The Republican Philosophy on Possible Government Shutdown: Deny Reality, Deny History

rafael-edward-cruzAs a possible government shutdown looms, Republicans seem determined to prove that when it comes to history and reality, they simply don’t get either.

First, it’s the simple reality that the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land.  Not only is it a law passed by Congress and signed by the president, it was upheld by the Supreme Court as well.  We’re not debating a law or trying to block a piece of legislation from being passed—it’s already law.  So basically what Republicans are trying to do is break the law and defund “Obamacare” by choosing the nuclear options of either shutting down our government or possibly defaulting on our debt.

Second, the biggest “negative” Republicans claim that’s in this bill is the individual mandate.  But here’s the thing — the individual mandate was originally a Republican idea.  Yes, in the 90’s to counter Clinton’s push for universal health care, Republicans offered up a plan which mandated Americans purchase insurance.  Then not only was this a Republican idea in the 90’s, a Republican governor (Mitt Romney) actually passed almost this exact same health care law while he was governor of Massachusetts.  A law that the majority of people living in that state still support.

So while Republicans are trying to claim “Obamacare” is some radical liberal idea, they’re flat out wrong.  This law’s main mechanism (the mandate) was actually taken from Republicans, and the only state to implement any practically identical health care legislation before “Obamacare” had a Republican governor who signed off on it.

How “radically liberal” of them.

And third, a government shutdown will not accomplish anything.  Shut the government down for a day, a week, a month—it’s not going to matter.  President Obama and Democrats are united in their stance of not giving into this Republican attempt to blackmail our president and our government.  “Give us what we want—or else…” is not a proper way any political party should govern.  And they’re insane if they really believe President Obama is going to cave in on this issue.

Then there’s this simple reality, most Republicans aren’t even behind the ideas of shutting down our government or defaulting on our debt to defund or delay “Obamacare.”  It’s really only a few (mostly tea party-supported) members of Congress which have just enough power to cause problems (but not to get anything done) that are pushing for these asinine plans.

So why in the world would President Obama and Democrats cave on a plan the majority of the Republican party doesn’t even support?  Hell, it’s a plan most Americans don’t support either.  Because, contrary to what liars like Ted Cruz want you to believe, the majority of Americans do not support defunding “Obamacare.” 

And then in some delusional reality Republicans somehow seem unable to remember how this went down the last time they shut down the government.  Because while some might have forgotten, or simply be too young to remember, this is not the first time Republicans have threatened a government shutdown.  In fact, this would be the second straight Democratic president that will have dealt with a government shutdown forced by Republicans if one should happen.

See, in the 90’s Republicans pulled this same kind of blackmail, and followed through with it just as they seem poised to do so once again.  The government was shut down but it wasn’t President Clinton or Democrats who Americans turned on—it was Republicans.  And it cost them in the following midterm elections.  But in the minds of these radical right-wing tea party Republicans, they feel that Republicans didn’t suffer following the 90’s shutdown, and even those that do think they suffered a political price simply think “this time will be different.”

But should we be surprised?  This is the party that ran the country into the ground for 8 years under President Bush, crashed our economy, then proposed the exact same policies that took our country into “The Great Recession” and doubled our national debt as their “plan” to fix our economy and balance our budget.  

Because that makes perfect sense.

So it’s really not a shock that many Republicans seem to be in complete denial about reality and history when it comes to a possible government shutdown.

Because for them to actually believe this “plan” will work, they have to deny both.

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

  • Charles Vincent

    There have been 17 US government shut downs since 1976. The longest was under Clinton and was 21 days. Please stop exaggerating the situation to push your narrow minded agenda and gin up hysteria.

    • Pickadilly

      Never trust a man with two first names. Stuff it Charles Vincent.

      • Charles Vincent

        You stuff it. I never listen to anonymous posters on the internet they are usually to be taken with a grain of salt, or in your case a piece of pizza.

  • lizhump77

    Thank you! Look, nothing infuriates me more than to know that this shutdown -I remember the last one- could have not even been an issue.The fact that some green Senator Ted Cruz held the floor for 21+ hours (looking at the clock about every min) blow shit out his ass. And what gets my blood boiling is that the Senator wasted, wasted the Senate’s time… reading beginner books by Dr. Suess, quoting his Twitter acct. I mean come on…. be professional. Freaking impeach Cruz and all those tea party crazies.
    Seriously we are supposed to be one of the greatest nation’s of the world and our free democratic society has a governing legislative body that instead of doing their job and being public servants and voting on the overall best decision for its citizens…. healthcare..nah no one ever gets sick or dies here…but the fact that the Congress feels that it’s better to shut down our gov’t then to do their JOBS… no but if it’s the corporate America by all means pass those Porky Bills!

    I personally feel very strong that every member of the Congress should be financially penalized from time this bill was presented until the government gets back up and running. Hey that’s what would happen to any of us!

  • bring the butthurt

    narrow minded agenda… hrm.. sort of like holding the american people hostage in order to defund something unrelated to the topic at hand… Frankly – there needs to be MORE outrage. MORE hysteria.FUCKIN ANARCHY BITCHES! bring it.

    • lizhump77

      sorry but thank you and Hell yeah!!! this nation is circling the drain and seems like the nation’s voice is nowhere…. this is our country … checks and balances people.

  • mike mattaponi

    Wow this website is full of haters and losers. I’m a conservative and have 125 employees! LOZZZERS, welfare queens, poverty, federal dependence, trillions in deficit to make your land of empty bag.

    • lizhump77

      um I can assure you sir that as an employer of 125 employees you benefit more from the US Gov’t more than any of us who are not business owners. By the way you post reads I am surprised that you are able to have the knowledge to have that “many” employees. Hope you speak to them like an idiot also. go do your coke and act like you have it all under control and when you crash bottom maybe you can wipe the crude from your eyes and see the world for how it is and have the ability to view ALL sides and make an intelligent stance! 🙂 KMA

      • Catherine Andresiak

        What an idiot, happy I don’t work for that crazy person.

    • Pipercat


      • Charles Vincent

        i thought it was lulzzorzzz.

      • Pipercat

        Usually after six Wild Turkey’s, twelve beers, a Kamikaze and a Dr. Pepper.

      • Charles Vincent

        That’s a recipe for disaster right there.

      • Pipercat

        Exactly, don’t drink the Dr. Pepper!!

    • Kim Ferrari

      Huh… So when was your last employee walkout? Or do you keep them underpaid just enough that they aren’t able to do that? Gotta love these “Scab Labor” employers.

  • Paradox

    Just to keep terminology straight, what the Republicans are doing is not blackmail or taking hostages. It’s extortion.