General Question

Strauss's avatar

What does this quote even mean (see details)?

Asked by Strauss (23076points) October 3rd, 2013
38 responses
“Great Question” (4points)

The quote is: “We will not be disrespected. We have to get something out of this.And I don’t know what that even is.
(additional emphasis mine).

The person quoted is Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind., quoted in an article in the Washington Examiner.

The government is shut down, but the Affordable Care Act is alive and thriving. More than 6,000,000 folks visited the day it opened, and another 200,000 called the call center.

Is this really about the health care act? Or is this a small faction of the Republican party failing to face the political reality that they lost an election?

Observing members: 0
Composing members: 0


thorninmud's avatar

It means that this squabble isn’t so much about substance as a desperate attempt to seem relevent by forcibly capturing the spotlight. “Give us something just so we can look important to our constituents”

janbb's avatar

It means they’ve dug a hole they don’t know how to get out of.

Sunny2's avatar

Obamacare is based on Mitt Romney’s healthcare system in Massachusetts which is working well. It was a Republican idea first and they didn’t take advantage of it. Now they are fighting it because a Democratic administration will get the credit for it. Stupidity and shortsightedness reign.

Pachy's avatar

To be fair, I honestly think that under the pressure of mics and cameras he wasn’t able to articulate whatever it was he meant. Yet the meaninglessness of the quote simply reinforces the meaninglessness of this shutdown and how misguided the House G.O.P. is, as pointed out in this article.

jaytkay's avatar

It means he’s having a tantrum.

KNOWITALL's avatar

“Republicans say the speaker has been forceful in closed-door meetings on the funding bill but his credibility could be indelibly damaged if he caves in to Democratic demands now.”

They don’t even have credibility from fellow Republicans.

This is interesting:

This Rep and Dem idea of not taking salaries also interests me.

rojo's avatar

From the Daily Beast article @KNOWITALL provided:
“When you have a small segment who dictate to the rest of the party, the result is what we have seen in the last two days,” she said. “People need to stand up and not be afraid of the Tea Party.” Heck of an observation from the Large Donors, a small segment who usually dictate the direction of the party. Sounds like sour grapes to me.

rojo's avatar

It means when dey go all gangsa, dey don’ like havin’ someone cum back all up in de grill tellin’ dem to backoff an’ dey plan to put a cap in someones ass and dey don’ care who it is.

ucme's avatar

It means, first & foremost, politicians look out for themselves…who knew?

Jaxk's avatar

“Or is this a small faction of the Republican party failing to face the political reality that they lost an election?”

That’s pretty funny. Remember that these guys won their election. They owe their constituencies what they promised when they won. Frankly, I’m not seeing this major impact from the government shut down. A lot of huffing and puffing but not much substance. Besides we get to hear Reid and the Democrats say things like this, Reid when asked about the funding proposed by Republicans for the NIH:

Bash persisted: “But if you can help one child who has cancer, why wouldn’t you do it?”

“Why would we want to do that?” Reid said with a confused look on his face after stuttering. “I have 1,100 people at Nellis Air Force base that are sitting home. They have a few problems of their own.”

The real compassion of the Democrats.

jaytkay's avatar

“But if you can help one child who has cancer, why wouldn’t you do it?

I know that AM radio listeners and FOX viewers this is a big triumph, but normal people see right through that argument.

The Republicans pretending to help that one child are working very hard to take health care away from 10s of millions of Americans.

rojo's avatar

@Jaxk I think it is fairly obvious that the OP was speaking in the plural as in the Republican party lost the presidency and the senate and not their respective individual races.

And your repetition of the radioshow talking point is just another example of their ability to cherry pick what they want. You are well aware that Reids statement was only a single part of the much larger discussion over whether to fund the entire government or only the parts Republicans think can garner brownie points with. Why be party to this childishness?

And, why did you even mention the “Besides” paragraph? What did it accomplish?. Does it really help to bring up the “they did it first” or the “well, what they did is so much worse” type of arguments?

In my opinion, that is part of why we are where we are today. If we could, regardless of their affilliation, actually hold an individual accountable for his behavior instead of justifying their action by pointing out someone elses transgression then perhaps we could get rid of all the useless. morally corrupt members in Congress and put in someone with a little more backbone and moral character.

glacial's avatar

@Jaxk The way that exchange between Reid and the reporter is being used just blows my mind. What it really boils down to this:

Reporter: “The Republicans are holding a gun to a child’s head, why don’t you give them whatever they want, so they’ll stop doing that?”

Reid: “Why don’t they just put the gun down?”

But somehow, Reid is a horrible person? Yeah, right.

Judi's avatar

@glacial , I’m quoting you on Facebook. :-)

Jaxk's avatar


Wow, you seem to be a lopsided in your response. A talking point from the Op deserves a response in kind. The Republicans ran on a platform of opposing Obamacare and they won. The democrats used a budget procedure to pass Obamacare and the republicans are using a budget procedure to delay it. Reid had no legitimate response to funding the NIH so he made an asine comment instead. No reason that shouldn’t be used. Hell the question starts out by making fun of a quote from a Republican but you chose to sya “hey the fun ends when you make fun of a Democrat”.

The bottom line is pass what we can agree on and debate what we don’t. If the Democrats would do that we’d have a budget. Budgtes have been debated since the beginning of this country. Just because Obama says no debate, doesn’t mean the house should roll-over and play dead. If you think we should hold these guys accountable for what they say, then hold Reid responsible as well and stop making excuses for them.

Strauss's avatar

@Jaxk The Republicans ran on a platform of opposing Obamacare and they won.

@rojo was correct in pointing out the meaning of my OP; I apologize for any misunderstanding.

True, some Republicans who ran on a platform of opposing Obamacare won. Many more (including the Republican candidate for President) who ran that platform lost. This was a major point of debate in the campaign. The Affordable Care Act is the law of the land, in spite of 40 failed attempts by Republicans in the House of Representatives to repeal it. It has also been upheld by the Supreme Court.

I definitely don’t think anyone in the government would roll over and play dead; on the other hand, I also don’t think there should be anyone bullying their point by holding hostage the day-to-day operations of the government until they get their way.

jaytkay's avatar

The bottom line is pass what we can agree on and debate what we don’t.

In other words, if we all compromise by enacting the agenda of the far, far right wing of Congress, everything will be fair and balanced.

Jaxk's avatar


We have two major issues on the table. The budget and the debt ceiling. If you want to try and use that argument about the budget and and Obamacare, you must realize that the debt ceiling is also law and signed by the president and he expects it to be changed. How is that any different than claiming Obama care is law and can’t be changed?

If you want to argue that Obamacare is settled law and therefore can not be changed or debated, I will argue that the Debt Ceiling is settled law and therefore can not be changed or debated. if that works for you, it works for me and we’ll get a balanced budget. unfortunately also a disfunctional health care system but hey, you take the good with the bad.

rojo's avatar

@Jaxk the OP asked a question ABOUT the quote, not to use it as a talking point. What do you think it means?

My interpretation is that the guy is basically (and I can say this now because it has been more than 24 hrs) saying we will get something, anything and it really doesn’t matter what but we will have to have it before we release the hostage government funding bill.

What do you think he is saying?

Jaxk's avatar


First a little set up for the answer. Republicans are pretty powerless to get anything through this government. Virtually every bill they’ve passed has been tabled in the Senate. No negotiation, no compromise. The debt is out of control by any reasonable measure, government agencies are running rampant with regulation and the president is creating new laws by executive order. Now he is telling us he will not negotiate on the budget or the debt ceiling. The constitution puts the responsibility for spending on the House. The executive branch is the administrative branch. They administer the laws not create or fund them. If the House can’t get the president to negotiate on the spending, there is no reason to even have a legislative branch.

So what Stutzman is saying is that the President needs to aknowledge the constitution and work with them on reaching an agreement. He can’t continue to dictate his own philosophy without thier agreement. The House is the peoples representative. Not congress but the House of Representatives. The Senate represents the states, the house represents the people. That’s the way it works. Obama has not yet stripped them of all thier power but the puse is pretty much all they have left. If he wants to continue his reign of spending he’s got work with them instead of against them. Unless they roll over and give up the purse as he is demanding.

It’s not clear what he’s willing to do since he won’t even discuss it but if the house relents and gives him the power of the purse, there’s nothing left. And if he won’t negotiate with the budget on the line, why would he at anyother time? He’s more than willing to let his surogate table all other legislation.

ETpro's avatar

@Jaxk A Republican named Mitt Romney ran on killing Obamacare. A Democrat named Barack Obama ran on going ahead with the Affordable Care Act (Which Republicans named Obamacare, and ran hundreds of millions of dollars worth of advertising filled with lies to demonize) and still Obama won. Republicans lost seats in the Senate. Republicans lost the raw vote by a lopsided amount in the House as well, but they had gerrymandered the state districts so wildly that they did not lost control of the House. That is hardly a mandate to hold the US economy hostage unless they are allowed to do what the voters in aggregate roundly rejected.

Continuing resolutions are not where you negotiate new or remove old spending initiatives. If Republicans want to do that, then they should appoint house conferees to negotiate a new budget, something the Senate did 9 months ago but House Republicans continue to refuse to do. “Mommy, mean Obama won’t negotiate with me.” Ha! That it truly funny.

Here is a short and hilarious video that explain it in terms easy to grasp.

ETpro's avatar

@Jaxk Here is the penultimate answer to Republican BS about who’s at fault for the shutdown.

rojo's avatar

@Jaxk I had a wonderful retort typed up but hit the wrong key and lost it all and I am too tired to go back and rethink it but, rest assured, it was brilliant..
I might try again tomorrow but suffice to say for now that I am at a loss as to where you came up with your interpretation of Stutzmans’ comment :

“We will not be disrespected (you need to acknowledge the constitution) . We have to get something out of this.(you need to work with us and reach an agreement) And I don’t know what that even is.” __(You can’t continue to dictate your own philosophy without our agreement)_.

Nope, still can’t see it.

nerevars's avatar

I think its mean is that they struggle and strive for something but they didn’t sure if the result will be good or bad for them.

Jaxk's avatar


As long as we’re using the cutsey statements from Democrats, here’s another”

“‘We are winning…It doesn’t really matter to us’ how long the shutdown lasts ‘because what matters is the end result,’” a senior administration official told The Wall Street Journal.

Kinda answers the question on who wants the shutdown.

Jaxk's avatar


I’m sure it was great. I have a GA for you just because I have faith.

ETpro's avatar

@Jaxk This blog article from Slate, ’‘Parenting Advice for Democrats: How to Handle the Republican Temper Tantrum’’ explains why you have to treat the childish that way when they throw a temper tantrum. Rewarding tantrums always leads to more tantrums.

@Yetanotheruser the above linked blog from Amanda Marcotte also answers your OP, which I have failed to do while in my back-and-forth with @Jaxk

ETpro's avatar

@Jaxk In all fairness to your opinion, here is Slate reporter Matthew Yglesias trying to discuss with Boehner staffer Brendan Buck whether then Senator Obama was wrong to vote no on one debt ceiling increase under George W. Bush and Boehner was right to vote Yes for all 5 of them, even though they didn’t include anything for deficit reduction. You see how complicated it gets?

The true bottom line is we had an economy and government that worked well for most of the time from the end of WWII to 1980. We were, on average, retiring the extreme war debt as a percentage of GDP through that entire time. We built the world’s first great middle class during that time.

Reaganomics slashed taxes 50% for the rich. Further Republican moves have transferred ever more of the revenue burden from the wealthy and big corporations to the middle class and poor, and to small business. This was done as a backdoor way to make sure that the social safety net we had built since the Great Depression would eventually look unsustainable, and the wealthy could have all that money too. We’re destroying the middle class we worked so hard to build. But Republicans are adamant that revenue can NEVER be a part of the debate.

So it’s time to tell the selfish babies to go cry and scream and hold their breath till they turn blue. We don’t care. They aren’t going to finance the rich and big corporations on the backs of the poor.

Jaxk's avatar


We’ve been through this numerous times but let’s try it once more. After WWII the US was the only industialized country left intact. Europe and Asia had been destroyed and we were the only country left standing to rebuild. During the 50s we generated fully half of the worlds gross product. How could we not grow economically. During the 60s and 70s, the world had rebuilt and more and more capacity moved to other countries. A natural transition. The economy on a micro level is very complex with many moving parts but on a macro level it’s fairly simple. You put money into the economy and it grows, take money out and it shrinks. Things like government spending and exports put money into the economy while things like taxes and regulation take money out of the economy. That’s why increased spending and increased taxes won’t work. It’s a zero sum game. Add in the increased regulation and you have a net retardation. Revenue can always be a part of the equation, it’s how you get that revenue that is the debate. Personally I would like to see us get that revenue by growing the economy.

As for the debt ceiling, the party in power will always vote for raising it and the party out of power will object. Obama vehemently objected to raising the ceiling when he was out of power and there’s nothing strange or unusual about pointing that out. The Democrats love to play that game and the Republicans do as well. If you don’t want to be called a hypocrit, don’t be one.

As for your talking point about the backs of the poor, you need to get new material. The poor are not poor because they don’t earn enough but rather because they don’t work. The last number I saw showed 70% of those in poverty had no job. That’s the place to start if you want to soilve the poverty problem. Clinton made great strides in reforming welfare and we’ve undone all his work. You remember Clinton, he’s the guy you always tout as the greatest Democrat.

Strauss's avatar

@Jaxk The poor are not poor because they don’t earn enough but rather because they don’t work. The last number I saw showed 70% of those in poverty had no job.

I would rephrase that as can’t work. I wanted to find some stats to back up my statement, but ironically, the Census Bureau website is unavailable with this statement:

Due to the lapse in government funding, sites, services, and all online survey collection requests will be unavailable until further notice.

ETpro's avatar

@Jaxk Here we go yet again. I am left to wonder if your apparent inability to focus on the question is a well-worn argumentative strategy or a fact of how you think that makes you susceptible to common right-wing fallacies, which so often exploit that trait in their Followers.

The topic is as the OP asks what a very specific politician’s words mean. It asks NOTHING about changes in the US economy and its underpinnings between 1949 and 1980. Your answer, therefore, has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with answering the OP. That’s a fallacy of diversion, and one you employ again and again. Either it is your way of thinking, which makes you an easy dupe, or what you are being rewarded to think, which makes you a shill. I have no idea which, and do not care.

But since you brought it up yet again, let’s slay the zombie yet again. Yes, the underpinnings of the US economy changed between 1949 and today. What was a basic manufacturing economy became ever more technology driven. Wonder of wonders. Economic underpinnings changed throughout the entire developed world in that period. But the US GDP has not faltered and then slidden into decline. We are still by far the wealthiest nation on Earth, even though we have less than ⅓rd of the population of the most populous nations.

Revenues as a percent of GDP took a nosedive in 1980 when Reagan introduced his absurd Voodoo Economics. The recovery under Bill Clinton, ending in 2000, would not have occurred except for Clinton tax increases and the Dot Com bubble. Revenue dipped again after Clinton, and what little recovery we see in the Bush years was thanks only to the Real Estate Bubble. When that burst, it plunged us into the Great Recession. Thanks t Bush’s tax cuts for the rich coupled with wild spending on two ill-conceived wars, we would have entered that recession far earlier had it not been for the real estate bubble.

I say that Reagan’s Voodoo Economics has been exactly as predictive of success as Voodoo. After trying it for 33 years and watching it fail decade after decade, why not try what was working for over 40 years before we embarked on Reagan’s failed liberal experiment?

Jaxk's avatar


Whether they can’t or won’t, they aren’t working. We have a heathy dose of those in both categories.

Jaxk's avatar


My response was not to the OP but rather to you. You can tell because I put @ETpro in the header. Apparently you have a very short attention span, as demonstrated by the rest of your response. The tax cuts you hate so much kept the revenues at their historical average of 17–18% while dramatically expanding the workforce and cutting unemployment from 10% to 5%.

Clinton rode the wave of the Internet boom but it was that wave that created the bust in 2000 and his tax hikes did nothing for the widening income gap. In fact the income disparity accelerated at a phenominal rate under Clinton and the DotCom Boom.

You are obssessed with raising taxes and can’t seem to acknowledge any other events taking place. Probably the result of your narrow focus and short attention span.

ETpro's avatar

@Jaxk Interesting piece by Ezra Klein. I agree it’s not a simplistic problem. Let’s be honest. The growing concentration of wealth in the hands of a very small number of Americans is a problem to the democratic republic. Reagan slashed taxes and he also drastically increased the size of government and its spending. Even so, revenues tanked. They dropped from a high of 20% of GDP when he took office to the 17 to 18% you are celebrating, with lows down at 15%. We also began to phase out investment in things that produce future growth in the 1980s. You can only use that as a case for perpetual tax cutting being a great idea if you think that a national debt of $17 trillion and growing is a great idea.

I’m not at all obsessed with raising taxes on all. But when Mitt Romney can make $35 million a year and pay 13% in taxes while a staffer who worked to get him elected President earned less than 6 figures and paid 35% in taxes, something is drastically wrong, and that something has an impact on wealth inequality expanding so rapidly.

Jaxk's avatar


You’re trying too hard and exagerating a bit. Government revenues did not tank but rather actually doubled between 1980 and 1990. And he didn’t reduce the revenue from 20% but actually stabalized the revenue at the historical average. And just for the record revenues had not hit 20% since the 50s and never got below 16% until Obama took office. You also can’t use Romney’s effective tax rate against the top tax rate for anyone. Nobody is paying 35% as an effective tax rate. Your manipulating the numbers.

Let’s not forget that Reagan inherited a terrible recession as well. Hyper inflation (interest rates reached 20%) and unemployment was higher than than 2009. And let’s not forget the Savings and Loan debacle. The recession saw declines in GDP at the same level as we saw in 2008 and 2009. Nonetheless Reagan turned it around and we saw GDP growth approaching 10%, better in fact than we saw during the 90s. I know you hate Reagan and blame him for all the ills we currently have but most people love him because he pulled us out of that mess. The dispute with Obama is because he can’t pull us out of this current mess.

The question for the past 5 years has not been whether to raise or lower taxes but rather whether to raise taxes or leave them where they are. Personally, I favor stability. We are simply trying to fix too many things. Business hates uncertainty and we have that in abundance. Businesses do not grow or expand when the future is uncertain. Consequently they don’t hire either.

ETpro's avatar

@Jaxk You’re using inflation when it helps your case. Look at the chart of revenues as a percent of GDP. That automatically removes inflation, and revenue tanked even with Reagan’s wild spending. Stability is a good goal when things are working great. When the ship is sinking, making sure it keeps sinking is perhaps the conservative, stay-the-course idea, but not one likely to yield a good outcome.

Jaxk's avatar


Since I had already linked the revenue as a percent of GDP, I saw no reason to post it again. Sometimes it’s good to look at the component parts as well, just to get a feel for what is causing the change. As far as the ‘tanked’ statement we have different defintions apparently. The fluctuation in the graph is no different under Reagan than it is under anyone else, with or without tax changes. You’re taking normal noise and trying to turn it into a significant event.

I find your comment about stability amusing. It was Obama that said he wanted to stop the wild swings up and downin our economy. He picked a time when we were at the bottom to stop those swings and hes done a good job in keeping us from recovering

ETpro's avatar

@Jaxk Bull.

Answer this question




to answer.

Mobile | Desktop

Send Feedback