Republican Grandstanders Have Committed Themselves to Defeat

| House.gov| House.govThe plan to defund Obamacare didn’t defund Obamacare. And it’s not going to.

This afternoon, the Senate is voting to close debate on a continuing resolution that cuts funding for the health law. After that, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nv.) will strike language cutting funding for the law. And then the bill will go back to the House, with Obamacare funding intact.

What the House will do then is still unclear, but there’s essentially no chance that anything it does, including shutting down the government, results in the health law losing its funding.

This is not surprising. Indeed, it was inevitable. But it’s still worth dwelling on for a moment, because the episode reveals a lot about the disarray, dysfunction, and legislative blundering of today’s Republican party.

All summer long, a group of Republicans, led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.), insisted that Republicans had to make a stand against the law by refusing to pass any government funding measure that included funding for Obamacare.

There was never any real chance of this working. The Senate, controlled by Democrats, wasn’t going to pass a continuing resolution without funding for the health law. And even if they did, President Obama wasn’t going to sign it.

Sen. Cruz never denied this. “If ordinary Washington rules apply, we can’t win this fight,” he said in July. The votes that would be necessary just weren’t there. But he insisted that if Republicans fought on, they could bend political reality. “We are unlikely to get the votes in closed-door meetings in Washington,” Cruz said. “The only way that we win this fight is if the American people rise up.”

This week, Cruz rose up. He spoke for 21 hours—the fourth longest filibuster-like Senate speech on record. It was an impressive physical feat. And when Cruz engaged questions from Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Il.), an Obamacare supporter, it created a space for some of the most interesting congressional floor debate about the health care law since the law was passed.

But there was an odd sort of irony to the way the speech attacked other Republicans for casting symbolic votes against the law, and for, well, giving fiery speeches against the law that inevitably left it in place. And there was more than a bit of disconnect between Cruz’s repeated exhortations to “make D.C. listen” and the fact that they came in the midst of a 21-hour talkathon.

Cruz wasn’t listening. He was talking. And to a great extent, that’s what this whole shutdown saga has been about—not defunding the law, but talking about defunding the law.

Former Republican Sen. Jim DeMint, now the president of the Heritage Foundation, which has been a key Cruz ally, said as much last month during a tour to stoke support for the defunding push. Sure, Harry Reid might not go along, he admitted. But “if the House passed [a defunding bill] and sent it to the Senate, it would give Republicans something to talk about that needs to be done.”

What Republicans have right now is a lot of talk. What they don’t have is a workable legislative strategy. Not on Obamacare. Not on the debt. Not on tax reform, the unsustainable entitlement state, or on any of the big domestic policy issues that Republicans say they care about, or that actually confront the nation today.

House.govHouse.govPart of coming up with a plausible strategy is going to be recognizing that right now, the GOP is the minority party in Congress, and that there are limits to what it can meaningfully accomplish until that changes.

Part of the trick will be to work effectively within those limits, exploiting clear opposition weak points and pushing for narrow victories that stand some change of being accomplished. Another part will be to build a clear and compelling long-term case for better alternatives. 

(Recent reports suggesting that the GOP may opt to attempt to kill the health law’s medical device tax, which is unpopular with some Democrats, and address the way Obamacare treats health benefits for members of Congress seem to better fit the bill. But wouldn’t these concessions have been easier to extract if they were not chaotically tacked on at the last minute?)

But what Cruz and many of his allies in the defunding fight have done is just the opposite. They have gone big—on rhetoric, on theatrics, on policy requests. And they have stoked demand for grand showdowns amongst many of their supporters, making it harder for those who might prefer more targeted battles to proceed. They're getting the showdowns. But they're not getting much else. 

Right now the GOP has no strategic or tactical savvy. Instead, the party has a surfeit of bluster.

The appeal of such aggressive tactics is perhaps understandable given the Obama administration’s deeply frustrating policy choices. But they would be far more appealing if they offered any chance of victory. What the failed defunding fight makes clear is that there’s little if any substantive advantage in this approach. 

Republicans have said over and over that they are determined to fight Obamacare, and reduce the debt, and hold down government spending. But by opting for meaningless talk and poorly chosen, poorly planned showdowns, they have actually committed themselves to losing. 

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  • Mainer2||

    Cruz seems to have principles and a spine.
    There seem to be lots of folks saying why now is not the time to take a stand. Well, when ?

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Exactly!

    Sorry, Mr. Suderman, but what exactly is your strategy for reversing Obamacare? Anything? Or are you saying libertarians should just learn to live with the increased government presence in the healthcare market?

  • Cytotoxic||

    Schmooze at cocktail parties.

  • VernieCBurton||

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  • Broseph of Invention||

    Anonbot is remarkably on target as to how I imagine the conversations at DC wonk parties to be. In this particular snippet, Emma, a Wonkblog contributor, is bashing Buzzfeed writer pay. It's in bold because they have to talk loudly to be heard over the Vampire Weekend.

  • SIV||

    How many rounds can dance in a cosmotarian magazine?

  • Tony||

    Convince enough Americans to agree with you so that they elect a majority of people to Congress who want to repeal the law.

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    (Principles + Spine) - Majority = 0

  • Winston||

    (Principles + Spine) - Majority = 0
    You are aware that includes every libertarian ever?

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    We're not talking about Libertarians, we're talking about Republicans, who basically had two choices and now have one. The choice they no longer have is to legislatively defeat Obamacare in this election cycle. The time to have exercised that option was when the original bill was being considered. Now they have the choice of shutting down the government over this, allowing the Democrats to pummel them in 2014 and 2016, further increasing the Democratic majority in the Senate and possibly even winning the House. Imagine D majorities in House and Senate and either Drunken Redneck, I mean Joe Biden, or Frigid Virago, I mean Hillary Clinton in the Captain's Chair.

    On the other hand, if we are so goddamned sure that this thing is a train wreck, let it go off the tracks, and let the American people have their noses rubbed in it. Honestly, that's the only way some people learn, by disastrous misadventure.

    Listen to Sun Tzu on this one: "He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot will be victorious."

  • Winston||

    You are aware that pretty much justifies every horrible thing the GOP has ever done? I mean Eisenhower thought that nothing could be done about Social Security and Nixon didn't think anything could be done about Medicare or Medicaid. And look where we are now.

    On the other hand, if we are so goddamned sure that this thing is a train wreck, let it go off the tracks, and let the American people have their noses rubbed in it. Honestly, that's the only way some people learn, by disastrous misadventure.

    How can you say something is a train wreck if you support it the whole time? I think that maybe Cruz thinks that by doing this he can reap the rewards of a disastrous Obamacare implementation. Of course there is the risk that the GOP will make the system worse or the Dems will use it as an excuse to implement single-payer.

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    Winston those are all good points. And I applaud what Cruz did. As a symbolic gesture, his remarkable filibuster was good for liberty, and a nice rhetorical shot across the bow at Obamacare. But there are two things you have to keep in mind: 1) Obamacare will be implemented, even if the GOP shuts down the government until the 2014 midterms, albeit by a different set of folks, many of which will be newly-minted freshman Democrats. So it's a done deal. See my comment about the appropriate time to have exercised the "kill" option. 2) This will be an unmitigated train wreck of epic proportions. Which by the way I expect will affect Americans in a much more personally painful way than Medicare, Social Security ever have. Keep in mind that people have a personal relationship with their health professionals, and further an intimate relationship with the overall condition of their own health, both of which are destined to deteriorate under this misbegotten plan.

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    What Republicans need to do is to keep railing against this plan, much like Cruz has done, in order to make sure that this baby belongs politically to the Dems. I feel that there will be enough pain coming down the pike before next November that they will be able to make an issue of it even at that early stage, and by Nov 2016, we should be really feeling the pain, both budgetarily and personally from all of these exchanges, funding schemes running into the ground that we might actually get Mr Paul to sit in the Captain's Chair.

    I fully acknowledge that this might not happen, but it seems self-evident that shutting down the government, regardless of for how long, will not defeat this act's implementation. Only this act's own implementation can defeat its eventual success, and get us back on the road to sanity.

  • Winston||

    What is the proper way to rail against Obamacare?

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    Start by acknowledging Ted Cruz's temerity, and providing rhetorical and logistical support for him and others who voted not to fund the mess.

    Continue by primarying these 25 Republican motherfuckers who voted to fund it:

    Alexander
    Ayotte
    Barrasso
    Blunt
    Boozman
    Burr
    Chambliss
    Chiesa
    Coats
    Coburn
    Cochran
    Collins
    Corker
    Cornyn
    Graham
    Hoeven
    Isakson
    Johanns
    Johnson (WI)
    Kirk
    McCain
    McConnell
    Murkowski
    Thune
    Wicker

  • Winston||

    Wait you think people should be primaried for opposing something you opposed? And it's not like primarying those folks might not lead to more Dem victories which you were against?

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    This is the list of the Senators who supported (by agreeing to fund) Obamacare. I'm sorry if I didn't make that clear enough in the previous post.

    I get the point about primarying possibly leading to more Dem victories, but these 25 are part of a more important group consisting of status-quo Rs and Ds, who are essentially the core of the problem. They all need to go, regardless of party affiliation.

    If they voted to fund Obamacare, then they are no friends of liberty and primarying them will lead at worst to another establishment candidate, but at best to a more libertarian-leaning liberty-friendly GOP Senator.

  • Winston||

    You were bashing the GOP for a pointless fight against Obamacare and how horrible it would be to elect more Dems only to bash those Republicans who don't want to fight Obamacare and don't seem to care if the GOP loses more Senate seats. So what is it?

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    As I explained before, those Republicans who voted for cloture aren't worth having.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    "The time to have exercised that option was when the original bill was being considered."

    Are you truly that stupid? Can you tell me how many Republicans voted for Obamacare when it was legislated? Right. Can you tell me precisely how they could have stopped it with a filibuster-proof Team Blue majority in the Senate? Now apply that new found knowledge and ability to think before posting again.

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    That statement is demonstrably true because I never said they could have stopped it. All I said was that the period of time during which Obamacare could have been killed was when the original bill was being considered. They did in fact exercise that option, and lost. But that doesn't change the precise temporal location of the opportunity window, not in the least.

    My original point stands, which is that there is not a chance in hell that this monstrosity is going to be stopped by a government shutdown, no matter how long.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    "The choice they no longer have is to legislatively defeat Obamacare in this election cycle. The time to have exercised that option was when the original bill was being considered."

    The implication of this statement is that they had a choice to stop it in the first place which is demonstrably false. If your point was meant to be that the only time a law can be stopped is when it's a bill (and never thereafter), then make that point explicitly. You didn't.

    Further those are two entirely different points. The first says that you can NEVER do anything about it. The second says that this particular tactic won't work. You can pick one or both, but don't claim that they are a single point.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    "On the other hand, if we are so goddamned sure that this thing is a train wreck, let it go off the tracks, and let the American people have their noses rubbed in it."

    And this SHOULD be why so many Americans have a problem with the Republicans. There's more to the world and to policy than just politics. This is a bad bill. Period. Lots and lots of people are going to wind up screwed by it. And not all of them voted the wrong way. Saying let it go through and screw a lot of people so that "we" can win the next election is the worst kind of political whoring.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Way to stay on the cocktail party circuit, Suderman.

  • Restoras||

    I'm sure it wasn't Suderman per se but Megan that made him write this dreck. He'd be happier staying at home and playing GTAV - but when you get married, things change....

  • VG Zaytsev||

    She has been slowly morphing into a progressive over the last several years.

  • Mike M.||

    This probably go a long way to explaining why they're such good buddies with guys like Weiel and Yglesias.

  • Hawk Spitui||

    Given that cosmotarians and progressives want mostly the same kind of society, differing primarily on how to finance it, it ain't really that much of a morph.

  • Restoras||

    WE OFFERED THE WORLD ORDER!!

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • KB Check Release||

    THIS VG Z!

    This to a Tee.

    Sometimes these liberaltarians are just pussy concern trolls.

    Suderman you are slipping!

  • Hawk Spitui||

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Do you ever get tired of posting the same dumb shit over and over?

    Are you even aware that you are a merely a hack? Do you even possess the slightest awareness of how stupid you are? Do you the self-reflective ability to understand that you are the living avatar for the concept of illusory superiority?

  • Hawk Spitui||

    *snicker*

    Are you aware of a phenomena known as projection?

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    God, I hate it when reasonable, thoughtful libertarian journalists state facts and plausible opinions in their columns. Suderman and McArdle are some of the worst that way.

  • KB Check Release||

    He can say whatever he wants, perhaps I'm too politically aware and actually understand that the only way to beat progressives is to never back down from their bullshit.

    Appeasing the left only gets you more of their garbage.

    Being principled and never backing down from those principles in my opinion is the only way to go.

  • DarrenM||

    Appeasing the left only gets you more of their garbage.

    But it gets you invited to their parties, which is the main goal here.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    This article is for libertarians, not progs. Progressives aren't going to make it past the page title.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I hate it when reasonable, thoughtful libertarian journalists state facts and plausible opinions in their columns

    Poor quality speculation =/= facts

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    Yes, this post was an opinion piece, but if you remember back in 2010, everyone else was regurgitating uninformed opinions about PPACA, Suderman was posting quality, factual reporting about it, sometimes several times per day. He was giving us more information than whole newspaper companies, and he tends to do that with any subject he's assigned. You can't write him (or to a lesser extent, McArdle) off as mere editorialists.

  • Hollywood||


    What Republicans have right now is a lot of talk. What they don’t have is a workable legislative strategy.

    A workable legislative strategy does not exist nor will it ever exist. Suderman's criticism seems moot.

  • Restoras||

    Know who else had a "legislative strategy"?

  • Broseph of Invention||

    Leto Atreides I?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Yo, fuck the Landsraad.

  • Hollywood||

    Justinian I?

  • Swiss Servator, Bow to Bern||

    Solon?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Lycurgus?

  • JWatts||

    Stalin?

    Oops, nope sorry, that was a "liquidation strategy".

  • ||

    Potato, Potahto...

  • Brett L||

    Well, not before the next election cycle.

  • Hollywood||

    I have my doubts about the ability of the GOP to follow through even if they win the house, senate, and presidency, which is very unlikely. Never underestimate their ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

  • Brett L||

    Sure. I mean, the only reason they're viable is because the other team is just as hapless. They'd fuck up the procession order at a one car funeral. I was just arguing that even if they were competent, there's not much to be done.

  • DarrenM||

    One thing about Republicans, is that it's generally easier to correct their screwups.

  • po8crg||

    Do tell how to bring back to life all the thousands they killed in Iraq and Afghanistan?

  • Pro Libertate||

    What's their strategy supposed to be? I mean, come on, it's the president and Democrats in Congress that are the real problem here. The GOP is wrong not to just go along and hope for a better opportunity at some unknown future date?

    I am really getting tired of all of this being viewed strictly through the politics-as-a-sports lens. The out-of-control spending, which remains out of control, coupled with this law that is further damaging an already-weakened economy, needs to be dealt with now. Not after the next election, not after the next presidential election. Now.

    I don't give a rat's ass about what kind of hell the Democrats and the media will make for the GOP if they continue this fight. This one really matters, and I think it will pay off in the long run, win or lose.

  • Lord Humungus||

    ^^this^^

  • Restoras||

    Apparently the strategy is supposed to be "make nice and ask pretty please". That always works well when you don't hold enough cards.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I listed to some conservative radio guy in the last couple of days, maybe Hugh Hewitt, and he was wringing his hands about the consequences of continuing this fight, saying that poll numbers show that the GOP can get away with maybe a week of shutdown over this but any longer favors the Democrats.

    Really? How pathetic is it that observers not in government can't say, "Hey, this law and the overall government spending now is a disaster that could set the U.S. into a permanent decline. So anything we can do within the scope of our constitutional authority can and should be done to right the ship."

    There's going to be a day, maybe not even very far into the future, where we won't be able to fix things no matter what we do. Not without an intervening collapse.

    "I will not sacrifice the economy. We've made too many compromises already; too many retreats. They invade our freedoms and we fall back. They assimilate entire industries and we fall back. Not again. The line must be drawn here! This far, no further! And I will make them pay for what they've done!"

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Jean-Luc, relax. Read this novel about a whale.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    I must say though Patrick Stewart is a damn fine actor...role be damned.

  • Pro Libertate||

    No, that's Khan. Picard had every reason to kill and kill again.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Mood is for cattle and love play!

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Mood is for cattle and love play!

  • Cliché Bandit||

    and squirrels are for torture.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    You broke your little ships.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I liked that line.

  • Restoras||

    This might be sacrilige but after Khan First Contact is my favorite Star Trek movie.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    That's acceptable.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Don't knock Undiscovered Country. It's a toss up between it and First Contact.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    You realize that Picard backed down from his stance like 15 seconds later, after the black chick compared him to a literary character?

  • Hugh Akston||

    But Team Red isn't going to accomplish anything because they have a minority in Congress, a hostile media, and no viable alternative to sell.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Sure they do. Free market solutions. I can buy a big TV with more and more features for less and less each year. Ditto a whole slew of largely unregulated goods and services. It fucking works.

    What doesn't work is heavy government intervention, regulation, and subsidization. Education, housing, space programs, military industry, healthcare even before Obamanationcare. Over and over and over again, we see how it fails, only benefiting those with connections at the expense of most of us.

    We needed to stop this yesterday, not tomorrow. The Democratic leadership is completely separated from facts and reality, and it is irresponsible to let them keep driving towards the cliff.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Since when does Team Red give a shit about the free market?

  • Pro Libertate||

    I'm not saying they'll do it. I'm saying they should do it. They at least have a decent number willing to go to the mat; otherwise, the defunding measure would've never left the House.

    The biggest problem for the GOP right now is that they aren't unified in fighting ACA and spending in general. If they were, I think they would have a much more robust strategy.

  • Mainer2||

    The argument is, sure, free market for TV's. But healthcare, education, housing..those are too important to leave to the free market. How does one make that argument that those things are too important to leave up to the government ?

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's easy. Beat the drum on how much government has contributed to the high rate increases in medical services and healthcare over the years. The evidence is there. Don't give in, don't back down. Make it clear that medical services and insurance are too important to be in the hands of political hacks.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Grocery stores are too important to leave up to the free market. Toilet paper is too important to leave up to the free market.

    Hah, that was only a week ago. They're still fucked. hahahahaha

  • Hugh Akston||

    I agree that Team Red needs a leader that stands for something other than self-tanner and pink ties, who can rally support both in Congress and among the great unwashed to find a better alternative.

    The public hates ObamaCare and this is the perfect time to sell them something better, even if it's just a free-market alternative like the car insurance market.

    But Team Red doesn't have that. And no matter how hard you want it to be otherwise, Cruz's flagellations not only accomplish nothing, they actually weaken the long-term fight against ObamaCare.

  • Brett L||

    I disagree, with your assessment, Hugh. I think we need more Mr. Smith Goes to Washington moments in which a single senator holds up the works for any reason. Not necessarily from the GOP, because fuck those guys, on balance. Just people who are willing to step out of the political herd, even if motivated by the selfish reasons of attempting differentiation.

  • Mainer2||

    As I said above. Cruz has principles and a spine.

    As the great dictator would say, we need this man...he fights.

  • Pro Libertate||

    How can they weaken a fight that isn't happening except for right now? We all know that if this gets entrenched, no one will root it out.

  • Restoras||

    That's the problem. Once it get's going nothing will stop it. It will perpetually suck resources and innovation out of the private sector in the name of "health care" when all it is really doing is benefitting insurance companies and the bureaucrats that administer the fucking thing.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I'll be honest, I think fixing the system even if the Libertarian Brotherhood took over tomorrow would be a challenge. It's hard to just turn everything off, and any transition period to a free market would, of course, suck, because it would still be full of ugly.

    With the people we have in power, the more socialist the system gets, the harder it is to get rid of it. And dependents, of course, are voters.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    ^THIS^

    I hate to say this, but I get the impression that many of those opposing Cruz's efforts will be telling us next year that right before the mid-terms just isn't the right time to be pushing back against Obamacare. Why give the Democrats an issue to rally around? Then, if the Republicans take the Senate, we'll be told that it's all too early. Dismantling with a lame duck in office is just too messy and complicated. Then we'll be told it shouldn't be a presidential issue because we don't want that to be an issue for the Democrats to rally around. Then, if the Republicans take the White House, we'll be told that making push-back against Obamacare shouldn't be a priority. It'll make the public think they're being vindictive and trying to roll back their predecessor's legacy. Then we'll be told that, with the mid-terms coming up, we again have to take it off the table. Then, eventually, we'll be told it's established policy and repeal would be just too dangerous.

  • Killazontherun||

    they actually weaken the long-term fight against ObamaCare.

    The GOP strategy is to let the goddamned abomination collapse on its own, from its own failure. Here's the thing about that. Failure is a systemic adjustment. Social Security is a failure, Medicare is a failure, if they were not failures the costs going out from those programs would not be in a thirty five year spiral of metastasis. Obamacare will become a systemic adjustment, and those who get free shit from it will out vote those who have to net pay into it. If its not stopped now, the chances are slim to nil it will be when the free shit brigade starts to get use to it.

    That is a cultural death spiral that will turn this country into Greece. There is no moderate strategy that is going to prevent that, and the only weapon in the GOP has in its arsenal are hams for fists. Sorry, but you use what you got in a battle, not your pipe dream of electoral advantage down the road.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Sure they do. Free market solutions.

    Except Team Red hasn't been pushing these solutions. They've been pushing what has been up until now, the status quo--an extraordinarily dysfunctional healthcare system that gets more expensive every year in both real and inflation-adjusted terms.

    You aren't going to see Republicans pushing for open pricing of healthcare services. You aren't going to see Republicans pushing to increase HSA plans. You aren't going to see Republicans promote the limitation of health insurance to catastrophic coverage only and the expansion of a cash-based health payment system. So when someone comes up with a supposed solution to this mess, people are naturally going to be more sympathetic to the side that argues it's at least *trying* to fix it, even if the solution is realitisically awful.

    If the Dems succeeded in pushing through this shitshow, it's because the Reps utterly failed to promote the free market solutions that would have prevented its passage, and are still failing to do so today.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Again, I'm talking about what they could do. What they should do. I know most of the GOP is still as in love with big government as the Democrats are.

  • ||

    I can't entirely agree with that assessment, because nobody not represented in this comment section actually wants free market health care reforms. They want whatever is going to make everything free for them and really expensive for the evil rich, who will pay for everything.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Only because they're pussies.

    The house could say fuck you senate and Obama, we're not funding Obmacare, the government can stay shut down for the next two years if you don't fucking like it.

    The Ds would cave inside of a week.

  • Hugh Akston||

    That's what I'm saying. They have no strategy here besides impotent grandstanding. They'll whine and pound shoes on the podium for a while and then vote to fund it.

    The folks in this thread who envision Cruz's thing as something other than the worst kind of empty grandstanding, or who are projecting some kind of heroism onto the basest Team Red assweasels need to take a step back and take another look at the situation.

  • Brett L||

    What was he supposed to do?

  • Pro Libertate||

    I partially agree, but there's still the fact that the House passed the defunding measure. Yes, it's a little on the grandstanding side, but it doesn't have to be. They can refuse to back down.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    So, do you think the Republicans should just go along with Obamacare? How about the libertarians?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Me? Kill it. Kill it with fire. Even if it means losing the elections in 2014, which I highly doubt. Fuck it, we're in real trouble.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    I agree. And that's klnd of my point to Hugh. Honestly, I don't care what Cruz's motivations are here. He's right. Obamacare sucks and we ought to toss it out. If "grandstanding" is going to even move to accomplish that just a little (how many people were talking about even delaying Obamacare before Cruz pressed the point), then I welcome his efforts.

  • Pro Libertate||

    And, to be sure, Cruz isn't totally messing around. I've heard some of the criticisms he's made of Obamacare, and they aren't your standard GOP bullshit. Sounds a lot more like he thinks government shouldn't be in the business of practicing medicine.

    So, yes, he has political reasons for doing this, but there's also something more to it than that.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    What if you consider it a public statement that Obamacare is the Democrat's monster and they tried to stop it?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Ding, ding.

  • po8crg||

    Next time you get 218 Congressmen prepared to sacrifice their political careers on a point of principle will be the first. If the result would be a D landslide in the 2014 midterms, then the Rs will back down. If the result would be an R landslide, then the Ds will back down.

    Even if they had that much in the way of cojones, if the Ds knew they were winning in public opinion, they wouldn't cave: they'd regard it as a proof of the need for the federal government (the people don't like it being shutdown, therefore it must be good - the politician's syllogism) and they'd happily wait for polling day and the destruction of the GOP.

  • DarrenM||

    We can't win, so don't play? At least make it difficult for your opponents. Sheesh!

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    They don't have a minority in Congress. At worst they have a deadlock, and it's not even that.

    The House Dems can't stop the House GOP from passing stuff, but the Senate GOP can stop the Senate Dems from passing stuff.

  • Mainer2||

    I think it will pay off in the long run,too. Two of the guys that work on our loading dock were complaining what suckers they are to work, and therefore support all the free loaders on welfare and food stamps. These are the little guys, the working stiffs, the downtrodden..and they are getting sick of what's going on. If Cruz draws a line, dare I say a red line, where he will stand and fight, regardless of the shit thrown at him, then in the long run, he can rally alot of pent up frustration and desire to make real changes in the direction of the country.

  • DarrenM||

    Exactly! This is a long play. Sure Obamacare will be enacted, but at least Cruz can't be accused of standing by and doing nothing while watching the train wreck.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The out-of-control spending, which remains out of control, coupled with this law that is further damaging an already-weakened economy, needs to be dealt with now. Not after the next election, not after the next presidential election. Now.

    I don't give a rat's ass about what kind of hell the Democrats and the media will make for the GOP if they continue this fight. This one really matters, and I think it will pay off in the long run, win or lose.

    Yep.

    And the thing is that there's always another election just around the corner.

  • Brett L||

    I agree. Between this and setting the debt ceiling to infinity until December 2014, what's the fucking difference? In my mind, we need an OTB party who doesn't give a shit about NYT tongue-baths or what the Beltway Brahmins think of them.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    OTB party? Sweet, I'll take "Silly Slick Salty Dog", "Her Highness's Wet Saddle", and "Sir Longrod Von Hugendong" for a $10 trifecta please.

  • Brett L||

    Man, stupid internet pornification of political acronyms. I mean, obviously the Moro Islamic Liberation Front is the all-time loser, but fuck. Outside The Beltway political party for clarification.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    I AM THE C.L.I.T. COMMANDER!!!

  • Brett L||

    Confederation of Libertarian Independent Traders?

    Wasn't that sloppy's gig before he went back to real work?

  • Mainer2||

    "sloppy's gig"

    John ? Is that you ?

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Mainer2...i just snorted coffee over that, thanks.

  • Brett L||

    Joez Law strikes again. I'm still just bitter about the curb stomping I took at Ken's hands in the JsubD fantasy league.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    No I think he was in the Professional Users Society Serving Youth.

  • Killazontherun||

    DC, the town where the losers pelt the able and capable with eggs. Go ahead, Pete, grab a few and pound the shit out of Cruz, join the Liliputians.

  • KB Check Release||

    So much This Pro L.

    The democrats are idiots at everything except pandering because Repubs and Libertarians let them get away with everything.

    Never back down. Never stop using logic. Never stop using quality analogies.

    I love the Rand Paul approach to politics because he does all of those things but never loses his cool.

    Always poised and collected and always with a great amount of tangible points to make to contradict liberal lies.

  • Pro Libertate||

    How many of us crave common sense and principles? I bet it's a significant minority if not better. This country is tired of the status quo.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    The democrats are idiots at everything except pandering because Repubs and Libertarians let them get away with everything.

    Unfortunately, pandering is everything in modern politics. The professional statist left is truly a self-sustaining system (well, until the parasite kills the host). It's quite a feat that conservatives and libertarians have prevented a total takeover before now.

  • DJF||

    """"What the House will do then is still unclear, but there’s essentially no chance that anything it does, including shutting down the government, results in the health law losing its funding."""

    Why is that, because spineless cosmopolitans at Reason will chicken out and join the MSM in attacking the Republicans?

  • Restoras||

    All it takes is one jump to a "mainsteam" outlet...

  • Hollywood||

    The House said they were willing to pass the FULL budget requested by the president but leaving out Obamacare funding. If they pass that and the senate dems refuse to vote for it or the president vetoes it, then it isn't "GOP shutting down the govt" is it?

  • Hollywood||

    I meant house gop

  • VG Zaytsev||

    What's the alternative? To be ostracized by the DC press corps - no way they'll let that happen.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I'm cool with shutting the fucker down. You guys?

  • sarcasmic||

    Works for me.

  • Aloysious||

    This seems appropriate.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5ZSDCvUwN8

    "Shut it down! Shut it down forever!"

  • VG Zaytsev||

    What happens if they shut down the government and no one notices?

  • DarrenM||

    What happens if they shut down the government and no one notices?

    That's the biggest fear, probably on both sides.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Yes.

    And I submit a theme song for the event.

  • Brett L||

    Are there any giant twinkies involved? Because we shouldn't shut things down if it means cats and dogs living together.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Here's the thing... The government shuts down, NBC Nightly News finds every possible story about a negative impact, sensationalizes it, and you have another Democrat supermajority for Obama's last two years.

    Unlikely? Yeah, but that's the concern.

  • General Butt Naked||

    I was a teenager during the last shutdown, but was interested in politics and read the news. My memory informs me that what you say was tried but that the news was met with a resounding "meh" by the vast majority of americans. Kinda like the sequester horrors that we were supposed to experience.

  • XM||

    The country is just too dang big for most people to be affected by temp shutdowns. No one in LA is really going to care national parks somewhere in Wyoming is going to close.

    The Colorado flood (which was supposed to be of biblical proportion) barely made any news. But if that kind of flood hit somewhere in Asia, the whole country would be concerned. Sandy Hooks is now a distant memory. Lots of Asian immigrants are frankly surprised at how Americans seem so unmoved by events or news that would capture the imagination of their homelands.

  • Pro Libertate||

    You know, worrying about that has made the GOP the Democratic-Lite Party.

  • General Butt Naked||

    @PL

    Exactly. The republicans have used the evil media as a cover for their own big government ineptitude for far too long. It's time to either nut up or shut up.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I bet they'd win huge in the next couple of elections if they'd go hardcore right now. Yes, they'd take heaps of abuse and probably suffer in the polls, but they could really win this battle if they were willing to be assholes about it. And if they do, I guarantee than just getting rid of that stupid law, even temporarily, would give the economy a decent boost.

    Even the faithful are starting to notice that this "recovery" feels an awful lot like what we used to call a recession. And even among those on welfare, not all are satisfied to live at lower income levels forever.

  • Mainer2||

    The progs are willing to be assholes.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    See, I think they could win it but with a charm offensive. Come across as the levelheaded ones in the debate and maybe, just maybe, you can make more of the public see reason.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I agree completely. Refuse to back down, but stay calm, reasonable, and avoid any hyperbole. Just state the facts and build on the fear that more and more of us have about this law. Let the Democrats freak out and say this is worse than the holocaust.

    There's still a decent streak of common sense in this country. Appeal to that, and the GOP can win this battle right now. If they wanted to. If they really opposed Leviathan.

  • KB Check Release||

    This Fisty ^^^

    It's why I like Rand so much and that is well put.

    Charm offensive. Really good descriptor. And the jezzies will prolly co-opt it to denounce PUAs but that is a different story for a different day.

  • General Butt Naked||

    It could be argued that the shutdown lost Dole the election, but I think that's hogwash and horseshit. Bob Dole was never gonna beat Clinton, no way. It's like saying that McCain lost because of Palin, it's just not true.

    And the horrible consequences for the republicans was a gain of 2 senate seats and a loss of 2 house seats, with the potus remaining the same. Shit, if the architect of the shutdown wasn't Nuclear Titties they probably could have gained more. But he's such an insufferable ass that his increased media face time probably cost the 'phants a few house seats.

    I think the combination of young turks in the republican party and the increasingly bizarre behavior of the left makes this a prime time to embrace a bit of extremism. The "mainstream" and beltway republicans will fight this tooth and nail, but their power seems to be waning.

  • Pro Libertate||

    The GOP won so big in 1994 that Clinton was, in most respects, a moderate Republican president for the next six years.

  • General Butt Naked||

    That too.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    And of course it was in 1996. An incumbent president losing in the midst of perhaps the greatest economic boom of the voting population's life was not going to happen.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Yup. The legacy media agrees with the Democrats. That's been established. Worrying about their reaction means worrying if your policies will be liked by the Democrats.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I understand the concern, but there really isn't a good alternative at this point, AND I think non-leftist people are starting to tune out the MSM hysteria. The function of the MSM at this point is to rile up the liberal base and cover up BO's scandals.

    Supermajority certainly isn't going to happen. Those are once in a lifetime things. Don't forget the Dems only got a supermajority in 2009-10 because Specter switched parties, not because of the elections. And you're not going to have a repeat of 2008's election with no Bush in the White House and no Caramel Messiah on the ballot.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Count me in.

  • General Butt Naked||

    We're up to 8 people. This could become a thing if we keep it up.

    "FUCK YOU, CUT SPENDING SHUT IT DOWN!"

  • Swiss Servator, Bow to Bern||

    9. I am in.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I agree that the GOP could have played this much, much smarter. You know that ObamaCare won't be defunded, so now's when you go to Plan B -- which is what you hoped to get all along. Problem is, there's no Plan B.

  • Calidissident||

    I agree with this. I can see Suderman's point, but I think that even though the Republicans were never going to defund Obamacare, they still could have used this opportunity to get something out of this as a compromise, and emerge from this showdown with a political victory. The problem is, I don't think there's any coherent plan on what that is.

  • Mainer2||

    Maybe Cruz needs another maverick Senator to work with him to develop a plan.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    So, in other words they were supposed to try to get....what? More spending for their districts? Oh, I know, maybe an awesome photo op with Joe Biden and Harry Reid.

  • Calidissident||

    "So, in other words they were supposed to try to get....what? More spending for their districts?"

    Well, yeah, given what the vast majority of Republicans in Congress are like, that probably would be it. Ideally, it would be the opposite, or some deregulation perhaps

  • Bill Dalasio||

    And what makes you think deregulation would fare any better? Obamacare is an unpopular law. Are you going to tell me that the better strategy would be to hope for good will on the part of the Democrats on an issue they stand even less to lose on?

  • Calidissident||

    This would be my strategy:

    1. Push for Obamacare defunding
    2. When that fails, craft another bill raising the debt ceiling and funding Obamacare, with cuts, deregulation, or whatever included. Portray this as a reasonable compromise. At this point, they can claim that Democrats are the ones refusing to be reasonable and compromise.

    Or heck, maybe John's strategy is better (keep passing bills defunding Obamacare, but include certain other progressive goals, like card check, amnesty, etc. to show those Democrat constituencies what the Dems really care about)

  • John||

    I like either one of those strategies. The Republicans just don't have the balls to close the deal. Obama is such a rube. He painted himself into a corner on this. Neither Reid nor Obama are very bright. They are not hard to manipulate. If the House passed a bill funding Obamacare, the Senate would have to pass it. I don't care what is in it. Even the media couldn't spin it for them. All the low information voters know is the narrative that the evil Republicans are shutting down the government to stop Obamacare. Once Obmama go that, the low information public would blame him for not signing the CR.

  • Calidissident||

    It's almost like the GOP actually is the Stupid Party. Or the Evil Party. I forget which one.

  • Pro Libertate||

    All of the delays and unilateral exemptions coming out of the White House are huge ammunition for a revised law. The GOP could go far with that approach, I think.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    And again, why should the Democrats go along? They've got the media support? And bluntly, it would be pretty naked politicking with the nation's credit. Do you think for a moment THAT wouldn't get played up? At least opposition to Obamacare has a wide level of support.

  • Calidissident||

    It's about the narrative. People want to see their politicians act "reasonable." Most people may oppose Obamacare, but that doesn't mean they support a "government shutdown" to try and end it.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    "It's about the narrative."

    And who the hell is it that you think controls the narrative? Pretty much anything short of the Republicans saying "Oh, yes sir, Mr. President! Please forgive us for ever having less than absolute certainty in your superior wisdom and intelligence." is going to be spun as Republican obstructionism.

  • Calidissident||

    The media will spin it regardless, but that doesn't mean the Republicans actions are totally irrelevant to how people view things. Media bias doesn't mean Republicans are powerless pawns, and not all media is controlled by progressives.

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's odd, because I think the GOP actually has the advantage here. Yet the media is going whole hog to make it look otherwise.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    Yes, exactly right. The GOP should be making it as politically costly as possible to keep Obamacare, forcing them to take unpopular positions with their constituents. The GOP can force them to either roll back their big achievement or endanger their caucus. The best part is that even if they do manage to keep Obamacare, they'll have to fight for it, and that means they'll have to remind the whole country that it's their creation.

    There is a role for theatrics like filibusters, and God knows I love them when they're done right, but there was no good outcome for this one, other than for Cruz to state that he's not going down without a fight. If that's ever the best use of political capital, you're pretty much toast anyway.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    At this point, they can claim that Democrats are the ones refusing to be reasonable and compromise.

    Claim to who? MSM will not allow that message to contaminate their airwaves.

    Sevo Christ, BO is already flat-out refusing to negotiate on the debt ceiling. There's no benefit to making a case that the Dems are the ones refusing to compromise, they're explicitly saying so themselves.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    I see his point too. He thinks the Republicans should keep doing the same thing they have always done and hope for different results this time. Makes perfect sense.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    When did the Republicans ever actually stand up to the Democrats?

  • Swiss Servator, Bow to Bern||

    1861?

  • Gadianton||

    Actually, Plan B (as defined by Cruz in a radio interview with Mark Levin) is for the House to send individual resolutions: one to fund the military, one to fund the Social Security and Medicare, one to fund the Dept. of Education, etc. Everything but one to fund Obamacare.

    If the Senate votes them down, or the president vetoes them, they have handed the Republicans a club to beat them with.

    The problem with Plan B is that it depends on the Boehner to do his job as Speaker of the House.

  • John||

    I don't understand why they didn't do this in the first place. They should have sent the bills up all this month.

    Then there is the fact that that is how it is supposed to work. The CR has always been an abomination.

  • Gadianton||

    I agree. I suspect that the need for a Grand Gesture to kick it off is the why. We must be seen to be DOING SOMETHING about Obamacare. If they just pass individual resolutions to fund stuff, it's not clear what they're doing unless you pay attention.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    I don't understand why they didn't do this in the first place.

    They didn't do it in the first place because the republican establishment wants Obamacare implemented.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    That should be plan A anyways.

    If we are ever going to get spending under control, we gotta stop all the log rolling anyways.

    Pass one thing that is "the budget". Make it absolutely minimal. Then pass other spending bills (or don't!) one at a time for all the other crap.

    I don't see why this is so hard.

  • DarrenM||

    The problem with Plan B is that it depends on the Boehner to do his job as Speaker of the House.

    Boehner's job is to make sure he remains Speaker of the House. Anything or anyone else it expendable.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Boehner is all we've got right now, so it's best to support him the best we can.

    Yeah, I realize how vomit-inducing that is.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    True, but he's got a tightrope to walk. There's already a significant fraction of the House GOP that would enjoy skinning him alive, and if he pisses off the Tea Partiers even more, his remaining supporters are getting primaried.

  • robc||

    Plan B is see Plan A.

    Dont pass a continuing resolution without defunding.

  • some guy||

    What the House will do then is still unclear, but there’s essentially no chance that anything it does, including shutting down the government, results in the health law losing its funding.

    Technically, if the government shuts down a lot of stuff loses funding, including PPACA. If the stimulus can become part of the baseline, why can't a shutdown?

  • Pro Libertate||

    I'm in. Shut it down. Play chicken. Even if the Democrats and the media get some of the public riled up, I bet we'd (meaning the country) reap benefits from the win the GOP would get in the long run. See, they can go without the spending crack longer than the Democrats can. At least a good minority of them can.

  • Mike M.||

    Although there's not a whole lot of substance to these pieces, I do have to kind of admire Suderman's ability to tirelessly write the same article hundreds of times with slight variants each time. It is starting to get a little boring at this point though.

  • Lord Humungus||

    The Suderman Mad-Lib software - you too can write an opinion piece by filling out a few simple forms.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    For substance I really do prefer Balko and Shikha Dalmia.

  • Adam330||

    Suderman, the Dems are going to win this because they are willing to say, as a bloc, that they will shut down the government rather than defund Obamacare. And they've convinced you and lots of other people that they'll do that. If Reps could do the same, then their strategy could actually work.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I am really getting tired of all of this being viewed strictly through the politics-as-a-sports lens.

    Somebody was "explaining" to me the other day about how the only real object of this exercise is to get Senate votes on record for use in the next election campaign.

    Well, yeah, he shanked that ball right back to the pitcher for an easy out, but just wait; their grand strategy will be revealed later in the game.

    Meanwhile, the money furnace is running around the clock.

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's a damned shame that the battle isn't more clearly between a statist, spending-mad party and a libertarian, small government party. Because if it were that, then the fight and the goals of the fight would be clear.

    You can't tell me the GOP leadership wants any general trend against Big Government. Because they most assuredly do not. That's why they aren't going to mat here, not because the press will call them names.

  • John||

    Here is the thing, why can't the GOP shut down the government for like a month or more? Well, they will get killed at the polls in 2014. Says Suderman and Goldberg and the various other Washington concern trolls. And maybe they are right. But maybe also actually stopping this madness might help them. If shutting down the government is so bad for Republicans, why is Obama acting so pissed and panicked at the prospect? Is President community organizer suddenly concerned for their welfare?

  • Warty||

    Because government is a religious thing to these people. I think he does think it shutting down would lead to mass deaths and zombie attacks.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I bet most of us wouldn't even notice, except for the constant drone of whining from the media and government officials.

  • DarrenM||

    I'm sure Obama and the Democrats are working round the clock to come up with ways to make a government shutdown hurt the populace as much has possible.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Sure. What's interesting about that is that, given the messed up situation we have these days, a lot of the discretion for that is in the hands of the executive. If the GOP continuously points that out, Obama could be hurt very badly by such moves.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I certainly would not conclude anything from Obama's public posturing. That is for image, alone. The fact that he seems aggrieved at the thought of government shutdown is to show the voters that he cares about whether it shuts down and the GOP does not, so that when it does it will be the latter that is blamed. Quite perilous to conclude from his posturing that he is actually afraid the GOP will rise to the bait.

  • John||

    If you want to bet on Obama having an back bone and going through with something, good luck with that. His history says otherwise.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I hope you have read the possible reaction to Senator Cruz' strategy better than you did the post you are responding to here. That was not at all what I was referring to.

  • Brett L||

    You don't know, Brooksie. That one extra toss to first could take enough off his heater for a late inning homer!

    But probably not.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Maybe I'm an oddball, but I always thought libertarians were supposed to oppose bad laws. Tooth and nail. To the bitter end.

    Let me ask you, if the majority party wanted to reinstate Jim Crow, would opponents be right to fight it, even if the majority had lock control of the Senate? Or should they go-along-to-get-along and just try to score on some other issue?

  • Mike M.||

    Real libertarians do; you're no oddball at all.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Signed -- fuck, it is ridiculous that libertarians are sandbagging someone for doing the exact same sort of thing that Ron Paul and Rand Paul do all the time. Hell, it stands more of a chance of success and the law it is raised in opposition to really is unpopular among the masses. Libertarians really can be hipsters sometimes.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    I honestly don't understand. I think we're in agreement here. Why am I a hipster?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I don't see any libertarians doing that, only Suderman.

  • VG Zaytsev||

  • Brett L||

    OT: The one team coming apart faster than the GOP.

    TAMPA, Fla. -- A day after Josh Freeman said in an ESPN interview that his best-case scenario might be a trade out of Tampa, Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano wouldn't say if Freeman would be the No. 2 or No. 3 quarterback for Sunday's game against Arizona.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Sure hope Glennon is one of those rookies who catches on quickly. Arizona and a bye isn't the worst way to start out. And it's not like he'd have to light up the world to do better than Freeman.

  • Killazontherun||

    Panthers blowing out the Giants Sunday was a thing of beauty. I almost didn't watch it, but flipped through in the first quarter as Eli was getting sacked. It almost made up for losing the first two games, to Seattle, quite understandable, but to Buffalo, no excuse. They have enough talent on the team this year, esp, with the defensive pick ups, to be the best team in the league, but on a tactical level, so mediocre.

  • Pro Libertate||

    No, no, Eli is better than Peyton, because Super Bowls.

  • Brett L||

    I think the Giants need to block more than one defender per dropback to have a chance of winning.

  • John||

    What Republicans have right now is a lot of talk. What they don’t have is a workable legislative strategy.

    I guess Sudderman really has been absorbed by the Beltway Hive mind. The logic of this works both ways. If the House refuses to pass a CR that funds Obamacare, you could just as easily say "What Democrats have right now is a lot of talk. What they don't have is a workable legislative strategy to get a CR". Since neither side has control, neither side really has a workable strategy. But thanks to the Washington media hive mind, the Dems have been given one; have concern trolls like Suderman explain to the country how Republicans are evil and unrealistic for refusing to fund the government if it means funding Obamacare but Democrats are totally responsible for refusing to fund the government if it means not funding Obamacare.

    I understand why some place like MCDNC would buy into this Jedi mind trick. But Reason pretends to be better than that.

  • Rhino||

    The Dems strategy is to refuse to negotiate and then say that their opponents are refusing to negotiate, or are extortionists.

  • John||

    And that appears to be working thanks to concern trolls like Sudderman and his dimwitted wife.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    I can't remember. Does Suderman actually like Obamacare?

  • John||

    That is a good question. He avoids the subject by doing a lot of pearl clutching over those crazy Republicans and concern trolling over various polls.

    This thing is going to be a national tragedy. Yet, people like Sudderman talk about this the same way they would talk about a fight over steel subsidies.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    The fuck? Suderman did an amazing job of reporting on all the dirty secrets about Obamacare for more than a year. It's practically all he reported on during 2010.

  • John||

    He may have reported it, but he doesn't seem too disturbed by it now.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    You do not see indicators of disapproval of the law in this reporting itself?

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    No, Bo, the only sure way to show that you dislike Obamacare is to shriek constantly how much you hate it. Expressing moderate disapproval implies consent.

  • John||

    No. Thinking the people trying to defund it are radicals and the people who refuse to even consider defunding it as reasonable implies consent.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -Thinking the people trying to defund it are radicals and the people who refuse to even consider defunding it as reasonable implies consent.

    Do you mean this seriously? I am a tad incredulous. It is obviously a difference on strategy and tactics, no?

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    Look, if you're not willing to stick a potato into the presidential limo's tailpipe, you're just not serious about ending Obamacare. And I think we all know why.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    I was asking a serious question. If he didn't like it initially, I'll accept that.

    But now it seems like the only thing he puts any writing effort into criticizing the guys who are trying to get rid of it. So, I don't get it.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    I can sympathize. Obamacare was almost single-handedly responsible for destroying my previous employer, so I hate it as much as anyone. However, I find this kind of crap insulting because it indicates a lack of seriousness about fixing the problem. It's the worst kind of symbolic action in that it's expensive and certain to fail, but damn, it looks cool.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I still want to know what Senator Cruz' speech was supposed to accomplish. Was it really just to draw press? That seems more aggrandizing than productive, and even if that is not the case surely thinking so is not a sign of treason to commitment to small government.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    If he meant it to draw attention to the issue and force the Democrats to go "YAY OBAMACARE!" again, sure, sounds like a good idea. But there are many, many better ways to do that, and the way that the defunding crowd are going about this is strategically ineffective in the best probable outcomes.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Robbers, I do agree that it was not the most effective strategy that the GOP could have undertaken -- but I don't see the GOP as a whole doing much to oppose the law or even keep it in the public consciousness right now. Cruz's initial strategy would have worked better, methinks, if the GOP had gone along with him. Right now, I see him doing something and most of the rest of his coworkers doing a whole bunch of nothing.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -I don't see the GOP as a whole doing much to oppose the law or even keep it in the public consciousness right now.

    But IT, it is becoming increasingly, not decreasingly, unpopular as it rolls out.

  • robc||

    GOP as a whole

    Of course not. Its a minority (but growing) within the GOP that is opposing the law and trying to bend the rest of the GOP.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    it is becoming increasingly, not decreasingly, unpopular as it rolls out.

    Which is why as many pro-repeal GOP members as possible should be in favor of forcing ObamaCare to stay in the national consciousness.

    To hear McCain and Co tell it, the GOP of late has been about war in Syria, and that's pretty much it. War in Syria is both stupid and about as popular as Clymidia (probably for the reason that it is stupid). Why the fuck would an anti-ObamaCare indie want to vote for the party of ground troops in Syria?

  • DarrenM||

    But IT, it is becoming increasingly, not decreasingly, unpopular as it rolls out.

    It's foolish to place all your bets on the *hope* that the public will see the light in time for something to be done. Personally, I'm not inclined to trash the nation just in order to score political points.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    I agree that Cruz's thing was mostly just a PR stunt. If it helps to stoke the fire in the House, thats OK. If it does nothing, it doesn't really hurt. It's up to the guys in the house to have some balls now.

  • robc||

    Cruz also might have been hoping that his stunt caused the Senate phone lines to melt from callers supporting him calling their Senator.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    That is a fair point.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    Yes, I think the article says this was his stated goal. Still, it's a risky gambit that was a lot more likely to move the GOP to a less advantageous position, especially since Boehner is practically pro-PPACA. You don't do stuff like that unless you don't have anything to lose. This is exactly why the GOP is the Slightly More Stupid Party.

  • DarrenM||

    Was it really just to draw press?

    And advertising that a particular piece of legislation is a disaster and that it's the other guy's fault is bad? I suppose all opponents to Obamacare should just shut up since the law was already passed. I wonder what other goodies that get passed in the future we're supposed to shut up about.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Taking the floor at a maddeningly frustrating meeting and yelling how you really feel can really make one feel good.

    But it rarely gets anything done and is often counterproductive. It came off looking like 1. aggrandizement for Cruz's political future and 2. 'holding the government hostage.' Remember, the House had a bill with defunding provisions and the Senate was going to reject it and send it back, then the House was free to reject it again. What Cruz seemed to do was say 'I am going to even slow down the Senate's rejection of the House bill, because it puts us that much closer to a government shutdown and hopefully alarms everyone into taking my position more seriously!'

    But that kind of acting, while satisfying to the like minded, rarely causes that result.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    I still want to know what Senator Cruz' speech was supposed to accomplish.

    It was effective at pointing out that the establishment Rs are lying shit weasels.

  • Restoras||

    Becuz Cocktail Partaaayz!

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    The fuck? Suderman did an amazing job of reporting on all the dirty secrets about Obamacare for more than a year. It's practically all he reported on during 2010.

    And then in 2012 he hamstrung the only real opportunity to get rid of BO-Care in full; now in 2013 he's ripping into the people trying to mitigate the damage from it.

  • FYTW||

    The administration and Harry Reid have been entirely clear from the get-go that they will categorically refuse to accept anything other than a "clean" continuing resolution that funds government at current levels. They will veto anything else; they will not negotiate any conditions or riders. Not a defund of ObamaCare, not spending restraint, nothing.

    Ergo, it doesn't matter what the GOP does or doesn't do, Suderman, you retarded motherfucking jackass. There is no "more reasonable" Plan B to fall back to. Every other alternative -- from delaying the individual mandate for a year to repealing the medical device tax to whatever other "more reasonable" gesture you can think of -- is every bit as DOA in the Senate as the confrontational defund approach. For Christ's sake, you have Jack Lew out comparing Republicans demanding policy concessions to suicide bombers.

    This is, by my conservative estimate, at least the tenth H&R post you've written castigating Republicans for failing to come up with a workable legislative strategy on the budget. And yet what you steadfastly refuse to acknowledge is that there is no workable legislative strategy here. Stop being a stupid fucking concern troll, have your wife pull the cactus out of your twat, and shut the fuck up.

  • John||

    ^^THIS^^

    Is it too much to ask that Sudderman hold Reid and Obama accountable once in a while?

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    Everyone who cares KNOWS they're responsible. The problem is that that knowledge is not currently actionable. Those of us against Obamacare don't need a Big Dumb Plan to fight theirs, but we do need to stop wasting energy flailing around when we can be almost certain it's not going to help so that we can focus our energy on viable opportunities. We want to take calculated risks, which is different from being rash.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I don't think that keeping ObamaCare in the public consciousness is wasted energy.

    Were there better ways to do this? Sure, but Cruz is the only guy out there right now who seems to be trying to do this, whereas the rest of the GOP seems comfortable not talking about it and relying on the usual Outrage O' The Week strategy to get them by.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I think the 'rest of the GOP' strategy was to campaign on the issue in 2014 rather heavily and take back the Senate with a mandate on it. Of course Obama would veto anything, but that would push the issue, and not in a way that could possibly 'blowback' so badly on the party. And in theory then it helps position the candidate in 2016.

    I am all for defunding it, but the current strategy, at least as presented is not going to sell well.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    'rest of the GOP' strategy was to campaign on the issue in 2014 rather heavily and take back the Senate with a mandate on it.

    That's what I thought they were going to do in 2012. Instead, the GOP went with the architect of ObamaCare's cousin, and with one of the most baffling and weak attacks on the legislation I have ever seen.

    I don't think the risk is as high as it would be in normal conditions for the reasons articulated by others here, and in any case I don't trust that the GOP will be able to flip a switch and campaign on ObamaCare in the months leading up to midterms in an effective way without putting some pressure and keeping their opposition in the public's eye for some time beforehand.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Romney was a stupid choice, but of course the GOP is a stupid party.

    Having said that, Obama owned Obamacare and Romney, and especially his supporting SuperPacs, raised the issue critically quite a bit. It did not win over many people.

    With time it has become more, not less, unpopular. Letting that time run and using it in 14 and 16 makes sense to me. This stunt seems only likely to give the law's supporters cover and flak.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Once a government program starts, it is NEVER going to stop. EVER.

    If you want to ensure Obamacare remains, then do nothing and "campaign" on it in 2014.

  • DarrenM||

    I don't think that keeping ObamaCare in the public consciousness is wasted energy.

    It seems like some think politics are still being conducted like there's no such thing as the internet or radio or television and that any dubious postions or legislation should indeed be kept out of the public consciousness, at least until it's too late to do anything about it.

  • FYTW||

    Please feel free to identify one of these "viable opportunities" that we should be focusing our energy upon.

    Otherwise, shut the fuck up.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    we do need to stop wasting energy flailing around when we can be almost certain it's not going to help so that we can focus our energy on viable opportunities.

    Viable opportunities...such as?

    Name a federal welfare program that's been stopped after it started.

    BO-Care starts in 3 days.

    It's perfectly justifiable to waste energy flailing around on the off chance of finding a tree branch when you're 10 feet from going over the waterfall.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Yeah, the comeback for the Republicans should be "We are shutting down Obamacare; Harry Reid is shutting down the government."

  • Restoras||

    Wow! I am amazed this comment is still here!

  • The Late P Brooks||

    A President who stamps his feet and says he'll hold his breath until he turns blue if he doesn't get ice cream for dinner; that's the guy you want to carry water for.

    Also, speaking of bumper stickers, I saw one recently which sums things up pretty well:

    If Obama is the answer, it must have been a pretty stupid question

  • Pro Libertate||

    The truth of this whole issue right now is that it's the administration and the Democrats who are drawing lines in the sand. The GOP is opposing an unpopular law that is already causing economic problems. It's not even rationally debatable anymore.

    Who is willing to shut down the government to keep an unpopular, ill-conceived, and likely deep-recession-causing law? Who is that again?

  • John||

    And has Obama ever not folded in the past? When in his entire career did that dumb motherfucker ever carry out a threat? Fuck him. He wouldn't last three days with the government shut down. Remember how he was going to end the Bush tax cuts? And how he was going to reverse sequester? How did that work out.

    Given his past performance, telling Obama to go fuck himself and see who can't stand the government being closed the most and folds first, sounds like a pretty workable strategy to me.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Yep

  • Alice Bowie||

    Big Liberal Guy here. Not much of a libertarian, but I did vote for Gary Johnson.

    I have a partially Libertarian/Liberal Solution to Healthcare.
    If we do this, I can definitely live with eliminating The Affordable Care Act.

    1. Get Rid of All Third Party Payment Plans
    - Outlaw Health Insurance
    - Get Rid of Medicare and Medicade
    - Have a 100% Free Market where Doctors Charge what they can
    and people pay what they can...like everything else in Free Mkt.

    2. Establish Public Clinics sponsored by the Tax payer
    EXCLUSIVELY for the Following:
    - The Disabled
    - The Poor
    - The Pensioned and Retired
    - Catastrophic Treatments like Bypass, serious injuries, cancer...

    3. Eliminate Provider-side Malpractice Insurance and do the following:
    - Have each patient buy "Incident Insurance" for the amount they
    want or can afford before being treated by provider.

    - Have Government oversee Dr. Errors and violations and have the
    power to un-licence bad doctors.

    Is this a compromise we can live with?

    I know who won't like this:
    - Insurance Companie
    - AMA

  • robc||

    Fuck off, slaver.

    You still havent answered my questions from the other thread.

  • Alice Bowie||

    So many libertarian ideas in my solution offered above and I'm still a slaver.

    No room for compromise. You guys are RIGHT and everyone else is just WRONG.

    Definitely Tea Baggers and not people looking in good faith to solve a serious problem here.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I do not like the dismissive language, but I will point out that 'outlawing health insurance' and 'establish public clinics sponsored by taxpayers' are hardly libertarian ideas.

  • Alice Bowie||

    The THIRD PARTY PAYER is why we have the out of control spending.

    I don't see America changing into the place where they'll let u die. Especially after the last election where every white man over 50, job creator, republican, libertarian, religious freak, etc. could not derail Obama.

    We are going to have to compromise. Or else, the have-nots do have a strong-hold on voting.

  • John||

    Sure. Because you know insurance companies print their own money and will pay any bill no matter how high.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I am fine with compromises that move us closer to a more sane, limited government. But I do not see 'outlawing health insurance' as such step.

  • robc||

    But I do not see 'outlawing health insurance' as such step.

    Exactly.

  • robc||

    THEN DONT USE A THIRD PARTY PAYER.

    You dont have to pass a law, just make a choice.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Cost will never be under control if you don't use Third Party and everyone else does.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    The best way to get rid of third party payments is to stop the government from promoting them via tax policy, and it has the added benefit of not violating the NAP.

  • robc||

    The best way to get rid of third party payments is to stop the government from promoting them via tax policy, and it has the added benefit of not violating the NAP.

    Correct.

  • robc||

    That isnt your concern. Do your part, if you so choose.

    In a true free market, there will be plenty of doctors who only take cash, so you can have your way. Let those who want to deal with insurance deal with insurance.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Are car repair bills "out of control" because people have auto insurance?

    Are home repair bills "out of control" because people have home insurance?

    The answers are "no" and "no".

    The MAIN reason why costs are "out of control" is because Blues were allowed to dishonestly take healthcare spending/population, which is *not* how you measure excessive costs when end-of-life care costs millions of dollars.

  • Biden's Scroteplugs||

    you should try paying cash for medical service. you'll be amazed how much they'll discount for not incurring the labor costs of trying to collect a partial payment from an insurance company a few months out.

  • Lord at War||

    Biden's scroteplugs-

    This.

    About 7 yrs ago, I rolled my car three times at 65 mph. I was uninsured at the time.

    My surgeon's bill was $8500(surgery at 2 AM on a Saturday, hospital visit before release, 4 office visits- 1st post-operative xray, removal of surgical staples, second post-op xray, final visit to discuss options for physical therapy)- until he found out I didn't have insurance.

    I paid $2870.

  • #||

    But you can have 3rd party payer for catostrophic loss, the thing insurance is meant to do, just like in auto and home and you pay cash for everything else. That would do wonders for the system if you had that.

  • #||

    and insurance that has a co insurance percentage rate up to some kind of cap would also prompt some price shopping on larger procedures as well.

    Like you said, third party payer is why everything is fucked up, but there is utility in insurance when its actually insurance.

  • robc||

    That would do wonders for the system if you had that.

    Its basically what I have with my HSA, with the acknowledged tax policy still corrupting things a bit.

    The insurance company hasnt had to pony up a single dollar since I got it, because Ive never even come close to hitting my deductible. And thats okay, because if I collect money, I had a catastrophy.

  • robc||

    A mini-slave is still a slaver.

    Its not a compromise if it moves in the wrong direction on any part.

    A compromise moves in the correct direction, just not as far as I would like.

  • robc||

    A mini-slaver is still a slaver.

    A mini-slave is still a slave.

    Either way. Add or subtract one r.

  • Restoras||

    Disabled? I thought they were the differently-abled now?

    I don't think we need to outlaw health insurance but we certainly need to make the recipients of care the customer and not the grist.

    Also, I am not a public health expert but it seems to me just by looking around that a huge portion of health problems are of peoples own making. Put down the fork, booze, and butts, assholes, if you want someone else to pay for your fucking healthcare when you "retire".

  • Ted S.||

    - Outlaw Health Insurance
    - Have a 100% Free Market

    These two are not compatible.

    How many people would pay cash for doctors' office visits and use hospital or catastrophic insurance for having to go to the ER or surgery or whatnot, if that wree reasonably simple to obtain?

  • Alice Bowie||

    No Third Party Payer
    No $1000 aspirin

    The Provider can ONLY charge what the Patient can pay.

    The FREE MARKET.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    It's more libertarian than I'd settle for.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The other day, the NYT editorial board put up an editorial about the horrific consequences of the sequester, and how if those maniac rethuglitards get their way and reduce spending, our nation will be ruined.

    I bet if you stood on a street corner in any flyover city at lunchtime and asked random people on the sidewalk to name a detrimental effect of the sequester you'd come up empty.

  • Rhino||

    This article is written as though the Democrats should get their way and the Republicans don't control 1/2 of Congress. Why should it be that Republicans are wasting their time by trying to pass a debt ceiling increase that defunds Obamacare. You could just as easily say that the Democrats are wasting their time demanding that Obamacare be a part of the funding requiring an increased debt ceiling. Democrats are the ones refusing to negotiate. They want it all their way or nothing.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -the Republicans don't control 1/2 of Congress

    Senator Wicker (R-MS) was recently on the radio and the math he used was that the GOP controls '1/3 of the government' and therefore they should not expect to get everything they want.

  • John||

    the Republicans don't control 1/2 of Congress

    Is there a legislative body I haven't heard about?

    The fractions don't matter. What matters is that if a determined majority holds either side Congress or a President has enough support in either house to sustain a veto, they can stop something. And they have every right to do so. This is how the system is supposed to work.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Laws are made by two legislative bodies and the President.

  • John||

    Yes, all three. That means if they can't agree the law doesn't get done. No one body is required to roll over because the other two want something.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Well, here you seem to be conceding the Democrats point: that funding for all other government provisions will be 'held hostage' unless Obamacare is defunded.

    Now, that prospect does not upset me much, but do not be surprised when less ideological voters see things that way after you talk like this.

  • John||

    Well, here you seem to be conceding the Democrats point: that funding for all other government provisions will be 'held hostage' unless Obamacare is defunded.

    No, they are being held hostage by Reid to ensure Obamacare is funded. Depends on how you look at it. You are only looking at it like that because you are a concern troll.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Ah, the concern troll charge. Of course no one could read the public on this as well as you could have. It can only go the one way and could never blow up in the face of small government supporters. It feels so right (and righteous) after all!

    I have to wonder if on November 1st you were posting here predicting a Romney victory, and anyone who disagreed was certainly a 'concern troll' or 'dimwitted.'

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Ah, the concern troll charge.

    It applies. You're not directly defending the Dems' actions or Obamacare here, you're just worrying how opposing them will look (and thus indirectly defending them).

  • robc||

    Or, the Democrats are holding them hostage over Obamacare funding.

    Either way is just as accurate.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Well, it is hard to sell this line when Republicans are saying things such as 'That means if they can't agree the law doesn't get done.' This is going to be understood as 'nothing gets done unless our 1/3 is happy on this.' It is tying this to the overall CR that will look bad.

  • robc||

    1/2.

    There are only two legislative bodies.

    And there are only 100 senators, so by numbers its way bigger than 1/2.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I explained the 1/3 statement elsewhere. Under the Presentment clause laws are made by three bodies, two legislative and one executive.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    'nothing gets done unless our 1/3 is happy on this.'


    That's how the system is supposed to work, not "your third should be doing what the other 2/3rds of governments say and be asking for another politely".
  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    IT, perhaps I am explaining myself badly. I am not arguing it should be 'your third should do what the other 2/3 want.' I am arguing that it looks bad for 1/3 to tie everything to the other 2/3 doing what they 1/3 wants. In other words, it is the tying of the issue to the CR that looks so bad (we want this thing gone which you other 2/3 want, and so we will attach that wish to funding for everything else until we get it).

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    That only looks bad if it is abstractified in that way. The Dems pulled that sort of shit on government funding from ~2005-2008, and it doesn't seem to have hurt them much since they were opposing a fairly unpopular President and a profoundly unpopular (by that point) war.

  • John||

    profoundly unpopular (by that point) war.

    The war was so unpopular that the public didn't care when the Dems didn't defund it and never so much as voiced an objection when Obama continued it.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    That proves my point, John. As unpopular as Iraq was, it was never nearly as unpopular as PPACA.

    The fact that the Dems never experienced any poll drops or loss of support in 2006 or 2008 goes to show that you can play around with funding government without Americans storming the Bastille. The idea that Americans will en masse punish Republicans for Cruz's grandstanding is utterly ludicrous.

  • John||

    I totally agree Trouser. Obamcare is totally different than the Iraq war because it is going to directly affect and make worse millions of people's lives. There wasn't a draft. The Iraq war affected very few people and nearly all of them were in the military and no one gives a shit about them, least of all liberals. So people talked a lot of shit about the war, but when it came down to demanding something be done, they were not interested. Obamacare is totally different.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    I am arguing that it looks bad for 1/3 to tie everything to the other 2/3 doing what they 1/3 wants.

    That "1/3" has the backing of the majority of the American people on its side. I don't see how it "looks bad".

  • Swiss Servator, Bow to Bern||

    Pick up your "F" in Con Law yet? Tell me how the President "makes" law. He can sign or veto, but "make"...oy.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    If it makes you happier, use the word 'enact.'

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Still wrong.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Laws are made by two legislative bodies and the President.

    Bo, I respect you as a fellow shit-taker around here, but... you need to brush up on your constitutional knowledge. Laws are made by Congress, the prez has zero legislative authority.

    And we don't have a democracy of branches of government. 1/6 of the federal government is enough to stop legislation dead in its tracks and that's by design. Read the federalist papers while you're at it.

  • Pro Libertate||

    That's not entirely right, though you wouldn't know if after Penaltax. The conservatives still control the SCOTUS, more or less. Not all the time, but most of it.

  • Brett L||

    Only when it doesn't matter. Between Thomas thinking children don't have rights and Roberts arbitrarily declaring that any sufficiently small fine levied by the IRS wasn't a tax, only favored groups find their freedom increasing.

  • Pro Libertate||

    No, they certainly aren't libertarian. But I think they can still be labeled as more GOP-friendly than not, with the 5-4 majority.

    So that's control of a whole branch and control of the house where appropriations get started. That's not 1/3.

  • Brett L||

    Agreed, they are probably to the smaller-government side of the GOP on most issues.

  • John||

    Exactly. You could rewrite this article reversing the parties and it would be just as valid.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I am wary of Cruz, but having said that I would like to see Obamacare stopped and am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Can someone tell me what is his position about what he is doing? Why the 'pseudo-filibuster?' What was that supposed to accomplish (either what has he said publicly or what do you think it is supposed to accomplish)?

  • robc||

    It was supposed to make national news.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Is that really it? I hope there is more.

  • robc||

    I tried to avoid double posting at 3, and instead I got zero posts make it thru.

    Sigh.

    Assume witty and intelligent response here.

  • DRM||

    National news is enough. It means the fight is about Obamacare, not seats in the front of a plane. "We had to shut down the government because the Republicans wouldn't fund Obamacare" is a completely different fight than "We had to shut down the government because the Republicans were throwing a snit". Not that Suderman seems to have noticed.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    But do you not see how that looks? 'That guy held everything up when the government is getting ready to shut down because he wanted press' is not going to sell. It seems like it is about Ted Cruz getting press.

    Why not have a concerted, national ad campaign calling for a vote to defund, and then having one?

  • robc||

    Who cares how it looks?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Who cares how it looks?

    In politics?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    ...because it'd be a waste of money in the off-season, which is more likely than not what the GOP told Cruz when he committed to this strategy?

    One guy is hardly going to be able to force the GOP to do something that they don't want to do -- and right now, they want to lay low until midterms, it would seem.

  • Killazontherun||

    Hey, hey, shhh, don't look back, don't want anyone to notice us talking. We're really on YOUR (was that too loud? Shit! Shit! Shit! Someone in the press might have heard me talking to you) Sorry, I can't risk this. We can't be seen together like this. Wouldn't want to give anyone in this town any ideas. It could damage my career here. /GOP to the Middle Class.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    LOL Killaz. Exactly my point. Besides, I think we all know that some GOP chucklehead will make a stupid comment about abortion or human anatomy or one of a myriad of issues, and that Dems will capitalize on it to force GOPers to waste their time on that statement and move away from being on the attack during the midterms. Hell, Reason's Suderman will probably be on hand to cluck his tongue at the GOP for focusing on social issues at the expense of the fiscal, or somesuch.

    Being on the attack until 2016 is the absolute best way for the public to be aware which parties stand where on the issue and how to vote if they want ObamaCare repealed. That way, attacks during the midterms on other issues will have less effect.

  • DarrenM||

    and right now, they want to lay low until midterms, it would seem.

    They always want to lay low until the next election.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    You could just as easily say that the Democrats are wasting their time demanding that Obamacare be a part of the funding requiring an increased debt ceiling. Democrats are the ones refusing to negotiate. They want it all their way or nothing.

    And the best part is, the costs of Obamacare have no known or implied upper limit. Sure, what the fuck? Let's commit ourselves to more completely open-ended spending programs!

    "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday, et c."

  • fabius||

    umm...what the shit are you talking about? The GOP is not presently the minority party in Congress. They are the minority party in the weaker house of the legislature. They are the majority party in the stronger house. If one party had to be said to be the minority party in the legislature, it would have to be the democrats. To claim otherwise is just stupid.

  • Winston||

    So why does Reason publish articles like this from Suderman and articles by Gillespie complaining about spending? It's not like Obama or the Democrats will ever approve of actual spending cuts.

  • John||

    Yeah. And I don't recall there being much concern trolling about Rand Paul's filibuster over drones and the NSA.

    In fairness, Gillespie came out for Cruz yesterday. It is Sudderman who is the concern troll on this issue.

  • robc||

    Yep. And its getting annoying. I dont think he reads comments either. Fucker.

  • Winston||

    Yeah. And I don't recall there being much concern trolling about Rand Paul's filibuster over drones and the NSA.

    Don't recall any concern trolling on Amash's attacks on the NSA.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    The dynamics of that strike me as quite different. What was supposed to be the 'blowback' of Amash's actions or Paul's filibuster?

    Besides, there are a lot of reasons why a libertarian might treat Paul/Amash's actions different than Cruz's, the most obvious one being that the former are libertarians and the latter probably is not.

  • Cytotoxic||

    there are a lot of reasons why a libertarian might treat Paul/Amash's actions different than Cruz's

    Stupid reasons. And in your case it's because you are a concern troll.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    A libertarian supports a government shutdown. Period, end of statement.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Not if the shutdown in the long term leads to a less free situation.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    That's conjecture and speculation at best.

    What I know is the likely outcome of this government shutdown is spending cuts, a delay of Obamacare, or both. That's all that's on the table. And that's an actual liberty gain that can be realized right now.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Can you point me to a government shutdown in recent history that was resolved with a smaller government?

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Can you point me to a government shutdown in recent history that was resolved with a smaller government?

    The threat of one led to the sequester.

    The government shutdown led to the spending reductions in the 90s.

  • Winston||

    So either lets the Dems do what they want or let the Dems do what they want?

  • Winston||

    Can you point me to a compromise to avert a government shutdown in recent history that was resolved with a smaller government?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Another alternative would be to campaign on the issue and retake the Senate in 2014, then the White House in 2016.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Only partisans are going to blame one side or the other. The muddled middle will blame both sides, and the media will be obligated to at least show some neutrality. And even if they don't, there's sufficient alternative media pushing alternative narratives that the word will be out that this is just as much Team Blue's fault as it is Team Red's.

    I see nothing bad happening because of a shutdown.

  • John||

    The partisans are going to do what they do. The middle mostly won't care unless until the shutdown somehow directly affects them.

    The idea that millions of low information mushy independents are going to remember this come 2014 much less rise up and punish either side is the kind of absurdity only a beltway journalist would be dumb enough to believe.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Yep,

    There'll be at least 10 new crises between now and Nov 2014.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Besides, there are a lot of reasons why a libertarian might treat Paul/Amash's actions different than Cruz's, the most obvious one being that the former are libertarians and the latter probably is not.

    That's probably the worst reason to oppose this. If Barney Frank were shutting down Congress tomorrow to force a debate on his drug legalization bill, every libertarian would (and should) cheer that action -- despite Frank being a POS socialist scumbag in all other contexts.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    It depends on what you mean by 'this.' Is this Cruz's speech-strategy? Because one thing I think that is behind that strategy is to have Cruz undercut Rand Paul for 2016.

  • robc||

    I posted at 3. What was I thinking?

  • robc||

    This shows up but the post at 3:00 doesnt at all?

  • Winston||

    the unsustainable entitlement state

    Obama and the Dems will never approve of cuts to those. They are popular, unlike Obamacare, and thanks to Eisenhower and Nixon going along with them are in the position they are in now.

  • DRM||

    The big problem in your analysis, Suderman, is that you're not explicitly declaring your assumptions–the "ordinary Washington rules"–and explaining why they're well-founded.

    Certainly, the public doesn't want a shutdown. But it also doesn't want Obamacare. The question in a shutdown is whether they blame Republicans for not going ahead and signing on to a plain continuing resolution, or Democrats for not going ahead and signing on to a continuing resolution that includes defunding.

    Certainly, as a technical matter, a six-month government shutdown would not itself defund Obamacare, but that doesn't matter even slightly, because there will not be a six-month government shutdown. One side or the other will blink.

    1995-1996 is the usual model for the "ordinary Washington rules". But it did not have a single big issue the Republicans could point at as a justification of their intransigence. There were a bunch of small-at-the-margins debates over specific funding levels that left the thing open to characterization as Newt Gingrich demanding a seat at the front of a plane. But this time the 21-hour speech has successfully characterized this as an Obamacare battle.

    So, you need to actually explain why we shouldn't expect the Democrats to get the blame for the showdown and the political fallout, when it's been framed as a fight over Obamacare.

  • Killazontherun||

    Excellent points.

  • John||

    Good points. And the polls are much more closely divided now than in 1995.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Good points. Those unstated uncriticized assumptions are what make Suderman's analysis so shitty. Sorry Team Orange partisans, assumptions =/= facts.

    Fruther, I have a hard time thinking Suderman is this dense and not being obtuse. Has he never heard of negotiating? Political posturing?

  • John||

    I think what is happening is that in Washington the government is like a sacred object. So the threat against it causes otherwise reasonable people to get very dense.

  • robc||

    There have been 17 government shutdowns since 1976.

    And I am still alive.

    Crazy.

  • Killazontherun||

    We lost a lot of good men in those shut downs, rob. We never got our water slide either.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    I was actually an outspoken defender of Suderman when he was writing observational articles about the impossibility of this plan. However, he's gone way over the line into normative judgments about the plan.

    There was no other move to make but to draw national attention to this problem.

    #shutitdown

  • Pro Libertate||

    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
    Because their words had forked no lightning they
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
    Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
    And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
    Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    And you, my father, there on the sad height,
    Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
    Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

  • Pro Libertate||

    To quote the great Rodney Dangerfield.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Yeah, I wasn't too hard on Suderman until he started with the "unicorn believers" and such.

    Yes, we all understand that the current strategies to defund ObamaCare have a slim chance unless we get a pro-repeal GOP majority in both houses and -- at the very least -- a different D president; preferably an R president.

    Doesn't mean we should stop take those odds lying down.

  • Cytotoxic||

    This reads like 'analysis' out of Time.

  • John||

    It also should be noted that even though the public "blamed the Republicans" for the 1995 shutdown (whatever that means), the Republicans still held both houses after the 1996 election. This despite the Democrats having Bill Clinton at the top of the ticket. But I am now supposed to believe it is political suicide for the Republicans to shut down the government for even a day in the face of an increasingly unpopular lame duck and over defunding a bill the vast majority of the country hates more every day?

    Does Sudderman believe this shit?

  • bassjoe||

    Um... the Republicans did lose the presidential election, though, which was the most important contest that year. Clinton was extremely unpopular heading into the budget showdown with Congress at the end of 1995 -- it looked very likely he would lose in Nov 1996 -- but emerged from it strong and sailed to reelection.

    While Republican retained control of both Houses, they lost House seats (they were likely overextended due to the 1994 wave, anyways), as well as Senate seats.

    You can't spin 1996 as anything but a loss for Republicans. And you can trace the loss to the 1995/96 budget showdown with Clinton.

  • John||

    Bill Clinton's poll numbers turned around before that. It was largely due to the OKC bombing and the media managing to blame it on Republican extremism.

    And the Republicans lost very few seats and many fewer that would be expected after a wave election. To the extent that it was a "defeat" it was that they worked out a deal and the economy really took off and the country decided Bill Clinton would get four more years with some adult supervision from Congress.

    I suppose a shutdown could get Obama re-elected again in 2016. Is that the prospect that concerns you?

  • John||

    They lost three fucking seats dude. Three fucking seats after a wave election.

    And they gained two Senate seats.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.....ions,_1996

    It was a disaster!!

    Stop concern trolling and if you are going to, get your facts straight.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Yeah, Clinton beat...whathisname? Th ego who had no change of winning? Think it had a little more to do with the terrible GOP nom.

  • Winston||

    So did Reason write any articles saying how stupid it would be for Nixon to eliminate Medicare and Medicaid in 1969?

  • bassjoe||

    The entire plan was silly from the start. The "defund Obamacare" provision would only affect an extremely small portion of the entire bill; most of Obamacare is built into "mandatory spending programs" that get funded no matter what. Even assuming victory (which was never ever going to happen as long as Obama is in office), the state insurance exchanges were STILL going to start operating on October 1 and people would be getting their bronze/silver/whatever plans on January 1.

    It was sort of brilliant to get the Senators on record about this. It is the first time, I believe, the Senate has voted on Obamacare since it was first passed since it usually just ignores the repeal bills coming from the House. But then the Republican caucus completely self-destructed and started attacking each other which... was just more silliness (the debate between Sen. Corker of TN and Sen. Cruz is one for the ages).

  • John||

    It created two weeks and counting of the Democrats standing up and telling the country they own Obamacare. I suspect that will have a greater lasting effect than beltway dwellers like Suderman can comprehend.

  • bassjoe||

    They have been saying that for years, though, with no apparent ill effects (except in 2010). Everybody knows Obamacare is supported by solely Democrats; that, if nothing else in politics over the past 4 years, has been hammered into us.

  • John||

    That is because the law was not in effect. So no one but their low sloping forehead believers were paying attention.

    The Law is about to make the lives of pretty much the entire middle class worse in a very measurable and attributable way. Owning this bill is not going to be a good thing.

  • Tony||

    And if that doesn't happen, will you admit you were wrong?

    You guys have really boxed yourself in on this one. Not for any meaningful policy reason, but for cynical politics only. Obamacare, to you, is not a policy with details, it is the devil, full stop. When it turns out most people don't see it affecting their lives at all, or possibly improving them, what will you have then? A big fat half a decade of bitching and moaning.

  • John||

    And if that doesn't happen, will you admit you were wrong?

    Sure. And when a unicorn shows up in my yard tomorrow, I will admit I was wrong about that too. Neither is likely to happen though.

    When this causes untold misery are you going to finally wake up from your coma and start questioning your ideology?

    LOL. No, you will deny the obvious and blame it on Republican wreckers. You are so sad Tony.

  • Tony||

    I don't even see the pathway to untold misery with this limp, conservative health insurance restructuring law, but sure, as someone who never really considered it great policy I have no problem copping to the Armageddon you claim it will cause should that come. And which, it seems totally clear, you and the GOP are praying happens, which is odd.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    And if that doesn't happen, will you admit you were wrong?

    It's already happening.

  • Brett L||

    What do you mean? Claire McCaskill almost lost to some dude with the IQ of a house plant.

  • Casca||

    Why not just pass individual continuing resolutions to fund the individual departments of the federal government, leaving out funds for Obamacare? Let's say you passed a CR for Social Security. Would senate Dems vote against it? Or another one for the military? There's no law that says the House can't send over individual bills regarding spending. I believe there are 15 departments in the federal gov. Just send the Senate a budget bill for each one while omitting any funds for O'care. The senate would have to vote on each one thereby putting their name on any government shutdown.
    This ain't rocket science!

  • John||

    I like that idea too. If the Republicans passed bills funding DOD, DOJ, DHS, and Social Security and just left it at that, the media would have a fit. But as soon as t he first soldier didn't get his paycheck or pensioner didn't get their check, the Dems would fold like chairs and sing those bills. Then the GOP would have all the leverage since the public wouldn't notice if the rest of the government was shut down.

  • Casca||

    Yes exactly my point. A shutdown can be averted and at least some of of O'care can be defunded. Then as the program fails you win the argument.

  • Casca||

    I Pat Buchanan stole my idea!

    http://www.wnd.com/2013/09/rep.....-bayonets/

  • FreeRoamer||

    While I'm not a political expert, it seems to me a very wise idea that Cruz and others are being so vocal in their opposition to this legislative trainwreck. When O-care finishes rolling out (which it will) and more and more people start to feel its ruinous consequences (which they will), all of the many folks hurt by O-care will remember exactly who stood up and tried to stop it for them.

    Unlike others who assume the consequences will be a push to single-payer, I already see quite the opposite starting to happen. As more and more doctors decide to simply stop accepting insurance and more otherwise healthy patients decide to drop or lessen their coverage and pay out-of-pocket, I see a real chance for the market to actually win here. I personally know a lot of people doing just that - some for economical reasons others as an act of civil disobedience - and more and more doctors are starting to offer things like direct primary care and discounted rates for patients paying cash.

    Where I see a void is in catastrophic coverage policies since even these now have to include all sorts of preventative care coverage. If an enterprising entrepreneur or existing provider can find a loophole to continue offering such an option, I think we'll see even more people wanting to pay out of pocket for services and only rely on insurance in the event of a major illness or injury, which is, after all, what insurance should actually be.

  • Gardner||

    Hog wash! Cruz and rand Paul may have been grand standing with little hope of accomplishing anything. Except for the fact that they put a big giant spotlight on the god awful NSA and for the last two weeks Obamacare has been front and center in the media. It's been nice to remind everyone how bad that law sucks.

    Also, when you think about strategy here, the slim minority in the Republican Party that actually believes in small government has no practical way to set the strategy for the statist from the right. Instead they need to create awareness, build support and think about the long game. Ron Paul was ignored for decades. Finally the libertarian point of view is being heard and discussed. Kudos to Cruz and Rand for standing on principle and opening the window, even just a crack, to let some light shine in.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Right now the GOP has no strategic or tactical savvy. Instead, the party has a surfeit of bluster.

    Says the cosmo turd who beat the "Romney was the father of Obamacare" drum all last summer and helped scuttle the best remaining hope for getting rid of BO-Care. I don't see any strategic or tactical savvy in this article either, Suderman. What's your plan?

  • elizabethturner||

    ℳy classmate's step-sister ℳakes $82/h hourly on the internet. She has been out of a job for 6 ℳonths but last ℳonth her pay was $20983 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read ℳore on this site...

    http://www.Works23.com

  • MoMark||

    I can’t understand why the Republicans settled on “We want to defund (kill) Obamacare!” vs. “We can’t afford Obamacare!” Just keep saying that, “Although giving everyone free healthcare may sound nice, we just can’t afford this program, and we are therefore funding everything else but Obamacare so that we may balance our budget.” Wouldn’t tying this to a balanced budget have put the democrats and the press in a more untenable position? Am I missing something?

  • ||

    my roomate's ex-wife makes .$67. every hour on the laptop. She has been fired for five months but last month her payment was .$13980. just working on the laptop for a few hours. check over here@@@@@....

    http://www.Works23.com

  • nina.Malik||

    my best friend's sister-in-law makes $74 hourly on the computer. She has been laid off for 5 months but last month her pay was $14134 just working on the computer for a few hours. have a peek at this website....

    http://www.Works23.Com

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