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.


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