With the the announcement that the Senate has completed a deal that would reopen our government, and avoid a U.S. default by raising our debt ceiling, I can’t help but think to myself — “What an absolute waste of time this has been.”
This whole thing started because tea party Republicans bought into their own delusion that they could defeat “Obamacare.” Sure, people like Ted Cruz used it as a political launching pad for his 2016 presidential campaign, but many tea party Republicans really bought into this idea that they would somehow emerge from this shutdown victorious.
Anyone with half a brain knew that wasn’t ever going to happen. There was absolutely no way that “Obamacare” was going to be delayed, defunded or repealed. Which prompted the question by many, “If Republicans stood no chance at accomplishing their goals against “Obamacare,” what in the hell was this shutdown about?”
Beats the hell out of me. Outside of batshit crazy tea party Republicans not understanding how government works, Ted Cruz’s presidential aspirations and the GOP’s ego preventing them from admitting they screwed up 2 weeks ago—this whole thing accomplished nothing.
Well, that’s not entirely true. It did manage to inflict quite a lot of damage nationally to the Republican party.
But as this shutdown’s end seems imminent, what did Republicans really “win?”
The answer: Nothing.
The Affordable Care Act is more or less fully intact, with a small concession coming in the way of more intricate income verification methods (something that actually makes sense).
So, at the end of the day, what did this hardline Republican stance which shut down our government end up doing to “Obamacare?”
Which begs the question, “Then why the heck couldn’t we have just done this deal from the start, avoiding the shutdown altogether?”
And that answer is simple — because of Republican ego problems. They went head first into this shutdown, buying into their own flawed rhetoric. Then once the shutdown began, they didn’t have a clue how to get out of it.
They weren’t going to simply give in and allow the House to vote on the Senate’s original plan which would have kept the government open without any shutdown. That would have made them look foolish and they had their pride getting in the way. They couldn’t simply say, “We screwed up, we were wrong, we can’t win—let’s end the shutdown.”
No. They let their ego drag this out to nearly the last possible minute, harming millions of Americans in the process.
Because at the end of the day this shutdown was a tool used conservatives to try to delay, repeal or defund “Obamacare.” And at the end of the day Republicans accomplished exactly none of those objectives. Republicans failed themselves and (much more importantly) failed the country by dragging us through this mess for no good reason to start with.