House GOP leadership and the conservative media entertainment complex are at odds with one another

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

FAUX News "chickenhawk" Sean Hannity Tells GOP: Defunding Obamacare "Is The Hill To Die On" (great comment from "imbecile": Yeah, but these guys will go down as participants of Clusterfuck's Last Stand.)

But the GOP House leadership is backing off of the threat by Tea Party economic terrorists Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Rand Paul over on the Senate side to take the country hostage again and to shut down the federal government and default on the national debt (shoot the hostage) unless Democrats surrender to their extortionary demands to defund "ObamaCare." The GOP House leadership understands that this fantasy the conservative media entertainment complex is selling the GOP crazy base will be political suicide for the GOP.

Ed Kilgore writes at the Political Animal Blog today,

Will “The Base” Stand Down On De-Funding Obamacare?

So the big buzz in Washington today is that House Republican leaders
have turned the corner in tamping down sentiment for a suicidal drive to
shut down the federal government unless the administration and Senate
Democrats suicidally agree to “de-fund” (or as some argue,
systematically delay) implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

National Review’s well-sourced Robert Costa offers a tick-tock
on the House GOP leadership’s campaign against a shutdown, concluding
with Eric Cantor’s appearance at “the Weyrich lunch,” the regular
Washington gathering of “movement conservatives” named after its
original convener, the late Paul Weyrich, founder of the Heritage
Foundation and ALEC.

Later Wednesday, around noon, Cantor headed to the Weyrich
lunch, an off-the-record gathering of conservative-movement leaders
chaired by Morton Blackwell, the president of the Leadership Institute.
Cantor reiterated what Boehner had told the conference that morning, and
he talked about the shutdown question in a clinical way, telling the
conservatives that he was with them on tearing apart and delaying the
law wherever possible, but he didn’t want to risk the House GOP’s
political capital on an unwinnable play for Senate votes. If the votes
for defunding somehow emerged, he said, he would bring such a continuing
resolution to the floor; but if the votes were not there, he’d advise
against it.

There was disappointment at the Weyrich lunch, just as there
was disappointment in the Capitol basement. But there was no uproar. A
day later, on August 1, the “Big Four,” as the group of four top-ranking
House Republicans is known, met to go over the events of the previous
day and the state of play, pre-recess. Boehner reflected on the relative
peace of the conference meeting, and Cantor relayed stories from his
lunch. Whip Kevin McCarthy of California and conference chair Cathy
McMorris-Rodgers of Washington relayed what they were hearing from
members. The consensus from the Big Four was that they’d keep moving
ahead with their soft push to avoid a shutdown. They’ll aim to nudge the
GOP caucus in this direction, and hope members will see it their way
once the House reconvenes
.

After a while, you get used to reading these insider accounts of
Republican leaders talking to representatives of their own party’s
“base” as though they are small children with learning disabilities, who
must be calmed and coaxed into rational behavior and then rewarded with
condescending praise and a sugary snack.

* * *

Whatever Costa is hearing, moreover, it’s not clear that the “adults”
are winning the internal war even if they manage to win the immediate
battle. One child who clearly hasn’t been given enough sugary snacks to
stand down is RedState’s Erick Erickson, who pitched a veritable hissy fit today under the headline “Wimps, Frauds and Charlatans.”

* * *

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful for any concession to sanity in
the GOP ranks, and am happy to hear that Boehner and Cantor may well be
able to negotiate the next few months without bringing Washington to a
standstill or wrecking the economy. But they will pay a price for any
success in “tamping down” activist hysteria, whether it’s quiet
concessions on the next policy battle in Congress, or primary
challenges, or a revolt against Boehner’s speakership, or a broadly
accepted “stab in the back” myth that makes today’s sensible
accomodations of reality a legendary “abandonment of principle” that
will keep the rightward pressure on the GOP ratcheted up for years to
come.

Greg Sargent has more analysis today in The Morning Plum: GOP leaders retreat from the abyss:

In a must-read, National Review’s Robert Costa reports
GOP leaders are now convinced, after privately lobbying colleagues,
that they will be able to avoid a shutdown, after all
. Costa gets a key quote from a top ally of the GOP leadership:

House insiders say Boehner and Cantor had talked much of
their conference away from the edge…my cloakroom sources tell me they’re
now confident that House Republicans will not tread into a shutdown
battle with the Obama White House. GOP firebrands may threaten a
shutdown and theatrically insist it remains an option, but the party’s
private appetite for one, even among the right flank, is dissipating.

“The electorate expects Congress to govern,” explains
pollster David Winston, a longtime adviser to the House leadership.
“House Republicans are going to offer their health-care alternatives
within that process.”

The idea appear to be that staging a shutdown to force the
destruction of Obamacare — rather than offering an alternative —
constitutes a failure to govern. But if that is so, why is not doing
everything Republicans can to sabotage the law short of pushing for a
shutdown, while offering no alternative, also a failure to govern?
[Good question.]

* * *

Republicans have devised two ways out of this predicament. The first is to promise yet again to roll out an alternative to Obamacare this fall,
one focused on keeping the popular parts of the law, as GOP leadership
pollster Winston again hints at above. But if this is met by a
conservative revolt, as happened last time,
it will only underscore the problem with the GOP position in the first
place, i.e., that many Republicans simply don’t envision a meaningful
role for government to play in fixing the health care system.

The second is to continue pledging fealty to the destruction of
Obamacare as a higher calling while retreating from staging a shutdown
over it, a strategy Costa has forced out into the open above. But there
is no telling whether this is possible.

Thanks to heightened
conservative expectations for a series of Apocalyptic showdowns this
fall — expectations fed by literally years of acquiescence to The Crazy
by GOP leaders
— we don’t know if House Republicans are capable
of passing a measure temporarily funding the government even at current
levels. It’s very possible a shutdown will be averted. But even if it
is, the process may well be messy and destructive, possibly damaging the
GOP posture on Obamacare even further, just as the law’s benefits kick
in.

So the House GOP leadership and the conservative media entertainment complex are at odds with one another. Who will win this "Clash of the Titans" remains to be seen.

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