obstinance – the trait of being difficult to handle or overcome. mulishness, obstinacy, stubbornness. intractability, intractableness – the trait of being hard to influence or control. 2. obstinance – resolute adherence to your own ideas or desires.
The only thing that’s missing from the above description is a picture of The Pampers President next to it. In fact, his natural obstinate nature, likely brought on by the lifelong absence of anyone who actually meant no when they said it, is the defining feature that leads people to call his behavior “childish,” or “infantile,” both of which drive him absolutely starkers.
Trump’s obstinance led directly to the current partial government shutdown that is hurting more than a million US citizens, when you include government contractors, and unaffiliated businesses that depend on those government workers and contractors for their survival. His obstinance if being fueled by equally obstinate mental midgets such as Rush imbaugh, Ann Coulter, and Sean Hannity. And his obstinance is why his congressional caucuses will return home on Friday to spend another weekend getting shit dumped on their heads by their constituents.
But people who ascribe obstinance to Trump and Trump alone as the source of the problem are missing the whole point. There is another category that is entirely missing from the above definition; “The Republican Party.” For almost the last decade, the word obstinance has been the single defining characteristic of the Republican method of governance.
On inauguration day of 2009, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell swore to supporters that he would do everything in his power to make Barack Obama a one term president. HGe religiously followed that strategy of obstinance, bringing the ability of the Senate to function at all, and in doing so forced then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to change the rules of the Senate to allow appointees to proceed. McConnell cynically used his obstinance to force Reid to create a precedent, which later allowed McConnell to use that precedent to change the rules again, making it possible for him to deprive the Democrats of obstinance as a retaliatory tactic.
In 2010, the GOP took over the House of Representatives, like a swarm of political bed bugs. One of their first acts was to attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act. This was an act of pure political obstinance, since the Senate would never take up the bill, and even if they passed it, Obama would never sign it. Nevertheless, the House obstinance intensified on the subject, leading to more than 60 useless “show votes” to repeal the increasingly popular law.
So, you already have a hat trick when it comes to obstinance, Trump, the GOP Senate, and the GOP House. But there is one more category that feeds this problem. And that is the Republican “base.”Republicans require their base to vote for them to be elected, and then reelected. If the base had decided that they liked Obamacare, and told the GOP to knock it off, the House and Senate would have had little choice but to comply, or risk being defeated in the next election. Instead, they were able to run exclusively on that obstinance for 9 years, because their base had their backs.
What finally broke the GOP obstinance in regards to the ACA? Two things, facts and their base. Once the actual benefits of the ACA to everyday Americans kicked in, the law started the long slog up the popularity ladder, finally becoming more popular than unpopular. When the GOP finally managed to do some serious damage to the most popular aspects of the ACA, and the voters realized what it would mean, even the GOP base revolted. GOP incumbents who had spent 9 years railing about the ACA now had to suddenly switch gears, and swear that they were it’s staunchest allies. Even these acts of craven cowardice weren’t enough to save them at the polls, and McConnell finally had to admit that “repeal and replace” was dead.
This is what is going to finally break the GOP obstinance on the shutdown battle. The Pelosi led House has already done its job, passing legislation to reopen the affected departments, the obstinance lies with Trump and McConnell. Yertl the Turtle is facing increasing protests in his home state, which hosts not only an IRS processing center, but Fort Knox as well, which, last I checked, belongs to the Treasury department, which is shuttered. Even if McConnell, who faces reelection in 2020 and doesn’t need this heartache hangs tough, there are 21 other GOP Senators who face reelection in 2020. When enough of them cave to constituent pressure, McConnell will face open revolt from his caucus, and will have no choice but to bring the House bills to the floor, where they will pass with bipartisan support.
There is only one person whose obstinance will never crack, and that person is Donald Trump. His obstinance will never crack simply because it doesn’t need to crack. McConnell will crack and bring the House bills to the floor, where they will pass. Trump will veto the bills. The House and Senate will then override his veto, making them law, and ending the shutdown. In his own mind, and those of his doltish followers, Trump will be the victor. Trump never caved, and Trump never buckled, he remained true to the pure faith. It was his own party who betrayed him, and they can face the consequences. He remains as pure as the driven snow.
So yes, pure obstinance is what is driving this foolish and unnecessary shutdown. But in the perpetual 24 hour a day shit show that is the Trump Presidency, it is helpful to remember that this is nothing new. This obstinance has been the defining feature of the Republican party for almost a decade now. And it’s the very success that this obstinance has enjoyed over the last decade that is making it so difficult to break
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