Wingnut: Republican Leaders Have Stockholm Syndrome

Rep. John Fleming, one of the many far-right congressmen that House Speaker John Boehner has little control of in the House Republican Caucus, is quite upset that Boehner didn’t try to shut down the government in order to pressure Obama to rescind his immigration orders. He says the Republican have Stockholm Syndrome.

“Republican leadership, and really many Republicans in general, they — I don’t agree with them — are in sort of a Stockholm syndrome that whenever there is any discussion about a government shutdown, which is what’s going to happen when we cut funding and the president disagrees because the president feels like it gives him strength and the Democrats are on board, they stick together like glue, and so Republicans now have been conditioned,” Fleming told Perkins. “And the media is the first to jump out there, even the Republican pundits, to say, ‘Well look, you can do whatever you want to fight back against the president but you can’t shut government down.’”

“Once that narrative gets out there, it’s really all over,” Fleming said. “There just isn’t a pathway of success.”

He lamented that “many Americans say we should defund things but don’t shut down government, they don’t really understand that it’s one in the same.”

No, it isn’t. What is missing from this analysis, of course, is reality. The reality is that no matter what the House did, they didn’t have the votes in the Senate to pass a DHS funding bill that would have eliminated funding for anything involving Obama’s immigration orders. Had they continued to insist on such a bill, the Department of Homeland Security would have had to shut down and Republicans would have been blamed for it. Politically, that would have been devastating to them.

This is the difference between rational people and hardcore ideologues. Boehner, for all of his flaws, at least attempts to be a rational person and think logically. Fleming and the other Tea Party types in the GOP are simply incapable of doing so. They demand absolute ideological purity and view any compromise to be treason and betrayal. That’s why they can’t govern. Governing in a democracy requires compromise and they refuse to do that. And the irony is that they are the ones who claim Obama is being a dictator.

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  • raven

    He says the Republican have Stockholm Syndrome.

    Naw. This is just silly.

    1. The GOP adults might have will to live syndrome.

    They might be afraid the voters will get upset if they shut down the government for too long. This might be wrong though. The last time they did that was before the last election. Which the GOP did very well in anyway.

    There is no evidence that the voters care much whether the government is running or not.

    2. The GOP might actually care about keeping the USA going as a viable country.

    Look, it is hard to imagine and there is even less evidence than a will to live syndrome. But it’s not impossible. Almost though.

    3. More likely the oligarchies that control the USA, the 1% might care. All their money and power isn’t going to do them much good if they are living in a New Dark Age and the peasants grab their torches and pitchforks and storm the castles.

  • Akira MacKenzie

    There is something to be said about your politics when you think that John Boehner is not conservative enough for your tastes.

  • Sastra

    “Republican leadership, and really many Republicans in general, they — I don’t agree with them — are in sort of a Stockholm syndrome that whenever there is any discussion about a government shutdown, which is what’s going to happen when we cut funding and the president disagrees because the president feels like it gives him strength and the Democrats are on board, they stick together like glue, and so Republicans now have been conditioned,”

    Okay, I’ve just wasted several minutes trying to figure out how this situation is in any way analogous to Stockholm Syndrome — even if it were correct that Republicans have been “conditioned” by listening to Democrats. Does he also think the Republican leadership has been held captive and abused, thus cowering in grovelling appreciation for getting fewer lashes than last time? Do the Republicans have Battered-Wife Syndrome also? Do they think it unseemly to protest anything the Democrats want to do?

    No, forget it. Either it’s a bad analogy — or some paranoid wingnut really does think the Democrats have literally been terrorizing Congress.

  • raven

    Ed Brayton:

    Politically, that would have been devastating to them.

    1. ???? That is the conventional wisdom.

    2. It might be wrong though.

    The GOP shut down the government not too long ago over something I can’t even remember now. Hmmm, IIRC, it was a program to give a few million people Affordable Health Care by buying private insurance.

    They took a hit on opinion polls. And then won the 2014 elections.

    3. It wouldn’t surprise me if they shut down DHS or the entire federal government again and most GOP voters neither notice or care. It is apparently what happened last time.

    4. Ironically, if they did shut down DHS, who run immigration and border patrol, what would happen? No border enforcement. Anyone could just cross the border and many would. They think we have an immigration problem now but there is no problem the GOP can’t make worse.

  • erichoug

    “Oh really, we are facing an external enemy that is so dangerous that they might possibly destroy our country and kill each and every one of us in bed!?”

    “That’s horrifying, how do you want to handle it?”

    “De-fund the department responsible for protecting us from external enemies?…”

    “Uh…….”

    Mark this as number 5136 on the list of why I can’t morally justify voting Republican.

  • http://artk.typepad.com ArtK

    Defunding DHS wouldn’t have made it more than a day or two. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is part of DHS. Can you imagine the chaos if imports were held at every port? Even without national security implications, this would be an economic disaster. Even the Teapublicans have to listen to their paymasters.

  • Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Today Rep John Fleming noted that,

    Republican leadership … are in sort of a Stockholm syndrome

    in an attempt to explain the apparent paradox of how a particular member of congress can be perceived as intelligent and educated while being congressionally ineffectual and irrelevant.

    …as in Stockholm, Finland

    he continued, resolving the paradox.