So. Government reopens this morning, including national parks.

U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor got national attention for his early and leading role in the bipartisan Senate compromise that prevented calamity. He noted that a small number of people, mostly House Republicans, nearly drove the country over a cliff.


Yes. Think U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, who’ll face Pryor next year. Think U.S. Rep, Tim Griffin.

They, and the rest of the Arkansas delegation, finally voted for the deal, but not without another heavy dose of hypocrisy and dishonesty. Could have been worse. All the Republicans in the Texas delegation voted no. So did both Alabama senators.


The “aye” votes from Arkansans came in a week where polling found little popularity among Arkansans for the view that Cotton and Griffin had previously espoused. Cotton favored publicly a shutdown to get his way. Griffin signed a letter to that effect.

It was breathtaking to read Cotton’s prepared statement:


I supported legislation tonight to prevent Barack Obama from risking a default on our national debt and to open parts of the government that were temporarily shut down.  

The man with the power of the purse who caused this shutdown voted “aye” last night to save us from Obama? The man who’s been recorded on tape advocating shutdown and default? Please. Plus, continuing legal arguments exist on a constitutional path for the president to ignore the debt ceiling entirely.

Then there was Tim Griffin. In addition to his usual blame-it-on-Obama blather, he actually was quoted in the D-G as saying this about groups that pressed for the disruption:

He said they convinced people across the country that they could repeal the health-care overhaul.

“That’s just nonsensical, and that’s why we are in this mess,” Griffin said.

It was indeed nonsensical. And Griffin himself created the mess. Here’s the letter he signed that vowed to shut down government if the continuing budget resolution included money for Obamacare. U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford of Jonesboro signed this letter, too. If I may quote:

..we should continue our efforts to repeal Obamacare in its entirely this year, next year and until we are successful. However, in the meantime, there is more we can do in Congress.

Since much of the implementation of Obamacare is a function of the discretionary appropriations process, including the operation of the “mandatory spending” portion of the law, and since most of the citizens we represent believe that Obamacare should never go into effect, we urge you to affirmatively de-fund the implementation and enforcement of Obamacare in any relevant appropriations bill brought to the House floor in the 113th Congress, including any continuing appropriations bill.

Run, Patrick Henry Hays, run. He apparently does plan to take on Griffin in the 2nd District. Now can we get a similarly well-qualified public servant to go after Crawford in the 1st?


SPEAKING OF NONSENSICAL: Surely Tom Cotton and Tim Griffin will be on stage Dec. 6 in Hot Springs to embrace Sen. Rand Paul, the extremist Kentucky senator, whom the Arkansas GOP has so proudly invited to a big fund-raiser. He was one of 18 senators who voted against reopening government and for defaulting on debt.

EVEN SOME REPUBLICANS GET IT: From Republican sympathizer columnist Ross Douthat in New York Times

It was an irresponsible, dysfunctional and deeply pointless act, carried out by a party that on the evidence of the last few weeks shouldn’t be trusted with the management of a banana stand, let alone the House of Representatives.