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Crying baby wearing a teabag hat and with a
Meet President Obama's negotiating partners in the House. Here's freshman Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR), one of the newest member of House Speaker John Boehner's caucus, who was singled out and bankrolled by the Club for Growth in his competitive primary, allowing him an easy general election victory in this deeply Republican district.
In an interview in his still-bare office a few hours before being sworn in, Cotton told us he would have voted against both Speaker John Boehner’s “Plan B” tax on millionaires, and the final tax hike that got the country off the fiscal cliff. He vowed to vote against raising the debt limit in two months, absent the sort of massive cuts the president opposes.

... There is zero chance he will vote for any new gun laws. And he sees a need to deal with immigration — but in small steps that avoid granting legal status or citizenship to people here illegally.

To much of the country, Cotton is nothing more than a straight, Southern, white, male, “radical” conservative—a befuddling relic of a fading slice of politics. But in Washington, he is the Republican Congress. Only through understanding lawmakers like him can you understand why the grand bargain collapsed, why raising the debt limit is not a given and why Boehner has vowed to quit for good his private chats with President Barack Obama, and instead invest more power in the Tom Cottons of the world.

It is also the key to understanding the futility of negotiating with and of conceding anything to House Republicans. If Boehner truly has decided that he's throwing his lot in with the nihilists, there's no point in negotiating in the coming fight over the debt ceiling and the delayed sequester. The options for Obama are using the trillion dollar platinum coin or the 14th amendment to avert the debt ceiling, and going over the second fiscal cliff, letting the spending cuts kick in.

Because this is what you're dealing with: Cotton, an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran, thinks that "the evidence is inconclusive" on whether Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11. There's no working with that. The only option is circumventing the House on the big stuff, and in doing so, defeating them.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 07:41 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The Confederacy has risen again (29+ / 0-)

    and seeks to defeat the United States from within Congress.

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 07:45:25 AM PST

  •  You're using the word "running" loosely. (7+ / 0-)

    More like a game of whack-a-mole than "running."

    Even the herding cats metaphor doesn't work because they're not all going in the same direction, and WON'T.

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 07:47:25 AM PST

  •  This is very depressing. (10+ / 0-)

    Really, really depressing.

    •  Yeah, it is (6+ / 0-)

      Somehow I didn't imagine we could get worse than Bush. This Republican Congress is worse than George Bush.

      "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." —Warren Buffett

      by Joan McCarter on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 08:38:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Only b/c it's aided and abetted by a (0+ / 0-)

        Democratic president who has some sort of pathological drive to be seen as conciliatory. Considering what I've seen of community organizers, and I've worked with a good few of them, "compromise" isn't THE guiding principle; it's something you resort to when you have no point of strength.

        A homo in a bi-national relationship - at 49, I had to give up my career, leave behind my dying father, my family & friends and move to Europe. And I'm one of the *lucky* ones: Immigration Equality

        by aggieric on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 10:03:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Their world is ending, they can't handle that (15+ / 0-)

    and, as a last act of defiance, want to blow everything up.

  •  Boehner as hostage......how does it feel John? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare, Vetwife, bontemps2012, Aquarius40
    •  Business Republicans get Boehner. (0+ / 0-)

      The Bircher Republicans get 150 votes of the 233 GOPers in the House.

      And the populist-soounding tea Party Caucus claims all of 60 votes.

      (Business = 83, Dems = 201.)

      "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012

      by bontemps2012 on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 09:42:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •   '...the futility of negotiating...' (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare, melvynny, aggieric

    that said it for me.

    it's sort of useless to negotiate with a charging rhino-
    (not to insult rhinos)

    and now we've built a big ditch.

    instead of responding and playing their game- we should enjoy watching 'him' fall into it.

    that is, if our President keeps the shovel close by.
    which might be doubtful... damn it.

    good post- thanks

    People who say they don't care what people think are usually desperate to have people think they don't care what people think. -George Carlin

    by downtownLALife on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 09:05:30 AM PST

    •  response (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      downtownLALife

      The president should say he will only sign bills that aid victims of disasters--past and present--until the debt ceiling is raised.  He should also use his commander-in-chief authority to shut down extravagant defense appropriations--to bring troops home from Europe-- to moth ball a couple of expensive military toys.  Put this another way--do what Bush said he had the authority to do.
      One more thing--announce that Boehner is no longer going to be invited to the WH--that what he said made it impossible to deal with him at any level.

      Apres Bush, le deluge.

      by melvynny on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 09:58:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  "recommend", "recommend", "recommend" n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      downtownLALife

      A homo in a bi-national relationship - at 49, I had to give up my career, leave behind my dying father, my family & friends and move to Europe. And I'm one of the *lucky* ones: Immigration Equality

      by aggieric on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 10:05:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  wow (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aggieric

        my father passed while i was living in singapore. i returned for his passing.
        but i did leave the country willingly, wanting to get the hell out of here- and not under such horrible circumstances.
        since my return- i've been in culture shock and dismay even moreso than when i left
        we are on the same page in many ways
        cheers

        People who say they don't care what people think are usually desperate to have people think they don't care what people think. -George Carlin

        by downtownLALife on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 01:07:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Better title, (0+ / 0-)

    Convicts have taken over the prison.

  •  One of the many deplorable outcomes of (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare, skyounkin, Pompatus

    compromising your Democracy to appease Plutocracy.

    The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

    by Words In Action on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 09:15:35 AM PST

  •  Combination of corporate money & constituents... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aquarius40

    ...who have retreated to a comforting vision of a mythical past that never was and a present "reality" that isn't = A House representing corporate interests, empowered by loons.

    As Nate Silver noted: If individual members of Congress have little chance of losing their seats if they fail to compromise...

    ...there should be little reason to expect them to do so...

    ...what motivates members first and foremost is winning elections...

    What does that mean for the rest of us?

    ...As partisanship continues to increase, a divided government may increasingly mean a dysfunctional one...
  •  And how do you circumvent one of the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aquarius40

    parts of government required to pass laws?  Especially the part that is required to generate spending bills?

    "But the problem with any ideology is that it gives the answer before you look at the evidence." - President Clinton

    by anonevent on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 09:26:27 AM PST

    •  Thank you for this. I'm not quite sure (0+ / 0-)

      what Joan is proposing here. Believe me, I understand that there's no getting through to certain people. You just need to leave them alone.

      On the other hand, how do we actually, you know, govern without negotiating with the 60 or so R's that we peeled off for the fiscal curb?  Clearly, the "Hastert Rule" gone and good riddance.  We're gonna have to find the R's who can work with us; hopefully, the price for that isn't too crazy...

      •  Right track here (0+ / 0-)

        This is where Shadow Speaker Pelosi can make her inroads. All she needs is 30-35 reliable allies on the R side. If she can marshal a bi-partisan majority, she can effectively run the House. It would be balky and frustrating, but it's not impossible.
        Just a few defeats for the TeaBagger "Majority" by a coalition of Democrats and disgruntled Republicans would knock back some of the hubris and frustrate their agenda. How do I know this? Remember when the Ds had the Majority in both houses but about 50 of them were Blue Dogs? How the GOP still was able to drive the agenda even in the minority chairs?
        Turnabout is fair play. We've reduced the Blue Dog Caucus from 54 to 14. If we can make up the difference with the slightly less insane wing of the GOP, we can pull their trick on them. And as we approach the debt ceiling/fiscal cliff debacle (yet again), the Corporate Lackey wing of the GOP will not be happy that their Nihilist wing is on a suicide run.

        If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

        by CwV on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 10:48:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The systems gets worked.................. (0+ / 0-)

      just like with the "fiscal cliff" deal.

      The POTUS, Senate Rethugs and Senate Dems work out a deal. Deal language is inserted into a House Bill. Bill is sent back to the House where it is passed by a bi-partisan majority.  We will see little or nothing that actually originates in the House passed the next two years.

      The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation--HDT

      by cazcee on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 02:16:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It basically all started with this POS (0+ / 0-)

    S A R A H   P A L I N

    The teaparty fell in love and she made hate popular.
    Rush has always been a joke but Palin gave them populace and acceptability.  See, she was running for the second highest office in the land.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 09:32:01 AM PST

    •  Respectfully disagree. (0+ / 0-)

      It started with Nixon's use of the "Southern Strategy" and became routine with Reagan's use of same.  The Tea Party is merely the current embodiment.

      A homo in a bi-national relationship - at 49, I had to give up my career, leave behind my dying father, my family & friends and move to Europe. And I'm one of the *lucky* ones: Immigration Equality

      by aggieric on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 10:09:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think then she gave it a boost.... (0+ / 0-)

        The crazy has been around for awhile but met in dark places with sheets or hid behind a mic in a studio.
        Fox?  They were just hypocritical messengers but when I think of Palin being born not far from Ruby Ridge and her husband belonging to his little club, it does make me shiver.

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 10:29:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  the buck... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vetwife

      doesn't stop there...she couldn't choose herself for that by herself.

      Either Steve Schmidt or John McCain get that "honor".

      "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

      by JackND on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 10:11:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I knew Reagan shouldn't have emptied the ... (0+ / 0-)

    mental institutions!  Now the inmates are running the House!

    Save yo' Dixie Cups, the South's gonna rise again!  Slavery, anyone?

  •  To continue the diarist's line: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    METAL TREK, Minnesota Deb, Patango

    "There's no working with that."

    The time for "debating" these neoconfederates is over.
    Our only way out of this is to outnumber them, not to argue with them.  

    The only way to move this country forward is to outnumber the voters who put these primitives in office.

    Outnumber them, marginalize them, make them increasingly irrelevant over time.

    "They come, they come To build a wall between us We know they won't win."--Crowded House, "Don't Dream It's Over."

    by Wildthumb on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 09:37:46 AM PST

    •  In instances of a gerrymandered (0+ / 0-)

      district, that's close to impossible.

      Next idea?

      •  There isn't one, within the confines (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aquarius40, Wildthumb

        of our Constitution as presently configured. We have to make it work anyway. Probably the best idea would be to plan a "blitz" for 2020 and reverse the gerrymandering of 2010. We're pretty well screwed until then, at the earliest.

        "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

        by bryduck on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 09:56:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You don't have to phrase this question like I'm (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Minnesota Deb

        your enemy or that I'm stupid. That's why many people on this blog don't know how to make or keep allies. You're a perfect example.

        In some cases, this will be a slow process. Young people and changing demographics will help. It happened in California. Then we can call the shots on "gerrymandering."

        Next comment.

        "They come, they come To build a wall between us We know they won't win."--Crowded House, "Don't Dream It's Over."

        by Wildthumb on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 09:57:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Here it is: it's partly the demographic (0+ / 0-)

          changing AND changing the process by which votes are put together in a district. You're looking at the constiutents as though they're rational actors. In this instance, they are not.  You cannot "outnumber" a district that is set in it's composition unless Dems manage to change the process by which the composition is configured.

          It's the people who are the problem here.  And regarding the issue of "tribal alliances" even having more young people may not necessarily help Dems. See West Virginia which is turning very red. In that case, young people and changing demographics are going to do exactly jack for Dems there.

          •  "Here it is." (0+ / 0-)

            Whether you're right or not right now, all I can see is you're
            an arrogant asshole whose comments I'll disregard in the future. Take a seminar on "creating allies."

            When you put out "pfffft," you get back "pfffft."

            There it is.

            "They come, they come To build a wall between us We know they won't win."--Crowded House, "Don't Dream It's Over."

            by Wildthumb on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 10:28:27 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Stay calm (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wildthumb

          That was not an attack on YOU, it was a swipe at your idea.
          Both of you have good (if somewhat overly simple) points. Yes outnumbering them would work, but it would mean mass migration or a dieoff. Outhustling them, working a 10000 precinct strategy (a fine-grain version of the 50 state strategy), is the way to beat them.
          Even in the reddest district, there are some Dem voters. Those voters need to be activated and supported, local media in their districts need to focus on the Dem outlook on the issues that are relevant locally, a counterswell of debunking and a strong showing of an alternative can counter (somewhat) the Gerrymander.
          And Local is crucial here. Gerrymanders were the result of district and state politics. We can't wait 'til 2020 to get active in this fight. It has to start now at that local level to send people to their state governments that are not so crazy.
          One of the dirty secrets of local politics is that many seats go uncontested. The GOP candidate is thought to be such a shoo-in that no one bothers to run against him.
          It would only take a few turnovers in a few states to turn the tide.

          If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

          by CwV on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 11:33:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks. My wife and I have been dealing off and on (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CwV

            all day with a plumbing emergency at the house. Besides having some old baggage about arrogance on Kos, I've got major bucks we're talking about here and quick figuring about how we're going to handle it is making me and my wife a little touchy,

            TO SAY THE FUCKING LEAST. :)

            (And frankly makes "gerrymandering" this evening shall we say a tad remote in importance.)

            "They come, they come To build a wall between us We know they won't win."--Crowded House, "Don't Dream It's Over."

            by Wildthumb on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 04:43:50 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  I want (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wildthumb

      them gone. Period. eom.

  •  Fasten your Seatbelts (0+ / 0-)

    It's going to be a Long, Bumpy Ride.

    It Looks like the Village Idiots are going to "Save" the
    Country by Destroying It.

    On Giving Advice: Smart People Don't Need It and Stupid People Don't Listen

    by Brian76239 on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 09:44:38 AM PST

    •  it's a trip to.. (0+ / 0-)

      Rock Bottom, a world of global depression, environmental calamity, and overall dystopia.

      Basically, they need to see heaping helpings of their god's "wrath". But for now they still find ample ways to blame the "others" for that.

      "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

      by JackND on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 10:09:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wish I could get a job where.... (0+ / 0-)

    doing as little as humanly possible is considered a prerequisite. You think he'll even bother to not read from his Club for Growth script in hearings if he bothers to show up at all?

    No. No. No. No. Wait, let me think about this vote....errr, no.

  •  Seems a more fitting name for them would be the (0+ / 0-)

    Club For Stunted Growth.  

    [exception: undefined object]

    by here4tehbeer on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 09:51:01 AM PST

  •  Any district where... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bryduck, Aquarius40

    one party has a stranglehold on the general election and the true contest is the primary is essentially struck. Since the Democratic party currently contains what any reasonable person would call the political center (actually, it's deeper within the Democratic party than its ever been), it's the unflinchingly Republican districts that are extreme. That can only be changed by rank and file voters form within the district. They (and indirectly, us) will have to hit absolute rock bottom, and we're nowhere near it yet...

    "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

    by JackND on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 09:53:00 AM PST

  •  Having faith in Obama refusing to (0+ / 0-)

    negotiate is like having faith in a "god" who is on your side.

    Bitter? Yes.  Skeptic? Even more so.  I have AMPLE cause (see my sig line.)

    A homo in a bi-national relationship - at 49, I had to give up my career, leave behind my dying father, my family & friends and move to Europe. And I'm one of the *lucky* ones: Immigration Equality

    by aggieric on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 09:53:48 AM PST

    •  Of course he'll cave to their demands (0+ / 0-)

      It's unthinkable to let the US default on it's debt.  

      This is a case where Obama probably should cave.  The problem is that since he's made it a policy to always cave to GOP demands, in this case they know he will cave again.  

       

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 10:15:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This... (0+ / 0-)

    "movement" is demographically doomed; some know it and are just trying to make as much of a fortune as possible while it lasts (Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin), while others, like this guy, don't realize how doomed it is and actually make statements about "saving the future for their children", as if their policies will remain in place long-term as their demographic literally dies.

    I actually get a kick out these younger teabaggers, who will be a hopelessly overwhelming political minority as their generation ages...the South will be increasingly marginalized, ignored and decayed with time if they follow their current road...

    "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

    by JackND on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 10:06:34 AM PST

  •  ...bankrolled by the Club for Growth... (0+ / 0-)

    Cancer is a growth.

    When someone tells you they are lying, you should believe them.

    by shoeless on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 10:09:24 AM PST

  •  Cotten also probably thinks that it is inconlusive (0+ / 0-)

    whether Saddam Hussein had WMD. I always wondered why all those Saudis would want to carry out an attack on the US for Saddam.

    When someone tells you they are lying, you should believe them.

    by shoeless on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 10:19:17 AM PST

    •  My students... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      meatballs

      ...a good eight or nine anyways -- who went into the service out of HS in the 2003 -2006 time-frame were told, by their officers, that Saddam helped the Taliban pull off 9/11, or that he was the driving force behind it. Sometimes during basic, sometimes before deployment to Iraq, sometimes when they were in country, sometimes all three.

      I used to be shocked. Now I'm just tired.

      "Politics is not the art of the possible.
      It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable" J.K. Galbraith

      by Davis X Machina on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 11:23:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  BTW, Cotton holds Mike Ross's old seat (0+ / 0-)

    I live in this district, and never saw a worse Democrat than Blue Dog Mike Ross. Thankfully Ross retired but the district is now so gerrymandered (with Ross's help, btw) that the Democrats never really contested the election.

    And fyi, this was also Bill Clinton's home district when he was growing up. It's utterly shameful what has happened to the Democratic Party in Arkansas and the 4th District. The party is essentially non-existent here.

    This race was over when Cotton won the primary. The Dems put up a lackluster candidate who was a nice enough guy, but he raised no money and never had a chance.

    Cotton hasn't lived in the district in decades; he grew up here but left long ago and just maintains a mailing address with family members. He's just a carpetbagger. His girlfriend or fiance or whatever, who lives in D.C., has already laid down the law that she will never live in Arkansas.

    The scariest part of all -- Cotton is already being groomed for Mark Pryor's Senate seat.

  •  Just when you though Connie Mack was not a problem (0+ / 0-)

    BAM

    His clone appears in congress spouting out complete bullshit while bending over for CfG and the military industrial complex.

    Hooray.

    Are there no prisons? No workhouses?

    by meatballs on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 10:47:48 AM PST

  •  Typical Republican (0+ / 0-)

    Believes we should do everything in our power to stop the spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction, even where they don't exist, but we shouldn't lift a finger to stop the spread of Weapons of Mass Murder.

    I'm no philosopher, I am no poet, I'm just trying to help you out - Gomez (from the song Hamoa Beach)

    by jhecht on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 11:03:23 AM PST

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