This week’s SCOTUS opinions have sent American political discourse through all areas of policy, off the pavement, and into the weeds. What’s next in the fight to repeal Obamacare? Does the gay marriage ruling mean that my pastor will have to perform same sex ceremonies? They’re good questions (and fair questions), and we’re right to float them.
Gay marriage dominated the end of the week, but the Obamacare debate is still at the forefront of discussion; namely, how we can expect to dismantle this monster of a health care law given this week’s latest Supreme wrinkle?
Jeb Bush has an idea—and it may put him at odds with other members of the Republican Party.
Bush appeared on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show this week and fielded a controversial question: if elected President, would he support using the “nuclear option” to eliminate the filibuster if it meant the end of Obamacare? At first, Bush seemed to want to focus on a policy solution that could unite Republicans, but when pressed, said he would consider using the controversial tactic.
Hewitt pressed Bush, pointing out that Republicans are unlikely to get 60 Senate to defeat a filibuster if Democrats stick together and block efforts to repeal Obamacare, as they have done for years. “At that point,” Hewitt said, “would you at least be open to making the argument that on this issue, before it gets its tentacles too deep, that we break the filibuster and ram through a repeal and replacement?”
Bush responded that he was open to it.
“I’d have to see—if the repeal is what I’m going to advocate, then I might consider that,” he said, adding that if the replacement includes high-deductible, low-premium catastrophic coverage and helps the middle class, “then I would certainly consider that.”
But this isn’t just about hypothetical Senate politics—there’s a presidential element here too:
— Hugh Hewitt (@hughhewitt) June 26, 2015
Cruz hasn’t been shy about his position on the nuclear option. In an interview with Hewitt posted earlier this month, the presidential hopeful rejected the tactic of reviving the nuclear option, even as a last resort:
No, I would not [support using the nuclear option], and indeed of the 54 Republicans we have, I am not aware of any who support ending the legislative filibuster. And the reason is in the long term, the legislative filibuster serves conservative purposes. It slows down the legislative process. Now that can be frustrating when we want to do good things. But far more often than not, when Congress is moving quickly, it is moving quickly to attack our liberty, to strip away our rights, to expand government. And the legislative filibuster has prevented a great deal of mischief. And so in the long term interest of the liberty of the citizenry, and also slowing down the growth of government, I think we should preserve the legislative filibuster, but we need to beat Democrats and make the case on the merits that we’ve got to fund our vital national security needs.
Senator vs. Governor. The man who has legislated or the man who has governed—whose narrative will win the day?
— Hugh Hewitt (@hughhewitt) June 26, 2015
Hewitt might have a point here. All things considered, I think I’m with Cruz when it comes to the nuclear option; the Congress was not designed to be a greasy skid, and we shouldn’t treat it as a non-stop chute from the committee room to the Oval Office. That being said, I think there’s a strong political argument for what Jeb Bush is doing here.
Right now, Republicans—especially conservative Republicans—are worried. Maybe scared. We see the Supreme Court tilting in a direction that philosophy and tradition tell us the Court should not tilt; we see an Executive that is out of control; we see a society that embraces the easy media narrative and falls victim to the trappings of progressive messaging. Is there a way through the wilderness?
An instant, short-term solution is awfully tempting, especially when you consider the amount of time the right has spent shouting into the void that is (/was) the Obama White House and Harry Reid’s Senate. If we’re presented with the opportunity to repeal and/or replace Obamacare, how could we possibly justify not seizing it?
Political discourse does not play well with the long game, and Jeb Bush may have just found a golden opportunity to gain favor with a growing and skeptical conservative voter base.DONATE
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