Extortion politics

In an unprecedented event, WordPress ate my blog posts making fun of libertarians.  Maybe the wordpress bosses are libertarian.  I don’t feel like writing in again.  Instead, just read Steve Benen’s excellent post on how the Republicans have normalized extortion politics:

I think this arguably one of the more important realizations to take away from the current political landscape. Republicans aren’t just radicalized, aren’t just pursuing an extreme agenda, and aren’t just allergic to compromise. The congressional GOP is also changing the very nature of governing in ways with no modern precedent.

Welcome to the normalization of extortion politics…

[I excised the examples, but they’re good]

Republicans effectively tell the administration, over and over again, that the normal system of American governance can continue … just as soon as Democrats agree to policy changes the GOP can’t otherwise pass.

The traditional American model would tell Republicans to win an election. If that doesn’t work, Republicans should work with rivals to pass legislation that moves them closer to their goal. In 2011, the GOP has decided these old-school norms are of no value. Why bother with them when Republicans can force through policy changes by way of a series of hostage strategies? Why should the legislative branch use its powers through legislative action when extortion is more effective?

Republicans aren’t just standing at the next urinal… they’re standing there and peeing on the rest of us.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

3 Responses to Extortion politics

  1. S. Griffith says:

    You give the GOP too much credit. The Tea Party contingent is what is bringing about all this much needed change. The way they are doing it is not new, though. Democrats held the funding of our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan hostage in order to get more domestic spending (pork and earmarks) just as one example. When a group holds a minority position in congress, but are large enough that they are needed in order to pass a bill, it is common place for them to dig in their heels on somethings they feel are important.

    A compromised will be reached, but it will be a real one with substance because the Tea Party is attempting to do exactly what they were elected to do. Reduce the size of our government and rein in spending.

  2. John says:

    No, they are definitely doing something else. Pee would be welcome at this point.

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