‘The Grinches who stole ObamaCare’ can’t keep it from coming

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Like the Grinch who thought he could keep Christmas from coming if he stole it, so to Tea-Publicans in Congress think they can stop "ObamaCare" from coming on October 1 if they steal it. Tea-Publicans have "puzzled and puzzled 'til their puzzlers are sore." They puzzled the advice of Karl Rove that Republicans must resist game of chicken with president over ObamaCare:

TheGrinchPresident Obama would love nothing more than Republicans’ providing
him a bully pulpit and big stick with which he can beat them daily
through the 2014 midterm elections.  That’s what the Republicans would
give Mr. Obama if they shut down the government by trying to defund
ObamaCare in the Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the federal
government after October 1.

That’s because the Continuing Resolution only affects discretionary
spending.  Virtually all of ObamaCare costs are mandatory spending,
unaffected by what’s in the CR.  Defunding ObamaCare in the CR would not
affect spending for the expansion of Medicaid, which is almost half of
ObamaCare’s cost.  Nor would it affect the Exchanges – the subsidies for
insurance coverage – that’s also mandatory spending.  

In fact, as little as 1% or 2% of ObamaCare’s outlays for the first
ten years would be affected by adding to the CR a provision defunding
ObamaCare.

So they puzzled some more, until they came up with a truly evil, despicable plan to default on the national debt, and cause a global financial crisis. "We must stop ObamaCare from coming!"

Ezra Klein explains at the Wonkbook: House GOP considers trading the flu for septic shock:

In what has to be the least convincing pitch in modern political
memory, House Republican leaders are suggesting to their members that
they should forego a government shutdown over Obamacare and instead
breach the debt ceiling over Obamacare.

Reuters reports
that “the idea is gaining traction among Republican leaders in the
House of Representatives, aides said on Wednesday. An aide to House
Majority Leader Eric Cantor said the debt limit is a ‘good leverage
point’.”

I’ve written this before
but it bears repeating: Trading a government shutdown for a
debt-ceiling breach is like trading the flu for septic shock. Anything
Republicans might fear about a government shutdown is far more
terrifying amidst a debt-ceiling breach. The former is an inconvenience.
The latter is a global financial crisis. It’s the difference between
what happened in 1995, when the government did shutdown, and what
happened in 2008, when global markets realized a bedrock investment they
thought was safe (housing in that case, U.S. treasuries in this one)
was full of risk.

Republicans will effectively be going to the White House and saying,
“Delay the health-care law or we will single-handedly cause an
unprecedented and unnecessary global financial crisis that everyone will
clearly and correctly blame on us, destroying our party for years to
come.”

Here’s the punchline: Cantor knows all that. So does Boehner and
McCarthy and McConnell and all the other top Republicans. Ran-and-file
House Republicans may doubt the threat of the debt ceiling. The GOP
leadership doesn’t. This isn’t a hostage they believe they can shoot.

But this is a recurring problem with the House GOP leadership. They
can’t simply level with their members and say a shutdown is a bad idea,
and indeed all of this hostage taking is a bad idea, and House
Republicans simply need to recognize that they don’t have the power or
political support to stop the Obama administration from implementing
laws
. Being in the minority is a bummer, which is part of why it makes
sense for minorities to be tactically disciplined — that’s how they can
regain the majority.

That’s what the GOP leadership thinks, of course, but they can’t say
it. if they did say it, they’d be squishes. Appeasers. Traitors, even.

So they have to one-up the crazies. Sure, a government shutdown sounds
tough. But Democrats don’t care about preventing a government shutdown.
They care about preventing a financial crisis. Real tough Republicans
would wait for the debt ceiling. It’s an insane argument. But it helps
them defuse the next crisis.

And so the shutdown threat will come and go. But then they’ll have
another problem — and a more dangerous one: They’ll somehow have to stop
House Republicans from actually breaching the debt ceiling and
destroying the economy and the Republican Party.
And so they’ll start
working, aggressively and assiduously, to find someway around that
disaster, too. And somehow they’ll have to persuade their members then,
too, that they have some better, tougher, more uncompromising strategy
lurking in the wings.

This strategy of solving today’s problems by worsening tomorrow’s
works until it doesn’t. But top House Republicans don’t see an
alternative.

Grinch2Tea-Publicans could do what every previous Congress has done in the past: accept a duly enacted law and work to make it better by smoothing out any glitches that may arise. And when "ObamaCare" arrives on October 1, as it surely will, Tea-Publicans may come to realize: "Maybe ObamaCare, they thought… isn't such a chore. Maybe ObamaCare, perhaps… means a little bit more!”

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