Republican Party leaders lost control some time ago, and the joy of watching the GOP tear itself apart never seems to cease. This time, tea partiers are attacking Republican candidates/incumbents that won’t uselessly shut down the government in a statement of disapproval about Obamacare, saying they’re sellouts or not conservative enough.
The continued effort to block the Affordable Care Act is currently being headed by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), who managed to get 14 colleagues on board in the Senate to block funding. Here’s a list, courtesy of ThinkProgress:
Conservatives have also listed Sens. Alexander, Ayotte, Barrasso, Blunt, Boozman, Burr, Chambliss, Graham, Heller, Isakson, Johanns, McConnell, Moran, Roberts, Scott and Toome as targets to put pressure on to oppose the healthcare bill that was passed three years ago and was declared constitutional by the Supreme Court.
In the House, many of the GOP congresspeople oppose the healthcare bill as well, with some urging to refuse funding to Obamacare as a last-ditch attempt to halt implementation. The House has tried, unsuccessfully, to repeal Obamacare, in whole or part, 40 times. The disagreements between select officials and party leadership is a product of the anti-Affordable Care Act fervor that has swept the Republican Party since it was first passed. In fact, party leadership only has themselves to blame — scoring partisan points on something the tea party was rousing the base about has come back to bite them, because the base doesn’t seem to care whether or not a repeal or block is realistic or in the best interests in the country; GOP leadership has created a beast they cannot control.
Although this drastically increases the chances for a government shutdown, or threat of one, it may prove to be quite valuable as the midterm elections come around in 2014. Due to Republican infighting and general incompetency, the GOP has accomplished nothing thus far in this Congress, and it doesn’t look like that trend is going to shift anytime soon.
Many Republicans, however, are very upset about the threat of government shutdown. Mostly those that have been in office for a while and have a sense for how things work — and that should tell you something.
When confronted by one angry constituent, Schock dismissed his pro-shutdown colleagues for “beating their chests” on cable news without thinking about the real-life consequences. “How many weeks would you go without paying Social Security, and how many weeks would you go without paying the troops?” he asked. “And having a young lady walk into my office, whose husband is over in Afghanistan, who can’t pay her mortgage because I’m shutting the government down because I don’t like the health care law? […] I’m just suggesting that when you get into a fight, politically, you gotta make sure you’re willing to kill the hostage you got. And I am not convinced yet that that’s a hostage we should take headed into this fight.”
Here’s the video:
A young man from the audience said “The Tea party wants to know, will you vote with Mike Lee to defund Obamacare, yes or no?” While the audience is applauding for the question, the congressman asked whether he can offer a “thoughtful answer,” but the man insisted on yes or no.
The response? A strong NO. Pittenger then explains that defunding Obamacare is not a real option, because the bill will probably be rejected by the Democratic controlled Senate, or vetoed by president Obama. He continues justify his decision by suggesting another (and even worse) disastrous plan on how to defund or repeal the healthcare law. When the audience starts to show more signs of dissatisfaction with what he says, Pittenger asks “Do you think Harry Reid is going to pass that in the Senate?” An angry Tea Party women shouts, “It doesn’t matter what Harry Reid is, we need to show the American people that we stand for conservative values.”
Watch it in the video below:
And those aren’t the only ones. ThinkProgress also reports that, “Many other prominent Republicans have refused to support the shutdown plan. On Sunday, former vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) said “there are more effective ways” to get rid of Obamacare. Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) scoffed, ‘It’s the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard,’ while Sen. Tom Cole (R-OK) called it ‘a temper tantrum.’ Republican governors have also warned that their state economies would suffer enormously if the party takes the government hostage.”
We can only hope that this trend of slight sanity continues and grows — and maybe passes on to their base (too idealistic, I know).
Reposted from Occupy Democrats with permission.
- A Long, Hot August for the GOP (thinkprogress.org)
- GOP Rep. Outrages Tea Party By Saying No (huffingtonpost.com)
- Republicans Do Damage Control On Their Party’s Vow To Shut Down The Government (thinkprogress.org)