Riders on the Budget Storm

April 8th, 2011

Inspired by House GOP’s ‘riders’ takes fight beyond dollars and cents (Washington Post 3/25/11), Fight Over Policy Riders May Shut Down Government (OMBWatch 4/06/11), No Accord in Budget Talks as Policy Fights Hamper Deal, It May Be a ‘Budget Battle,’ but Some Skirmishes Have Little to Do With Money (New York Times 4/07/11), The barnacles attached to the budget deal (Ezra Klein, WashingtonPost.com 4/07/11) and GOP ‘riders’ could be budget deal-breakers (Washington Post 4/08/11).


“We have to get beyond this political bumper-sticker museum.” – Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL)

“There’s a radical element here, and I’ll say it without any prejudice: radical. Basically, get rid of Obama’s healthcare bill which he spent two years fighting and the Democrats spent 100 years trying to get through. Basically abolishing Medicare and the way it was created back in the Sixties. Getting rid of any funding for birth control, basically. No climate change… It seems like they have said ‘OK, we’re in power now, and we’re going to do everything we ever promised to do.” – Chris Matthews

“If you really want a deal you wouldn’t be throwing everything in like the kitchen sink. If Mike Pence really wanted a deal, he wouldn’t be talking about birth control. If Mike Pence really wanted a deal, the Speaker wouldn’t be talking about in this case climate change. They’re making all kinds of add-ons to this discussion (riders, they call it) to make it harder a deal to make. If they wanted a deal, they wouldn’t be throwing all this social stuff in.” — Chris again

“This is probably going to be the first really big adult moment for the new Republican majority… But we’ll have to find a way to help educate members and help people understand the serious problem that would exist if we don’t do it.” – John Boehner (in a less-guarded moment) talking about the need to take Teabagger Republican Freshmen by the hand and help them understand

“Into the House they’re born, into the budget they’re thrown. Like a dog without a bone, an actor out on loan, riders on the storm.” – Jim Morrison (paraphrased)


Since the GOP only the House controls

They can’t use actual legislation to reach their goals.


As a result, the GOP’s political newbies and insiders

Have to resort to budgetary riders.


In the GOP-controlled House these riders are born,

Appealing to every base interest imaginable (political porn).


Defund Planned Parenthood and reinstate Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

Defund NPR, Wall Street reform,  and Obamacare as well.


Strip EPA of inconvenient regulatory power,

Along with every other GOP cause of the hour.


(Some of the most inane were withdrawn after they were public ally exposed,

Like defunding Obama’s teleprompter, as Steve Womack proposed.


If that seem peculiarly of rhyme or reason bereft,

Try reading this list of the crazy riders that are left.)


Who cares that the budget is supposed to be for budgetary measures alone–

The GOP wants to throw all its right wing attack dogs a bone.


Will the far right wing storm wash away every last shred of compromise

And keep the GOP from doing what for the country (and party) is wise?


I for one sincerely hope not–

Someone’s got to stop that tempest in a teapot.


I hope that cooler, less steamed-up heads will prevail,

And the Tea Party isn’t allowed, their Party (or our government) to derail.


Unfortunately, that’s their most fervent hope and prayer—

If the country goes down the tubes, they don’t really care.


Can Speaker Boehner take them by the hand?

Can he make them understand?


So far, Boehner hasn’t been able to muster the internal strength,

Even though Dems to compromise have gone to great length.


Mr. Speaker, although I really hate to say it–

You’ve already won this hand (as long as you don’t overplay it).


Get your caucus to give up on the riders and cut a reasonable deal,

Even if it takes another tearful appeal.


Mr. Speaker, our government and Nation on you depend:

Otherwise, the pointless squabbling will never end.


Serious policy issues shouldn’t in a budget bill hide,

So please Mr. Speaker, don’t let the riders ride.

***

Here’s your theme music, Riders on the Storm by The Doors. (Read the strangely appropriate complete lyrics below.)


Here’s Hardball’s 4/05/11 panel discussion on the role policy riders are playing in the budget crisis.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Here’s Hardball’s 4/06/11 panel discussion (Chris’s quote is at the 10” mark) about the GOP/Tea Party wing’s unwillingness to compromise.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Riders on the Storm by The Doors

Riders on the storm, riders on the storm

Into this house we’re born, into this world we’re thrown

Like a dog without a bone, an actor out on loan

Riders on the storm

 

There’s a killer on the road, his brain is squirmin’ like a toad

Take a long holiday, let your children play

If ya give this man a ride, sweet family will die

Killer on the road, yeah

 

Girl ya gotta love your man, girl ya gotta love your man

Take him by the hand, make him understand

The world on you depends, our life will never end

Gotta love your man, yeah

 

Riders on the storm, riders on the storm

Into this house we’re born, into this world we’re thrown

Like a dog without a bone, an actor out on loan

Riders on the storm

 

Riders on the storm, riders on the storm

Riders on the storm, riders on the storm


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