Now that they got their Government Shutdown, Republicans don’t know What the Hell to Do Next

Paul RyanWhile there’s really nothing funny about the government being shut down, there is something funny about the hole Republicans have dug themselves into.  Because let’s face facts — Republicans have shut down the government and now they simply don’t know what the hell to do next.

And this is what happens when an entire political party buys into their own propaganda.

See, I’ve noticed one thing when I’ve talked with most Republicans—they really think “Obamacare” can be defunded or repealed.  They really think this shutdown is going to put a stop to the health care law.  They really believe, at the end of the day, they’re going to win.

But the truth is—they’re not.  There’s no ending to this story where Republicans win.

Our entire country might go down the drain, we might default on our debts and hundreds of thousands of Americans might suffer the consequences of the government shutdown, but at the end of the day “Obamacare” is still going to be the law of the land.

They’ve done such a masterful job of carrying out deception and lies over the last few years that they’ve successfully convinced millions of their followers that these shenanigans will work.  But ultimately they won’t.

And therein lies the problem for the GOP.  The government is now shut down, they’ve convinced millions that their “plan” to defeat “Obamacare” is realistic (though it isn’t) and they know this—but now what?  What the heck do they do?

Well the answer is, they have no idea what to do.

Under no circumstance are President Obama and Democrats going to negotiate anything that includes delaying or defunding “Obamacare,” so that’s not ever going to be an option.  But that’s what Republicans have painted this shutdown as being about.

So how in the hell can they reopen the government and delay or defund “Obamacare” at the same time?  Well, they can’t.

Reopening the government is easy.  All that would take is Speaker of the House John Boehner allowing the House to vote on the clean resolution the Senate sent over a few days ago—a vote which he has been blocking.  If he would just allow that resolution to come up for a vote in the House, it would pass, and the government would then reopen.

But “Obamacare” would be fully funded.

However, as the shutdown continues, negativity towards the Republican party will only continue to grow.  Sure, among their base, support will remain fairly constant — but with moderates and independents (two key demographics needed to win elections) it’s going to continue to deteriorate.  But what did they expect?  From the start most polls showed the majority of Americans didn’t favor shutting down the government to stop “Obamacare,” so their behavior in doing so was clearly meant to pander to their base.

Which is their problem.  They’ve shut down the government to pander to their base, and they know that at the end of it all they really have no way to “win.”  So now it’s about ego more than anything else.  They can’t simply “give in” because then how will they answer to their right-wing voters who they told this shutdown was going to work?  Besides, if they simply give in, what the hell was the point of this to begin with?  

I mean, I know the answer to that question.  There was absolutely no point—besides grandstanding and pandering to their base.

So, here we are in the midst of this government shutdown, with Boehner refusing to even let the House of Representatives vote on a clean resolution from the Senate so we can reopen the government and Republicans scrambling to figure out just what in the hell they’re going to do next.

Because honestly, I don’t even know.  I can’t see them simply “giving in” because they’ll look like absolute fools (well, even more so than they already do).  Then there’s no way President Obama and Democrats are going to move an inch on “Obamacare” because they don’t have to.  So we have one side that doesn’t need to budge (because they have all the leverage) and the other side which seems to think that they can accomplish the impossible.

So what we have here is a situation where Republicans have backed themselves into a corner and there’s really no way for them to get out of it.  They’re either going to have to stretch out this government shutdown so long that even their base will be so frustrated that they’ll simply demand it end (even if that means funding “Obamacare”), or they’ll cave in a few days and look like complete idiots and obstructionists who shut down our government for absolutely no reason.

Because at the end of the day, “Obamacare” is still going to be the law of the land and there’s nothing Republicans can do about it.

Which is something they already know.  They’ve cut off their nose to spite their face, and now they simply don’t know what the hell to do next.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • Phil the observer

    Would you please quit using the phrase “Obamacare”(a republican term) and call it by the name of the law…The ACA. Thank you.

    • saltcay

      They can’t do that, people actually like “THE ACA”. It’s “OBAMACARE” that they can’t stand!

      • BURNTFUR

        this is the best comment I have read in ages. thank you!

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Yeah, anyone catch Jimmy Kimmel’s man-on-the-street interviews? Google “Kimmel Six of One.”

      • Phil the observer

        Which would be my point exactly..Let the Republicans call it Obamacare…BECAUSE people Like ACA!!

      • Robyn Kern

        That is the point, it is one and the same

    • suburbancuurmudgeon

      No, because embracing “Obamacare” rather than being ashamed of what was supposed to be an epithet (much like “liberal”) irritates the GOP even more.

    • lotusman

      think of it this way. “Obamacare” was supposed to be a nasty name to redicule the Pres. Now it’s law. Years from now, we’ll still be calling the ACA …Obamacare. His name will become an everyday word. Who’s sorry now?…..Lmao.

      • JohnJay60

        Yes, and Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater both campaigned on the repeal of Medicare – something that Democrats have been suprisingly shy about mentioning. I would like the Democrats to float a bill for a vote that says “using the Reagan-Goldwater definition of Socialized Medicine, all Government intervention in healthcare except for Veterans should be discontinued” and see how frantically Republicans try to rewrite history.

    • Greg Morgan

      You’re right that the word “Obamacare” was invented by Republicans to taint the Affordable Care Act with the name of the person they hate. But here’s the irony: as more and more people start enjoying the benefits of whatever-you-want-to-call-it, they will probably come to love it so much that we’ll all be happy to call it Obamacare. This is just one more way the Republicans have shot themselves in the foot.

    • Lorrie Crabtree

      Actually, President Obama even said himself that he kinda likes the term, so some of the negativity has been taken from it.

    • disqus_6AeSbMRBY2

      There was a press conference where he said to “go ahead and call it Obamacare, ‘cos it’s true; I do care. Obama cares.” I am paraphrasing, of course, but I think it pissed them off some when he started using the name himself. Then the right screamed that it was all about his ego, so naturally, it just proved that there is nothing he can do. They hate him, no matter what.

  • Tim

    I think it is time for the Dems to compromise. I think they should delay the implementation of ACA until 10/6/2013. That way the Repubs can save face and save they delayed the implementation and Dems will know that the ACA will provide affordable care for millions of uninsured Americans.

    • javadude

      and why the hell would we want to pander to those domestic terrorists?

    • ziggywiggy

      delay it till yesterday?

    • bamcintyre

      No way! Jose! This whole timetable was done to cater to the TPers. The time ans come to move on. Do remember WHEN this bill was passed? The conculusion on the GOP side was that Mitt was gonna be Pres and none of this was gonna happen. NO MORE DELAYS!


      Dems have tried many times over many different issues to compromise. The GOP idea of compromise is “do it my way, and anything non-related we feel like attaching to it too.”

    • Bert Drommond Farry

      and they will pull this stuff again when the want something else like shutting down SS, foodstamps, EPA ….

    • artisanr

      lol i read what you did there 🙂

  • WolfHalton

    The Republicans probably didn’t expect their scorched-earth policy government shutdown to be necessary. They mistook the President for a weakling, because he is kind to them. There is no compromise needed here. The Republicans just have to admit their crazy gambit didn’t work.
    Their base will forgive them. You will be amazed how quickly that happens.

    • Mike Williams

      One needs to be kind to the disfortunate. They lack the finer things in life. Such as souls and individuality…These things are mystery to them.


      also, we won’t be amazed how quickly that happens.

    • Gary Menten

      It’s precisely because they know their base will forgive them quickly that they will continue to play this pointless game until they can figure out some face-saving way out. However, as they have already demonstrated, they are not very good at thinking their way through problems.

  • David

    Did you really have to repeat yourself over and over? Law of the land, nothing they can do, law of the land, nothing they can do. You sound just as much of an idiot as the rest of D.C. Journalism just plain sucks anymore.

    • GL

      Repetition is about the only way someone can get an idea through to the current crop of Republicans, young David. It’s like teaching a child how to read. You have to repeat things over and over so that they learn the basics.

      • BURNTFUR

        exactly! because the moment you stop dishing out logic they want to start from their failed premise again, all in the effort to keep the discussion from ever coming to its logical conclusion.

    • suburbancuurmudgeon

      How so? Just because you don’t think it should be law of the land doesn’t change reality.

  • phil

    Yes, the law of the land statement is hysterical. Myself being a conservative I think the law of the land just depends on what this administration says it means on a daily basis. I don’t disagree with the liberal points, I realize the liberal point of view is just people like me on the other side questioning why people just don’t get their simple answers to all our problems. Both sides can point fingers at the other and lay blame, but the truth is both sides have let this happen. After Obama has modified this “law” several times whenever he sees fit, it’s only reasonable for the Republicans to ask for the same delay Obama has offered others. To just state “this is non negotiable” is just not realistic when trying to negotiate a mutual agreement where both parties must in the end agree. The Republicans also attempted a strong arm tactic where too much was at stake. They can be blamed by the Democrats for being unreasonable, just as the Democrats can be blamed for showing up never willing to negotiate in the first place. It was a stalemate from the beginning and the sooner we all realize that, the better off we’ll be.

    • GL

      Or maybe the Democrats would be willing to at least talk if the Republicans weren’t using hostage tactics. Let’s look at this critically. The President has said he wants a clean CR. They can talk about laws and such later, but right now, he’d like a Clean CR. By passing a Clean CR, the US government is allowed to keep working while the House and Senate meet to discuss things.

      Of course, this is all a moot point because the Republican Party will just do the same thing with the Debt Ceiling.

    • suburbancuurmudgeon

      It is the law because
      Congress passed it
      The President signed it
      The Supreme Court (upon which conservatives had hoped for its demise) upheld it.

      The House had 18 opportunities to negotiate the Senate bill between April and August and refused each time:

      http://www DOT politicususa DOT com/2013/10/01/republicans-admitted-negotiate-budget-hostage.html

      • phil

        It is the law becauseCongress passed itThe President signed itThe Supreme Court (upon which conservatives had hoped for its demise) upheld it.

        This is one of my favorites. …its the law! How many laws get changed every time enforcing it would make the President look bad? The Republicans just want the same special treatment the President has given Congress and his campaign contributors. They don’t want to violate the law, just have it enforced equally amongst all people.

      • Scaramongus

        If you don’t get your way through processes and rules as they are now, all you have to do is change how things are done, don’t let people vote, gerrymander, and use this undemocratic tactic because . . . well . . . you couldn’t do it by the rules. Why don’t we just do away with our democratic process altogether and you and yours can rule by edict.

    • gatorfan

      The US policy is and always has been not to negotiate with terrorists. And if you don’t think holding the country hostage economically to the threat of defaulting on its obligations and putting hundreds of thousands of people out of work constitutes terrorism then you need to go read a book that wasnt written by Bill Orilley or Glenn Beck.

      • phil

        Terrorism. .. really. Your saying that with a straight face. That’s as bad an analogy as the Republicans saying Obamacare will bring about death panels!

    • bigg_brother

      They negotiated and compromised when the bill was up for a vote. Remember? Isn’t letting commercial insurance companies skim the system the compromise they wanted?

      Apparently one vote and one debate wasn’t enough, we need more and more and more. How many more times do we have to renegotiate the same bill? Especially when it is clearly not for policy, just political spite and posturing for the big money funders behind the Tea Party…..

      The right wing ‘base’ will think anything that Fox News tells them, there is no worry of losing them. Their easily manipulated anger is stoked and then sold like a commodity to the highest bidder. The moderate majority though might never come back.

      • phil

        Apparently one vote and one debate wasn’t enough, we need more and more and more. How many more times do we have to renegotiate the same bill?  Nothing needs to be negotiated further, but funding does need to be provided. This is something the Democrats failed to realize when they passed a bill with no Republican support. Now it’s a shock that they still don’t have Republican support when they need it. Then for the President and the Senate to say this is non negotiable? Maybe they weren’t aware that if you need support from the other party, starting off by telling them what’s non negotiable probably isn’t going to get them what they want.

      • Scaramongus

        isn’t the law already funded?

      • Pipercat

        Shhh, you’ll ruin his derailment..

  • Kat

    Seems to me this is a horribly written paper. If you want to get your point across, stop slamming on Republicans. Both parties are at fault. You want to write what I think may be a shitty argument/opinion paper, start with this. Argument and a counter argument, then maybe I will give a shit what you are even saying

    • Kat

      If you want to seem even remotely intelligent, do more research, and stop using opinions. Ruins your credibility.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Et tu, Brute. I’ve yet to see your intelligent argument.

    • ForeverBuddha

      Look like the truth hurts. If the ACA was really bad as the Republicans are saying, wouldn’t you just let it fail? Then slam Obama and the Democrats? The Republicans would gain a lot of new seats in the House and Senate, also the White House during the next election? But this is not the case, the Republicans are trying very hard to appeal the ACA, scare out of their mind about the ACA. The Republicans knows the ACA is good, this is the only reason they try very hard to appeal it.

      • Buck

        Truth is, this not really about ACA. It is about what Mitch McConnell said when Obama was elected for his first term. Yhey do not want Obama to ever succeed at anything he does. They have yet to accept that a black man is president and that he beat them not once but twice. The reason they refused to negotiate the bill between April and August [even though they had 18 chances to do so] was they were sure Mitt would be the next president and he would put an end to the ACA. [remember how surprised they were when the votes started to come in. It Mitt many hours to begin to realize he had lost.] They hate Obama mainly because he is black and will destroy America rather than allow him to succeed.

    • suburbancuurmudgeon

      No, both parties are NOT at fault. It is entirely on the Republicans. Even FOX viewers are retaliating.

    • GL

      Here’s the problem with blaming both parties. The Democrats have repeatedly said that they are willing to work with the Republicans after a Clean CR is passed. The Democrats have also said that they are not willing to link the Affordable Care Act to the Appropriations or Debt Ceiling bills. The Republicans could easily keep up their futile crusade against the ACA (remember, the President isn’t willing to repeal it, and the Senate would handily defeat any repeal/defund bills that reached it) without shutting down the government or sending us into default. They chose to shut down the government. They’re going to choose to send us into default. And by doing so, ironically, they are actually living up to their campaign promise, namely: We will tear the government down brick by brick because we believe that government should not do anything period.

    • Axer1

      Yet you READ IT. Seems you DO “give a shit.”

    • theabby

      Both parties are at fault—that’s what someone says when they know they’re wrong !

  • Ibid Towin

    Yea but now they are screaming from the top of bull shite mountain that it was the democrats that caused the shut down, so the sheeple will believe them, and they scream it often.

    • suburbancuurmudgeon

      Naw, even FOX viewers are jumping ship:

      http://www DOT politicususa DOT com/2013/10/03/fox-news-poll-finds-disapproval-gop-skyrocketing-shut-government.html

      • Ibid Towin

        Don’t be fooled into believing that, there are a lot of hardcore idiots that will listen to anything that faux tells them and it is as if it came from god himself and no matter how much facts you show them they will not change their minds.

  • Gary Menten

    This is what happens when you practice “knife to the throat” politics with a rubber knife and put it to your own throat instead of the other guy’s. I’d expect nothing less from the Teapublicans.

  • ditomagik

    “don’t know What the Hell to Do Next”. The way I see it they are doing what they have always done…..nothing.

  • gatorfan

    What amazes me is the GOP’s complete schizophrenia now. On the one hand they have exactly what they want. No Federal government. The “essential” parts of the Federal government…the parts they like…are still open for business…military…border patrol…etc…but yet they whine and stamp their feet crying about how Obama should negotiate with them to end the shutdown. Why? From the GOP’s perspective, why do they want Obama to negotiate to end the shutdown when this is what they’ve dreamed of for so long? Why not just sit back and enjoy their “victory”? The last thing the republicans should want is for Obama to negotiate with them. Fox news seems to be happy with the shut down. Claiming that people will see that they can “get by with less government”…except when it comes to kids getting tours of the White House and Vets visiting the WWII memorial. So what’s the GOP crying about? Unless they realize how truly disasterous their actions wil be for the country.

    • Scaramongus

      and Michelle Bachmann has never seen the GOP so happy!!! What a bunch of posers.

  • One of them too

    This whole sad episode summarizes what’s wrong with the House of Representatives. Electoral maps whittled with care (and thoroughly parsed poll numbers), all but ensuring re-election of whoever it is that holds office if they care to run again. I’d love to see a constitutional amendment that either limits the number of consecutive terms allowed in the House or hands over mapping responsibility to some kind of quasi- independent third party.

  • Sean

    Irregardless of whether or not Republicans actually destroy our nation on October 17. There is one glaring fact that everyone here knows, there are people stupid enough to actually still vote for them no matter what. And that ladies and gentlemen is the truly horrifying aspect to all of this, not that our nation will be ruined (should we default), but that after that ruination there will still be people who vote for Republicans.

  • LL11

    Please, please don’t use pictures of Paul Ryan. That face is so annoying.