Today Rep. Ann Wagner (R-2), chair of the GOP “freshman class,” will accompany House Speaker Boehner’s leadership team to meet with the President to talk about the shutdown impasse. Dscussing the upcoming meeting on last night’s Larry Kudlow show, she was all sugary platutudes about how she expects that the meeting will result in “solving big problems.” Interestng how a tantrum over Obamacare has morphed in Wagner’s rhetoric into a high-minded crusade to fix everything from “balancing a budget, deficit reduction, welfare reform.”
Interesting but also frightening since her riff on the “big problems” she and her Republican colleagues are inviting Harry Reid and President Obama to assist with solving also gives us a clue about the pound of flesh the GOP may try to exact in lieu of killing Obamacare outright. The words “entitlement reform,” aka undermining Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and, yes, Obamacare, were tossed around in this context.
The other special Wagner theme was the way that the righteous Republican House members have worked to fix all the problems caused by that nasty shutdown that the Democrats caused by not ceding the government to the Republicans who lost the last election:
We want to make sure vital services are funded, that the government is open, and we don’t want to deal with this nonnegotiating mentality that’s out there. nor should we be scaring the american people with threats of recession and ransom and retreat. These things are wrong.
Vital services funded? Cherry-picking popular programs to fund amounts to cheap PR-stunts.
Democrats and the President demonstrate a non-negotiating mentality? Rich coming from a member of the Party of No, folks whose refusal to negotiate has been the major theme of the past three years. Now that they have escalated their terrorist tactics they expect negotiations?
And what’s that about scaring Americans with “threats of recession and ransom and retreat”? Does Wagner really think Americans are such idiots that we don’t know that what she and her GOP colleagues are doing is demanding a ransom for performing their basic duties? Doesn’t she realize that many of us, at least those of us who aren’t Tea Party congressmen, know that shutting the government down hurts the economy, and that flirting with not paying the country’s bills by refusing to raise the debt limit is a recipe for economic disaster.
Believe me, as a citizen who expects to be able to cash in on my hard-earned 401(K), a retirement resource that could be wiped out if the government defaults, I’m very frightened by the rash actions of folks like Wagner – who has been cheering this idiocy on from the beginning. Remember when this enthusiastic negotiator proclaimed that the “the American people are ready for a fight” to defund Obamacare. Well, she got her fight, but now wants to pretend that all she and her pals ever wanted was a little parlay.
UPDATE: Steve Benen noticed all the “negotiation” talk as well and points out the fatuousness:
Boehner will instead dispatch 18 House Republicans — whom the Speaker has designated “negotiators,” despite the fact that the meeting is not a negotiation — chosen to represent the caucus. […] why would Obama spend time with a feckless House Speaker and his hand-picked allies? One of the key lessons of 2013 is that Boehner is Speaker In Name Only and has very little control and/or influence over what actually happens in the chamber he ostensibly runs.
Take that Ann Wagner.