Robert Bennett: I've seen this movie before

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • VickieB SLC, UT
    Oct. 1, 2013 4:44 p.m.

    The President's executive order put off the employer mandate until 2015. The house wants him to do the same with the individual mandate?

    Something is wrong here, and it's not the House.

  • 4word thinker Murray, UT
    Oct. 1, 2013 1:56 p.m.

    Let's be honest what this is all about.

    The Republicans are standing up against a huge corporate welfare program for insurance companies (called the ACA), which takes huge amounts of tax payer money and transfers it to insurance companies and adds additional taxes on the poor who are now required to give their money to the insurance companies too.

    Boy I bet those democrat candidates will get wonderful donations from the insurance industry!

    Democrats - Raising taxes on the poor (per the SCOTUS)
    - Giving the money to big insurance corporations
    - Shutting down the government

    Republicans - trying to stop the corporate welfare to insurance companies
    - oppose increasing taxes on the poor
    - have offered bill after bill to fund the government

    So who is doing the right thing?

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Oct. 1, 2013 1:28 p.m.

    The Tea Party (including Utah's own Mike Lee), are about destroying, not building. If they intended to build, they would make some reasoned, rational proposals to amend the ACA in a way that constructively addresses the serious problems we have with our health insurance and care system. They don't even pretend to have any constructive ideas. Instead, they seek to take the nation hostage, destroy people's lives, and ruin the economy. Childish petulance is the worst way to govern. Years ago, many in the U.S. mocked the "banana republics" and their instability. That is what Lee, Cruz, the Tea Pary, and Utah's Congressional delegation are doing to this country. They can make all of the excuses they want, but there is an orderly way to take care of the country's business, and they need to accept the fact that the ACA was adopted in full compliance with the Constitution, upheld by the Supreme Court, and effectively ratified by the people in 2012. Now after three years, the right wing wants to state a coup and impose their will. In my book, that is totalitarianism, not freedom. Their true colors are being exposed.

  • T. Party Pleasant Grove, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 11:02 p.m.

    @glendenbg "The separation of powers does not imply that one part of the government is superior to the others parts and therefore can dictate to them."

    Of course it doesn't. No one has said that it does. That is a straw man argument you have invented yourself. The Senate isn't forced to pass any House bill, and the president isn't forced to sign it.

    Similarly, there is absolutely nothing in the Constitution which says that the present Congress is bound to continue funding passed by any previous Congress. Your claim that these actions are "unprecedented" is simply not true. They are commonplace. For one example, the border fence continues to be the law of the land, but is now unfunded by Congress.

    I won't presume to judge whether the actions of the House of Representatives will produce more or fewer votes for Republicans. That doesn't matter very much to me. Perhaps when Obamacare is fully implemented, and does its foreseeable damage to individuals and the economy, the people will remember that someone took a stand and tried their best to avoid the disaster.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 10:34 p.m.


    Snow Canyon and Red Canyon are great! And the fees stay in Utah!


    The liberals put us in this game a long time ago. Lee just plays it too well for the liberals' liking.

    It is after midnight with no budget passed. So are we still deficit spending? Probably. We can't even afford the bare essentials.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 10:01 p.m.

    Sterling, VA

    Let me try this. Two years from now, after Republicans have gotten trashed in the Senate, ....



    This is precisely what will indeed happen.

    Karma -- what goes around, comes around.

    Imagine if it was a uber-far-LEFT-wing in the minority....
    Who suddenly decides NOT to fund the budget unless it de-funds the Military, or Farm subsides, or Big Oil, or Big Tobacco, or Big Business.

    Either that or
    A new Democratic House, and Senate, and President Hillary.

    Ay caramba!
    You conservatives think you've got problems now!...

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 9:07 p.m.

    I am going to be upset if these darn Republicans ruin my fall break vacation as our family (intends to) visit some national parks..

  • glendenbg Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 8:24 p.m.

    @T. Party - your statement falsely assumes I haven't read Madison and that doing so would persuade me to agree with the House Republicans' tactics.

    The Madisonian constitution specifies that spending bills originate in the House. It also gives both the Senate and the President the power to agree with or veto those bills. The separation of powers does not imply that one part of the government is superior to the others parts and therefore can dictate to them.

    In 2012, Mitt Romney ran on a platform remarkably similar to the demands of the House Republicans and lost decisively. Nationwide, Democratic congressional candidates received more votes than Republican congressional candidates. Right now public polling shows clearly that the majority of Americans disagree with House Republicans. If they are closer to the public, as you claim, then those things would not be true.

    What we're seeing is a radical and unprecedented attempt to up-end the Madisonian system. If you support that attempt, say so. But don't pretend that what we're seeing is consistent with the US Constitutional system.

  • mattb7 Sterling, VA
    Sept. 30, 2013 5:53 p.m.

    If you support what Cruz, Kantor, and Utah's Mike Lee are doing against the US democratic system, honesty and understanding require you also to admit that you no longer support this system. Or you don't understand it, which a few posts here suggest. Parroting conservative radio-show ideologues--and Cruz--in saying that Democrats are to blame for shutting down the government because "the House passed 99 percent of the spending bill" is astonishing. A bill was debated and passed in the House and the Senate. The President signed it. The Supreme Court declared it legal. Some like it; some hate it. But the system declares finality, not small groups of subversives.

    Let me try this. Two years from now, after Republicans have gotten trashed in the Senate, losing five seats there (I used to vote mostly Republican--not any more). A small, wingnut core of liberal Democrats there agrees to fund the government ONLY IF an initiative based on legislation conservatives pushed AND PASSED gets defunded. These wingnuts argue "We're funding 99 percent of the government, just not the conservatives' initiative . . ." Nowwwwwww can you see the dangerous road Lee and his buddies have put us on?

  • ronk-sandy SANDY, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 3:50 p.m.

    It is amazing how few people learned the lessons last time we went through this process. The Media did a phenomenal job of making this process look like it was Gingrich and the Republican's fault for the governement shut-down. If the Republicans want control of the Senate or White House come 2016, they need to do a better job of managing and showing they are the party that would do a better job of managing more than half of this country. Currently, only Utah and a few southern states will vote Republican. This won't cut it when we really need a strong leader for this nation. The current challenges we face are really rather small. I suspect that someday we as a nation will be faced with a bigger challenge than 9/11, and I pray that we are up to the challenge.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 3:38 p.m.

    The tea party goal is commonly referred to as a "hissy fit" or "super sour grapes".

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 3:04 p.m.

    Create a fiscal and economic disaster to stop a future fiscal disaster? Obstruct healthcare to save healthcare? Act insane to create institutional insanity?

  • T. Party Pleasant Grove, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 2:35 p.m.

    @glendenbg "They are demanding that the House be treated as the superior part of government, not as a coequal with the Senate and half of a Congress that is coequal with the White House."

    Separation of powers means that some powers are held by one branch of government in unequal proportion with the other branches. Power of the purse belongs to Congress, and especially to the House of Representatives. It's the closest branch to the people (members face re-election every two years, etc.). Read James Madison, if you want to know the reasoning behind it all.

    As Mike has pointed out, spending bills are supposed to originate in the House. The Senate is playing a cynical game by gutting an existing bill and replacing it with their own version. This violates the spirit of the Constitution, if not the letter.

    "All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills."

    Gutting-and-replacing is a different thing than amending. But I've never known Harry Reid to give a dang about what the Constitution actually says.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 1:30 p.m.

    Served Newt well, he is one of the few rational voices in the dog eat dg wilderness.

  • All American Herriman, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 1:03 p.m.

    LDS Liberal - "The Republicans say repeal and replace -- OK, with WHAT?
    Suggest something Better."

    They have; maybe you need to do a little research. I do not understand anyone who thinks it's ok for the Fed. Govt. to run our health insurance industry. (It's not about "health care" folks.)

    The solution is free market health insurance. Eliminate health insurance from employers. Insurance companies would need to advertise and sell us their insurance plans just like auto insurance companies. Let them beg for our business and you would see the costs of insurance come down plus a huge variety of choices, i.e., minimal coverage and low mo. premiums for young healthy individuals; more coverage for families but still a choice of benefits; higher mo. premiums for those who are unhealthy (like auto insurance: bad drivers pay more).

  • glendenbg Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 12:08 p.m.

    I think it's important to name the truly radical nature of the goals of the House of Representatives - I'm not talking about their grab-bag of rejected policies. House Republicans are behaving as if the results of the last election are null and void and the policy implications of 2012 should be ignored. They are demanding that the House be treated as the superior part of government, not as a coequal with the Senate and half of a Congress that is coequal with the White House.

    Since January 2011, when the Republican majority was seated in the House, they have engaged in a series of unprecedented actions, including threatening the credit worthiness of the nation. They are engaging in government by emergency - creating a series of crises and then using those invented crises to demand concessions. In other words, they've abandoned the normal process of negotiation, discussion and compromise required by the basic structure of our constitutional republic.

    The nature of the tactics themselves is the problem - threatening the normal functioning of government as well as extraordinary consequences to implement a policy agenda that did not win the last election.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Sept. 30, 2013 12:02 p.m.

    @Mike Richards – “All budget bills originate in the House.”

    Show of hands – how many think that if the situation were reserved – a Democrat controlled House were passing a funding bill that stripped out a fully passed and SC approved law the Republicans favored (say, the “Crony Capitalism and Nepotism Investment Act”) – Mike “Mr. Constitution” Richards would be lecturing all of us on the Constitutional role of the Senate and the Executive and their equal roles in passing legislation.

    My hand is up… in case you couldn’t see it.

    And if the ACA is such a “boondoogle” and doomed to fail – as the Right has been telling us for years – why all the fuss in trying to kill it before it goes into effect? Surely in the years ahead the country will grow to hate it too and then everyone will vote R and killing it will be as easy as (apple) pie.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Sept. 30, 2013 11:51 a.m.

    Mike Richards,

    "If people in America could read and would read, they would see that it is Obama who is threatening to shut down the government...."

    Let's see if I understand you correctly. A group of determined Republican Congressmen want to defund the ACA using the budget process to prevent the Government from doing its job. But because the Democrats refuse to passively go along with that, they are the ones who want to shut down the Government.

    Sorry, but you'll have to do better than that to persuade me.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 11:45 a.m.

    The Republicans shutting down the Government reminds me of an old strategy in the game of Tub-o-War.

    If you're going to loose anyway, let go of the rope and let America fall.


    Mike Richards,
    Self educated Constitutional Scholar that you claim to be...

    How can Obama be responsible?, He only has a pen.
    How can this be ALL about him and only him, when the Congress hasn't even given him anything to Sign, Veto or even line item Veto?

    IMO - your accusations are off-base.

    For someone who keeps telling us over and over again that Obama is a not a King, you are the one giving him more than enough credit for being one.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Sept. 30, 2013 11:43 a.m.

    Intractable ideology tends to blind one to common sense. I see that in the combative tone of the right wing stance. It’s not the entire Republican Party that’s spoiling for a confrontation with the White House. But it is the entire Republican Party that might be tarnished when the dust settles. For Obama, it will be his duty to stand firm as a firewall against the right wing extremism that’s outside the mainstream in America. That’s called being Presidential.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Sept. 30, 2013 11:22 a.m.

    If people in America could read and would read, they would see that it is Obama who is threatening to shut down the government. The Republicans have passed a budget bill. Reid abused his authority and striped that bill. (Maybe he can't read either. All budget bills originate in the House. The Senate is trying to "originate" a bill different than the one passed in the House).

    Obama wants to delay implementation of his ObamaCare. He does not want us to see it for what it is - a boondoogle that will cripple business and send many Americans into the "poor house". It is not a "health-care" bill, no matter what lies Obama and his followers tell us. It is a revenue bill that will let Obama and his fellow liberals grab 18% to 25% of our income to fund their "pork".

    If Obama wants to shut down the government, then so be it. He cares nothing at all about you and me and the rest of America. He'll throw all of us under the bus to get what he wants. Reid and Pelosi will do the same.

    In the absence of leadership, we have them.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 11:04 a.m.

    Senator Bennett is right, again.

    Now we have a loose cannon - Green Eggs and Ham, obstructionist - willing to sink the entire ship rather than fix a small hole, representing the State of Utah.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Sept. 30, 2013 10:56 a.m.

    Christian 24-7,

    I understand and love the Biblical story you cite. But those of us who are LDS believe we have a Samuel in our day - Thomas S. Monson.

    Has he warned against the ACA?

    Please, no vague references by others long ago. But the living prophet today?

    If not, your analogy may be misplaced.

  • Anti Bush-Obama Washington, DC
    Sept. 30, 2013 10:44 a.m.


    Bennett a statesman? Hillarious. All he did was loathe people with hollow promises and then sat on his duff and became a total yes man when he wasn't in campaign mode.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    Sept. 30, 2013 10:16 a.m.

    "That is why we have Lee instead of Bennett. We made a good trade!!!"

    Please ask yourself this. - Which one of these men enjous the reputation as a pragmatic statesman who worked for decades with those across the aisle to produce good legislation that helped everyone in the nation? And which one looks like a baffoon espousing strategies that almost no one thinks will work as he stands in the shadow of his new big brother, Ted Cruz?

  • Anti Bush-Obama Washington, DC
    Sept. 30, 2013 10:17 a.m.

    A government shutdown wont really shut down the government.

    - Federal air traffic controllers will continue to monitor take offs and landings;

    - The TSA will still be screening passengers in US airports;

    - The US military will stay on duty and many credit unions and banks will cover their Oct. 15 paychecks if they are delayed;

    - Embassies and consulates overseas will continue to provide services to American citizens;

    - The mail will continue to be delivered;

    - Federal courts will continue to operate;

    - The US Supreme Court will continue to operate as normal when it resumes on October 7;

    - Taxes will continue to be collected;

    - Sales taxes will continue to be collected

    - Garbage will continue to be collected;

    - Visa services for people traveling to the United States will continue to operate;

    - US passport applications will continue to be processed normally;

    - Green card applications will continue to be processed normally;

    - Social Security and Medicare benefits will continue to operate normally;

    - The vast majority of Homeland Security employees will stay on the job;

    - The vast majority of Coast Guard employees will stay on the job;

    - The vast majority of Border Patrol agents will stay on the job

  • Christian 24-7 Murray, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 10:13 a.m.

    In the Bible, the people wanted a king, like other nations, but Samuel warned against it. Kings would take their wealth, and their freedom, and even their children. So they got a king, and he did all that was told them

    In our day there is a voice of many that want socialized medicine, like other nations. We have been warned that is will not work, that it will eat up all our wealth, and place it in the hands of the few in power. Freedom will be lost. Children will be denied treatments, and will be lost. The elderly also. But there are those who won't listen.

    But like the kings of old, when health care is in power, it won't listen to the needs of the people, and the people will suffer and perish.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 9:45 a.m.

    Go along to get along, and to save face. That's the Bennett plan? That is why we have Lee instead of Bennett. We made a good trade!!!

    99% of the government is funded in the original bill offered by the House. The democrats in the Senate said no. They want 100% or nothing. How is that the republicans fault? It isn't, unless you believe in Santa Claus, Cinderella's fairy godmother, and the lies MSNBC and the rest of the democrats are telling you.

    The president said he didn't want any drama, but then he and his senate henchmen created drama. I guess he really did want drama. Too bad he can't just tell the truth.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 9:14 a.m.

    Elder Dallin H. Oaks.
    Oct. 2007

    Good, Better, Best.

    ACA is Good, but far from perfect.
    The Republicans say repeal and replace -- OK, with WHAT?
    Suggest something Better.

    IMHO- a Single Payer system is Best.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Sept. 30, 2013 8:53 a.m.

    @T. Party – “If the government shuts down, it will be because Obama and the Senate refuse to compromise.”

    We’ve been hearing this quite a bit from the Right as of late. It reminds me of that Al Franken character on Saturday Night Live who used to look in the mirror and say, “I’m smart enough, I’m good enough, and gosh darnit, people like me.” Somehow we knew that all his hours of positive reinforcement would crumble in the face of reality.


    Thanks for articulating the facts and… reality.

  • T. Party Pleasant Grove, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 8:25 a.m.

    The government is funded by the House bill. It is only Obamacare that is defunded. If the government shuts down, it will be because Obama and the Senate refuse to compromise.

    Obamacare is already a job killer. It has already raised the cost of health care. It will be worse when it fully materializes. We have a chance now to minimize the damage.

    But Obama says, "I will not negotiate."

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Sept. 30, 2013 7:39 a.m.

    Why would this President blink? Despite the "polls" concerning the popularity of the law, he won and Republicans lost when the law was passed. He won and the Republicans lost at the Supreme court. He won and Republicans lost when he was re-elected and the law was front and center in the election. He won and Republicans lost when Republicans lost seats in congress last election.

    Why would he blink when the last minute gestures by the Republicans include things like, employers being allowed to opt out of contraception coverage?

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Sept. 30, 2013 5:44 a.m.

    I fully agree. Unfortunately so many of those in the Republican Party who remember this are either out of office or have been marginalized by the new Tea Party oriented young guns. Their mantra seems to be "my way or the highway" and "consequences be darned". Compromise has become a dirty word.

    Of course the patron saint of the modern party is Ronald Reagan. He could be tough when he wanted to be. But he also knew how to fashion a deal and get at least part of what he wanted. He believed in a party with a "big tent" - meaning he invited independents and moderate Democrats to join in. He understood that big ideas and efforts needed wide support - not simply a committed minority.

    In a democratic republic such as ours you need votes. We were not built to be ruled by a minority group no matter how high-minded they might be.

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 3:47 a.m.

    Well Sen. Bennett with all due respect. That is why you are no longer a Senator!

  • VickieB SLC, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 2:12 a.m.

    I remember it being a little different. I remember a President that refused to talk or compromise with a Republican House and Senate. I remember it ending in a shutdown, that ended when both sides agreed to compromise.

    It was worth getting both sides talking in my opinion. A lot of bills were passed out of Congress, with both sides having a voice. Let's hope this happens again.