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Why Blame Republicans for the Shutdown?

“In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies,” said Winston Churchill.

What is the truth behind the Beltway lies about these crazy Republicans crashing our government?

Twice in the last week House Republicans have voted unanimously to fund the U.S. government.

If national polls are to be believed, those House Republicans are doing exactly what America wants. A majority of Americans oppose a government shutdown. And a majority oppose Obamacare.

Who, then, is preventing the government from being funded?

Harry Reid and Barack Obama. Neither will accept any continuing resolution that does not contain Obamacare. Both will shut down this city rather than accept any such CR.

It is Harry and Barry who are saying: If we don’t get full funding of Obamacare now, we shutdown Washington until the House delivers.

The battle, then, is over this question: Will the next great liberal entitlement program, Obamacare, with its manifest failings and flaws, be imposed upon the nation—against its will?


The House says no. The Beltway says yes.

Few disagree that, in any national plebiscite, Obamacare would be buried in a landslide. Few disagree that if Obamacare were put to a vote of the Congress today, it would fail in both houses.

Why, then, is it radical for the House to use its power of the purse to defund a program America does not want?

Why is it statesmanship for Obama to say he will shut down the entire government if any resolution to keep it running contains even the slightest tweak to his cherished program?

What these questions suggest is that this is at root a political and ideological war, and the Beltway has assembled its usual bodyguard of lies and liars to conceal that truth.

Consider this keening from the Washington Post yesterday about the terrible consequences of a government shutdown:

[W]e would hope that Mr. Boehner would have compassion for thousands of moderately paid breadwinners who would find themselves in very difficult circumstances. We would hope he would be troubled by how a shutdown would disrupt research at the National Institute of Health and safety inspections at the Food and Drug Administration.

About this lugubrious passage, several questions:

Since Reid and Obama have both said they will block any CR that does not contain Obamacare in its pristine form, why are they not charged with some responsibility for a shutdown?

Answer: The Post is not interested in conveying the truth about this conflict, because in this battle it is as much a political ally of Obama as Debbie Wasserman Schultz. But it is a more effective ally, since some still presume it is being truthful and objective.

Assume that today John Boehner came out and said at a press conference: “I have taken note of the Post’s concerns about an interruption of service at NIH and the FDA. I share those concerns. Therefore, at my direction, the House will vote this afternoon to fully fund both agencies.”

Anyone think the Washington Post would celebrate Boehner’s compassion and statesmanship the next morning?

Of course not. All this weeping and gnashing of teeth about the terrible consequences of a government shutdown is designed to whip up political animosity, direct it at House Republicans, and break John Boehner. Failing that, it is to foist upon the House Republicans full responsibility for a shutdown that the House has voted twice to avoid.

What this battle confirms is that, on major national issues that pit social and populist conservatives against Big Government liberals, the Beltway press corps invariably acts like a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democratic National Committee.

More problematic, there is a slice of the Beltway right—the contributions bundlers and kennel-fed conservatives, the summer soldiers and sunshine patriots, the George McClellans—that prefers prancing, parading and posturing to the actual fighting.

With them the excuses are always the same. We can’t win. We have been beaten on this terrain before. The press will kill us. The White House has a microphone we can’t match. We will only hurt ourselves in the polls and throw away our great opportunity in the coming election. Besides, our corporate contributors don’t want this fight.

Some “conservatives” even cynically suggest that the GOP let Obamacare take effect, as it will prove such a disaster there will be a backlash against it in 2014—and from that we can benefit.

With Reid’s refusal to accept the House CR with the one-year suspension of Obamacare, a shutdown seems certain.

Every Republican should be out front, on TV, radio, and in print this week with a simple message:

“We have twice voted to fund every agency and program of the U.S. government (save Obamacare) in a single CR. We will proceed now to pass CRs for each department and agency of the U.S. government, separately and individually.

“And if Harry Reid’s Senate refuses to pass a single one of those CRs, who then is shutting down NIH and the FDA?”

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025? [1]” Copyright 2013 Creators.com [2].

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Comments Disabled To "Why Blame Republicans for the Shutdown?"

#1 Comment By Jim Evans On October 2, 2013 @ 1:00 am

Republicans are following the Buchanan playbook: Sending individual bills to fund specific departments of government, veterans, national parks, ect.

Seems to be working, The Democratic leadership seems to be caught flat-footed, as media calls Republican steps, “mitigation”, an act of statesmanship, and a sign of moderation in the face of intransigence from the White House. Obama’s face of anger not persuasive.

Surprising shout out, Bob Woodward says, “It’s on the president’s head.” Surprised Obama isn’t taking more of a leadership role in his responsibility as president.

Obama’s Achilles heel, not perceived as a leader in open-field, fluid, political situations — in Syria crisis, now shutdown showdown. What next?

Independents & Democratic rank-n-file see exchanges not working. Is Obamacare ready for prime time? Not yet. Why is President Obama insisting on a shutdown if Obamacare not ready to go?

#2 Comment By Newflowers On October 2, 2013 @ 1:27 am

“All this weeping and gnashing of teeth about the terrible consequences of a government shutdown is designed to whip up political animosity, direct it at House Republicans, and break John Boehner.”

At the top of the financial food chain, maybe there will be no overt consequences of the government shutdown; however, down here on the bottom (public school teacher here) the impact is and will become more far more serious and detrimental to individuals and families. Additionally, John Boehner seems to have been broken by the lunatic fringe of his party quite some time ago – his words today do not even closely resemble what they were even a month ago.

The best thing the GOP could do is to separate from the tea party who extreme politics further harms the very concept of conservatism. Kick them out of the party, let the party implode and rise from the ashes, or start over completely. Republicans were once the fiscally conservative, socially reasonably compassionate gold standard. That is no longer the case as the extreme “play my way or I’ll take all the marbles” petulant children seem to have mounted a successful takeover. Of course the GOP is at fault; there could be nothing else when they ran on the platform of shutting down the government.

#3 Comment By Buttercup On October 2, 2013 @ 5:22 pm

Imagine if the headlines this morning had read, “Senate Sends Ultimatum to GOP,” and imagine if the story included this letter.

Dear Republican House Members:

Two can play this game. The U.S. Senate has come up with a list of demands. You are hereby put on notice that the Senate will not sign off on the budget until the House agrees to the following terms:

Repeal the ACA, and replace it with 100% coverage for all Americans under Medicaid. In other words, true universal healthcare.
Repeal Citizens United, and reinstate Glass-Steagal.
Sign off on marriage equality in all 50 states.
Decriminalize marijuana in all 50 states. Universal pardon and release for all U.S. prisoners incarcerated for marijuana charges.
Increase national minimum wage to $15/hour

Harry Reid

How does this fantasy sound to you? If you’re a progressive, the changes are probably pretty attractive. It would be really great if America looked like this.

Unfortunately, that’s not how our government works. Or rather, fortunately, that’s not how our country works. If it did, we would be in a continual stalemate anytime each party held one branch of government.

This is the reason the Republicans are operating outside the bounds of our Constitution. They are wrong. This is not, as it has been described in various media, a debate. It is not bickering between the president and Congress. It is as much a fantasy as the imaginary letter from the Senate to House Republicans. Imagine for a moment how FOX News would react if the Democrats were to make these demands and then shut down the government. Can you even imagine? It is almost inconceivable.

This is as simple as it gets. The house is committing extortion against the entire nation. It’s not “like” extortion. It is extortion. And every single member of the GOP who has supported this action is guilty of high crimes against the United States of America.

The above article was written by William Hamby