Tags: Dionne | Republicans | shutdown | Obamacare

WaPo's Dionne: Republicans 'Desperate' for a Government Shutdown

By    |   Friday, 20 September 2013 08:50 AM

Republicans are desperate for a government shutdown in order to block Obamacare — but not because they believe it won't work. Their worst nightmare is that it will succeed, writes E.J. Dionne, a senor fellow at the Brookings Institution and professor at Georgetown University, in a column for The Washington Post.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, essentially admitted that this summer, Dionne says, when he told Fox News that if Republicans don't repeal Obamacare now they never will. People, Cruz noted, will become "hooked on Obamacare so that it can never be unwound."

In other words, the public will find that Obamacare, like Medicare and Social Security, works and they like it and want to keep it.

Editor’s Note:
75% of Seniors Make This $152,000 Social Security Mistake (See Easy Fix)

Dionne calls conservative Republican House members "the kamikaze caucus" for their willingness to shutdown the government and risk financial calamity over the debt ceiling in order to derail Obamacare.

Conservative Republicans view every issue as the "final conflict" that Marxist predicted, he asserts.

"Stopping Obamacare, in their view, is necessary to prevent the country from reaching the end of the road to serfdom. Compared with this hellish prospect, who cares about shutdowns?"

Battles over the budget, debt ceiling and Obamacare are not just political maneuvers. They involve battles over the fundamental role of government. And it's not a just a fight between Republicans and Democrats, he says, noting that some Republicans oppose shutting down the government.

Only a small minority of Republicans are driving "the push toward Armageddon," Dionne writes, adding that about 40 conservatives balked at their leadership's plan to keep government open past Sept. 30. That's 40 people out of 435 in the House of Representatives.

"What’s become of us when less than 10 percent of one chamber of Congress can unleash chaos? What does this say about the House Republican leadership gap?"

GOP House leaders say they will pass bill that would keep the government open only until Sept. 30 unless Obamacare is defunded. The bill would also call for Social Security and disability cuts in return for raising the debt ceiling.

Conservatives, pointing to a poll by Rasmussen Reports, say most Americans support shutting down the government to dismantle Obamacare, The Atlantic reports.

In reality, a shutdown would be disastrous for Republicans, the magazine predicts, arguing that Rasmussen polls, which consistently overestimated Mitt Romney chances last year, are not reliable.

Conservatives need to remember the government shutdown in 1995, after which President Clinton was re-elected in a landslide in 1996 and Republicans were widely blamed for the shutdown.

"We took the worse end of the public backlash," a former Rep. Steve LaTourette, R-Ohio, tells The Atlantic.

Editor’s Note: 75% of Seniors Make This $152,000 Social Security Mistake (See Easy Fix)

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Republicans are desperate for a government shutdown in order to block Obamacare — but not because they believe it won't work. Their worst nightmare is that it will succeed, writes E.J. Dionne, a professor at Georgetown University, in a column for The Washington Post.
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Friday, 20 September 2013 08:50 AM
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