Particularly Bad Tu Quoque Arguments of the Day

Uhm, Byron, there’s a big difference between purely symbolic votes against raising the debt ceiling and making a serious threat to destroy the credit of the United States to extract policy concessions. If Senate Republicans and the House Republican leadership want to cast symbolic votes against raising the debt ceiling without trying to extract concessions or stopping the legislation from passing, knock yourself out.

41 comments on this post.
  1. c u n d gulag:

    Ah, Byron York…
    Trying to prove that Rick Perry isn’t the only feckin’ idjit with great hair!

  2. Proculus:

    Especially because, you know, if Democrats were actually serious about prevent the increase/wanted to get concessions for it, they would have done so during any of the three increases that passed in 2007/2008.

  3. Sly:

    Still not as stupid as this.

    On his 100th day in office, Barack Obama enjoys high job approval ratings, no matter what poll you consult. But if a new survey by the New York Times is accurate, the president and some of his policies are significantly less popular with white Americans than with black Americans, and his sky-high ratings among African-Americans make some of his positions appear a bit more popular overall than they actually are.

  4. Erik Loomis:

    Oh boy……

  5. divadab:

    I wear a toque when I’m having a bad hair day.

    No such thing as a bad toque day. All toques are by definition good.

    And why is it that political writers like Byron York are so fucking obtuse? Is it their politics that demands them to be deliberately ignorant? Is it a peer pressure thing? I mean, the guy’s just doing the intellectual equivalent of the gorilla in the gorilla cage who fills his mouth with straw and shit and sprays it at the watching humans.

  6. de stijl:

    As you know, you go to culture war with the logical fallacies you have, not the logical fallacies you want or wish to have.

  7. somethingblue:

    Fortunately, these petty partisan squabbles will soon be a thing of the past.

    I especially love this bit:

    [Manchin] also said he expected to see elected officials to seek and proudly display the No Labels moniker.

    “If you carry the No Labels brand, that says something …” Manchin said.

  8. de stijl:

    Look for the No – Labels label
    When you are buying a coat, dress, or blouse,
    Remember somewhere our union’s Tu Quoque’ing,
    Our welfare going to feed the kids and ruin the house,
    We leech hard, but who’s complaining?
    Thanks to the ILG, we’re loafing our way,
    So always look for the No – Labels label,
    It says we’re able to make it in the USA!

  9. Linnaeus:

    Five…..golden touques!

  10. Dagney:

    The House can legally refuse to bring anything to the floor, and thus shut government down, without any spending resolutions nor bills on the floor.

    Congress has done its job. That president Obama wants to keep spending more than the government does take in, whilst refusing to address this issue, does not oblige Congress to do it too.

    The Senate however has refused to do its job — Reid has not took up and passed a budget in years.

  11. Davis X. Machina:

    That’s Joe “Nighthorse” Manchin….

    He’s still pissed he’s not sitting in the shiny new GOP-majority senate, and a star, instead of the crazy aunt in the attic of the most liberal Democratic senate in decades.

    Backed the wrong nighthorse….

  12. Julia Grey:

    So popularity among black Americans is irrelevant to popularity among ACTUAL Americans?


  13. de stijl:

    Congress has done its job.

    Paying the bills for services rendered is part of the job.

  14. Julia Grey:

    “If you carry the No Labels brand, that says something …” Manchin said.

    It says you’re dreaming, Joe.

  15. de stijl:

    Really wish I’d gone with “fleece the kids”

  16. Scott Lemieux:

    That president Obama

    Uh, what? The House has already passed the appropriations bills which spend more than the revenue generated. Refusing to lift the debt ceiling doesn’t address this; it just orders the president to break the law.

  17. Bruce Baugh:

    Making purchases without intent to honor the bill is, of course, a crime. Making purchases with intent to honor them but later changing your mind and then refusing to use the legal recourses available or return what you bought is a different one. Which of the two crimes is it that you see as part of Congress’ job?

  18. de stijl:

    A compelling narrative has truthiness and a villain. Dagney’s has both. Incorrect nevertheless, but compelling. Facts be damned.

  19. Dagney:

    The Senate has refused to pass a budget for the last three years; the federal government has been virtually spending money ILLEGALLY.

    What do you want Congress to do more?

    Let’s see a budget from passed by the Senate first.

  20. Dagney:

    The first step now is for the Senate to take up and pass a budget. It’s the Senate’s job; and they must do it.

  21. John:

    God, this budget resolution bullshit. Budget resolutions didn’t even exist until the 70s and are non-binding concurrent resolutions. They are in no way necessary for anything.

    What has happened, and what is actually legally required, is that both houses of congress past laws appropriating money for various purposes.

  22. John:

    passed laws. Sigh.

  23. John:

    Passing a budget resolution is totally fucking irrelevant. Congress passed actual laws appropriating money to be spent, and is not refusing to raise the debt limit in order to pay for the money it appropriated. Budget limits are a total red herring.

  24. John:

    Budget resolutions are a total red herring. Double sigh.

  25. DrDick:

    Congress, specifically the House, sets spending, passing bills directing the President to spend money on particular projects. The President is legally and constitutionally bound to spend the money Congress directs him to. Congress and the House also set taxes through legislation and the President is legally and Constitutionally obligated to follow those directions as well. If there is an imbalance between revenues and expenditures, that is explicitly the fault of Congress alone and more specifically the House, where all spending bills must originate. Do take a couple of minutes to actually read the Constitution, asshat.

  26. Dagney:

    It’s the sole LAWFUL step.

  27. Hogan:

    What law is the Senate violating?

  28. Craig Burley:

    Dagney, can you point me to the law that you are referring to, that makes it illegal to spend funds duly appropriated?

    Or by “virtually” do you mean “not”?

  29. Dagney:

    By “virtually,” I meant “it could be argued.”

  30. Dagney:

    The Senate has as the absolute DUTY — to take up and pass a budget.

  31. Bijan Parsia:

    Ok! You wrote:

    The Senate has refused to pass a budget for the last three years; the federal government has been virtually spending money ILLEGALLY.

    Which we can plug in your new and exciting definition of “virtually” to get:

    The Senate has refused to pass a budget for the last three years; the federal government has been it could be argued spending money ILLEGALLY.

    I guess if we spot you some commas, we can get all grammatical:

    The Senate has refused to pass a budget for the last three years; the federal government has been, it could be argued, spending money ILLEGALLY.

    OK! But the problem is that it cannot be correctly, sensibly, or remotely plausibly so argued.

  32. Anonymous:

    So they’re not breaking any law. What harm is done by the Senate not passing a budget resolution?

  33. Hogan:

    Sorry–switched machines.

  34. Dagney:

    It could be argued that the government, with the Senate refusing to pass a budget for the last three years, has been spending money ILLEGALLY.

  35. Hogan:

    But such an argument would eventually have to point to an actual law being broken, no? Unless you’re relying on the ALL CAPS standard of evidence.

  36. Anonymous:

    there’s a big difference between purely symbolic votes against raising the debt ceiling and making a serious threat to destroy the credit of the United States…

    Last time I checked the Constitution, there was no distinction between “purely symbolic votes” and “votes.”

    There are just “votes.”

    Keep trying to have it both ways, though, libs–it’s what you do best.

  37. Bijan Parsia:

    If it can be argued, then argue it.

    I still don’t see that it can be correctly, sensibly, or remotely plausibly so argued

    As many have pointed out, there is no law or constitutional provision requiring a budget per se. Bush Congresses routinely went year after year without a budget resolution. Indeed, there is no legal force to budget resolutions:

    In the United States Congress, a budget resolution is part of the United States budget process. It is in the form of a concurrent resolution passed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate but is not presented to the President and does not have the force of law. It sets out the congressional budget….

    The budget resolution serves as a blueprint for the actual appropriation process, and provides Congress with some control over the appropriations process. No new spending authority, however, is provided until appropriation bills are enacted. A budget resolution binds Congress, but is not a law. It does allow for certain points of order to be made if the President does not follow the resolution. There may not be a resolution every year; if none is established, the previous year’s resolution stays in force.

    Thus there’s no requirement for a budget resolution. It’s better to do them since past restrictions quickly grow dated an unwieldy, but the budget resolution has nothing at all to do with the debt ceiling or the current crises.

    (This is putting aside the fact that the Republicans are pretty fairly blamed for the breakdown of budget resolutions, starting in the Bush administration.)

  38. de stijl:

    By “virtually,” I believe you’re fessing up as a Poe’s Law-type commenter. Arguendo

    If not, the functional equivalent of one.

  39. Sly:

    No, it couldn’t. Concurrent budget resolutions do not have the force of law. All they do is provide a blueprint for appropriations and tax policy for that budgetary year, and allow individual representatives to raise points of order against appropriations and tax provisions that aren’t in agreement with the resolution.

    This doesn’t matter in the House, as a point of order can be overruled by a majority vote. The majority will tax and appropriate as it wishes whether they follow the resolution or not.

    But in the Senate… guess how many votes it takes? Go ahead. Guess. The reason why the Senate hasn’t passed a budget resolution is that Harry Reid isn’t stupid enough to give the minority more veto power than it already has.

    I wonder why he would feel it necessary to do such a thing.

  40. Davis:

    I symbolic vote is one that the voter knows has no chance of passing.

  41. de stijl:


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