Copyright 2013 John T. Reed
The Republican House, along with two Democrats, passed a bill that funds the government and payment of principal and interest on the national debt but does not fund Obamacare. They are allowed to do that under the Constitution.
Obama has granted all sorts of waivers and exceptions to the law. He is not allowed to do that under the Constitution.
The Democrat Senate say they will not pass the House version and the President says he will veto it if they do. They are allowed to do that but it would force a shut down of government functions that cannot be funded out of current tax revenues.
Democrats say such a government shut-down would be the fault of the Republicans for not giving the Democrats what they want. Republicans say the shut down would be the fault of the Democrats for holding the government hostage to continued funding for Obamacare.
Whose fault would it actually be? The Democrats. There is consensus among both parties that the government should not be shut down. The only lack of consensus pertains to Obamacare. The Democrats needs to pass the House bill then seek to regain the House in 2014—about one year from now—not shut the government down over the issue.
The Democrats refuse to do that vowing to shut the government down and blame the Republicans for all that causes. They expect their media allies will also blame the Republicans and that the Vast majority of the American people are too dumb to recognize that the Republicans only voted to shut down the Obama part of the government, not the whole thing.
People say we went through this before during the Clinton administration and the Democrats and media were successful at persuading the public it was the Republicans’ fault.
That would be what the partial shut down that occurred in the end of 1995 and beginning of 1996. Here are some pertinent facts about all that, facts that will probably surprise you.
• Republicans controlled the House with Newt Gingrich being Speaker.
• White House employees were furloughed and replaced by unpaid interns including Monica Lewinsky. (I believe unpaid federal employees are now outlawed.)
• In 1994, as a result of Newt Gingrich’s successful Contract with America campaign, the Republicans took control of the House and Senate for the first time since 1954.
• The reason the government was partially shut down in 1995-6 was very similar to the current debate: Republicans demanded cuts in Medicare, education, and public health; Democrat president Clinton vetoed that budget.
• Opinion polls at the time blamed Clinton, not the Republicans, for the shutdown.
• Opinion polls at the time blamed Clinton, not the Republicans, for the shutdown. (I put that in the list a second time because I thought you might not believe your eyes if I did not.)
• In 1996, Clinton ran for re-election. The Republican nominee was Bob Dole whose claim to the office was based on the notion that he was not a grenade thrower like Gingrich, rather, he was a moderate who would compromise with the Democrats to avoid government shut downs. Dole lost.
• The following is a paragraph from the Wikipedia write-up on the 1995-6 shutdown:
According to Gingrich, positive impacts of the government shutdown included the balanced-budget deal in 1997 and the first four consecutive balanced budgets since the 1920s. In addition, Gingrich stated that the first re-election of a Republican majority since 1928 was due in part to the Republican Party's hard line on the budget. The Republican Party had a net loss of eight seats in the House in the 1996 elections but retained a 228-207 seat majority. In the Senate, Republicans gained two seats.
• Want me to print that one again, too?
• During the shutdown, Clinton began getting regular blow-jobs in the Oval Office from intern Monica Lewinsky. That was part of a broader collection of Clinton scandals that led to many impeachment hearings and all but eliminated his political power during the rest of his administration
Ever heard of The Sequester? It was an idea of the White House that was used to resolve the 2011 debt-ceiling crisis. It became law as part of the Budget Control Act of 2011. It included postponement of certain disputes between the parties until 2013 and mandatory cuts in both parties’ favorite federal spending programs if they could not agree.
They could not. Obama denied having created the Sequester saying it was Congress’s idea. Watergate star reporter Bob Woodward, who had written a book about the 2011 debt ceiling fight, said Obama was lying. The Sequester was his idea.
From the start, I said Republicans should not worry about the Sequester happening. I thought it was a better deal than they would ever get from negotiating with Democrats again.
As the Sequester date approached, Democrats, especially Obama, said the world would come to and end if it were allowed to go into affect.
It went into effect. Obama then tried to make his forecast come true by, among other things, ending White House tours and furlouhing air-traffic controllers.
His move on air-traffic controllers blew up in his face and that of his party. They beat a hasty retreat within days.
The White House tours are still suspended. Whom do you think is getting blamed for that? Obama or the Republicans?
The debt-to-GDP ratio stopped increasing in the beginning of 2013, in part because of The Sequester cuts.
The rest of the “world will come to an end” stuff Obama promised has not happened, at least in ways that are perceivable by the public.
Obama’s atomized credibility comes not only from his embarrassing conduct with regard to Syria but also from his falsely denying he authored the Sequester law then crying wolf about it during the Sequester fight.
Is defunding Obamacare the right thing to do? Obviously.
Will there be a government shut down by the White House and Senate if Republicans do not cave in?
I’m not sure they have the guts. I doubt they are as hazy on what happened in 1995-6 as the general public and most of the media. I think many remember what I revealed above. Politics is what they do for a living. Laymen have fuzzy memories that Gingrich lost his speakership. He did, but that is a misleading part of the late 1990s big picture to remember to the exclusion of the other stuff that actually happened. And they also remember the 2010 elections where the Democrats lost control of the House and lost seats in the Senate as a direct result of Obamacare. And they remember that long-ago taking effect of The Sequester—way back on that ancient date of March 1, 2013.
Here is a Wikipedia paragraph on the 2010 “Obamacare” elections—the ones where even the ego messiah himself admitted he took a “shellacking.”
The Democratic Party suffered massive defeats in many national and state level elections, with many seats switching to Republican Party control. The Republican Party gained 63 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, recapturing the majority, and making it the largest seat change since 1948 and the largest for any midterm election since the 1938 midterm elections. The Republicans gained six seats in the U.S. Senate, expanding its minority, and also gained 680 seats in state legislative races, to break the previous majority record of 628 set by Democrats in the post-Watergate elections of 1974. This left Republicans in control of 25 state legislatures, compared to the 15 still controlled by Democrats. After the election, Republicans took control of 29 of the 50 State Governorships.
Do the Democrats want some more of that?
Will these facts be discussed behind closed doors by terrified Democrats in the days ahead?
You bet your ass they will.
But then we have the enormously scary fact that President Obama has drawn a red line with regard to defunding Obamacare. You know how the whole world trembles when he does that.
If the Democrats go ahead and shut the government down—maybe even stopping social security payments and defaulting on U.S. government bond payments—will the Republicans get blamed for it?
I don’t know. I am not sure the American people themselves know. So polling won’t tell us. It needs to go from being abstract to concrete—and the actual effects, if any, need to be seen and experienced, not just forecast.
I do know the Democrats were quite sure the Republicans would get the blame in 1995-6 and in March 2013—and they were dead wrong.
The one thing I am sure of is that the old-line Republican “leadership” are moral wimps who are so afraid of losing they they are afraid to adopt tactics and strategies sufficiently bold to give them any hope of winning. As they say in the lottery ads, “If you don’t play, you can’t win.” Boehner, McCain, and Graham are afraid to play. Ditto Karl Rove and Stuart Varney and Dana Perino.
I am not sure Ted Cruz and Mike Lee and Rand Paul will win. But I hope they do not chicken out. It is a worthy battle.
If the good guys win, I expect we will have a new speaker and maybe a new Senate majority leader in 2014, and that would also be a good thing. Change you can believe in.
If the good guys fight this and lose, I am not sure how much worse off we could be. The Democrat business model is about to cause the U.S. federal government to go Detroit. This would be a good time, and maybe the last chance, for the Republicans to distance themselves from those socialist policies for post-crash elections.
John T. Reed