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Editorial: From Gregg, a welcome plea for GOP sanity

Here’s something you don’t read in this space every day: Judd Gregg is right.

Gregg is angry and frustrated, and he’s right.

In a column published this week in The Hill, a Washington, D.C., publication covering the capital, Gregg, a former U.S. senator, congressman and New Hampshire governor, rips into members of his own party for tying a vote on raising the nation’s debt limit to defunding the Affordable Care Act. If the Democrats won’t agree to undo Obamacare, the Republicans say they’ll risk defaulting on the country’s debts.

“Most Americans these days are simply ignoring Republicans. And they should. The self-promotional babble of a few has become the mainstream of Republican political thought. It has marginalized the influence of the party to an appalling degree,” Gregg writes.

He goes on to argue that the GOP strategy will ultimately be not just unpopular with voters but also a calamitous path for the country.

“Defaulting on the nation’s obligations, which is the alternative to not increasing the debt ceiling, is not an option either substantively or politically. A default would lead to some level of chaos in the debt markets, which would lead to a significant contraction in economic activity, which would lead to job losses, which would lead to higher spending by the federal government and lower tax revenues, which would lead to more debt. It understates things to say merely this is not a smart position to put forward. It is a terrible policy that would produce immense economic disruption and very difficult times for people on Main Street,” Gregg says.

And Gregg’s view of the politicians promoting this strategy is not kind: “The idea is being put forward by people who do not really care what the impact is of a default or a near-default. These are folks who have never governed and are not inclined to do so. Rather, their goals are improved fundraising and, in some cases, individual advancement. They have hit on an issue that plays well on the stump, producing numerous effective one-liners.”

Now, Gregg is no fan of Obamacare. His ideas for improving the health-care system are not necessarily ideas we’d agree with. But his main point – that congressional Republicans, including once-mainstream leaders now beholden to the Tea Party crowd, are taking a disastrous course – is right on.

There are enormous problems facing the country. Even several years into an economic recovery, unemployment remains stubbornly high. The “middle-class” lifestyle seems at risk, even for people with jobs that once provided decent pay and decent benefits. More and more wealth is concentrated in the hands of the very few. There is scant talk anymore about the harmful “sequester” or serious entitlement reform. Yet the main message we hear from Washington Republicans is that they’d like to cripple a program intended to provide health insurance for those without – even if it means crippling the economy in the process.

It’s just possible that, coming from Gregg, a plea for sanity from the Republicans in Congress might be listened to. It certainly should be. But who knows? So far, the GOP’s kamikaze mission shows no signs of stopping.

Legacy Comments19

It's ironic that those who throw around the term "low information voter" most often are the best exemplars of same on this site. Their zealotry would have the nation drive off a fiscal cliff and crash the economy, all because they failed to achieve their ends through the democratic process. Cruz, Rubio, Cantor, and the other 'heroes' in the extremist wing of the party repeatedly demonstrate that they hold the views of most Americans in contempt. Their actions reveal the fundamentally anti-democratic impulse at the heart of their movement. Fueled by money from the far right, they have more in common with the plantation mentality of the Old South and British West Indies than with the Puritan founders and the "City on a Hill". Their feudal notions were first defeated when we replaced the Articles of Confederation with a strong central government and our constitution, and again when the North won the Civil War. Yet here we are again--one nation ungovernable. And for some once again, no longer 'indivisible'?

Judd, What ever happened to the Reagan's 11th commandment? Because the Monitor has a habit of leaving out important facts I will hold the foundation of this editorial with a grain of salt. Right now the American people do not want to shut down government and they don't want the train wreck knows as ObamaKare. Last night a brave Senator stood up for what he believes in for 21 hours and that was for keeping the government open and stop ObamaKare. That hasn't happened since Democrat Robert Byrd stood up for what he believed in the KKK and second class citizenship for Blacks. We need more Ted Cruzs and less Robert Byrds.

When you say the American people don't want Obamacare, I guess you don't mean those that voted to re-elect him for a second term. You should temper your remarks when saying the "American People". as this is not factual. Some Americans may not want it, but I think that there are more that just don't know any better and believe all the negatives spouted by the so called experts.

Progressives truly don't get it. They don't understand that the so called "middle class" can thrive when they have more money in their pockets to make purchases, feed their families, etc. Obamacare will take an average of $2500 to $4000 out of households with four family members. And the "Tea Party Crowd" consists of members of everyone's community, readers and subscribers to the Monitor, customers at Market Basket and Hannaford's, public officials, state employees, members of the local church and on and on. They are your neighbors, your families and your friends. They have every right to a point of view as the Monitor editors, the people who blog here in ideological fashion; copying and pasting propaganda as if they are experts in the subject du jour. As far as what a newspaper editor thinks, well that is about as important to me as what my garbage collector thinks; they are armchair quarterbacks. But, one thing that we don't need to armchair quarterback is the future of this company. So to the paper boy or paper girl who penned this so called "editorial".........can you think for yourself or co you just tout the party line and progressive principles. Gee, that was a stupid question.

Where was Gregg's indignation when he got the memo in 2009 from those same right-wing architects of destruction to withdraw his name as Obama's Secretary of Commerce nominee because the GOP intended to oppose anything that Obama proposed, regardless of the effect on the nation ? Gee, thanks Judd. Now that your investments are at risk as a result of the actions of your pack of running dogs, you seek to turn them from the path you have followed along with them for 5 years. Good luck with that.

With all due respect to Gregg, what will happen to the US if we keep running trillion dollar deficits? Good things I'm sure.

Sanity from the GOP? Ain't gonna happen. The right wing is in charge of the entire party now. And they are making a do-or-die assault on their mortal enemy--Barack Obama. To hell with the consequences to party or country. The warnings of rational conservatives are drowned out by the screaming of rage-filled ultra-conservatives. November 2014 can't come soon enough--if we make it that far...

Poll after poll shows a majority of Americans do not want Obamacare. Apparently, there are few politicians listening.

Poll after poll show that upwards of 90% of Americans want background checks for all gun purchases. Apparently there are few politicians listening.

Have you tried to get a gune in this state lately? You need a background check, it is not anything new.

Itsa. You can get a firearm by simply going to any person with a gun for sale and buying it. Background checks are only reequired by liscensed gun dealers. Private sales are not required to go through checks. that's how many people who otherwise could not obtain a firearm get one.

Funny if you ask about specific pieces of the ACA in pols a majority likes them. It's only when called OBAMACARE that they say no thanks to the misinformation campaign launched ny the Republicans

Sad if you ask folks about the ACA they will quote the same things. Your kid can stay on it till the are 26, you will not have to change your doctor and you cannot be exempted for a pre existing condition. Ask them about the other 2,000 pages of what is in it and they have no clue. Thus the term uninformed voter. Now we are seeing the ramifications of trusting the govt. Smaller networks, employers switching folks to part time, and insurance premiums going through the roof. So what does the left say about that? Nothing! Lets just sit back and watch our economy go down the tubes, everybody working part time and waiting 3 months to get an appointment with your doctor with the hopes that whatever you have has not spread. The dumbing down of America has reached new levels to the point that a Russian dictator can play us for fools, and now China owns us.

That is because they think that they are "free". Many may be good, but most are mired in administratie gridlock. Bottom line is that I like by health insurance, I want to keep by doctor and honestly I don't want to pay for my family's insurance and yours too, while still having to wait in line behind you.

A majority in this country have no clue what is in the ACA. It was designed that way. Make it as big and complicated as possible. tout the carrots to get folks hooked, and then when the folks actually find out what is in it, tough buns, the law is passed. The whole idea is to destroy private insurance, and turn to socialized medicine. Get it! The govt does such a terrific job of managing things, it makes perfect sense that they know better than you how to manage your health care. Those of us that have experienced military health care can attest to how well our govt manages health care. Go to a VA hospital and have a look.

The great majority of people who believe the constant one sided rantings. Why don't you and your fellow "anti anything that is democratic at any cost" come up with an alternative to the ACA. So far all your type can do is point fingers, recite tired old buzz words and complain. At no point has anyone offered a solution or alternative to what we have now. Furthermore, if nothing is wrong with our system, why are so many businesses slashing health care benefits. Big business can pay millions in salary and perks to CEO's but have to structure hiring practices to avoid paying benefits to those that actually work for a living. Obamacare is NOT hurting employment, in reality the desire for increased profits, higher dividends for stock and general greed are behind the so called "Part Time Workforce" catch phrase. As far as that right wing lunatic, Sen Cruz goes I'm not sure an educated voter could even stomach him.

Keep telling yourself Mauser that the unemployment rate is due to greed. Even the unions are sorry they promoted the ACA now that they actually know the taxes that will be placed on them for their high cost insurance plans. I assume you also believe that the stock market is doing well because of the stimulus also. If you believe it is only wealthy corporations that are slashing health care benefits, I suggest you do a search and see what is happening to small business. And the unions will be dumping their plans also and pushing folks into the networks. It amazes me that so many folks trusted the govt and have no clue what is in the ACA. Instead of debating what is in it they use the old greed, class warfare defense of it. If you discuss what is in it including the hidden taxes, costs etc, then I guess it would be pretty hard to defend it.

RabbitNH it is stunning how educated people can come up with such extreme positions. In a pure Democracy 50.1% of the people could impose their will on 49.9% of the people. This country was not set up that way. They always bring up millions paid to CEO's but they don't realize that if all of those CEO's simply surrendered their salary it would have the impact of a rock the size of a baseball hitting the sun. Bottom line is that people who are struggling are blaming the guy who is one tier above them struggling and so on and so on. It is small minded to be that petty. Obamacare is killing employment but instead the absolutist, extremists on the Left are blaming business. Your points are right on, others points? It reveals their pettiness.

Poll after poll you say. I guess that means that polls are generally as useful as the infamous Iowa Straw poll, which is up for grabs to the highest bidder. Come on, there is no science to polling and you are guaranteed to get the result that you are after. People voted to re-elect Obama and his health care act, those votes trump your so called polls.

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