Alan: Republicans exhibit all the signs, symptoms and behavior of Oppositional Defiant Disorder, usually an adolescent affliction.
Signs and symptoms
The child must exhibit 4 out of the 8 signs and symptoms listed below in order to meet the DSM-IV-TR diagnostic threshold for oppositional defiant disorder
- Actively refuses to comply with majority's requests or consensus-supported rules
- Performs actions deliberately to annoy others
- Angry and resentful of others
- Argues often
- Blames others for his or her own mistakes
- Often loses temper
- Touchy or easily annoyed
Common features of oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) include excessive, often persistent anger, frequent temper tantrums or angry outbursts, as well as disregard for authority. Children and adolescents with ODD often purposely annoy others, blame others for their own mistakes, and are easily disrupted. Parents often observe more rigid and irritable behaviors than in siblings. In addition, these young people may appear resentful of others, and when someone does something they don't like they prefer revenge over more sensitive solutions.
For a child or adolescent to qualify for a diagnosis of ODD, these behaviors must cause considerable distress for the family and/or interfere significantly with academic or social functioning. Interference might take the form of preventing the child or adolescent from learning at school or making friends, or placing him or her in harmful situations. These behaviors must also persist for at least six months. Effects of ODD can be greatly amplified by other disorders in co-morbidity such as ADHD. Other common co-morbid disorders include depression and substance use disorders.
All Republicans Want in Exchange for Not Destroying the Economy Is Everything
Republicans gave The National Review a draft of their starting point for negotiations with President Obama on the debt ceiling. It's jaw-dropping.
A quick reminder: the debt ceiling is the amount the government is allowed to borrow in order to pay bills accrued by Congress. Here is what the Republicans offer:
- Suspend the debt limit until December 2014.
- Delay Obamacare for a year.
- Include tax reform measures along the lines of the Rep. Paul Ryan principles.
- Agree to a slew of environmental issues: Approve the Keystone pipeline, kill EPA clean air and climate regulations, increase drilling.
- Approve "regulatory reforms" including the REINS Act, which would basically gut the executive authority to make any regulations.
- Implement spending cuts, including reforming retirement programs, the child tax credit ("to prevent fraud"), and, of course, ending Dodd-Frank.
- Reforming health spending, including tort reform.
This is literally every policy priority of the Republican Party. This is hostage-taking, not politics. "We have been unable to pass our core priorities because voters keep electing Democrats to the Senate and the White House so we are asking that in order to prevent the economic catastrophe of a debt ceiling default, you sign off on doing everything we have ever wanted, is that OK with you, yes / no?"
Some of these things, we will also note, are complete non-starters from a legal perspective. The EPA climate regulations, for example, are essentially mandated by the Supreme Court. George W. Bush dragged his feet on implementing regulations, but lawsuits from various environmental organizations helped force the issue. Adding that to a completely unrelated political measure is pure denial.
We understand that the point of negotiations is to start from an extreme position and then navigate toward a compromise. But it is helpful if you also enter negotiations appearing to be rational.
Obama, for his part, has staked out an extreme position as well: no deals. And he probably means it; a few weeks ago, he said this to ABC's George Stephanopoulos, via Crooks and Liars.
"[I]f we continue to set a precedent in which a president — any president, a Republican president, a Democratic president — where the opposing party controls the House of Representatives, if that president is in a situation in which each time the United States is called upon to pay its bills the other party can simply sit there and say, 'Well, we're not gonna pay the bills unless you give us what we want,' that changes the constitutional structure of this government entirely."
Which is exactly what the Republicans are advocating. Unable to win elections to regain the Senate — ironically in part because the deeply conservative base supported unelectable Senate candidates in primaries — they've created their Amazon wish list of things, presumably hoping that the president might buy one or two. But unfortunately, he's at his credit limit.
Photo: Rep. Michele Bachmann. (AP)