The awesome Juanita Jean caught this quote from Texas Republican Congressvarmint Michael Burgess. Appearing on CNN, Burgess reflected that the overwhelming, server-crashing response to the opening day of Obamacare sign-ups was really no big deal:
“I think if you subtract out members of Congress and their staff and reporters who called in those first 48 hours the numbers will be considerably lower,” Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX), who is also a medical doctor, told CNN. “We will have an opportunity to dissect these numbers in our subcommittee of oversight investigations later this month or next month.”
Um, yeah. I’m sure members of Congress and their staff, up to their eyeballs in government shutdown drama, were just spending all of their time trying to check the Obamacare website ad nauseum all day long.
All of which illustrates how the Republican Party is still deeply wracked by the same denial which cost them the 2012 election.
Paul Krugman made an interesting observation about the long-term damage the GOP has done to itself:
It goes back to something Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo used to say — that Washington is, in effect, wired for Republicans. Ever since Reagan, the Beltway has treated Republicans as the natural party of government. Sunday talk shows would feature a preponderance of Republicans even if Democrats held the White House and one or both houses of Congress. John McCain was featured on those shows so often you would think he won in 2008.
And there was a general presumption of Republican competence. It’s hard to believe now, but Bush was treated as a highly effective leader who knew what he was doing right up to Katrina, while Clinton — now viewed with such respect — was treated as a bungling interloper for much of his presidency. Even in the last few years there was a rush to canonize Paul Ryan as a superwonk, when it was quite obvious if you looked that politics aside, he was just incompetent at number-crunching.
But I think the last two years have finally killed that presumption. It wasn’t just that Romney lost — his shock, the obvious degree to which his campaign was deluded, was an eye-opener. And now the antics of the Boehner bumblers.
Suddenly the old Will Rogers line — I’m not a member of any organized political party,I’m a Democrat — has lost its sting; the upper hand is on the other foot. And that’s going to color narratives and shape campaigns for a long time.
When Republican members of Congress grandstand about closed World War II memorials and shuttered national parks when they’re the ones responsible for closing the government in the first place, they look ridiculous. These PR stunts play well to the Fox News/right-wing rantosphere, but out here in the real world where we breathe oxygen not right-wing cray-cray, the sane people wonder if they’ll ever reattach themselves to reality.
And folks like Michael Burgess claiming the millions trying to access the Obamacare website were just members of Congress and the news media? Not helping, dude.