GOP House member: “Leadership backed into corner by lemmings with suicide vests”

We are seven hours away from a full government shut down, and there is no deal in sight.  The Tea Party Republicans are threatening to shut down the entire government if the President doesn’t permit them to defund, and effectively close down, health care reform, AKA the Affordable Care Act, one day before Obamacare exchanges launch nationwide.

Things are not going well for the Republicans, as not only are the polls now against them – 87% disapprove of how Congress is handling its job – but their own members are speaking publicly about what a cluster-f this entire situation has become.

GOP Sen. Ted Cruz, one of the authors of the government shutdown to kill Obamacare.

GOP Sen. Ted Cruz, one of the authors of the government shutdown to kill Obamacare.

As an example of how things are turning against the GOP, the Miami Herald reports that Tea Party GOP Senator, and presidential hopeful, Marco Rubio got an earful on a flight today from constituents who are mad as hell about the looming shutdown:

Sen. Marco Rubio probably wished he was a face in the crowd rather than the face of Florida Republicans in Congress when he boarded his flight Monday morning from Miami to Washington D.C.

Passenger after passenger recognized Rubio and gave him an earful about the looming federal government shutdown being precipitated by Congress, a source on the flight tells us.

Nothing gets a member of Congress’ attention like getting yelled at in an airport.  I know.  I worked there.  And had to deal with the “why did I get yelled at in the airport!?” question many a time from a distraught boss.

Clean Continuing Resolution

Keep in mind that GOP House Speaker John Boehner said again today that a clean Continuing Resolution – meaning, a bill to fund the government and keep it open, without adding additional partisan pork, such as defunding health care reform or taking a swipe at women’s reproductive rights, is “not going to happen.”  And, according to Patricia Zengerle ‏at Reuters, “several GOP House members have said there was no mention in their meeting of a clean CR.”  The GOP House wants to shut down the entire government over their insistence that Obamacare be killed.

Here are some tweets that show how bad things are for the GOP today:

Chris Moody ‏@Chris_Moody1m
Paul Ryan just told me there is no possibility of a clean CR coming out of the House by the shutdown deadline.

John Harwood ‏@JohnJHarwood32s
House GOP member, asked after caucus discussion if any chance Boehner will put clean CR on floor tonight: “No.” If correct, shutdown.

Eli Yokley ‏@eyokley8s
Wow. RT @jbendery: Kind of amazing that clean CR not even talked about in House GOP meeting. “Not at all,” according to one lawmaker.

Lemmings in Suicide Vests

Brett LoGiurato ‏@BrettLoGiurato1m
Wow RT @sahilkapur: Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA): “The leadership has been backed into a corner by the lemmings” in the GOP.

Suzy Khimm‏@SuzyKhimm2m
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) calls the Cruz wing of party “lemmings with suicide vests…because jumping to your death is not enough.”

Ted Cruz to Blame for Shutdown

Sabrina Siddiqui ‏@SabrinaSiddiqui1m
GOP Rep. Peter King: “Ted Cruz should be blamed [for a shutdown] is all I’m going to say.”

Virginia GOP Governor Tells Rs to Stop It

James Hohmann ‏@jameshohmann11s
[GOP Virginia Governor] Bob McDonnell: “My R friends have got to understand there’s no way on earth that the Pres & [Senate] are going to vote to defund Obamacare.”

Congress’ Poll Numbers are Abysmal

Jim Acosta ‏@JimAcostaCNN44s
New CNN/ORC poll: How Congress is Handling Its Job – Approve 10% Disapprove 87%

The Lead CNN ‏@TheLeadCNN18s
Brand new CNN poll numbers — approval for Congress is at an all-time low: 10%. #TheLead

Some Republican Congressman Have Had It

Jonathan Weisman ‏@jonathanweisman1h
Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa: “I’m prepared to vote for a clean res tomorrow. It’s time to govern. I don’t intend to support a fool’s errand.”

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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55 Responses to “GOP House member: “Leadership backed into corner by lemmings with suicide vests””

  1. BKX says:

    Jack is short for Jankin, the Irish version of John. Don’t know about the Ted/Edward thing though. Although, Tedward.

  2. Badgerite says:

    I hope people remember this at mid terms and that the GOP members behind this get their asses kicked out of their.

  3. HelenRainier says:

    Didn’t think about that — you’re correct. Mea culpa!

  4. dcinsider says:

    Not sure your math is correct.

  5. Stratplayer says:

    One could argue that, at least, they are still in double digits?

    When I play golf with family and friends we observe a custom that no one can get anything worse than a score of 8 on any given hole. Maybe an ostensible “10%” approval rating is something like that.

  6. zorbear says:

    Hey! Take that back — That’s just not true! They make great lab rats, ’cause there’s some things that real rats won’t do…

  7. zorbear says:

    True, but reminding the teabaggers that their hero isn’t one of them will make their heads explode…

  8. HelenRainier says:

    Worms and slugs have useful functions. House GOP members don’t.

  9. BillFromDover says:


  10. BillFromDover says:

    Now I know why ice picks were invented… for your ears!

  11. The_Fixer says:

    Then there’s this:

  12. BillFromDover says:

    Actually, asshole is easier to remember.

  13. BillFromDover says:

    I don’t know about the CEOs, but I remember a former president that managed to perform the same thing (multiple times) before being rewarded the supreme prize for his utter incompetency.

  14. BillFromDover says:

    I don’t know, as most bagger are now heroes for doing exactly what they promised while campaigning.

    And, seriously, how can an extreme bagger get elected without an extreme electorate?

    I believe the biggest problem is that your average idiot American hasn’t a fuckin’ clue and can’t be bothered spending even a modicum of time investigating anything on the Internet tubes.

    Why else would so many of us be more ignorant of the ACA than a Finland school child?

    Here’s how easy it is, yet the average dolt would rather spend his time watching zombies get their faces blown off on the flat-screen TV:….0…1c.1.27.hp..1.22.1115.Cxy0xWAuuyQ

  15. BillFromDover says:


  16. BillFromDover says:

    Most of us could live with worms and slugs, but these baggers are worse than a bad toothache.

  17. BillFromDover says:

    approval for Congress is at an all-time low: 10%. #TheLead

    One could argue that, at least, they are still in double digits?

    My cup could be 99% full.

  18. benb says:

    I am excited that Ted Cruz could be the next GOP presidential candidate. Voters need candidates that clearly contrast and TC delivers that. His 21 hour sillybuster convinced me that he is their guy.

  19. zorbear says:

    Actually, to be fair, Ted (or Teddy) is a nickname for Edward — don’t ask me why. I’m still trying to figure out why Jack is a nickname for John!


  20. Ninong says:

    He and the late Ted Kennedy have something in common. Both were called Ted for no apparent reason. Maybe Ted Cruz doesn’t like Rafael? Sort of like Bobby Jindal didn’t like Piyush.

  21. zorbear says:

    His name is Rafael Cruz…pass it on…

  22. The_Fixer says:

    Ooooh, lower than Nickleback?

    Now that’s really low!

  23. FLL says:

    I’m just looking at the vote count. Daily Kos has an excellent article that analyzes the decline of the Tea Party Caucus in the House from 2010 to 2012, and also the drumming the Tea Party got in the 2012 Senate races. ((The link to the Daily Kos article is here.) The Tea Party Caucus in the House had 59 members in the 112th Congress, and it lost 19% of its members in the 2012 election—down to 48 members in the 113th Congress. An article in the Huffingtonpost (link here) points out that out of 16 candidates endorsed by the Tea Party, only 4 won.

    Your point about the influence of the Koch brothers is well taken. I think that the Koch brothers are pulling the strings behind the Tea Party too. But what matters is whether the Koch-sponsored Tea Party candidates win. I have to agree with silas1898 below, who suggests that primary challenges by Tea Party candidates wind up helping Democrats win in the general election. I don’t think that translates into more national influence for the Tea Party (or Koch brothers), but rather less influence. All that matters is the vote count in Congress, and the vote count for the Tea Party is clearly headed down.

  24. BeccaM says:

    Not entirely. True, much of the gerrymandering crams as many Dems into as few districts as possible, but the flip side of that is the GOPers have no choice but to cut their own margins as thin as possible.

    So, as a purely hypothetical example, you might have one Dem district where the Dem candidate always walks away with 80% of the vote — but four GOP districts where they only win by a few percent. If they tried to make those GOP seats ‘safer’, they’d end up concentrating GOP voters, which is the opposite of what you want if “number of seats held” is the goal.

    All it would take is a big enough swing, and suddenly the Republicans would be turned out in mega-landslide numbers.

  25. Indigo says:

    It’s going to be okay. They need to shut down so the voting public can see exactly where the barbarians are. They’re looting as we speak, and the damage they are about to do is not going to be easily repaired. But that’s okay because that’s what their constituency wants. It remains to be seen whether the general public is smart enough to recognize an attack on the United States by internal terrorists or not. We’re all going to learn something from this and one of things we’re going to have to learn is that cooperative democracy is dead.

  26. AnitaMann says:

    How are they going to pay the price when their districts have been gerrymandered to safety in almost all cases? We’re stuck with the teajadists until the next census at least.

  27. MichaelS says:

    Ah, I just found it — and by coincidence, HuffPost wrote about it today. It’s called a Discharge Petition:

    But in the same breath, seems like DailyKos disputed the validity of using a Discharge Petition in this instance:

    So unfortunately, I guess there’s no there there, after all. My bad.

  28. TheAngryFag says:

    Republicans are officially retarded. Yes I know it is an Un-PC term, but it is apt considering how stupid these people are acting deliberately.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Congress somewhere below cockroaches, traffic jams, and Nickelback in Americans’ esteem

  30. arcadesproject says:

    It’s difficult to look low in an institution populated mainly by worms and slugs but the House GOP has accomplished that feat.

  31. Houndentenor says:

    They created this mess. It’s up to them to fix it.

  32. Houndentenor says:

    I dno’t know how they cast votes for a bill not up for a vote. Anyone?

  33. Houndentenor says:

    We’ve shown the world. They are watching and not at all impressed. If only the GOP felt the same way.

  34. Houndentenor says:

    Exactly. The GOP lost the White House in 1996 in part because of the shutdown and lost seats in 1998 in part because of the impeachment charade but then won it all back in 2000, 2002 and 2004. The public has a short memory and the news media even shorter. There never seem to be any consequences any more no matter how badly people fuck up. How many wall Street CEOs ran one company into bankruptcy and then get handed the golden parachute deal to run another.

  35. Naja pallida says:

    They’re trying to pin it on one guy, but they’ll all pay the price. Just like they did last time. They never learn. Sadly, the American electorate has a very short memory, and this may not even be a consideration come next election.

  36. Naja pallida says:

    Weak, incompetent… but more cowardly than anything. He knows the only reason he’s Speaker at all is because no other Republican was willing to accept any level of responsibility for their psychosis. His delusion that the Hastert rule is more important than the will of the majority of Americans is among his primary failings. It has essentially become a de facto filibuster for the House. An excuse for the Speaker to hide behind, that has no basis in anything Constitutional.

  37. pappyvet says:

    It is laughable to watch the repubes ring their hands over the bag people and their insanity.
    They KNOW the ship has a hole in it.They KNOW they can stop the water from sinking the entire ship. They KNOW where the tools are. But a small group of crazies wielding the equivalent of rolled up newspapers has had them frozen in their tracks. Hollywood in all its imaginative glory could not make this crap up.

  38. GreenEagle says:

    “GOP Rep. Peter King: “Ted Cruz should be blamed [for a shutdown] is all I’m going to say.”

    They should be so lucky. They’re not going to get away with blaming the whole thing on one guy and then throwing him to the sharks. They’ve all worked years to make this happen- before any of us had ever heard of Ted Cruz.

  39. heimaey says:

    awww poor babby

  40. cole3244 says:

    the gop has been doing outrageous things for years and their supporters always come home, a stake & silver bullet might be the only way to kill this fascist cancer in our midst.

  41. AttilatheBlond says:

    Not to mention all the state legislatures under Koch influence when they did all that gerrymandering to assure more secure GOP districts. There were more votes cast for DEM candidates to the House than were cast for GOP candidates. It was Kock $$ buying state legislators and legislatures that made the vote numbers moot.

    Custom made districts will be hard to deal with until the next census and redistricting. Wondering if there will be anything left of our beloved nation by then.

  42. Ninong says:

    John Boehner is the weakest speaker in the history of our country. Just in case anyone still had any doubts even after all those times he brought bills to the floor that he couldn’t pass. Those debacles just proved that he can’t count but now we have more proof that he can’t even control a loud, but vociferous, minority of crazies in his party.

    Thank you, Ted Cruz, for showing the world just how crazy today’s Republicans really are. You have been a great help. Keep it up and the Democrats may be able to hold onto the Senate and even pick up some seats in the House in 2014.

  43. Dave of the Jungle says:

    No way are Republicans as smart as lemmings.

  44. MyrddinWilt says:

    No, I don’t think that is true at all.

    The teabaggers were taken over by the Koch money machine very early on. And they are using the poor idiot rubes to whip the GOP members into line. What is driving this crisis is that the GOP members know that they will be primarried if they refuse to toe the Koch line.

  45. MyrddinWilt says:

    When Peter King won’t drink the Kool-Aid, there is a revolt on. I think his tweet is pretty significant.

    The sad part of all this is that there is a school of thought that it is better to have a government shutdown crisis today rather than postpone and have a default on the debt crisis!

    The theory goes that if the loonies get a bloody nose on the shutdown the debt ceiling will just be raised automatically.

  46. MichaelS says:

    Isn’t there a mechanism by which a majority of House members (both parties voting) can override the Speaker and bring a bill for a vote? Couldn’t that be done here, assuming reports are right that the grown-up Rs in the room want to move forward, and along with the Dems would pass a clean CR? The added benefit of that would be it takes Boehner off the hook (and kill off Cruz in the process). Boehner might even quietly endorse the action, behind the scenes… So where are our Dem leaders and the grown-up Repugs?

  47. zorbear says:

    Hey, Bec! You know how you prefer to use ACA instead of Obamacare? Well, I think you should also refer to Senator Cruz by his “real” name. In fact we all should remind the Teabaggers that Senator Rafael Cruz is NOT one of them — it’ll make their heads explode!


  48. silas1898 says:

    I hope the Teabaggers are so enraged that they primary out more incumbents. That may be the best chance of flipping the House.

  49. BeccaM says:

    While Ted Cruz and the Tea Bagger contingent are clearly to blame for instigating this impasse and slow-motion economic disaster, right now, the buck sits on John Boehner’s desk.

    Boehner could end this today, just by allowing a clean CR to come to the floor and rounding up 17 of his GOP colleagues’ votes.

  50. Stev84 says:

    With the way they’ve gerrymandered the country to death it will happen again.

  51. AttilatheBlond says:

    Is Boehner SO drunk and far gone that he doesn’t remember what happened to Newt when he shut it down? Hell, Boehner was part of the come-uppance they gave the newt. He is so terrified of a few noisy, ignorant tea party dolts that he won’t bring a vote on a clean CR? While the rest of the sane and even half-sane members of his own party know a shutdown will be the end of all of them?

  52. FLL says:

    The percentage of Tea Party congressmen dropped substantially from 2010 to 2012. 2014 will see a further drop in Tea Party influence, although Republicans, per se, will most likely retain a slim majority in the House. 2010 and 2011 were the Tea Party’s moment in the sun. They are clearly on the way out. Do you have any comments about the door hitting them on the way out?

  53. samiinh says:

    2010….NEVER AGAIN!!!

  54. TheOriginalLiz says:

    I have faith that Obama will give something away to the GOP at the last minute … maybe Social Security.

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