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Republicans Should Declare Victory... and Proceed to the Next Nonsense

10/06/2013 09:10 am ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014

The late Senator George Aiken (R-VT) suggested during the Vietnam War that we should "declare victory and go home". [Actually, his statement was more complicated than that, but it was apparently so conveyed at the time]. Had Aiken's advice been followed, upwards of 45,000 American lives, untold number of wounded, probably 10-fold the number of Vietnamese, could have been saved. And the ultimate outcome of that conflict... unchanged, except for the better.

Republicans (all but the 30 or so true anarchists) can save face knowing that they have truly won the day. We now have confirmation that Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) gave it all up with respect to spending levels for the short-term continuing resolution (CR). Moreover, Speaker Boehner (R-OH) got "98 percent of what I wanted" in the debt-ceiling fiasco in 2011.

Indeed, strategically, this CR, supposed to last only six weeks, was a very poor vehicle for the Republicans to throw shit-fits about in the first place. No opponent in his right mind would give up anything additional of significance for six weeks, especially when it continues the victory from the 2011 fiasco that was 98 percent of what the other side wanted.

Moreover, it is astonishing that Boehner allowed Canadian-AmericanTed Cruz (R-TX) to mess with his caucus at all. No man (regardless of gender) would stand for such undermining.

To provide an analogy, it would like Goldman Sachs' CEO, Lloyd Blankfein, calling JP Morgan Chase's Board of Directors and telling them to sell their aluminum storage capacity against the wishes of Jamie Dimon, their CEO. If something that preposterous ever happened, Dimon would (and I can say this without ever having met him) have called an immediate Board meeting during which the Board would either have to reaffirm its support for him in a ringing endorsement, or get another CEO.

True, Boehner risked losing that vote, although it is doubtful. All he would need is a majority of his caucus. But, how could any person with even a scintilla of character continue under those circumstances and look himself in the mirror, tan or no tan?

Republicans are now, reportedly, continuing the shutdown because of "pride". Their Speaker clearly has none, but they can use their budget numbers victory to save face.

Boehner apparently told his caucus to remain united, because they were in an "epic battle". But, he never said for what. [Read the linked article, it is absolutely astonishing that they are mounting an epic battle and have no idea what it is for].

The House unanimously passed back pay for furloughed employees. So, let us just see what this has purchased: the furloughed employees are suffering with mortgages and rent and food and other items of daily life that they cannot pay for now, but they will get the money back, so that the taxpayers will have paid them but received no work for it. Republican economics at work!

So, let me take Republicans out of their misery. You won. You got 98 percent of what you wanted in 2011, and that is continued for six weeks. It makes no sense to inflict needless suffering on people, get no work out of them, but pay them for it anyhow.

Learn from George Aitken. Declare victory. Recognize the absurdity of the retrospective paid-vacation that inflicts needless suffering, saves nothing and prevents some important work from being done (oh, you know, little things such as monitoring the sanctions against Iran) and, for those two reasons bring the Senate CR to an up-or-down vote.

Then, proceed to your next bit of nonsense, the debt-ceiling. Why focus your energies and your destructive creativity on a little government shut-down, when you can go after your loftier goal, crashing the world economy?

Republicans are good at crashing the economy when they are in power.

Now they can show that they are equally skilled out of power.