|House Republican Caucus, 2013: 'Banzai!'|
We think that any sentient American can look at the US federal budget and every state government budget in the United States and see hundreds of billions of dollars in programs that can and should be reduced, reformed or simply repealed because they: 1) don't work to accomplish broad public policy objectives or 2) favor too small of a vested interest instead of the broader national interest.
The Tea Party has aimed its sights on Defunding the Entirety of Obamacare in the Continuing Resolution (CR) now under consideration in the US Congress. They feel that it is the last chance to stop the implementation of Obamacare.
The 'last chance' to defund Obamacare was in the 2012 elections. The Republicans would have had to have picked up at least 4 seats to gain majority control of the Senate but really, gotten to 60 seats to be able to even be able to consider a measure to defund Obamacare due to the Senate rules.
And, of course, they would have had to defeat President Obama in the key battleground states of Ohio, Florida, Virginia and 4 others so that we would now have a President Mitt Romney instead of President Obama.
How many millions of Ron Paul supporters sat the election out in 2012 because Mr. Paul did not win the Republican nomination? Millions if you listen to them on the news or read their missives on-line against anyone but Mr. Paul.
What would have happened had they gathered their enthusiasm and energy behind Mitt Romney and pulled out all the stops to make sure President Obama became ex-President Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States of America, past tense?
For one thing, the people who want to defund Obamacare or make major major changes to it today rather than fret about throwing the Hail Mary to defund Obamacare this week would have had at least a chance to defund or defang Obamacare to some extent.
The time to kill Obamacare for sure would have been 2008, to be honest about it, had everyone been working their fannies off to elect John McCain as President. But when Obama won a second term and the Republicans failed to win the Senate (by 60 votes by the way), that all but sealed the doom of Obamacare being implemented in October, 2013 no matter what anyone thinks can be done about it.
The process is basically this: The House can pass a 'Defund Obamacare' bill in or in conjunction with the continuing resolution (CR) which funds government at LAST year's levels, not the new fiscal year coming up October 1.
Let's say the Senate does not pass a CR with Defund Obamacare in it. Then what? There will be no conference bill that includes Defund Obamacare in it since the Democrats control the Senate. Therefore no bill will go to the President with Defund Obamacare in it. Not ever as long as the Democrats control the Senate and Obama is in the White House.
So what is left? Congress can choose to not pass a CR at all...and then all funding for government shuts down. All of it. SS checks for granny. Medicare checks to pay for grandpa's hip replacement. Money for military soldier's salaries and GI benefits and so on.
Plus, if the debt ceiling is not raised pretty soon in conjunction with the CR, we can't raise any more money from the Chinese to pay for government anyway. So there is a double-witching hour going on here at the end of the month, September, 2013.
If Congress doesn't do both, pass the CR and the debt ceiling, the government will shut down and granny will not get her SS or Medicare checks. Neither will the soldiers in the Middle East etc. Obamacare won't be funded either but that will be the least of any Republican Congressman's worries when he/she faces the wrath of some of the 45+ million senior citizens now dependent on Social Security and Medicare.
Guess what seniors have the most time to do? Vote. Early and often. And they do so. They will remember who voted to cut off their SS checks and Medicare. If they forget, the Democrats will be there to remind them come election time.
There is no conceivable way that a CR will pass that will fund 98% of government....except Obamacare. The choice is either pass a CR and debt ceiling hike to allow government to continue operations in total....or not.
And that is where the Republicans will get smashed in the face by 45 million seniors next year and possibly lose the House. There will be no hope left at all for anything to be done about Obamacare through the normal appropriations/authorizations process.
I just got off the phone with a former staff director of the House Budget Committee who called me out of the blue after not talking for about 10 years at least. I asked him what it was like in 1995 and 1996 when the GOP shut down the government not once but twice over a 6-month period.
'Well, all the people who thought it was such a great idea before we did it, we couldn't find them after the crap hit the fan! John Kasich (now Governor of Ohio by the way) was left all alone out on the limb to try to explain why granny was not getting her SS checks on time among other things.'There you have it in a nutshell. It sounds like a 'good idea' to 'shut down guvmint, dadgumit!'...until you do it and it actually happens. We have been there. We have seen it happen. We know.
We don't mind people being brave. We admire bravery. A lot. We just think brains need to be combined with bravery so you can win.
Otherwise, you will be left dead like the brave kamikaze pilots of Japan at the tail end of the Pacific War against the United States. To no avail and no reason.