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The Nihilist Sound and Fury of Chris Collins

There isn’t any way to sugarcoat it. Republican Representative Chris Collins (NY-27) voted last night to maintain the shutdown of the federal government, and to risk the United States’ first-ever default on its sovereign debt. His behavior during this crisis has been striking for its patronizing cynicism, backbencher grandstanding, and nihilist sound & fury. 

Below is a collection of almost every Tweet sent from Collins’ account, starting the week before the shutdown through Wednesday morning. It tracks nicely with the general rudderless cluelessness of the Republican shutdown of 2013. 

When Chris Collins followed along and voted to shut the government and risk default over Obamacare, he and his cohorts effectively stole $24 billion from the U.S. Economy. In the midst of a slow recovery from the 2008 global financial meltdown and the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, Collins helped to slow GDP growth this quarter from an estimated 2.6% to 2%. For all his concern-trolling about “small business”, this is inexcusably irresponsible. 

And for what? Look at the chart above. As they stumbled and bumbled through this standoff that Senator Ted Cruz orchestrated for them, the Republicans made wild and crazy demands of the Democrats and the President – DO THIS or the shutdown will continue and we’ll flirt with default on debt that the US has already incurred – Iraq War, Bush tax cuts, Afghanistan war, bank bailouts, stimulus – existing debt. They got none of it. 

Frankly, they bought their own bullshit about what a weak negotiator Obama is; what weaklings the Democrats are. They’ll cave. They have no resolve. But instead, cooler heads prevailed and a deal was struck to do everything that Obama wanted and nothing that the tea party wanted – reopen the government, raise the debt ceiling, and then we’ll talk. This was the deal that the Senate passed overwhelmingly last night; that the House passed overwhelmingly last night. That margin, to me, is the difference between realistic representatives who are in Washington to do right by the country – who put people and the good of the nation over partisanship – and the reactionary ideologues who make up the secessionist America-last bloc. The latter is the group to which Collins firmly belongs. 

The tragedy of it is that he would plunge an already weak economy into unprecedented chaos; that he chose to stab the wound more instead of placing a Band-Aid on it. But it gets worse: 

That’s from Facebook, but this is what he told the Buffalo News’ Jerry Zremski: 

“The bottom line is, I didn’t come here to kick the can,” said Collins, who was elected to Congress last year. “This doesn’t deal with any of our entitlement spending. It doesn’t change the trajectory of our deficit, which is $700 billion a year. And therefore I can’t support it, and I’m going to vote no,” he said before Wednesday night’s 285-144 vote to approve the legislation.

Entitlement spending. Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. The 27th may be packed with Republicans thanks to gerrymandering, but it’s also packed with seniors who rely on Medicare and Social Security (there’s lots of rural poverty, too, so don’t think there aren’t plenty of Medicaid recipients, as well). When you examine the Tweets below, you’ll note that Collins considers Medicare and Social Security (at least) to be “essential services”. Which ones does he want to cut? By how much? What barriers does he want to place between seniors and their entitlements? Means testing? Changing the age of eligibility? 

The continuing resolution passed Wednesday night is, by the way, a continuing of a Democratic cave to the Republicans – it contains the sequester cuts, which Democrats vehemently oppose. The spending is already significantly lower than the Democrats wanted – even lower than what Paul Ryan originally proposed. It is so spartan that it was supposed to be the fallback position so politically unpalatable to both sides that it would act as an incentive for everyone to work out a compromise. 

So, Chris Collins – this self-appointed champion of small business over people, wants to: 

  • Abolish Obamacare, ensuring the continuation of the third-world insurance status quo we had in 2007, which means medical bankruptcies, lifetime maximums, less coverage for more money, profit motive to prevent people from getting care they need, and coming between people and their doctors; 
  • Reduce spending on “entitlements” on which seniors rely, like Medicare and Social Security; 
  • Risk the country defaulting on already-incurred sovereign debt – something that has never before happened and which every responsible economist has warned would be a catastrophe for people and businesses throughout the world; 
  • Maintain the government shutdown; 
  • Do real, palpable harm to his constituents in order to score political points against the President. 

Collins isn’t one of the moderate Republicans that reflect the New York GOP – he is a nihilist who would just as soon have his district secede from the nation to escape the duly elected clutches of OBAMAPELOSI. He wants to destroy America over a law that Congress passed, the President signed, and the Supreme Court upheld, which helps Americans get affordable, quality health insurance. Whatever harm Collins thinks Obamacare is doing to the country, it pales in comparison to what default would do, and he voted to default, voted to keep the government closed, and voted to slow economic growth. Chris Collins is an utter trainwreck. 

 

 


  • Marquil

    The company he Keeps:
    Congressman Collins’s intellectual inflexibility and insecurity is reflected in the range of peer voices he listens to in Congress. If the Congressmen and Congresswomen he follows on Twitter is any indication, that range is narrow and rigidly conservative. Collins follows the Twitter feeds of 32 members of the 113th Congress: one Senator (Republican Tom Colburn of Oklahoma) and thirty-one Representatives. The Representatives Collins listens to are exclusively Republican. Three—Boehner, Cantor and McCarthy—are leadership. Five share committee assignments with Collins (including Richard Hanna, the only fellow member of the New York caucus). The majority of Collins’ selected Twitter tribe are from deep red states. Nine are Tea Party members. No other member of New York’s Congressional Delegation is so deeply embedded in the Conservative echo chamber.

    A breakdown of the choir of redbirds on Congressman Collins’s shoulder can be found here.

    • Brian Buckley

      While I understand what you are saying, don’t be fooled into thinking that Collins even knows what twitter is. I’m sure he has a staffer that their only job is to post on facebook and twitter.

      • UncleBluck

        Wonder if that is the same staffer that told him to have breakfast with the democratic caucus his first day on the job??????

  • rhmaccallum

    I can’t agree more Alan although I don’t have the heart to read Collin’s tweets.
    What must be remembered along with Collins et. al. war on “entitlements” is that any mention of including real tax reform in the talks, closing loopholes corporations and those of wealth use to game the system and avoid paying their share are considered by the T-pubs as “increased tax” on those entities and are off the table from the start.This includes any initiative to disallow those tax codes and law which encourage and subsidize American companies to offshore their workforce.
    The T-pubs want talks? Those talks must include a balanced approach to fair budgets, taxation, cuts and revenue. For Collins and his ilk to declare those things off-the-table is both irresponsible, unfair and supremely self serving.
    Good luck Mr. President and thanks for hanging in there for us.

  • And the trajectory toward ruin continues unabated. A win for the Democrats. The alleged theft of $24 billion from the economy pales in comparison to the money stolen via deficit spending built on fiat money.

    • rhmaccallum

      Deficit spending sir? Question: who is the last president who actually reduced the amount of our annual deficit? Hint: Obama.
      Question 2: Who were the last three presidents who actually had a balanced budget? Hint: Clinton, Carter….and Eisenhower.
      Kinda takes the wind out of the “democrats are spendthrifts” sails, eh?

      • 20% of the federal budget is spent on debt service. The amount borrowed each year by the federal government is equal to half the annual tax revenue. Every time the FED inflates the money supply, the value of the dollar decreases, imposing a “hidden” tax on everyone. Reducing the annual deficit, while increasing the total federal debt, amounts to putting lipstick on a pig. BTW, a President can not balance the budget, that requires Congressional action. For the record, the spending problem is bipartisan.

        Your response to my original comment does not address my premise, it only shows that your are caught up in the paradigm of partisan politics. As long as people think the solution is either a Democratic or Republican one, nothing will change. That is what the politicians are banking on.

      • rhmaccallum

        Wow! That’s a revealing, unexplainable and hardly believable comeback considering the “paradigm of partisan politics” so strikingly evident in your original comment.
        Nice try at backpedalling though.

    • Oswald Carnes

      As long as idiots are whining, I know we’re on the right track!

  • Robert Barrel

    So who would have benefited from default??? The rich, the poor, the Middle Class or Nobody??? And who represents Nobody ??? That’s right, Chris Collins.

  • BuffaloB

    I will personally stop at nothing to help make sure that little chrissy never holds office again …