Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) criticized Republicans Friday for spoiling policy discussions by advocating the idea of "no government" alongside "smaller government."
The debate, he told The American Prospect, "is actually morphing into 'no government.' I'm serious. [It]
used to be with Republicans about big government versus little
government. Now, it's much smaller versus no government."
"It's completely corrupted the discussion about legitimate policy decisions," he added.
In the wide-ranging interview, Blumenauer — who is known as a "staunch progressive within the Democratic caucus" — described the "political opportunism" and "gridlock" he sees as jeopardizing bipartisan collaborations in House.
Discussing Social Security, he said Democrats still have an opportunity to push back against GOP arguments for privitization.
"We can drive a stake through the heart of the notion of privatization; we were right to fight it," he said.
He then described a political climate he says harms reasonable debate.
"What will kill [reform efforts] is that everyone is circling, and they want to hyper-politicize it, and they want to take the worst-case scenario they would imagine, and then they run with it to the extreme."
"The administration has faced something that no president has faced in terms of unyielding, mindless, politically inspired opposition," he added.