The GOP's suicide pact

Move to defund Obamacare could actually sway the public in its favor

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Republicans are about to choose between suicide and assisted suicide.

The federal government is running out of money again, and Congress needs to pass legislation to fund the 2014 fiscal year, which starts in October. Thus, Congress and the president will soon be debating whether to raise the limit on the nation’s credit card.

Conservative Republicans see the coming debt limit and federal funding debate as an opportunity to pull the financial rug out from under Obamacare.

Led by Utah Sen. Mike Lee, they say they’re prepared to shut the government down rather than authorize any money to implement the health care reform law.

Pressure mounted this week, when over 50 conservative organizations and luminaries wrote a letter to House Republicans urging them to use the government spending bill to defund Obamacare.

“The ultimate ‘power of the purse’ still resides in the House,” the letter reads, “and the House will soon act to fund the government. In doing so, the House should include language ensuring that no more taxpayer dollars can be used to implement Obamacare.

“This funding prohibition should include all Obamacare funding streams, both discretionary and mandatory, and it should eliminate funding for Obamacare’s new entitlements.

“This will effectively halt implementation and enforcement of the law in its entirety, and will give the President and Senate Democrats a choice: Continue funding the government, or shut down the government on behalf of an unpopular law that they have admitted will not work and cannot be enforced as written.”

We appreciate the spirit of the argument. Obamacare is opposed by a majority of Americans: support for it is in the 30th percentile and opposition to it is in the 50th percentile in most polls.

And that doesn’t begin to explain the growing unpopularity of Obamacare. Perhaps this does: A week after three major labor unions warned of the destruction of the middle class by Obamacare, the National Treasury Employees Union asked its members to write their elected representatives in Congress to oppose their being included in Obamacare health-care exchanges.

The union’s membership might interest you: It includes employees at the IRS, the very agency charged with enforcing the law!

That’s when you know you’re losing the crowd.

But despite all this, we’re not sure Obamacare is sufficiently unpopular that Republicans will look like heroes to much of the public by blocking it – particularly if they have to shut down a good bit of the federal government to get that done.

The last big government shutdown, in the 1990s, was a public relations disaster for congressional Republicans. There’s no reason to think it wouldn’t be this time, either. Consider: The main result of the GOP blockade of Obamacare would be to deny many folks of its benefits, including subsidies that begin Jan. 1, to millions of voting-age Americans.

The former mainstream media would no doubt savage Republicans for doing so, and for shutting down nonessential portions of the government.

The principal effect might be to make Obamacare more popular than it deserves to be, and to ensure Democratic control of the Senate in next year’s midterm elections. It might even endanger Republicans’ hold on the House, too, according to Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., perhaps the party’s leading fiscal hawk.

“I’d be leading the charge if I thought this would work. But it will not work,” Coburn was quoted this week. “The strategy that has been laid out is a good way for Republicans to lose the House. I’m getting phone calls from Oklahoma saying, ‘Support Mike Lee,’ and I’m ramming right back: ‘Support him in destroying the Republican Party?’”

It does appear to be a suicide pact.

The best course, in our view, is for House Republicans to vote to defund Obamacare – so they can once again say “I told you so” – but not to make it their Alamo.

It may be a form of assisted suicide, but Republicans had their chance to win over voters in last year’s elections and failed. All that may remain may be for the electorate to take its bitter medicine – and for conservatives to pick up the pieces later, if there are any.

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burninater
9623
Points
burninater 08/03/13 - 02:08 am
6
4
So on Obamacare, the

So on Obamacare, the Republican party now finds itself ideologically in lockstep with three major labor unions, as well as the union representing some IRS employees.

That's a seriously comical turn of events.

Riverman1
84887
Points
Riverman1 08/03/13 - 04:53 am
11
3
Not A Disaster

"The last big government shutdown, in the 1990s, was a public relations disaster for congressional Republicans."

The Republicans gained 7 seats in the House in the 1992 elections so it wasn't all THAT bad.

Riverman1
84887
Points
Riverman1 08/03/13 - 05:03 am
8
3
Joke's On The Unions

Burninator, that is pretty funny and the joke is on the Democratic voting unions. They now recognize Obamacare as something they want no part of. We all have to figure out how to get out of this mess. It looks like even Obama is trying to figure out a way with the delays granted to employers.

myfather15
55725
Points
myfather15 08/03/13 - 06:47 am
11
3
"That's a seriously comical

"That's a seriously comical turn of events."

No, it's just honestly shows how bad Obamacare really is!!

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 08/03/13 - 06:47 am
0
0
I'm so disgusted
Unpublished

with the present "Republican leadership". They've become clones of that wimp John McCain. I understand he's a "war hero" but he certainly isn't a hero for conservative values. Where's a Barry Goldwater when you need representation from the great state of Arizona?

Bodhisattva
6295
Points
Bodhisattva 08/03/13 - 07:01 am
5
14
So the GOP will continue to

So the GOP will continue to be the party that refuses to negotiate and hold the country hostage to the demands of the farthest right wing extremes of the nation. The GOP is the grown up version of the spoiled kid who will take his ball and go home if he doesn't get way. Let them do it. The people of the country will understand that it's them, and only them that will be responsible for a shutdown. The payback will come slowly thanks to GOP gerrymandering on an unprecedented level (at least since 1972 during the shift in Dems to the GOP in the south due to integration, but it will come. It might take using some of the GOP dirty tricks like redistricting in non-census years, but the 2010 was a fluke, the GOP knows it, and demographics are changing so they only have a short time to do as much damage to the country as they can and they're going to try to drag it to its knees while they have a chance. Why? Because when it comes down to it they don't really love the country, they love power and the payoff it brings from Wall Street. They'd just as soon kick an old lady out in the streets if it gets them in good with K Street. I'm sure they all enjoy the GOP Christmas party where they sit and watch "It's a Wonderful Life" and pull for Mr. Potter.

Riverman1
84887
Points
Riverman1 08/03/13 - 07:16 am
12
3
Intepreting Obama

Let me interpret what Obama read off the teleprompter when he said, "We will delay the Affordable Care Act for employers for a year."

It means, this thing won't work and we don't know how to fix it.

Heck, Obama probably hopes the Republicans can stop the funding of the thing to get him out of this mess.

Bodhisattva
6295
Points
Bodhisattva 08/03/13 - 07:19 am
6
11
I forgot to add that people

I forgot to add that people like the components of the Affordable Care Act. The GOP's propagandizing with the billions from the right wing PAC's (And good old Rick Scott and Conservatives for Patients' Rights. He should be in jail for Medicare fraud and yet Florida elects him to lead the state. You can't have people getting affordable insurance when you should be paying his clinics for unaffordable health care.) has made people not like the name. If the GOP does succeed in crashing the ACA, when all of those components that the people like go away, they'll know just who to blame. The GOP. Every candidate up and down the ballot. From President down to dogcatcher. Sorry your kid can't be on your insurance. Sorry you hit your lifetime limit. Sorry..... Blame the GOP.

Bodhisattva
6295
Points
Bodhisattva 08/03/13 - 07:26 am
4
10
Social Security, Medicare,

Social Security, Medicare, and all other major legislation have taken numerous adjustments. I expected nothing less on the ACA. They're amending current laws constantly. It's not a big deal. Why does everyone get in such a tizzy over it?

carcraft
26207
Points
carcraft 08/03/13 - 07:32 am
9
3
The Congress and their aids

The Congress and their aids just got exempted from Obama care! If this STUPID law, that was rammed down our throat, is so wondrrful the idiots that did it should be required to live by it! To say I am is mild!!!!

Riverman1
84887
Points
Riverman1 08/03/13 - 08:09 am
9
3
Percent Opposed to Obamacare

Obamacare is about as welcome to the American people as a gay person in Russia.

Most Americans are opposed to Obama care by a 51% to 39% margin.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/obama_and_democrats_health...

TrukinRanger
1748
Points
TrukinRanger 08/03/13 - 07:59 am
0
0
When people throw up figures
Unpublished

When people throw up figures saying 51% oppose the ACA to 39% it's misleading! The only reason some of those 51% oppose it is because it falls short of FULL BLOWN national healthcare. It's pretty sad that republicans care more about halting healthcare for ALL Americans while treating corporations like people and giving them more welfare than as individual citizens (people) in whole. If the republicans would quit voting over and over and over trying to stop it, perhaps they should be sitting across the table trying to find a way to make it work- even if it means taking some of the mandatory mandates out of it.

carcraft
26207
Points
carcraft 08/03/13 - 08:00 am
14
2
I think Republicans are

I think Republicans are missing a golden opportunity. I would fund Obama care to the Max BUT no waivers or exemptions, period! If exemptions are granted funding is cut! Hang this law around the Democrats neck like an albatross!!

gaflyboy
4866
Points
gaflyboy 08/03/13 - 11:05 am
11
3
I follow the argument ACES.

I follow the argument ACES. Indeed that’s all we’ve been hearing for weeks / months.

But one thing I’ve learned is that the Democrats are good at “playing politics”. The Republicans -not so much. It’s time for them to quit trying.

Republicans would fare much better if they returned to their conservative roots and started doing what is in the best interest of the country. Trying to act more like Democrats doesn’t work because, well, we already have Democrats.

Stopping Obamacare is the last hope for being able to salvage any vestige of what this country was, not long ago. Already its’ roots are becoming too intertwined in our society. The Constitutional blocks that should have stopped it have been circumvented. When you hand over responsibility for your health to your government, you hand over your life and that’s not an exaggeration. Everyone, except the sovereigns in DC, will be sorry.

With all due respect, we don’t have many opportunities left to stop this. We cannot afford to play politics with them.

The argument of this piece is ‘we can’t fight it because we might lose seats in Congress’, or as Sen. Coburn says in your article “The strategy that has been laid out is a good way for Republicans to lose the House.”

If it’s come down to a choice of saving Republicans or saving our country, for me the choice is clear.

(spelling correction)

ymnbde
9894
Points
ymnbde 08/03/13 - 08:25 am
10
2
they added patients

they added tax payments
they added irs agents
but they didn't add any doctors!
any functioning system that has increased inputs with no proportionate increase in capability will have to selectively decrease the output.
More sick people
same amount of doctors
selective healing (what Sarah called "death panels")
this is going to be bad...

Bizkit
32046
Points
Bizkit 08/03/13 - 08:36 am
8
2
D

Well I've always stated Obama is a ideologue who would sacrifice everything for "his" goals (it isn't 'We the people's goal). But now I have to admit that conservatives have become just as an idiotic as ideologues. They haven't learned what battles to fight and just look as crazy as Obama-just the opposite spectrum of ideology. All the ad hominem Obama's a communist (He's the commander n thief-that's what he is proposing is stealing he now "justifies" as fair) and Rep are women hating racists is all absurd. If the Rep had a brain they wouldn't have halted the implementation. The fools should realize the vast majority hate Obamacare and that the more they do nothing the more people will hate it-they are aiding and abetting Obama now. They should be funding the wazoo out of it because it isn't going to work. The SCOTUS gave the OK but then cut its testicles off too. Without the original structure it can't work. Sad that Dems spend all their efforts undermining Rep and Rep spend all their time undermining Dem and all of us get screwed because effectively nothing gets done (both sides are just nothing but dirty tricks and both sides generating billions to do it). Most of y'all seem pretty bright folks and I don't understand how either party can lead you astray-wake up. Sure lots of legislation over decades have modified social security and medicare, but that is a great reason to lose confidence in our govt. If I was a failed researcher at MCG what's the odds I"ll get a grant for millions of dollars? Not only is Obamacare popularity low, but all of Congress has even a lower popularity. Watch out America is waking up!!!!!!!! The silent majority isn't conservative or progressive but moderates. The days of the extremist Rep and Dem is coming to an end. Thank GOD!!!!!!!

Bizkit
32046
Points
Bizkit 08/03/13 - 08:49 am
3
4
The article should read the

The article should read the Congressional Suicide Pact. I'm kind of curious how many moderates post and will give me a thumbs up. I predict a huge landslide of conservative and progressive thumbs downs. I have always had this amazing ability to tick everyone off. I should say a gift-from God.

seenitB4
88040
Points
seenitB4 08/03/13 - 08:51 am
5
2
The unions are saying WHOA...

Finally they see the light---too dang bad they have been blinded by the media craze about the great one....well we will see adjustments now..slowly but surely this thing will change...I doubt that it is going away though.

nocnoc
43345
Points
nocnoc 08/03/13 - 08:58 am
8
4
Beware when the Media and The DNC both offer the GOP advice.

Sounds like a Passive aggressive counter argument.
It spells out all the reasons it needs to be done, then tells
us if done would cause purge of the GOP voting power.
It really saying: Be safe, don't do anything, and be a chicken.

Look, simply put the GOP is not going sway a whole hell of a lot
socialist, liberals, or Democrat votes its way, even if they do nothing about Obamacare. In fact they will lose GOP and Independent votes for failing to do something.

Based on some polls,
the parties are split 40/40. It is the 20% in the middle, the independents that they are both after. An remember a large percentage of the Democrats don't like Obamacare after reading it either. It is only the DNC, Reid and the President making this a needless Make or Break Battle that will cause a shutdown.

Why not recall Obamacare and build a unified solution that protects private insurers and their insured and also develop a solution that allows basic healthcare to those that cannot truly afford it. We had something like that already, remember.

Documented fact:
Obamacare actually covers less people than the process it replaced. Remember it was 15 million uninsured that needed it? Now with exemptions and etc. Obamacare does not cover 45million 3x as much.

Obamacare is a nightmare and there are much simpler solutions than a Government takeover, by a Government that is already Bankrupt.

The only question that truly remains is,
Will the Conservatives act like Conservative leaders, or will they suddenly become Chameleons acting like RINO's again?

Bizkit
32046
Points
Bizkit 08/03/13 - 08:57 am
4
2
Great post NocNoc. I wish I

Great post NocNoc. I wish I could give you two thumbs up!!!!!!

Bizkit
32046
Points
Bizkit 08/03/13 - 09:01 am
3
2
Obama likes to manipulate

Obama likes to manipulate human behavior. He's gonna need a lot of manipulation to attract people to medicine because now the trend is abandoning ship. I've haven't met a single one who hasn't wished they could retire or old enough to retire. I've lost a lot of my long time health care providers the last couple of years. They use to work till they died so something is up.

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 08/03/13 - 09:06 am
4
0
Bizkit @ 8:36

"Sad that Dems spend all their efforts undermining Rep and Rep spend all their time undermining Dem and all of us get screwed because effectively nothing gets done (both sides are just nothing but dirty tricks and both sides generating billions to do it). Most of y'all seem pretty bright folks and I don't understand how either party can lead you astray-wake up."

I agree with your statement, BUT what can be done about it ?? I mean, there is only two major parties in the game of politics.

corgimom
33135
Points
corgimom 08/03/13 - 09:08 am
4
8
ACES, shame on you, again!

ACES, shame on you, again! Why do you believe all the right-wing nutcase blogs, and accept it as the gospel truth?

"When the health care law was being written in 2009 and 2010, Republicans proposed requiring lawmakers and their staffers to obtain insurance through the exchanges, arguing that if the law was good enough for ordinary Americans, then it was good enough for the people in Congress who wrote the law. Presumably fearing a public backlash if they refused, Democrats accepted the language, and it became part of the law.

But as the New York Times recently put it, the provision "has been a headache for many in Congress ever since." That’s because the law does not include an explicit mechanism to allow the federal government to pay its employer share of congressional employees’ health insurance if they use the exchanges.

For most Americans with employer-based insurance, including government employees, the employer pays a majority of the cost of insurance, lessening the financial burden for employees. Unless a fix can be found, congressional employees will have to foot the entire cost of their health insurance when buying insurance on the exchange -- a financial hit that could go well into the thousands of dollars.

Despite longstanding concerns about the provision’s impact, neither Congress nor the administration has yet come up with a workable solution, although the administration promises action in time for the opening of the exchanges this fall"

THAT is why they are protesting. Who wouldn't protest that?

They aren't protesting Obamacare, they are protesting that they would have to pay the entire cost of it. Anybody would do that.

Please, ACES, do your research, you are embarrassing yourselves.

nocnoc
43345
Points
nocnoc 08/03/13 - 09:13 am
4
2
Sorry to get so wordy

and Thanks,

I have seen and been around politics and politicians too long.
During that time I think so much of what many do, lacks any originality. It is like many are issued a Political play book and Agenda soundbites to recite.

It is the original thinkers on either side that win great elections, the rest will always just be Political minions to their parties agenda.

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 08/03/13 - 09:12 am
1
6
Getting along

So, if we, on this comments board, could get along, do you really think that would change Washington ?

corgimom
33135
Points
corgimom 08/03/13 - 09:13 am
3
7
Let me interpret what Obama

Let me interpret what Obama read off the teleprompter when he said, "We will delay the Affordable Care Act for employers for a year."

It means, this thing won't work and we don't know how to fix it."

It means, the software programs aren't ready.

I was an accountant when the computerized W-2 forms came into being. The software was a nightmare, there were so many bugs in it, every single W-2 had to be checked for accuracy.

If you only had a few employees, it was ok. But if you were a big employer, it was terrible. And trying to correct it was even worse.

I remember those days, so does the IRS and the Social Security Administration, and everyone that was involved in financial reporting.

They are trying to avoid that, we as a nation are supposed to learn from our mistakes.

nocnoc
43345
Points
nocnoc 08/03/13 - 09:18 am
5
2
Getting along

Hasn't happen since the dawn of Man and likely will not happen even in the last years of mans existence.

The most we can hope for is the slowing of stupidity, ideology and hostility.

Because there will always be a person whining about something, demanding more of something and wanting something their way over others.

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 08/03/13 - 09:22 am
3
2
nocnoc @ 9:18

"Because there will always be a person whining about something, demanding more of something and wanting something their way over others."

So where does this leave ALL OF US in regard to the 17 trillion dollar debt?

deestafford
27794
Points
deestafford 08/03/13 - 09:36 am
5
2
Like a slick lawyer this is one issue I could argue both sides

and feel strongly both ways. :)

Mike Lee and his side are saying pass everything in the budget, with a few desired cuts, except obamacare. That would put Harry Reid in the position of saying "We want obamacare so badly, we refuse to pass this and will shut down the government." In essence, he and many democrat senators up for reelection would have to say they want obamacare so badly they shut down the government; therefore, people will vote against them The problem with this is the media will blame the republicans...would the people follow the media's propaganda.

The other position is that trying to defund obamacare will shut down the government and the republicans will get the blame and lose seats in House and Senate. The argument against this is once obamacare gets in with its subsidies and all it will hook people like they are on heroin and never get them off.

From what I understand, much of obamacare is already funded.

As far as the shut down in the nineties is concerned, you can blame that failure on Senator Bob Dole the Republican Majority Leader in the Senate. According to a tremendously well researched book by Major Garrett the Clinton administration was within 24 hours of caving when Dole led the Senate in caving. Dole also put so many restrictions on the Senate impeachment hearings against Clinton the case could not have been made. Couple that with how poorly he campaigned for president and gave us Clinton for his second term you can see that on the whole he has not been the senator many want to make him out to be. He was/is a moderate, RHINO, go-along-get-along moderate establishment politician.

Bizkit
32046
Points
Bizkit 08/03/13 - 09:31 am
2
2
Well this is an interesting

Well this is an interesting editorial but the ACES seems like Nero watchin' Rome burn not commenting on all the unrest in the Middle East right now. I think it becomes obvious that much of the Arab world isn't trying to drive the westerners out-no they want us all dead. Like Israel's effort for peace by releasing prisoners just was a drop of blood for a shark frenzy. Once again rabid ideology. Pretty amazing Kerry's global travel warning (and people worry about global warming LOL)so Obama efforts have done nothing but inflame the problem too-but Bush had his whack at it too. However there is a long history of presidents who have ordered their CIA to interfere. (the CIA isn't independent but works directly at the behest of the prez). So the argument that the FBI couldn't investigate Benghazi maybe true, but the Prez could easily send the CIA in covertly (maybe he has but I doubt it).

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