For weeks, Charles Krauthammer has trashed the effort led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) to defund Obamacare as a “cul-de-sac” strategy because it would inevitably end in a government shutdown-showdown, that Republicans “just can’t” win. Yet, last night he endorsed the notion of conditioning a hike in the debt limit or a continuing budget resolution on either subjecting federal employees, including congressmen and their staffs, to Obamacare or in a delay of the individual mandate tax or both.
But if President Barack Obama would refuse to compromise and agree to either of Krauthammer’s conditions, where else would that strategy lead but to a cul-de-sac at the end of Government Shutdown Street?
The logical import of any Republican strategy that would always give in to Democrat demands for fear that the GOP “just can’t” win a government shutdown-showdown renders the House impotent as a participant in the separation of government power under the Constitution. Moreover, given the unlikelihood that Rupert Murdock will buy up half of the mainstream media to level the playing field any time before Chelsea Clinton files for Social Security, ensures that Republicans “just can’t” win any battle with Democrats until Democrats fear us. And given that the GOP has surrendered to end every confrontation with President Obama since he was first inaugurated, including immediately after they re-gained the House thanks to tea partier opposition to Obamacare, why would Democrats ever compromise with the GOP unless we have the courage to call their government shutdown-bluff?
Having a Republican majority in the House matters not a whit if sufficient numbers of them won’t wield the power of the purse that the Constitution gives them.
But Mike, we can’t “govern” holding only one-half of the legislature? But neither can President Obama sign a budget bill unless the House first passes one. Given the Chicken-Little/Boy-who-cried-wolf aka cowardly behavior of the GOP congressional leadership of the past three years, there is no chance of forcing President Obama and Senate Democrats to compromise on legislation until AFTER Republicans change their behavior and risk a government shutdown.
The fact is that President Obama had already decided to force a shutdown-showdown over the impending debt limit deadline in mid-October, whether Republicans tried to defund Obamacare in the continuing resolution before October 1, or not. That threat might explain why Speaker John Boehner hasn’t recently mentioned his supposed “Boehner Rule” that insists upon spending cuts equal to any increase in the debt limit. The president has made clear that he considers last year’s sequester to be the end of spending cuts during the remainder of his term.
Given Republican Party cowardice during Obama’s first five years and the attacks on Cruz et al of the past five days, why wouldn’t President Obama be secure in the belief that he can make any demand concerning the content of a debt limit, continuing budget resolution or any other bill that would eventually and inevitably lead to a government shutdown-showdown, that our congressional leadership and Beltway punditry insist Republicans “just can’t” win?
Obama sees the GOP much as Usama bin Laden saw the United States before 9/11 as we left Saddam Hussein in power after the First Gulf War and treated terrorist attacks on our country as subjects for criminal indictments or the bombing of aspirin factories, i.e. as a paper tiger and weak horse.
Cruz, Mike Lee and Marco Rubio understand that the Stimulus, Dodd-Frank and Obamacare were the domestic policy equivalents of the bombings of the 1993 World Trade Center, 1998 African Embassy and 2000 USS Cole bombings. Given the re-hiring of such a failed steward of the economy in 2012, there is no reason to think that a majority of Food Stamp/Disability/Workforce Dropout Nation will get their minds right and elect sufficient numbers of Republicans in the next two cycles to repeal Obamacare. And even if a Republican delivers an inaugural address to a Republican-controlled House and Senate on January 20, 2017, there would be no guarantee that Obamacare would not already be a permanent entitlement.
There is no risk-free path to saving America. The Rule of Law was subverted in the passing of the Senate-originated Obamacare bill in the first place, much as it was subverted in the imposition of deep water oil drilling moratoriums, amnesty for young illegals, ending welfare-work requirements, delaying Obamacare mandates for Big Business and in exempting the Powers that Be in Washington, D.C. from Obamacare.
Republicans retain the power of the purse. We must use what power we have, now, before it’s too late. Millions languish in poverty and have for over five years. More are added to the ranks of those for whom the American Dream has become a nightmare every day, thanks to Obamacare and other Democrat policies that raise the price of food and energy and otherwise attack the poor and what is left of the middle class.
Yes, this country was founded as a democratic republic in which changes in the law were supposed to be the product of election choices and not arbitrary executive fiat. Yet, despite the absence of a return to taxation without representation at the hands of a distant Monarch and Parliament, we find out what the law is each day when President Obama tells us.
The clock is ticking on capital “L” Liberty as small “l” liberties are surrendered each day. The repository of what conservative sentiment remains in this country, is embodied in the House of Representatives. If they won’t use the power they retain now, the fact that we might win future elections by continuing to be the weak Democrat-lite horse is quite illusory. If given the choice between faux conservative cowards, electoral majorities will continue to choose Democrats that have the media-enabled courage to shut down the government with “for the children” bromides.
Whether its Cruz Street or Krauthammer Lane, the only path to forcing compromise on Obama and the Democrats is a confrontation at the end of one or the other’s cul-de-sac.
Mike DeVine‘s Right.com
“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson