Welcome back circus fans! The drama under the Beltway Bigtop is rising ever higher as the antics of the red clowns have captured the show. The clowns are still refusing to get in their car and leave the stage.
The red clowns have continued adding demands of the Ringmaster to their list and the Ringmaster is still refusing to negotiate. If the clowns can’t resolve the issue amongst themselves by midnight tonight, the lights will be turned out on the audience, many of the circus employees will either be sent home or their paychecks will be suspended. Many audience services will be disrupted, but the ticket booth will continue billing the audience as usual.
While the audience will be left in the dark, many key services will continue, for example, the sneaky clowns (a division of the Killer Klowns) will
keep spying on the audience continue to back up audience cellphone data.
The back and forth between the House and Senate over a stop-gap budget bill to avoid a government shutdown continued on Monday, with the ball left in the Senate’s court to pass a bill that both sides might agree on before a midnight deadline.
House Republicans continued on Sunday to insist any budget bill that passes must include a provision that does away with funding for the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act. They passed their version of a bill on Sunday that goes beyond gutting Obamacare to include a host of other Republican-flavored mandates, including a provision that would give US employers permission to opt out of contraceptive coverage for employees. Senate leaders have vowed that this bill will never pass through their chamber. …
If a bill is not passed by midnight tonight, multiple government agencies and programs will shut down for the first time in 17 years forcing more than a million federal employees out of work for an indefinite period and many U.S. residents with major delays in social and public services.
The red clowns seem quite determined to drive the Ringmaster into making key concessions. Red clowns disagree about the consequences of inconveniencing the audience, some red clowns have been warming up for another trick. The red clowns leadership would prefer, rather than inconveniencing the audience with a temporary shutdown of key circus services, to burn down the tent:
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and their allies are instead privately urging rank and file to forgo a clash over government funding — and a possible government shutdown — and instead dig in against Obama and the Democratic Senate when the debt ceiling needs to be lifted sometime next month.
Threatening to burn down the tent has worked well for the red clowns before. Last round, the red clowns got major concessions in the form of the sequester, which the Ringmaster was at pains to describe as a big win. The red clowns almost got the Grand Bargain, in which the Ringmaster offered to slowly rob the audience of their old age security and other things that the audience has paid for. Only the red clowns’ greed for even greater concessions saved the audience from that robbery.
The red clowns still want more and they have a plan to get it odds are they will get concessions from the Ringmaster, but what? Stay tuned
These dual and competing threats by the Republican lawmakers, however—and the legislative processes and machinations of Washington, DC politics that many in the media are focused on—tend to miss out on asking one of the key questions at the center of this latest episode in what has become the “new normal” of lawmaking during the his presidency: Will Obama cave?
Though the president has repeatedly said he will “not negotiate” under these circumstances, it’s clear from GOP lawmakers that their reading of history shows that if they push enough, take hostages, and make belligerent demands for the sun, that the president might at least give them the moon.
Will the red clowns get the moon from the Ringmaster? The blue clowns and the Ringmaster are circling the wagons in the center ring to protect the Ringmaster’s solitary achievement,
passing legislation to reward the insurance and pharmaceutical industries a health insurance mandate for everyone, except the millions who will fall through the cracks. Can the blue clowns and the Ringmaster save his acheivement from the depredations of the red clowns?