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Months Of Planning Went Into Shutdown, Evidence Shows

Many Americans are under the impression that the government shutdown is sudden, or the result of a bipartisan failure to reach agreement. Neither of those is true. In fact, this shutdown is the result of planning and careful execution by the most extreme of the GOP-controlled House — the Tea Party. The plan to defund Obamacare, even at the cost of government shutdown, has been in place for quite some time. Furthermore, the “piecemeal” refunding agreements are giving the Koch brothers exactly what they want.

It all started back in February, when a group of right-wing activists created and signed a so-called “coalition letter,” saying that “Congress Must Honor Sequester Savings and Defund ObamaCare Before It Is Too Late.” The letter was signed by more than 40 conservative activists, including notables such as Erick Erickson of, Edwin Meese III, the former Attorney General under Reagan, and Jenny Meese, the co-founder of Tea Party Patriots. For the full list, click the link above.

Those activists have worked with Tea Partiers in Congress to strategize on how to shut down the healthcare law, as well as taking up their own campaigns against reform. In fact, 200 million Koch-tainted dollars have found their way into the nonprofits included in the war on healthcare reform. At least one part of where that money went is something you’ll be familiar with — the disturbing Uncle Sam ads released by Generation Opportunity. The astroturf strategy of the right has been working, too — after all, the government is shut down, thanks to the Tea Party congresspeople.

In case you haven’t seen it, here’s one of the ads released by Generation Opportunity:

The letter details the plan to defund Obamacare, subverting the democratic process by using the appropriations bill to play partisan politics. There are many in the media that are arguing that because the government shutdown move by the right is legal, it is acceptable, and this talking point is false and needs to be defeated. When it comes to bipartisan negotiations, yes, each side should make concessions and we should move forward. However, the government shutdown is hurting everyone equally. It isn’t good for Republicans, and nor does anyone want it. Hostage-taking — the Tea Party strategy being implemented here — cannot be accepted on Capitol Hill. Every time one side or the other disagrees, moving forward, are we going to risk our economy and hurt millions of Americans in grandstanding by the petulant minority? I sure hope not.

They also released an Obamacare defunding “toolkit” for use by activists, congressional staffers, or organizations, which includes suggested Tweets and talking points, many of which are easily now found across all media outlets as well as in the mouths of Washington politicians, such as House Speaker Boehner.

Tea Partiers seem to really think they represent the will of the American people, as reported by the New York Times in an illuminating article about the government shutdown plan:

On Capitol Hill, the advocates found willing partners in Tea Party conservatives, who have repeatedly threatened to shut down the government if they do not get their way on spending issues. This time they said they were so alarmed by the health law that they were willing to risk a shutdown over it. (“This is exactly what the public wants,” Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, founder of the House Tea Party Caucus, said on the eve of the shutdown.)

It’s unclear whether this belief of the Tea Party caucus represents willful ignorance of the wishes of the American people, which were clearly presented during the 2012 election cycle, or openly malicious intent, except in the cases of Rep. Bachmann and a couple of others, who seem to lack the cognitive presence to both speak and make sense at one time.

To understand exactly how bad this is for America, you have to follow the money. The NYT reports,

A review of tax records, campaign finance reports and corporate filings shows that hundreds of millions of dollars have been raised and spent since 2012 by organizations, many of them loosely connected, leading opposition to the measure.

One of the biggest sources of conservative money is Freedom Partners, a tax-exempt “business league” that claims more than 200 members, each of whom pays at least $100,000 in dues. The group’s board is headed by a longtime executive of Koch Industries, the conglomerate run by the Koch brothers, who were among the original financiers of the Tea Party movement. The Kochs declined to comment.

And deregulation and government limitation have been a Koch platform for decades. In fact, when David Koch was the 1980 Libertarian Vice President candidate, their platform included the following:

libertarian platform

Obviously, the bid for the White House was a miserable failure. Since then, however, the Kochs have taken to buying judicial elections and forming astroturf groups that spend money on Koch causes, culminating in a massive network of activists, conservative judges, think tanks, nonprofits and politicians aimed at an extreme right-wing deregulation. The Kochs are the source of both the Tea Party movement and the anarcho-capitalist strain of libertarianism given mainstream attention due to it, and their network is responsible for a government shutdown long in the making.

Originally written for Occupy Democrats.

About Justin Acuff

Justin Acuff is a political activist, writer and admitted news junkie. He has written hundreds of articles that have been read millions of times. Justin is a Senior Editor for Addicting Info, the owner and managing editor of Young Progressive Voices, and contributes to other publications as well. The best part? He isn't even 21 yet. Follow his Facebook fan page to get access to his latest articles, find his website here, or follow him on Twitter.


33 thoughts on “Months Of Planning Went Into Shutdown, Evidence Shows

  1. well congrats to the kochsuckers for making this ordinary citizen despise capitalism and wish for socialism. people like the kochs should not be allowed any greater or lesser voice than me.

    Posted by Sharon | October 8, 2013, 5:44 pm
    • Unfortunately this is what happens in a corporatocracy…. Here is the solution.

      Posted by Pete Geller | October 9, 2013, 8:26 am
    • For a representative democracy to function you need two things: an informed electorate, and a loyal opposition. The US has neither, so it will be forced to abandon democracy in favor of fascism. BTW, I am aware of how weird this sounds, but the US simply can not limp along without a functioning government, and sooner or later will be forced to convert to fascism (which is not the same as Nazism).

      Posted by Brad Arnold | October 9, 2013, 10:15 pm
      • America has always suffered from latent fascism … it’s in their blood. Now they are taking a stand and the idiots are allowing this to happen because, after all, Hitler is dead and so is Mussolini, RIGHT? HAH!

        Posted by John Carollo | October 10, 2013, 2:03 am
      • Nazism is not a social policy. A great example of how uninformed the American electorate is. Even when trying to sound smart you still sound like an idiot.

        Posted by John Smith | October 10, 2013, 10:04 am
  2. Ed Meese is important too. He helped get Reagan in the Oval Office and that precipitated the biggest (percentage wise) income-tax cut for the wealthy that led to wealth controlling the government more than political parties and organizations. Sure Kennedy gave 20% back, but it is true that Europe and Asia had destroyed their industrial base during WW2 and it was coming back by the 60s, so we couldn’t keep pretending there was no competition. The Reagan tax cuts were excessive and even included tax cuts for taking jobs overseas. That’s why greedy people like Romney jumped into buying up businesses and taking them out of country.

    Posted by Bill Lenner | October 8, 2013, 7:10 pm
    • Overall taxes AND government spending INCREASED during the Reagan administration. Europe and Asia did not destroy their industrial base WE DID! Why is earning as much as you can considered greedy?

      Posted by Ralph Mallard | October 10, 2013, 6:00 pm
  3. What will it take to get these criminals out of society? Their crimes are so beyond the scope of what we think of as crime, that we haven’t seen it yet for what it is. How many salmonella, gun, and occupational deaths before the Kochs get arrested?

    Posted by Kristen Caven | October 9, 2013, 8:32 am
  4. Until we stop assholes like the Koch bros from buying congressman, and start publically funding elections, we’re gonna keep runnin on this treadmill. Obviously, 5% congressional approval rating isn’t government for the people.

    Posted by Luis Garcia | October 9, 2013, 4:30 pm
  5. am i the only one who finds it messed up that these people will spend hundreds of millions of dollars trying to change policy and the political landscape, but then will cry like a baby if you mention increasing their taxes?

    Posted by James Stiles | October 9, 2013, 6:01 pm
  6. it’s all in their book, translated title is “My Struggle”, try the German section of your local bookstore

    Posted by sftommy | October 9, 2013, 10:25 pm
  7. psychopaths…should not be allowed to hold political office…nor should individuals with a certain low IQ. Does anyone know of a test for psychopaths…It should be required for government offices.

    Posted by stevemax | October 10, 2013, 1:18 am
  8. Most of these replies are right on the money!

    Posted by Royofcourse | October 10, 2013, 6:39 am
  9. Democrats are such stupid people. They can’t even understand when someone they hate simply stands up for their own principles. Democrats shut down this government now, and in the ’90s, for the same reasons. Blaming the Republicans is just proving who the children are. Democrats could just agree to pass a budget that doesn’t hurt people while continuing to negotiate on their ACA debacle. But, they won’t. They are stupid people.

    Democrats said all the same EXACT rhetoric when they were in majority in the House under Bush. Look how stupid people who worship these parties are still today. Grow up?! Please?

    Posted by Joel | October 10, 2013, 12:16 pm
    • ….how did they shut down the government? They control the House? They refused to vote on the Senate bill? Sorry, but I LIKE my new healthcare. The Republicans saying my fiancee, soon-to-be child and myself don’t deserve affordable coverage (guess what — I don’t qualify for any kind of tax break, but I still get great coverage for my family that’s easily affordable!) can go fuck themselves. You included.

      Posted by Justin Acuff | October 10, 2013, 12:33 pm
    • Obviously, you have had your head buried in the sand for the last 4-5 yrs. The Republican or teabaggers have no principles.

      Posted by Donna Carol | October 22, 2013, 6:15 pm
  10. Healthcare will never be truly affordable as long as it is a for-profit industry. Period.

    Posted by Kristen Caven | October 11, 2013, 2:02 pm
  11. Whether or not healthcare is a human right, it makes sense to provide basic healthcare, just as it makes sense to provide basic education, to a population we want to thrive. It’s a way of looking at things to take care of each other and create a good, yes, a common good. Other countries understand this and thrive, whereas here in the US, some see “freedom” as a competitive thing which, ultimately, is destructive to all.

    Posted by Kristen Caven | October 13, 2013, 12:37 pm


  1. Pingback: Tea Party Has Been Planning Shutdown For A Long Time | Illuminate - October 8, 2013

  2. Pingback: Shutdown 2 Watch: McConnell Attacks Tea Party, Suicide Caucus « Mercury Rising 鳯女 - December 1, 2013

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