Time for a GOP Purge?

 
640px-United_States_Capitol_west_front_edit2

A small business?

Sorry to sound like Robespierre, but the disgraceful goings-on described in this National Review article deserve to be investigated and the responsible parties exposed. Simply put, Congress was exempted from Obamacare on the basis of a fraudulent application to the District of Columbia’s health exchange that described the Hill — which employs thousands — as a small business eligible for taxpayer subsidies under the ACA:

When [Small Business Committee chairman Sen. David] Vitter’s staffers tracked down the application and discovered obvious signs of fraud, Vitter requested approval to subpoena an unredacted copy of the application. The value of that document, says Cannon, is that it would reveal the name of the person who filed it. “Now you’ve got someone to call to testify,” he says, predicting that testimony would precipitate a congressional vote on whether to end the congressional exemption altogether.

But Vitter’s being stonewalled by Rand Paul, Mike Enzi, James Risch, Kelly Ayotte, and Deb Fischer.

“We deserve to know who signed that application, because they are robbing taxpayers,” says Michael Cannon, director of health-policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute. The staffers who signed the fraudulent application, he says, “know who was directing them to do this. And so we have to follow the trail of breadcrumbs. This is the next breadcrumb, and whoever is farther up the trail wants to stop Vitter right here.”

Read the whole thing, but fair warning: it may make you choke.

There are 24 comments.

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  1. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @Martel

    That article was so disappointing, especially regarding Paul.

    • #1
  2. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    So it all sounds very fuzzy and weird right now.  But I’m finding myself instinctively skeptical on two grounds: first, the little I know of Vitter doesn’t leave me thinking he’d be the upright honorable whistleblower in a case like this.  Second, I’m deeply skeptical of Rand Paul… but I would have thought he would have avoided anything along those lines like poison, if only for pure political reasons.

    • #2
  3. Jason Rudert Member
    Jason Rudert
    @JasonRudert

    Definitely smells funny.

    • #3
  4. Carey J. Inactive
    Carey J.
    @CareyJ

    Martel:That article was so disappointing, especially regarding Paul.

    To be disappointed in someone, you have to expect something good from them. I am immune to disappointment by Republican politicians.

    “It isn’t that there’s no right and wrong here. There’s no right.”

    ― V.S. Naipaul, A Bend in the River

    • #4
  5. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @RobertMcReynolds

    This article really boiled my blood when I was reading it last night on the couch.  I have a different take than the folks who have already commented though.  I am not necessarily blaming the actual politicians named in this piece, although they should get exactly what is coming to them, but I do think their staffers are who drove this debacle.  If this isn’t a glittering example of some kind of reform for how Congressional staffs are constructed, then I don’t know what is.

    • #5
  6. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    Robespierre?

    You need a phrase like this: To quote Stalin & fair lady’s nutritionist, we need a purge!

    I think you could also get a sense of what it means to be conservative by the reactions people have to this piece of news. For my part, I am angry, disappointed, & a little amused. Well, mostly you’re responsible for the amusement…

    As for Sen. Vitter, yes, he’s a disappointment, too, but he’s been chasing this rabbit for a while, has he not? He maybe deserves some credit for being a hound!

    • #6
  7. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    Thanks for this.  I was aware of the Office of Personnel Management hanky-panky, but not of its link to the DC small business health exchange.

    • #7
  8. Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe
    @PaulARahe

    The key figure seems to be Rand Paul. The others were brought on board by Mitch McConnell to give Paul cover.

    I am no admirer of Paul. But this is the last bit of malfeasance that I would expect from him. I have always thought him a bit of a fool (especially with regard to foreign affairs), but not a scoundrel. Not that at all.

    There is something very fishy going on.

    • #8
  9. Fricosis Guy Listener
    Fricosis Guy
    @FricosisGuy

    All politicians are scoundrels. The ones who aren’t are tempted to become scoundrels daily.

    • #9
  10. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    Fricosis Guy:All politicians are scoundrels. The ones who aren’t are tempted to become scoundrels daily.

    I still like Rep. Ryan. Has he done things or suffered things done such that we should call him–regretfully–a scoundrel? How about Sen. Cotton?

    In fact, Ricochet should have a page with the national legislators at least & evidence of scoundrel-like activity. Let us see whether there are none among them who shine like beacons of non-scoundrel virtue.

    • #10
  11. user_331141 Inactive
    user_331141
    @JamieLockett

    Government is messy. No one likes seeing how the sausage is made.

    • #11
  12. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    Jamie Lockett:Government is messy. No one likes seeing how the sausage is made.

    Yeah, well, these days people don’t like the damned sausage all that much either.

    • #12
  13. user_48342 Member
    user_48342
    @JosephEagar

    If we want decent, uncorrupted politicians we can’t do things like threaten their health insurance.  They’ll only embrace corruption even more in order to defend themselves, and it will also validate their image of the hateful unwashed masses.

    Paul Volker rather famously had trouble affording health insurance, at a time when he was arguably the most powerful economic policymaker in the world.  That is not how you motivate your leaders to act responsibly; we are lucky he did.

    • #13
  14. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Joseph Eagar:Paul Volker rather famously had trouble affording health insurance, at a time when he was arguably the most powerful economic policymaker in the world.

    Gonna need some hard data on this to keep the B.S. flag from flying.

    • #14
  15. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    Joseph Eagar:If we want decent, uncorrupted politicians we can’t do things like threaten their health insurance. They’ll only embrace corruption even more in order to defend themselves, and it will also validate their image of the hateful unwashed masses.

    Paul Volker rather famously had trouble affording health insurance, at a time when he was arguably the most powerful economic policymaker in the world. That is not how you motivate your leaders to act responsibly; we are lucky he did.

    I think I can recall the old adage, an honest politician is one who, once bought, stays bought–but now, mirabile dictu!, the people get to do the buying who have always done the paying.

    & there will be a superfluity of justice & it will be good.

    • #15
  16. Luke Thatcher
    Luke
    @Luke

    Jamie Lockett:Government is messy. No one likes seeing how the sausage is made.

    This has nothing to do with sausage. There is  no “Making” going on,  here.

    This is about craven secrecy. If cops have to wear body cameras for fear of abusing power, then that goes doubly for these folks.

    • #16
  17. user_331141 Inactive
    user_331141
    @JamieLockett

    Titus Techera:

    Jamie Lockett:Government is messy. No one likes seeing how the sausage is made.

    Yeah, well, these days people don’t like the damned sausage all that much either.

    Well, we don’t. I’m less sanguine about applying that to the rest of the country.

    • #17
  18. user_331141 Inactive
    user_331141
    @JamieLockett

    Luke:

    Jamie Lockett:Government is messy. No one likes seeing how the sausage is made.

    This has nothing to do with sausage. There is no “Making” going on, here.

    This is about craven secrecy. If cops have to wear body cameras for fear of abusing power, then that goes doubly for these folks.

    Don’t be so naive – the modern american government is racked with this kind of stuff. To get some things you like you have to expect things like this happening.

    We lost this battle over 100 years ago when the New Deal created a new paradigm for american government.

    • #18
  19. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    We already knew Republicans in Congress afforded themselves many unethical exemptions and privileges. What this shows is that they are willing to break the law in the process.

    They’re not just scoundrels. They’re criminals.

    • #19
  20. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    Jamie Lockett:

    Titus Techera:

    Jamie Lockett:Government is messy. No one likes seeing how the sausage is made.

    Yeah, well, these days people don’t like the damned sausage all that much either.

    Well, we don’t. I’m less sanguine about applying that to the rest of the country.

    I don’t see the rest of America organizing parades or spontaneously expressing gratitude to their representatives. Americans at large may do many silly or crazy things, but they do not declare what bliss it is in this dawn to be alive & to be young is very heaven…

    • #20
  21. user_331141 Inactive
    user_331141
    @JamieLockett

    Titus Techera:

    Jamie Lockett:

    Titus Techera:

    Jamie Lockett:Government is messy. No one likes seeing how the sausage is made.

    Yeah, well, these days people don’t like the damned sausage all that much either.

    Well, we don’t. I’m less sanguine about applying that to the rest of the country.

    I don’t see the rest of America organizing parades or spontaneously expressing gratitude to their representatives. Americans at large may do many silly or crazy things, but they do not declare what bliss it is in this dawn to be alive & to be young is very heaven…

    The vast majority of american’s don’t pay attention to this stuff.

    • #21
  22. Luke Thatcher
    Luke
    @Luke

    Jamie Lockett:

    Luke:

    Jamie Lockett:Government is messy. No one likes seeing how the sausage is made.

    This has nothing to do with sausage. There is no “Making” going on, here.

    This is about craven secrecy. If cops have to wear body cameras for fear of abusing power, then that goes doubly for these folks.

    Don’t be so naive – the modern american government is racked with this kind of stuff. To get some things you like you have to expect things like this happening.

    We lost this battle over 100 years ago when the New Deal created a new paradigm for american government.

    Challenge: Explain how one clause of your response has bearing on my claim .

    This is not to do with any kind of productivity in the senate, or congress. Rather it is much more like the protection of crooked cops. They are violating their fiduciary duty, the law, and benefiting from it!

    There is no sausage.

    • #22
  23. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    Jamie Lockett:

    Titus Techera:

    Jamie Lockett:

    Titus Techera:

    Jamie Lockett:Government is messy. No one likes seeing how the sausage is made.

    Yeah, well, these days people don’t like the damned sausage all that much either.

    Well, we don’t. I’m less sanguine about applying that to the rest of the country.

    I don’t see the rest of America organizing parades or spontaneously expressing gratitude to their representatives. Americans at large may do many silly or crazy things, but they do not declare what bliss it is in this dawn to be alive & to be young is very heaven…

    The vast majority of american’s don’t pay attention to this stuff.

    True. Things that seem to raise the thermometer to 93, like Ella sang, do not seem to register with America writ large. & yet America writ large, if asked, says she don’t like the bums anymore than the wiser, sadder Ricochetti.

    • #23
  24. user_331141 Inactive
    user_331141
    @JamieLockett

    Luke:

    This is not to do with any kind of productivity in the senate, or congress. Rather it is much more like the protection of crooked cops. They are violating their fiduciary duty, the law, and benefiting from it!

    There is no sausage.

    I’m not claiming its right, or optimal. I’m just claiming that all this kvetching is naive and pushing a purity in politics that we will never actually achieve. Sound and fury signifying nothing and all that.

    Read this: http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-05-07/in-politics-it-s-good-to-be-a-little-bad

    • #24

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