Republicans, Make Up Your Damn Minds, Already



Sen. Rand Paul’s letter to Harry Reid about blocking Surgeon General nominee Dr. Murthy over gun control:


Full text at the link. My trolls who keep trying to blame Democrats for the stuff Republicans are doing can go fuck themselves.


Proving yet again that there is literally nothing President Obama can do to please Republicans, Sen. Lamar Alexander is not happy with President Obama’s pick for “Ebola Czar.” (Keep in mind, the hissy fits/impeachment threats conservatives had over Obama’s so-called “Czars” in the first place make their current call for an Ebola Czar especially hypocritical):

“I had in mind a cabinet-level official with the skills of a four-star general or admiral who had a broad public health background and would be accountable to Congress. That kind of action would give Americans confidence about our government’s response to Ebola.”

Hmm … someone like, maybe, the Surgeon General we don’t have because the Republicans are too scared of the gun lobby to approve Dr. Vivek H. Murthy?

Honestly, I truly believe that President Obama could personally develop a cure for Ebola, cancer, and stupidity all in one tasty, affordable treat — but the GOP would complain that it’s gluten-free.


Filed under healthcare, Republican Party, Sen. Lamar Alexander

28 responses to “Republicans, Make Up Your Damn Minds, Already

  1. Janiah

    I realize you are hyper partisan and venting your frustration that not everyone agrees with you is the purpose of this blog, so I will receive no rational response to this comment. But what the heck. Your complaint that Republicans are afraid to confirm the SG is over the top, even by your blue standards. Even your source article says it is the Dems who don’t want to. Confirmation takes 51 votes. There are more than 51 Dem Senators. Confirmation requires that a vote be put on the schedule. Only Harry Reid can put something on the schedule. He has not.

    The Dems don’t want a handful of their red state Senators to vote on this, for political reasons. Politics come first to them. They are afraid of their own constituents disagreeing with their vote in an election year, so they’d rather go without a surgeon general.

    Competence comes last to them. Why would Democrats nominate a person they were unwilling to schedule a vote over? Either have the guts to schedule a vote, or nominate someone else. Not brain surgery here.

    Which is good, because if that crew of partisan idiots needed surgery, they’d probably call a K Street lawyer.

    • The point is not, “Ebola is a problem because we don’t have a Surgeon General.” The point is, Republicans made an issue out of the Surgeon General nominee’s very reasonable view that guns are a public health issue, which is anathema to the gun lobby. And they used it as a cudgel over the heads of vulnerable Democrats in Red States. And Lamar Alexander, who is perfectly happy to present himself as a “moderate” “reasonable” Republican (until he’s up for re-election, that is), is now complaining that the “Ebola Czar” he wants isn’t, apparently, the Surgeon General that his own party sunk? I mean … WTF?

      This sorta reminds me of how every Republican used opposition to the Iraq War as a cudgel to bully Democrats back in 2002 and 2003, calling everyone who objected a “terrorist appeaser” and “aiding and abetting the enemy” and “unpatriotic” etc. etc. etc. AND when the war ended up being the disaster we all said it would be, they throw their hands in the air and say, “well BOTH SIDES voted for it! Aha!”

      They like to have it ALL ways. And always dodging responsibility. Funny for the party of personal responsibility, don’tcha think?

      • Janiah

        Your response was less hostile than I expected, so I thank you for that.

        Both parties like to have their own way all the time. That’s a given. They are rivals.

        In this specific case, some Republicans expressed disapproval of this nominee’s gun views. This was not done at a visible enough level for swing voters to notice. What the Dems are concerned about is something that has not happened: opponents of Dem incumbents in reddish states criticizing them for voting for this nominee. So Reid has refused to schedule a vote, although the nominee would win the vote if it took place.

        Now one could look at this and say, if only Rep senators and reddish state swing voters agreed with the left on gun issues, this would not be an issue. And that would be true, but it is hardly news that Americans hold different views on gun issues. Obama knew this when he nominated this person, and his views were no secret. And of course Obama knew reddish state Dem senators were up for reelection this year, and the WH presumably coordinates nominations with its own majority leader. So why did Obama nominate a person Reid would not schedule a vote over? There presumably are many competent liberal people who could be very good surgeon generals; if Reid thought the vote was too hard for his incumbents, why did Obama not pick one of them, instead? Or if this guy is just so so great, then Obama should be making it clear to Reid that he wants his guy to get a vote, and Reid should be willing because good government should trump politics.

        Or, as I said, just pick someone good who does not cause them political problems. The Reps don’t have enough votes to stop them. They can have anyone they want, if they just pick one they are willing to vote for themselves.

      • Jim in Memphis

        SB is basically complaining that the Democrats have folded to pressure from the Republicans and somehow this is the Republicans’ fault. As Janiah points out, the Democrats can approve anyone they want for Surgeon General without a single Republican vote. If the majority of the country is in favor of the guy, then what do the Democrats have to fear in voting for him?

        In this particular case, Obama has appointed a political hack with no semblance of competence when it comes to dealing with Ebola. I can’t believe other Democrats are not complaining about this pick.

      • Very interesting social experiment we have here. Both of my conservative commenters have cherry-picked the content of this post to make it be about Democrats — despite the headline and the post itself clearly saying the post is about Lamar Alexander and his hypocrisy.

        I guess it’s my fault for choosing to link to a article that was really about the downside of Harry Reid’s nuclear option, instead of linking to a more straight-forward story about the NRA ginning up phony “gun grabber” hysteria about Dr. Murthy. Here’s one I maybe should have linked to instead. My bad. I’ll try to dumb it down for you guys in the future.

        For the reading impaired: the NRA portrayed Dr. Murthy as anti-gun by twisting and misrepresenting his Tweets. Republicans fired up the 101st Keyboard Kommandos and their friends at Fox News with the propos, poisoning the well for Red State Dems and effectively sinking the nomination, leaving the nation without a Surgeon General. We then have those same Republicans fearmongering about an Ebola epidemic, and those SAME Republicans whining that Obama isn’t doing enough. They want a Czar (after spending years complaining about the Obama Czars), and along comes Lamar to complain that the Ebola Czar isn’t Surgeon General-y enough.

        If you want to land this mess solely at the feet of 3 or 4 squishy Red State Democrats, Mr. Party Of Personal Responsibility, nice try. I ain’t buying.

        Also, if either of you think it’s news that the Democrats have a few spineless squishes in the party, you’re wrong. Republicans, meanwhile, have bent so far over backwards to appease the extremists known as the Tea Party that “spineless” has come to completely define that side of the aisle.

        Remember when Lamar was branding himself as the “reasonable” “elder statesman” willing to “reach across the aisle”? The guy who willingly resigned his leadership position so he could “get things done”? Have you even seen his latest campaign ads? He’s practically channeling Ted Cruz.

        Anything to get elected, I guess.

      • Jim in Memphis

        SB – I agree that Lamar is worthless and I did not vote for him in the primary. I would prefer a more conservative Senator.

        As to the pick for the Ebola Czar, the guy is a total political hack with no medical experience at all. What does Obama expect him to do? It is not like he can give any sort of opinion on how to handle the Ebola situation that would be worth anything.

        And why would the Democrats care what the NRA is saying? Don’t they mostly oppose what the NRA stands for? Why would they want to be on the good side of such a racist extreme organization like the NRA?

        I personally don’t see the need for a Czar to handle this mess. We already have a governmental agency tasked for things like this. It is the CDC and they are handling the situation better now. We just need to hope that the two nurses have not infected anyone and this hopefully will be put to rest. The Dallas hospital botched the handling of that case and whoever was monitoring the people in contact with that guy blew it when they did not quarantine anyone associated with his treatment.

      • “the guy is a total political hack with no medical experience at all.”

        Umm … NO:

        “He is an attending physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and is an instructor at Harvard Medical School.”

        If the position of Surgeon General is really no big deal then the NRA wouldn’t have mustered its troops to fight a nominee they felt threatened their “Gunz Is AWESOME” meme.

      • Oh but by the way, I’m not surprised that Lamar’s latest campaign lurch to the far right hasn’t worked on you, why would it? I’m just surprised that he’s even trying. It’s not like he needs to worry about Gordon Ball, or anything. Unless I’m reading the tea leaves differently from his campaign staff.

      • Jim in Memphis

        Sorry – to clarify, the guy Obama picked as the Ebola Czar is a political hack. I don’t know much about the Surgeon General nominee.

  2. democommie

    “I realize you are hyper partisan and venting your frustration that not everyone agrees with you is the purpose of this blog, so I will receive no rational response to this comment.”

    Followed by this:

    “The Dems don’t want a handful of their red state Senators to vote on this, for political reasons. Politics come first to them. They are afraid of their own constituents disagreeing with their vote in an election year, so they’d rather go without a surgeon general.”

    makes me realize that you’re a fucking troll.

    • Janiah

      Democommie, if there is a notice on this blog that comments are only welcome from people who agree with the posts, such a notice is not showing up on my mobile device.

  3. CB

    Janiah, this is Madame SB’s blog. She can say what she damn well pleases. Frankly, passive-aggressive complaining about hyperpartisanism and hostility smells trollish to me, as well. Spend less time couching your argument, and more in making your point, and that would be a service to us all. Those of us who have been following Ms. Beale, for years now, are also under no obligation to agree with you, no matter how many words you use.

    • Janiah

      Of course the owner of the blog can say what she chooses. That has never been in dispute, as far as I know.

      As for “passive aggressive”: I don’t think it fits here. I simply disagree that the Republicans are responsible for us not having a surgeon general, because they lack the power to nominate one, schedule or prevent the scheduling of a confirmation vote, or block the confirmation vote from succeeding.

  4. Mary Wilson

    Hey, I totally disagree with the line that tries to convince us that “both parties want to be right all the time”. This has NOT been the case from January 21, 2009 when a secret caucus of GOP/TEAs decided that would make Barack Obama fail at everything he tried to do to help save this country from the Bush debt, the Bush/Cheney wars and the Bush recession. And I have our local US Congress Critter, John Duncan ON A Video saying that he would NEVER vote yes to support ANY THING the Democrats proposed on the House floor.. And SB proves her points with facts in each of her blogs…as she did here….

  5. George Sutherland Herscher

    Janiah, the Republicans set a neat trap for Harry Reid as you describe. So really in the final, unbiased analysis the Republicans are responsible for the delay in confirming a SG. Your contention that some other nominee would not have been given similar treatment is answered by Mary Wilson , above.

    • It is likely that the vast majority of possible SG nominees, by virtue of the fact that they are busy being doctors, have no publicly known position on guns. It seems to me the trap was set for Reid by Obama. What I can’t figure out is why, unless it was just incompetence. I could see it if they had tried to get through an anti gun activist by stealth, only to be foiled when some long forgotten document was unearthed, but the nominee was tweeting his views. So I have to rule out stealth.

    • George, I have continued to think about your comment, and it occurred to me that the Republicans screwed this up, from their political point of view. They could have expressed zero opposition to the nominee, ignored any claims by outside groups that he’s anti/gun, Reid may have thought it politically safe to schedule a vote. Then the Reps all vote no and cut commercials in LA, AR, NC, MT etc zinging the Dem incumbent for voting pro, as it least some of them would have, unless the nominee went down, in which case, the left gets mad at the Dems, which the Reps also like to see.

      On the whole, I’m seeing incompetence on both sides, politically at least.

  6. Janiah and others, you really should have clicked on the Salon piece before you responded. The article touches on several pf the points that Janiah made — and agrees somewhat with them, you might be surprised to know. (The point of the article is, in fact, that ‘red-State Democrats can no longer count on a Republican filibuster to block ‘controversial nominees’ and that it is the Democrats who have been the ones who have blocked the actual nominations.)

    However, this was not either Obama or Reid fighting the other. When the nomination was put up, no one expected the FOX/NRA opposition to it. The NRA had never opposed or been involved in the confirmation of a Surgeon General.

    And you should realize that the Republicans had three arguments against Murthy:

    a:) He was a Democrat and founder of Doctors for Obama. Which should not exactly been a surprise, that a Democrat would nominate a Democrat who had supported him for such an important position.

    b:) That he supported the democratic President’s signature proposal, the ACA. Again, a no-brainer, nor should his support — even were Alexander right in his claim that the majority of Americans oppose it, and he’s not — of a controversial but already passed and in place piece of legislation been a reason to vote against him.

    c:) The ‘gun control’ issue, which was the key one. But if you read the article, you’d see how a few tweets — tweets most of us here would agree with or even consider understatements — if you are new to SB’s blog, she is a strong proponent of sensible gun control laws and a mocker of the open carry brigade — were twisted and lied about to make Murthy seem an extremist. His position is — in agreement with many medical groups — that guns are a public health issue, that, for example, a pediatrician should have a right to ask about gun ownership and the like.

    Do I agree that it was Democrats, not Republicans that stopped the nomination. Yes, but only because of the lies about him that FOX was spreading, that they knew would not be easily contradicted. Do I feel that he should have been confirmed, and that the other arguments are ridiculous and the gun control ones are exaggerated. Yes, and can you argue about them? Should a nominee be disqualified because he supported the President in the previous election? (That would probably disqualify over 90% of the nominees to any serious post since the founding of the Republic.) Should a nominee be disqualified because he supports a policy that is, in fact, already law, and that Republicans have been unable to repeal — whatever you think of the policy?

    Except that it is my ‘perpetua; rant’ I might suggest you discuss the use of simple lies by FOX to defeat the nomination. Since you are not a troll, by my lights, and since I do hope you stick around and discuss other topics, maybe we can reach that in a future discussion.

    • Jim,

      Thank you for your thoughtful response.

      Did you mean Slate and not Salon by any chance? If so, I did read that, but it lacks an insight you provided. Namely, that the Administration did not expect opposition to this nominee. You may be right, but it had not occurred to me, probably because I am aware of how strongly conservatives/gun owners/Second Amendment backers object to the notion that doctors should ask their patients if they have a gun in the home. So I figured the Administrations knew from the get-go that it was waving a red flag to a bull, or in the case of reddish states with Dem incumbents up this year, many bulls. But you may be right that it did not realize what conservatives/gun owners etc were thinking. I have never thought that Pres Obama understands conservatives or conservativism, which, if I am right, argues in favor of your point (though how involved he personally was in this appointment I do not know).

      The David Weigel article made good points, as he usually does. I do not always agree with his conclusions, but he appears to try hard to be accurate.

      On weigel’s point, surely Reid thought all this through before he triggered the nuclear option? He’s hardly inexperienced at Senate rules. He must have.

      I actually have read this blog for several years, but I hardly ever comment, because I presumed my type is barely welcome. I still like to read the views of people who hold different ones than I do, however.

      I would be happy to discuss the accuracy of any Fox stories (or other people’s) at some future time, provided that I’ve seen it, or can see it.

      Thank you again for your comment.

  7. democommie

    “I realize you are hyper partisan and venting your frustration that not everyone agrees with you is the purpose of this blog,”

    When your opening sentence is a lie, what the fuck do you expect from people who know you’re a liar. Sorry, douchebag, you’re pwned. Bye, now.

  8. democommie

    “I actually have read this blog for several years, but I hardly ever comment,”

    So, it will be the work of a moment for you to provide a citation to back that up.

  9. Why the hell would the Ebola Czar need to be a “four star general”, anyway? It’s a coordination position, hardly something that needs military background or medical expertise. Leave the medical stuff to the epidemiological experts at the CDC and NIH.

    It’s like complaining that the President isn’t a military man so he shouldn’t be Commander in Chief. There’s a reason for cabinet positions, after all.

  10. Jim in Memphis

    In regards to your update, you should know that Paul cannot stop the procedures with his objection…

    From the article:
    “Under Senate rules, a unanimous voice vote can move the confirmation process to its last stage for most nominees. But with Paul’s objection, a cloture vote will have to take place before the full Senate can make a final decision about Murthy’s nomination. Previous Senate guidelines would have required Reid to round up 60 votes to overcome filibusters and advance to the final stage, but the Senate approved new rules in November that allow the process to move forward with a simple majority voting for cloture — the old rules still apply for Supreme Court nominees.”

    So yes, Paul and most if not all of the Republicans do not like the nominee. However, that has no bearing on why the Senate has not voted to approve him or not. This lies squarely with Reid. All he has to do is call for a vote and the Republicans cannot block it.

    • One could just as easily argue that Harry Reid was “reaching across the aisle” and “trying to work with Republicans” by not bringing this to a vote. Jim, you’re tiresome at best, as usual. Fuck off. Again.

      The entire fucking point, the entire reason Harry Reid did NOT bring this to a vote, as has been stated here A ZILLION TIMES, is because Republicans used fearmongering tactics to twist and misrepresent Murhty’s position on guns and were able, yet again, through their minions at Fox Noise and Hate Radio, to prevent us from moving forward as a country all because they want Obama to fail. I mean, really. How DARE a handful of red states have elected Democrats in the first place. The nerve.

      That’s it in a nutshell. Everyone knows it except YOU and your brain-dead, Fox-afflicted, hard right conservatwits.

      Meanwhile, Bobby Jindahl shows himself to be a true lover of “small government” by calling for government monitoring of citizens’ travel abroad. For “safety” — sure. Because that’s always what it’s about. /sarcasm

      Y’all are such dumbasses. The way you give your freedom away to Republicans who cause you to shit your pants over one thing or the other. I’d laugh if it weren’t so goddamned scary.

      • Jim in Memphis

        SB – you are just giving a pass to gutless Democratic Senators and blaming this on Republicans. The Democrats have control of the Senate and no matter what Republicans say or do, there is nothing the Republicans can do that would permanently block the vote to approve the nomination of the Surgeon General. You complain that Republicans are misrepresenting this guys view on guns. Why don’t the Democrats just come out and say that and then vote for the guy? Fox News surely cannot override all of the other left leaning news stations – CNN, MSNBC, etc. And surely only dumb racist hicks watch Fox News or read things from the NRA anyway right? It is not like those people would vote for the enlightened Democrats anyway. So I can only come to a few conclusions:

        1. You think the majority of people in states like LA, AR, AK are dumb, racist hicks that believe everything Fox News and the NRA says.


        2. You don’t care that the Democratic Senators from these states are too scared to back their President.


        3. The reality is that in these states the majority of voters are likely to not agree with the Democrats on this nomination or with a lot of what Obama has done over the last 6 years and it is likely that they are going to vote out the Democratic Senators and turn the Senate over to the Republicans. So instead you cry about Republican fear tactics hoping to have something to point to when the Democrats lose in the upcoming elections.

        Of course the Republican party is on its death bed so you have nothing to worry about in the long run right?

  11. democommie

    ” You don’t care that the Democratic Senators from these states are too scared to back their President.”

    Snf you were screaming at the teevee when Fox and the GOP dragged us into Iraq?

    Fuck off, Jimbo(b).

    • Jim doesn’t care that Republicans are using FEAR to scare the American public into giving up their power to the oligarchy. Proving yet again what useless idiots conservatives are.