Defunding Obamacare: principled, or pointless?
September 24, 2013 1 Comment
For some time now, the Wall Street Journal editorial board has been warning about the futility of the strategy to defund Obamacare before it goes into effect in October. The evening before Ted Cruz saddled up to fillibuster in the Senate, indulging the painful path to government shutdown, the Journal issued a preemptive, if qualified, “I told you so.”
We wish the GOP luck, since we support the policy if not the strategy. But however this charge into the fixed bayonets turns out, we hope the folks who planned it will take responsibility for what happens now.
The Journal points out that the leaders of the defund charge could not drum up solid GOP support, but only a “rump minority.” And I think for good reason: Republican Representatives in swing districts can’t afford to take the blame for government shutdown. A senator like Cruz does well to play to his base, with re-election five years away, if he’s not eying 2016. Meanwhile, he and the defund (defeat) caucus are daring to doom vulnerable House Republicans by renewing the party’s image as overzealous shutters-down of government. Democrats have been salivating for months.
As Michael Medved reminds us from time to time, there is no secret army of conservatives who will turn out in mass when the GOP takes its principled, suicidal stand. That army doesn’t reside in swing districts; if anywhere, it would reside where the GOP will win by more than 20 points anyway.
Medved has posed this challenge on air over the past few weeks: what is the winning scenario for the defund campaign? How do America or the Republican Party gain anything real out of this, whether in 2014 or for the foreseeable future? President Obama has the bully pulpit, and the traction to outlast the GOP. Even after the embarrassing Syrian escapade, the media’s irrational infatuation with the president is as recalcitrant as ever.
I’m firmly in the live-to-fight-another-day caucus. I know the trite cries of “RINO” and admonitions to take a “principled stand” fly thick through the air these days. So I take succor in the WSJ editorial’s biting claim to street cred:
These columns opposed ObamaCare before it was known by that name, and we may have even been the first to call it by that name. We also don’t need any lectures about principle from the Heritage Foundation that promoted RomneyCare and the individual mandate that is part of ObamaCare. Or from cable TV pundits who sold Republicans on Mitt Romney despite RomneyCare.
I’m not especially aware of Heritage’s transgression, but I feel the Journal on this one.
It’s refreshing to see cartoonist Robert Ariail’s no non-sense take on the situation. The cliff image is all too prevalent these days, because we’ve been bouncing from cliff to cliff every few months. It will be refreshing when posturing politicians stop clowning around, posing for “principle,” and actually get smart about saving the country. Suck it up. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.