Just So We Could Use the Word “Obstreperous”

Interesting article in The Hill today about Republicans trying to figure out their post-health care reform strategy:

But even as some Republicans talk of using healthcare as a cudgel, others are questioning the hard-line opposition strategy that limited their input on the substance of healthcare reform and may deny them any chance of shaping financial regulatory reform later this year.

“Our constituents expect us to stand up and fight the good fight, but there’s always a reasonableness factor that needs to come into place,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), vice chairwoman of the Senate Republican Conference. “Sometimes there’s a fine line between what is being an advocate for your cause and when you become obstreperous. [Pols emphasis]

“We need to make sure that we’re always cognizant of that and we push appropriately so but recognize where that line is.”

Senators such as Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) had initially planned to offer scores of amendments to stall the healthcare reform fixes and stop Democrats from putting the finishing touches on the legislation.

By Wednesday, however, the political tone had changed.

Uh, no shit.

As we wrote earlier this week, attacking health care reform is completely different now that a bill has been passed. It was one thing to talk about “death panels” and other stuff to play into fears about potential legislation, but it’s a lot harder to attack a bill once every newspaper in country is running stories discussing what is actually in writing. Most voters are not unhappy with many of the things that are contained in the legislation, so it doesn’t do the GOP any good — outside of the angry base they already have — to still hold tight to the fire and brimstone.

34 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Steve Harvey says:

    to use the word Obstreperous”:

    “I was going to specialize as an Obstreperousitician in Med school, but opted for pathology instead.”

    “Obstreperousaurus is most remarkable for its ability to crow loudly while failing to accomplish anything at all.”

    “My Medieval Studies professor is the world’s foremost expert in Obstreperousology, which, as the counterpart of alchemy, was the less coveted art of turning gold into lead.”

  2. JeffcoBlue says:

    Now we can use it and be called “elitist.”

  3. ngometer says:

    We seem to forget that Congress still exists now that health reform has passed. If we take only one thing from this battle, it’s how horribly our system is broken. It’s not just about how Republicans interact with a law that’s already passed but rather about how the two parties engage in discourse to make the best laws possible. HCR is far from the best bill possible, and I would hate to see our Congresspeople interact this way every time.  

    • Steve Harvey says:

      And I mean, suggestions about how to reach the goal you’ve identified (the two parties working together better)?

      • HikingTheAppalachianTrail says:

        by pushing Congress to reinstate the cuts they made to Flex Spending Accounts.

        FSAs are utilized by normal middle class families to pay for health care items and procedures using their own pre-tax dollars.

        The health care bill cuts this program in half and bans the purchase of over the counter drugs.


        • Steve Harvey says:

          Answering the call for suggestions on how to move toward less partisan polarization with a random partisan shot was a little joke on your part, right?

          Or just more proof of where the source of the problem is to be found?

          As if any more proof were needed.

          • HikingTheAppalachianTrail says:

            I’m serious.  I think this is a bad part of the legislation that largely effects middle class families that are taking responsibility for their own health care needs.

            And I think it’s worthy of fixing.

            I don’t think any D’s believe the HC bill is perfect.  This is a section that they could easily change and I would gladly give them praise.

            • Steve Harvey says:

              But criticizing a specific provision in a bill that Democrats just passed without any Republican votes, and that Republicans are making death threats over, is not a response to the call for suggestions about how to reduce partisan polarization.

              This is about getting people to the table, not what concession they should make once you get them there, even if it’s one that you think would be in the public interest. You answered a question about how to yoke the horse to the cart by putting the cart ahead of the horse.

              • HikingTheAppalachianTrail says:

                that’s making death threats.

                • Steve Harvey says:

                  Literal death threats have been reported against Democratic members of congress by people who identify themselves as being opposed to the legislation they just passed, and figurative death threats have been made against Democratic members of congress by high ranking and prominent Republican leaders.

                  How sloppy of me to have abbreviated that to “Republicans are making death threats.”

            • Steve Harvey says:

              suggestions to reduce polarization between opposing sides, in any context, is to offer to concede something that the other side wants, not to ask that they concede something that you want!

              • HikingTheAppalachianTrail says:

                you have nothing to concede.

                • Steve Harvey says:

                  you’re kidding, right?

                  This isn’t a conversation about who does or doesn’t have anything to concede. This is a conversation about how to reduce polarization. You don’t reduce polarization by asking for concessions, but rather by offering them (sometimes in exchange for concessions in return). Stating that doesn’t mean that the person stating it doesn’t believe that his side has anything to concede, but rather that the person stating it knows what the topic of conversation is, and understands that “demand capitulation” rarely appears as a preferred tactic in textbooks on how to reduce tensions between opposing sides. Maybe you should write one of your own to fill in that inexplicable gap in the literature.

                  • HikingTheAppalachianTrail says:

                    is to admit an imperfection and move to fix it.

                    • Steve Harvey says:

                      So what imperfection would you like to admit to?

                      Okay, okay, I’ll throw you a bone: The Democratic Party needs to continue to reduce the amount of “class warfare” in the rhetoric of many of its members, and increase the amount of “how do we move in the direction of an optimal balance between maximum efficiency and maximimum fairness?”

                      See? Not so hard when you’re a reasonable person of good will.

                    • Steve Harvey says:

                      What you meant is that one good way to reduce tensions is for the other side to admit to the imperfection that you point out to them, and move to fix it.

                      You still are having a lot of trouble with this concept: if you’re only demanding something of the opposition and not conceding something to the opposition, you’re not striving to reduce polarization.

                    • Steve Harvey says:

                      only one of us is capable of following your advice about how to reduce tensions, and it wasn’t the one who was so generous as to offer it. Big surprise there, friend. As I said at the top of this thread, you seem intent on proving that Republicans are incapable of acting cooperatively (or even conceiving of what it would look like to do so), and, I must say, you’ve accomplished your task with admirable dispatch.

            • dukeco1 says:

              The Republican party could start by never using the “moving the goal post” strategy (I guess that’s a tactic, dunno) again. It is fundamental to the way they do bidness. If you could ever trust that they would honor a deal, it might be worth dealing with them.  

  4. peacemonger says:

    If the mandate portion of the bill is struck down, does it necessarily take the whole bill with it?

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