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Of Government Shutdowns and ObamaCare Funding

Of Government Shutdowns and ObamaCare Funding

Ted Cruz is urging Republicans in Congress to fight to defund the ObamaCare Tax train wreck and stated that he feels many in the GOP are too frightened to do so. Apparently, the 1995-1996 shutdowns were such a disaster for the GOP that many “top” Republicans are worried about another one.  On the one hand, they have a point.  The media will do exactly what it did in the mid-90’s and blame the “obstructionist” GOP for shutdowns that Clinton then / Obama now force, and yes, many Americans will gobble that up, just as they did in the Gingrich showdown. And while Obama is weaker in the polls now than he’s been, he’s still got decent favorability ratings (not that I can fathom why, but there it is).

Harry Reid, apparently never tiring of making up his own facts, is already warning against a shutdown and urges Republicans to ask Newt Gingrich about government shutdowns:

“If Republicans force us to the brink of another government shutdown for ideological reasons, the economy will suffer,” Reid said. “I would suggest to any of my Republican colleagues that has this idea: Give a call to Newt Gingrich. He’ll return your phone calls. Ask him how it worked. It was disastrous for Newt Gingrich, the Republicans and the country.”

Which brings us to the other hand, what really happened during and as a result of that first shutdown?  Not a whole lot bad, and quite a bit good:

As recent Washington arrival Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, pointed out, “we didn’t default on our debt” after the 1995 shutdown battle between Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich. “And the result was balanced budgets — and some of the greatest fiscal responsibility we have seen in modern times from Congress — because fiscal conservatives stood together and said, ‘We need to be responsible.’”

Gingrich, who has seemed to have some reservations about the shutdown through the years, now defends it in the context of policy, recently saying, “We would never have gotten to a balanced budget and we would never have gotten welfare reform without that fight.” (source)

It also seems to have been the impetus for Clinton to shift to center–only after the ’95-’96 shutdowns did he make his famous statement that “the era of big government is over.”  That, in and of itself, was worth it.  The two additional Senate seats the GOP gained in the 1996 election didn’t hurt, either, particularly as they were able to hold on to their majority in the House–something the Democrats could not do after passing the ObamaCare Tax nightmare in ’09.  In fact, passing that travesty led directly into the 2010 “shellacking,” a stunning defeat for Democrats not only in Congress but across the nation: Republicans made major gains in state legislatures (“Across the nation, only 15 Republican incumbents were defeated while 492 Democratic incumbents were defeated.”) and gained 12 governorships.

What is the likely outcome of another government shutdown?  Bob Schieffer, back in 2011 when a shutdown was imminent that had nothing to do with the ObamaCare Tax disaster, had the right idea:

“We’re into a blame game now. Both sides are trying to blame the other side if the government does shut down,” he added. “They’ve got to get off that and get to thinking about the people that sent them Washington to represent them. This is a shameful episode in the history of the Congress, and I think if this government does shut down for any length of time people are not going to look for who to blame, they’re going to blame all of them.”

Exactly.  Both parties will likely receive blame for any shutdown now; the media and Democrats will work hard to put that blame on Republicans, as they have for everything for the past four years (and without the success they’d like), and the Republicans will flail around for the most part and blame Democrats.  But the people will probably blame them both, and that’s as good as a win for both sides (Dems lose points, so does the GOP, and the losses will be relatively balanced if both sides are blamed).  It may even work out better for Republicans because this time the central issue is funding for the ObamaCare Tax lunacy, and it’s less popular now than it was leading into the 2010 midterms.

I think it’s fair to say, as have many of these same Republicans who are cowering in a corner at the thought of a government shutdown, that the nation is polarized far more than it was in the mid-90’s (and that’s saying something for those of us who remember the HillaryCare debacle).  This polarization means that there is little patience for wobbly Republicans who think they can get away with selling out conservative principles and cling to a fast-disappearing “middle.”  Add in the fact that ObamaCare gets less popular with each passing day, and squishy Republicans who refuse to stand and fight to defund it now will wish they had after the 2014 midterms.


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I dunno but think that this if passed, (which it won’t be), could backfire badly.

Better to work for a bullet proof majority and repeal O’bammyCare outright.

Carol Herman | August 1, 2013 at 3:02 pm

I don’t think the GOP is trusted, either.

Yes, people who know each other vote republican. What remains unknown, however, is how “others” … which includes people who aren’t tempted to vote. Democrats. And, people who even vote for Ralph Nader, who has a chance of our-running Harold Stasson for the frequency he’s been a presidential choice.

Did Dubya hurt the brand? Yup.

Does Boehner and Mitchell do a thing for the brand? Nope. If anything Congress is held in the lowest esteem. And, Obama actually stays popular!

Is there a measure for this? The truth is most political positions are local. And, politicians concern themselves with local victories. (So you know they’ll always show up in the local July 4th parade.) Outside of the local communities, nobody even hears anything about most of these politicians. (Until a man’s pants falls to his ankles.)

And, I don’t even think that counts!

I even think Rush Limbaugh is losing steam.

I’m not paid enough to fix what’s broken.

    “I’m not paid enough to fix what’s broken.”

    And therein lies the problem. You know, there is a little thing call PRO BONO, in which you can volunteer to fix things. The problem is not that people can be trusted with power (it’s obvious they cannot), the problem is holding people accountable when they fail to follow the law (i.e. the Constitution). The solution is to get involved and educate people on the issues, and screw political correctness.

    If we continue down this path of apathy, though, the only solution left to those who do care may be civil disobedience.

    You mention most political positions are local, so start getting involved locally. For example, In Portland, OR, and surrounding areas the water rates are a big local issue. Start asking questions as to why local water rates are what they are. Ask for an audit of the system.

    If you are a CPA, accountant, or Tax Lawyer you can volunteer to do an audit, PRO BONO.

1000 felons in Minnesota voted illegally to give Al Franken the senate seat. And, ObamaCare passed the senate with a fillibuster proof majority of 1.

Just pass a budget that leaves out $ for ObamaCare but funds the rest of the government. Then, dare Obama to veto it and shut down the government.

    Archer in reply to Musson. | August 1, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    I like the idea, but it hinges on whether Congress can actually pass a budget, which they seem to have an extraordinarily hard time doing. I wouldn’t hold my breath.

    I currently disapprove of the in general, in broad strokes. The Democrats (with few exceptions) have no brains, and the Republicans (with few exceptions) have no spines. The left-leaning Congresscritters won’t let a budget pass that doesn’t fully fund Obamacare, but it’s a moot point because the right-leaning ones won’t stand up to defund it.

We paid dearly for the 1995 shutdown in the form of a Clinton victory in 1996.

Better that we chip away at the task of repealing O’bammyCare which in the long run is possible rather than the suicidal attempt to defund which just ain’t gonna happen.

It’s time for some pragmatic reasoning here…

Carol Herman | August 1, 2013 at 8:20 pm

The 1995 shut down just showed that Newt Gingrich was a clown. Bill Clinton (except for his sexual Piccadillos)actually did his job pretty well.

The GOP, however, went “all out guns” with Ken Starr … and flopped. IIRC Lewinsky ate all those lawyers lunches. She wasn’t out to destroy the president. Though, cad that he is, he never said thanks.

obama’s a different story! He actually represents, to democrats, their ideal president! Extremists, on both the right and left really don’t care about any of the people!

You know, in ’81 or ’82, when Israel went in on it’s own and knocked out Irak’s nuclear attempt, Reagan went on TV and flapped his finger at Israel. And, he sent Jeanne Kirkpatrick to the UN to send a blast Israel’s way, too.

If your friends do it, what do you expect from obama?

Meanwhile, if we were backstage, I think we’d see the saud’s all in an uproar. Not only with their panties all bunched up … But calling obama on the phone giving him lectures.

The bad guys actually have the most influence.

The young, today, don’t approve at what they see going on in government.

And, democraps? You know they’re figuring on the GOP not being able to get their base out to vote.

In 2014 what do you think the Tea Party will do? They’re not actually fielding candidates right now, you know? Boehner and Mitchell keep sighing with relief. Regular politicians look at the Tea Party (and Independents), as if it’s an empty roach motel … they want to avoid entering.

“If Republicans force us to the brink of another government shutdown for ideological reasons, the economy will suffer,…”

With an annual growth rate of 1% in the present economy, who’s gonna notice?

I’ve seen another avenue of attack suggested. SCOTUS says Obamacare is a tax. The Constitution says revenue bills aka taxes must originate in the House. Obamacare originated in the Senate, so it was passed in violation of the Constitution. There’s no way the current House would originate a bill to retroactively ratify Obamacare.

Assuming this chain of reasoning is sound, who would have standing to sue? SCOTUS probably wouldn’t grant cert anyway, rendering another part of the Constitution a dead letter.

Better to let ObamaCare crash and make the Dems own it.

The unpopularity of the law is bound to grow when more and more people find out what’s in it. Make sure everyone knows this a Dem law.

In Nov. 2010 we gave the GOP House all it needed to defund ObamaCare. They refused to do so, wouldn’t allow it to be brought to the floor. Laughed in our face. Hated the people we gave them in Nov. 2010 and told them to shut up. They stuck a defunding measure in the GOP Appropriations committee where it was “deadlocked” indefinitely. It wasn’t enough that they cavalierly destroyed the country and the GOP for 8 years under George Bush. It’s fine with them because they’ve merged with the democrats and are thrilled Obama was re-elected. A one party country is dangerous. We have no protection from a massive, criminal executive branch which in the past week has threatened us with social unrest and racial violence (NY Times interview near end). Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and a few others understand what has been done to this country, that millions of us are disenfranchised and desperate for someone to take a stand. They have a petition site for people to sign who are in favor of defunding ObamaCare called Don’