GOP: The Inmates are Running the Asylum [OPINION]
The inmates are running the asylum in the US House of Representatives.
Speaker of the House John Boehner has become so desperate to hold onto his position that he has caved in to the Tea Party minority of his Republican caucus and tied defunding Obamacare to avoiding a government shutdown.
There is literally zero chance that the Affordable Care Act is going to be defunded. The Democratically controlled Senate is not going to agree to the House’s resolution.
Even if some combination of a backroom maneuvering, a Ted Cruz filibuster, and scads of incriminating photographs somehow managed to switch the votes of enough Democrats, there is the small matter of an absolutely certain Presidential veto to consider.
There are some pretty dim bulbs amongst those trying prevent more than 30 million uninsured Americans having access to affordable healthcare, but don’t believe for a second that the Republican House leadership actually thinks that this tactic has a prayer of working. This is all about avoiding the blame.
If the House had decided to keep the government running without sticking the Obamacare killing provision in the resolution, the ultra conservatives would blame Boehner and the next order of business would be electing a new speaker. When the Senate rejects the House plan, as far as Boehner and company are concerned, the blame now belongs to someone else.
This isn’t a particularly well thought out plan.
Yes, the “blame” for Obamacare is going to fall on Democrats, the President in particular; but that has been happening for years and it was notably ineffective in preventing his reelection.
What makes this a bad plan is that as soon as the Senate, or President if it came to that, rejects it, the ball is right back in Boehner’s court. At that point he either has to shrug his shoulders, say “aw shucks guys, at least we tried” and fund the government Obamacare and all, or let the shutdown happen.
Boehner is gambling that there will be enough members of the Republican caucus placated with the attempt that he gets off the hook. That might be the case, but there will undoubtedly be plenty who are willing to shut the whole thing down, or try again with the coming debt ceiling deadline.
With this crowd having gotten their way once, what is to prevent them from yanking Boehner’s leash again?
The consequences of a government shutdown or defaulting on our debt are going to create a lot more blame than Obamacare ever would. It is pretty hard to conceive of a way in which that blame doesn’t land on the doorstep of House Republicans.
Unlike the President and 2/3 of the Senate, they are all up for reelection next year.
There is a way to repeal Obamacare. To do so, Republicans need to have control of the House, the Senate, and the Whitehouse. The time for that was last November, and the American people spoke, but some people seem not to have gotten the message.
Republican powerbrokers are well aware that trying to get rid of Obamacare later down the line will be well-nigh a political impossibility because it will amount to taking something away from millions of people who will by then realize how much they like having affordable health insurance.
This is why Republicans are so desperate to do something, anything to stop the ACA before it gets going.
Someone needs to remind House Republicans that the stench of desperation has never worn well.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of John Gossom and do not reflect Results Radio, Townsquare Media, its sponsors or subsidiaries.