For many Republicans, the most frustrating aspect of the government shutdown that lasted from Oct. 1 to Oct. 16 wasn’t that it was a fight that couldn’t really be won. Nor was it that the Republican Party took almost all the blame, even though President Obama and congressional Democrats were just as intransigent as Tea Party conservatives.
No, their real gripe was that the entire drama obscured the bungled rollout of the Democrats’ precious Affordable Care Act. All GOP lawmakers really needed to do to underscore the shortcomings of this law, they said, was nothing.
For three years Republicans warned that this contraption was so bulky and poorly built that it would have trouble getting off the ground—and that Americans would hate it. Ignored or marginalized by the media, these critics are now having their say.
“We’ve been warning that these things were going to happen since 2009,” said Kirsten Kukowski, the press secretary for the Republican National Committee.
“This law is a mess,” Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said on the eve of the rollout. “It needs to go. It’s way past time to start over.”