominees. And they've done so (I'm going to use the word again) in an unprecedented manner, with Obama having far fewer nominations confirmed than any recent president (42.8 percent compared to 86.8 percent for George W. Bush, 79.3 percent for George H.W. Bush and 93.1 percent for Ronald Reagan). 

The GOP has become so detached from reality that when the president nominated three judges for vacancies on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit this week, Sen. Charles Grassley charged Obama with trying to pack the court. Think about that. The Republicans in the Senate have become so ideological they have turned a basic job of the president, to appoint judges, into something nefarious.

Which is why Reid is, as Huffington Post reported as its top story Thursday, considering changing the Senate rules on a majority vote (the so-called "nuclear option") to make it harder for Republicans to repeatedly and strategically obstruct by not allowing votes on the president's nominees. And if you think Reid is off the rails, consider that the impetus for the Huffington Post article was that Norm Ornstein of the staunchly conservative American Enterprise Institute now supports changing the Senate rules. Ornstein's description of Grassley points to how far the Republicans in Congress have wandered from not only the mainstream, but from the responsibility to govern and, really, reality: 

"I laughed for several reasons. One was wondering whether a senior senator and longtime member of the Judiciary Committee really had no idea what court packing is, or was he reaching for new heights of disingenuousness: How could a move by a president simply to fill long-standing existing vacancies on federal courts be termed court packing?"

Now, I'm sure some people are saying, "Well, the Republicans are playing games with a few judicial nominations. So what?" But the problem is, the obstruction on the judges is part of a bigger trend. The GOP has gone filibuster crazy, blocking the chance for any legislation to pass. The Republicans have used the filibuster far more often than any Senate minority party ever has. The GOP senators have forced 360 filibuster votes since the Democrats took control of the Senate in 2007. By way of comparison, the Democrats only required 164 filibuster votes in the six years the Republicans controlled the Senate during the Bush presidency.

And for what? Why is the GOP filibustering everything? Because they have devolved into a party that is out of touch with reality, wedded to a far-right ideology (including a commitment to austerity and the destruction of government that is based on trumped up data and advanced without evidence or logic) and unwilling to compromise in an effort to govern and move the country forward. Bob Dole, nobody's version of a liberal, spoke out last week on how the modern Republican party has gone so far astray, he, Nixon and even Ronald Reagan would have no place in the party today.

That is why the Tea Party senators, including Rand Paul, are not even letting the budget passed by the Senate go to conference with the House without imposing debt ceiling-related requirements. In response, Republican senators John McCain and Susan Collins condemned Paul's obstruction on the floor of the Senate.   

That is why the GOP in Congress are happy to sit idly by and watch the sequester drag down economic growth and job creation.

That is why, with unemployment still high, the Republican-controlled House instead is obsessed with abortion restrictions and 37 votes to repeal Obamacare. (As an aside about the lazy media, earlier in the week there was much reporting of how a CNN poll found that only 43 percent supported Obamacare, while 51 percent opposed it. But few outlets reported that only 35 percent opposed Obamacare because it was too liberal, while 16 percent opposed the law because it was too conservative. So the poll found that 59 percent of respondents wanted some kind of health care reform that was at least as comprehensive as the Affordable Care Act, while only 35 percent supported the pre-reform status quo. But few reported it that way.)

So while the news media and late night comedy show hosts are obsessed with three so-called scandals involving the executive branch, our democracy is under attack by Republicans in Congress more interested in ideological purity than governing in the best interests of most Americans. And they are backing up their anti-government mission with unprecedented obstructionism intended to damage the country for strategic purposes.

Rather than be outraged by IRS audits and phone lists, the focus should be on how the Republicans have turned into a party that no longer has any interest in compromise or governing, and certainly doesn't have the best interests of most Americans in mind when they act. That is the real scandal going on right now, even if you wouldn't know it from turning on the television.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Blaming the Tea Party-Controlled GOP for Sequestration Isn't Partisan, It's Factual

[This article also appears on You can access it from my author page here.]

The Republican policy position on sequestration is, on the surface, seemingly irrational.

There is near universal agreement that the deep cuts from the sequester that are due to take place in a few days will be damaging to the economy, costing in the neighborhood of a million jobs (based on a nonpartisan estimate) and threatening our economic recovery (the Congressional Budget Office estimates growth to be reduced by 0.6 percent). But the Republicans in Congress are nevertheless willing to take the pocketbooks of the American people hostage, all to try and ransom spending and entitlement cuts that would, in the opinion of many economists, cause further economic damage to all but the wealthiest Americans (Paul Krugman does a good job explaining this point).

So why are the Republicans doing it? After all, a majority of voters just three-and-a-half months ago rejected the very economic policies the Republicans are blackmailing the country to implement. President Obama got nearly five million more votes than Mitt Romney (and 126 more electoral votes), the Democrats picked up two seats in the U.S. Senate in a year in which the Democrats had far more seats to defend, and Democratic House candidates received more votes than Republicans. There would seem to be no argument for the Republicans to threaten the country over rejected policies.

It is easy to blame the Republican members of the House and Senate for not getting the message. Other than some cosmetic moves (sending Marco Rubio out for the State of the Union rebuttal, for example), nothing has changed (Rubio espoused the same anti-government, fact-challenged rhetoric the voters rejected in November).

But the decision of Republicans in Congress to continue an ideology-first, country-second approach to governing is, in its own way, extremely logical, even calculating. Thanks to gerrymandering, a large amount of Republican House members represent solidly red districts, so they have little to fear from a Democratic challenger, nor do senators in solid red states. But the same cannot be said about competition from the Tea Party right.

The fear is not abstract. The Tea Party has routinely challenged Republican incumbents, even staunchly conservative ones, who even emitted a whiff of being somewhat reasonable. Conservative standard-bearer Orrin Hatch narrowly survived a Tea Party challenge last year. Hatch wasn't as fortunate as his fellow conservative from Utah, Bob Bennett, who lost to his primary challenger in 2010, just as conservative Indiana senator Richard Lugar lost in 2012 to the now infamous Richard Mourdock, he of rape from pregnancy "is something that God intended to happen" fame. The Tea Party primary challenge has become such a threat to mainstream Republicans that Karl Rove started the Conservative Victory Project to help GOP incumbents ward off less electable primary opponents.

When you consider how few people actually vote in midterm primaries (voter turnout for the 2010 primaries was only 17.8 percent), it means a narrow slice of the population, residing on the far right of the political spectrum, is dictating how Republicans in Congress are proceeding. No wonder John Boehner is insisting on cuts to entitlements and other programs mainly aimed at working and middle class Americans, all while protecting the wealthy from any tax increases, to avert sequestration. A big chunk of his caucus is made up Tea Party ideologues, and the rest are in danger of being primaried if they don't do the Tea Party's bidding.

So what is the result of all this madness?

Well, for one, the Republican party, at a federal level, has become a toxic brand. Beyond the election losses in November, polling data shows that the majority of the American people are not with the GOP. According to a recent Bloomberg poll, only 35 percent have a positive image of Republicans (the same poll shows a 55 percent approval rating for the president), and only 44 percent believe the GOP policy of cutting spending and taxes--the thing Republicans say is so important they will blackmail the country to get it--will create more jobs than the infrastructure investments proposed by the president.

But more importantly, Republicans in the House and Senate, afraid of primary challenges and, in some cases, the product of them, have handed their party over to the lunatic fringe. They have placed a purist, anti-government, anti-taxes, pro-wealthy, anti-middle class, Ayn Randian ideal above the practical, compromising, hard work of actually governing. They have created a toxic atmosphere in Washington, in which damaging the country (again, we are talking about a million people losing their jobs) is preferable to working with a president they irrationally despise and compromising to move even an inch closer to where the majority of voters stand on the issues.

Simply put, the Tea Party-controlled Republicans in Congress are driving us over an economic cliff.

Until we get away from the "blame everyone," "it's both sides" false equivalency of shying away from telling the truth about the GOP's suicide mission, pretending the same thing is happening on both sides (David Brooks's pathetic attempt to draw a false equivalency was so loathsome, he felt the need to walk back his characterization of the president's position the next day), the dysfunction in Washington will continue.

The only way things will get better is if we cast off the fear of seeming partisan and let the truth and facts drive the debate.

The bottom line is that the Republicans are demanding spending cuts that were soundly rejected by the voters in November, and to get them, they are threatening to allow the sequestration cuts to go forward, which will be bad for the American people. (Let's remember that the sequestration cuts are the result of the Republicans holding the country hostage last year over the debt ceiling.) And a major driving force behind the Republicans' refusal to compromise--again, against the wishes of a majority of Americans--is a fear of losing their seats to Tea Party challengers. Which means we, as a country, are being held hostage by a small number of far-right ideologues whose views have been rejected, again and again, by a majority of voters (and not just by Democrats, when you consider GOP losses in red state Senate races like Indiana and Missouri).

If the sequester goes forward, and the country pays the price, everyone has a responsibility to stand up and point a finger at the reason for our government's epic dysfunction. If John Boehner, Mitch McConnell and their Republican colleagues in the House and Senate have any sense at all, they'll duck at that moment. Because this fabricated, unnecessary national disaster will be on them and their inability/lack of desire to do what is best for Americans, not what is best for the Tea Party.