Rep. Steve King (R-IA) demands “blood oath” from Boehner to shut down the government

If the Tea-Party-led Republicans take over the House this November, we won’t just see the end of any possible action on climate change or clean energy.  There is a great likelihood that they will force a shutdown of the government, which will close our national parks, prevent food from being inspected, and stop any government oversight of coal mines or offshore drilling — or clean air and clean water, for that matter.  Think Progress has the back-story.

Earlier this year, radical right-wing congressman Steve King (R-IA) introduced a discharge petition in the House to repeal health reform. Thus far, his measure has attracted 173 signatures. Rep. Gene Taylor (D-MS) became the first Democrat last week to sign the petition. King told conservative blogger Ed Morrissey he’s “likely to get more Democrats.”

kingBut King seems more worried that the leadership of his Republican caucus “” some of whom have said they won’t campaign for a full health care repeal “” won’t carry through with a pledge to repeal ObamaCare. Roll Call reports that King is now demanding a “blood oath” from House Minority Leader John Boehner to include a repeal of health care reform in every appropriations bill next year, even if a government shutdown results:

“We must not blink,” he said, noting that money cannot be spent without the House voting to pass it. “If the House says no, it’s no.”

Their new tea party backers won’t tolerate anything less than a full repeal of the health care law, he said.

“They will leave us if we go wobbly,” he said. “I am worried about that, but that’s why I think it’s got to be a blood oath.”

King said, in the event a government shutdown occurs, he wants to ensure “there wouldn’t be a repeat of 1995 where the House caved.” Earlier this month, Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) said shutting down the government would be the right thing to do, even if means halting veterans benefits.

The Washington Post reports that Republicans “haven’t said much about what would replace” health reform if it were repealed, noting that “a GOP bill rejected by the Democratic-led House last year is the closest thing to a starting point. That plan would cover an additional 3 million people by 2019, compared with nearly 33 million under the Obama health-care law.”

It seems “blood oaths” are all the rage these days among Republicans. Last week, Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) said he wanted a “covenant” from the GOP, signed “in blood if necessary,” to extend Bush tax cuts for the rich.
The Wall Street Journal reports, “A vote in the House to repeal the health-care overhaul would be among the GOP’s top priorities. “¦ House Republicans say a full repeal would pick up a few Democratic votes, but acknowledge the effort would fail in the Senate.”
Steve Benen warns:
… talk of a shutdown is already being pushed by a House Republican leader (Rep. Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia); a Republican Senate candidate (Joe Miller of Alaska); a Republican House candidate (Teresa Collett of Minnesota); and a variety of prominent Republican voices (Newt Gingrich, Dick Morris, and Erick Erickson).
It’s not theater; it’s not posturing; it’s not an idle pre-election threat. Voters should appreciate how serious this is before heading to the polls.
— This is cross-posted at Think Progress by Faiz Shakir.
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28 Responses to Rep. Steve King (R-IA) demands “blood oath” from Boehner to shut down the government

  1. Mike says:

    I seem to recall that the Republicans did this under Clinton and it backfired on them.

    [JR: Yes, well, Clinton was a lot better at messaging than team Obama. As they say, past performance is no guarantee of future success.]

  2. Lou Grinzo says:

    Welcome to the United States of Wackaloonery.

    Unless “progressives”, or whatever they (and I’m one of them) call themselves now, get their collective posteriors in gear and show up in large numbers at the polls this November this country, and by extension the world, will be in Very Serious Trouble.

    I can’t help but wonder just how far this dark descent has to go before even the distracted, disillusioned, disconnected, and often willfully ignorant public finally says, “Enough!” and starts voting these nutjob Republicans out of office. (Thin-skinned right wingers please read carefully; I did NOT just say that all Republicans are nutjobs.)

  3. Rockfish says:

    “…which will close our national parks, prevent food from being inspected, and stop any government oversight of coal mines or offshore drilling — or clean air and clean water, for that matter”
    Hey, won’t that instantly halt the war in Afghanistan too? Maybe not a bad idea!

  4. Peter M says:

    King represents the most fringe and extreme element of the republican party- With King & also O’Donnell (running for Senate in DE)- one should ask- is Halloween here early this year?

  5. Dallasm says:

    I don’t understand blog posts like this. It simply won’t happen for several reasons.

    1) The vast majority of people in congress are not clinically insane. They may think they know what they want to do now, but that quickly changes once they get into office. When you have the head of the FDA coming into your office and explaining everything they do, even the most hardened conservatives can see how important the work is. (Ron Paul not withstanding.) This is why the “shrinking the government” plans don’t work and never will.

    2) Even if the republicans decided that they REALLY were going to shut down the government, they still couldn’t. First they would have to win a supermajority in the senate, that’s something that is highly unlikely. And even if they did, then they would have convince Obama not to veto it. Again, something even more highly unlikely. Third, if/when Obama did veto a stupid law closing down the government, they would have to put together a Super Super Majority in the House to override the veto, something that has only happened 20 or so times in the last 3 generations and never since Carter.

    We don’t have to worry about the Government shutting down. Let’s worry about the real problems.

    [JR: Shutting down the government mainly requires refusing to pass a budget. Not that hard.]

  6. Colorado Bob says:

    From the vault, take a look at “Diary of a Dying Planet” from the June 10, 2004 issue of Rolling Stone. It holds up depressingly well.

  7. Colorado Bob says:

    Corpus Christi is about to blow through the all time records for that location –

    2 more days of this in the forecast .

  8. john atcheson says:

    #5 Peter:

    Here’s the scary thing to me. These whackadoodles have been spreading their insanity with impunity, unopposed by fact, impervious to truth, because the lame Dems are too frightened to do so. The last time I saw anything like an accurate response to this insanity was when Barney Frank said “talking to you is like talking to the dining room table …”

    My point is it that unless more people confront the idiocy, it become less fringe, because clearly we can
    t expect the press to do it.

    The extreme cowardice of the Dems is allowing the entire political debate in this country to drift so far right that we have become a laughing stock in other countries. That in itself wouldn’t be so bad, but we are now embracing an ontology that is distinctly medieval, and that’s not going to work too well for us or the rest of the world in the 21st century.

  9. Colorado Bob says:

    1024 AM CDT MON SEP 20 2010

  10. Colorado Bob says:

    Later in the week, the potential exists for additional flooding on the Rio Grande should 5 to 10 inches or more of rain fall along the front range and foothills of the Sierra Madre in Nuevo Leon and perhaps into Coahuila State through early this week.

  11. peter whitehead says:

    The Tea Party Taliban (aka the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party) are subversives. They pick-and-mix the bits of the Constitution they like.

    Remember it’s less than 50 years since threat of force was needed to desegregate some schools. The libertarian right are basically wild-west anarchists.

    The Satanist past of one Mad Hatter has blown a chink – more of the personal background of TalibanTP candidates is the key to pest control.

  12. mike roddy says:

    Republicans in Congress remind me of the Democrats in the 1850’s, when a senator from the South attacked a Northern abolitionist senator with a metal tipped cane on the floor of the Senate, causing permanent brain damage. All in the cause of… defending slavery. The assailant became a hero in the South, just like the “You lie!” character recently.

    Guys like King clearly suffer from mental problems, and it’s the job of the press to point it out. Good luck with that. Their version will be “Congressman King, on the other hand, believes…”

  13. Michael Tucker says:

    The Republicans have had nothing to offer the American people; no solutions to ANY of our problems except obstructionist rhetoric and filibuster. Now they want to do the ultimate obstructionist tactic of shutting down the government. They have no plan, not a single solution, only bogus tax cuts. The tax cuts were in effect in 2008 and 2009. How many jobs did that stimulate?

    I am completely disgusted with the lot of them.

  14. catman306 says:

    Yes, I’ll be going to the polls in November. I doubt if I’ll be considering many Republicans or anyone endorsed by Sarah Palin or Glenn Beck. No tea for me, thank you. Please join me in voting in the national elections. Exercise the only power we have, since we’re not billionaires, to effect positive change. The Status Quo is so 20th Century.

    This is the election of a lifetime: Your grandchild’s lifetime..

    Stupid is not the new smart.

  15. DreamQuestor says:

    Whoa, fellas! Far from discouraging this sort of behavior, we ought to do all we can to encourage it. Why? If any party deserves to self-destruct, it is the GOP. The Republicans have chosen to serve the wealthy at the expense of everyone else for decades. The collapse of the GOP can only benefit America and the human species in general. And the sooner that happens, the sooner we can start solving our problems.

  16. Richard Brenne says:

    King says “They will leave us if go wobbly?” Really? They’re considering joining the International Workers of the World, known as the Wobblys? Oddly, Margaret Thatcher told George Bush I “Now don’t go wobbly on me George, don’t go wobbly” when he evidently threatened also to join the International Workers of the World. (Actually she was telling Bush I to go to war with Saddam, since war with a far weaker opponent had done wonders for her political career, which obviously meant more to both of them than any number of dead innocents.)

    Also odd is John Boehner’s tan. The Syracuse Orangemen now have a guy in a huge Boehner head as their mascot.

    Prokaryotes (#3) link to the Onion about Sarah Palin’s speech opening the Sixth Seal of the Apocalypse is equally hilarious and disturbing, and deserves to lead on the evening news tonight.

    I see what DreamQuestor (#17) is saying. I’d like to know what we can do to help the GOP (Greedy Old Pricks) self-destruct. Are we like Shaq leaning against them, opposing them in every way we can, or do we step aside and let them fall on their own?

    Gingrich demanded the government shut down because he didn’t get the seat he desired on an Air Force One trip to a Mideast funeral. Hilarious, unless you’re a veteran or anyone else requiring a check to keep from becoming homeless. But that backfired big time on Gingrich and his worry about shutting down the government delayed his trip to the hospital to tell his wife with cancer he was leaving her for his much younger mistress by 15 minutes or so.

    So do we give the GOP enough rope to hang itself, or do we yank the rope away? And how do we respond to their claims that the rope is really a snake, or moonbeam, or both?

  17. The more loony the Republicans become, the more likely they destroy their political future. I worry about the damage they can do before they go down in flames, but perhaps Obama will find a way to minimize the damage. Certainly there is no hope now for comprehensive legislation on a sane energy policy or a rapid CO2 reduction policy in the next two years. In two years we must rid the nation of this cast of misfit political characters I see and hear in the news every day and start again.

  18. Ryan T says:

    DreamQuestor, didn’t some think the GOP would self destruct the last time? Somehow they seem to get a leg up with their messaging, and somehow a chunk of the voting pubic swallows it hook, line & sinker. While another chunk is disillusioned because they perceive little improvement, and just as much We The Corporations, in government.

  19. DreamQuestor says:

    It’s as much a matter of demographics as anything else, Ryan. Republicans represent the rich and elite and that is a power base that has been shrinking for years as ever more Americans slide into poverty. That’s why the GOP has embraced so many lunatics that it once might have shunned. Republicans are desperate to regain their power and willing to do anything to do so.

  20. ozajh says:

    A blood oath from any creature with the skin tone of Boehner is meaningless.

    Rep. King should be asking for an ichor oath . . .

  21. _Flin_ says:

    The willingness of the American libertarian right wing extremists to destroy their country for their wicked and distorted ideology never fails to amaze me.

    What’s wrong with the Democrats? Should be easy to wipe the floor with these lunatics. Americans are nice and caring people, after all.

    These extremists will hold the country hostage because they don’t like it if an ill child gets medicine? How sick is that? “Hello child, you have the personal freedom in this land is too suffer miserably before you die. Here’s some aspirin.”

  22. Chris Winter says:

    Catman306 wrote: “This is the election of a lifetime: Your grandchild’s lifetime…”

    The Democrats ought to build a political ad around that thought.

  23. Hendo says:

    Is America at war with itself? And with the world as far as climate change goes?
    I now hold that precocious opinion. America’s division is so great, notwithstanding the critical international issues, that the dissolution of the worlds greatest nation seems to be well entrained.
    I’m not American, but ask that you forgive a (friendly) foreigners gall at offering a critical opinion on America. If you could see the US, from outsiders eyes you too would be deeply saddened.
    I suspect the US is approaching its own tipping point, and the near future actions will determine whether the track is up or down for the US.

  24. Greg says:

    Hendo said, “Is America at war with itself?”

    I really hope it doesn’t come to that, not just because widespread unrest would affect us here in Canada, but because I really believe there are a lot of smart and well-meaning people in the US who will lose their opportunity to build a better country. It really seems like it could go either way.

    Man, if those Koch brothers could use their money to do something for the long term good of their country, that would be something.

  25. Hendo says:

    Greg (#26) Yes I agree. I quickly distinguish between Americans the people, and America the country. Americans are great people, undeniable, I hope I did not infer anything else.

  26. William P says:

    Hendo #25
    Yes, America is on the down hill slide: Poor education system, rich and corporations have found a way to seize government and use it for profit. They have two basic methods going: 1. pour money into elections; politicians must have more and more money to win. Only wealthy and corporations can provide amounts needed. So politicians get bought.

    2. Control the media: right wing media which is media of the the rich and corporations, now has enough of the media to reach the number of citizens necessary to elect corporate Congress people.

    Right wing media borrowed a tactic from the late, great Joseph Goebbels, Germany’s genius media czar. Blame all the nation’s troubles on those who resist corporate control of government. Give this group a name. In America they have branded this group “Liberals”. Like Jews in Germany of the 30’s media have blamed liberals for all ills. This media uses an “entertainment” quality just as did Goebbels to hook viewers and listeners and keep them.

    The right wing media frames it so nothing liberals have to say should be even heard. Should any mainstream part of media present a position of liberals (say some program liberals believe will help common people), this mainstream station or network is fiercely and loudly branded “liberal” itself. This makes mainstream media very shy about saying anything good about liberal or Democratic Party positions, or even giving them air time.

    You will see this trend growing. When right wing media gets enough control over radio, TV and Internet outlets, even failure of their government representatives to provide things like basic education, health programs, or other programs touching common folk will be presented as not failures, but successes (read Orwell’s book 1984 for detail on how this works).

    America will descend into Third World status, but the rich will control all resources for their benefit and maintain and increase their wealth and comfort. Mexico is an excellent example of this. The military will cease foreign adventures like Afghanistan and Iraq and will function primarily to protect the rich from the growing poor. Again see Mexico for a current model.