Ted Cruz’s Foolish Advice To His Fellow Republicans

Ted Cruz is either being incredibly cynical as he deludes his fellow Republicans, or he's living in a fantasy world.

Gun Legislation

Texas Senator Ted Cruz is trying to convince his fellow Republicans that mounting a filibuster to attempt to “defund” the Affordable Care Act is a a good idea despite the fact that it seemingly has no chance of succeeding:

“Some Republicans are nervous about being blamed for a government shutdown,” said Cruz. “I ask them: What’s your alternative?” The CR would be the last chance of killing Obamacare, and if defunding doesn’t make it in, “any elected official who votes for the CR is affirmatively voting to fund Obamacare.”

Fellow Republicans have spent a few days battering the “defund” movement, insisting that it’s a waste of time—no way you get the Senate to agree to it, no way you get the president to sign it. Cruz’s first strategic answer to this was insisting that the CR could be filibustered, “if we hold 41 Republicans.” They didn’t need a majority. “The model I would turn to is the battle over guns,” said Cruz, a battle that ended in a Republican victory even though most senators voted for a background checks bill.

I asked Cruz about a pattern I saw emerging every time conservatives staged a fight like this. Wasn’t there, inevitably, a backlash inside the GOP caucus? Didn’t the push for a showdown lead to a few Republicans cutting a deal, as happened with filibusters?

“The Obama White House operates on the assumption Republicans will surrender on every major issue,” said Cruz. What he needed were 63 days of Republican activists putting the fear into the party if it didn’t defund Obamacare, and great communicators shifting the blame for a shutdown from Republicans to Obama. “If we got to this fight, they ought to be on television every hour of the day, asking: Why is President Obama shutting down your government, because he’s so committed to forcing Obamacare on you?”

To make that point, Cruz argued that the 1995 government shutdown really didn’t hurt the GOP in the long run. They won “years of balanced budgets,” and in the 1996 election, they held Congress. “The sort of cocktail chatter wisdom that, oh, the shutdown was a disaster for Republicans, is not borne out by the data.”

Even accepting the argument that the 1995 shutdown didn’t seem to have a major impact on the GOP in the subsequent elections in 1996, an argument that requires one to ignore the fact that they lost the Presidential election, and actually did lose some seats in the House, Cruz’s advice requires anyone who follows it to ignore political reality to a significant degree. For one thing, 2013 is not 1995, and the Republican Party,  especially in its Congressional incarnation, is not viewed nearly as positively today as it was nearly 20 years ago. Indeed, poll after poll shows that the public as a whole, and most especially voters who identify themselves as “Independent” tend to view the GOP’s obstructionist agenda in Congress quite negatively. Indeed, while Congress as a whole has an appallingly low approval rating, when you look at the details of those polls it’s clear that Congressional Republicans are viewed far more negatively than Congressional Democrats, and the most often cited reason for that is the GOP’s tendency to do exactly what Cruz is here, using the filibuster to push ideological points while stopping Congress from conducting its ordinary business.

More importantly, though, Cruz is making the same mistake that Republicans made in 1995, and which they have made several times already in the four years that President Obama has been President. He believes that by taking the Federal Government to the brink, they can somehow turn the tables and make the public believe that it’s President Obama who’s at fault for the fact that the Government has been, or is about to be shut down. They tried in in the Spring of 2011 when the government was about to run out of money, they tried it in July and August of that year with the battle over the debt ceiling, and they’ve tried it several times since then. Even on an issue like the debt ceiling, where one could almost argue that public opinion was on their side, even though they were wrong as a matter of sound public policy, however, the GOP was on the losing side of each argument as far as public opinion was concerned. What makes him, or any of those who agree with him, think that things will be different this time.

I suspect that Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, and the others who are advocating this strategy realize all of this, and that they realize also that there’s no way the GOP could actually “win” a showdown over defunding the Affordable Care Act in the sense of actually getting what they want passed by Congress and signed into law by the President. In the end, I’m sure they also know that there will be no filibuster and that the Continuing Resolution will be passed and signed into law, likely at the last minute or after several extensions that push the deadline into October. What they’re doing here has little to do with actually winning a legislative battle, though. This is about marking territory in the ongoing battle over the future direction of the Republican Party as well as pre-positioning for possible runs for the Presidency in 2016, and it’s about proving your bona fides to the Tea Party crowd so that you can ask them for more money. I mean, they can’t actually believe this nonsense, can they?

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Campaign 2014, Campaign 2016, Congress, Deficit and Debt, Health Care, Tea Party, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Eric Florack says:

    how can shutting it down be foolish when the polls consistantly report the voters want Obamacare gone… to the point where even the Democrats are backing away from it?

  2. Tony W says:

    I guess the Republican who hikes his leg high enough over the party wins the nomination? Helluva way to run an organization

  3. Mark Ivey says:

    Cruz is on a Tea Crusade.

    And them Teahead rubes got money………

  4. CSK says:

    I think he’s just showboating in order to boost his credentials with the “base.” He’s smart enough to know that what he’s proposing is disastrous. But so what if he gets the attention and money he wants?

    As for the “base,” they appear to prefer loudmouthed bloviators over anyone of substance.

  5. David in KC says:

    @Eric Florack: If you say it over and over doesn’t make it true. The plurality of those that are polled either think the ACA is fine or didn’t go far enough (as in Medicare for all). The minority view is to go back to what we had before. Of course the republicans could put forth their own plan… Wait, that’s what’s we got.

  6. Dave D says:

    I mean, they can’t actually believe this nonsense, can they?

    Three years ago I would have been inclined to say no way, it is all about money. The downside to living in an echo chamber is that bad and unpopular policy decisions are lauded. This is the old rule that just because one group is the loudest doesn’t mean they represent the majority.

  7. anjin-san says:

    the polls consistantly report the voters want Obamacare gone…

    Ah, the polls. They also show the voters want marriage equality. Where do you stand on that?

  8. David M says:

    @CSK:

    I think he’s just showboating in order to boost his credentials with the “base.” He’s smart enough to know that what he’s proposing is disastrous.

    I’m not sure that’s a good assumption with today’s GOP.

  9. Mark Buehner says:

    I gotta hope Cruz is really just spouting rhetoric, because this article is dead on. You cant call Obama’s bluff this time because he’s not bluffing. If he signed a defunding on Obamacare, his presidency would be over and he’d be an immediate lame duck with no legacy of any kind. He cannot, and will not sign it. So if you filibuster the CR, the government WILL shut down. Ok- so Cruz says he’s alright with that. Fine, but realize the government WILL have to open back up. So we have two facts:
    1.Obama can never defund Obamacare
    2.The Goverment will reopen at some point, meaning a deal will be reached.

    The logic is pretty simple- GOP will eventually back down. After a week, a month, 3 months, I dunno, but they will back down and cut some token deal. Or worse, Obama will break them. Why would you risk actually breaking the GOP for a prize you cannot (at this time) win under any foreseeable circumstance? This is what we call a blunder. All risk, no reward.

    The government may have to be shut down, but it has to be over an issue Obama is susceptible to pressure on. There’s no pressure with Obamacare, he’s paid the political price already. You might as well ask him to cut off his arm. There is nothing to threaten him with- Cruz has to learn you can’t cut off the enemies lines of retreat or you’ll see how hard he fights to the death.

  10. C. Clavin says:

    “…the polls consistantly report the voters want Obamacare gone… to the point where even the Democrats are backing away from it?…”

    If your opinions are based on factual error…your opinions are worthless.

  11. Mark Buehner says:

    @Eric Florack: Because the only way to accomplish this is by filibustering the federal budget, which means the government will shut down. So you are shutting down the government to stop Obamacare, which is a MUCH different political fight. And Obama cannot bend no matter what happens or his career is instantly over. So what’s the upside?

  12. C. Clavin says:

    Here’s what Ted Cruz should be worried about instead of the 40th attempt to get rid of Obamacare:
    * The Dallas Fed is out with a report that the Bush Contraction cost us about $14T…that’s Trillion with a T. How about worrying about ways to insure that does not ever happen again? Running around talking about de-regulation ain’t getting it done. And no amount of regulation is ever going to cost us $14T.
    * Tomorrow the quarterly GDP will be out…and on Friday the monthly job numbers will be out. They are going to show continued growth…held back by a shrinking Public Sector. How about worrying about the role Republicans and their catechisms have had in holding back economic growth post-recession? Trying to passing abortion laws ain’t creating jobs.
    These are just two things that Mr. Cruz could better spend his time on…for the good of the Republic and his Constituents…rather than trying to get rid of Obamacare before his base notices that it is actually working.

  13. Mark Buehner says:

    @C. Clavin: Still all Bush’s fault. Sure.

  14. steve s says:

    Mr. Florak is probably better off hanging out somewhere like Red State. The discussion here is just going to leave him confused and angry.

  15. steve s says:

    Tomorrow the quarterly GDP will be out…and on Friday the monthly job numbers will be out. They are going to show continued growth…held back by a shrinking Public Sector. How about worrying about the role Republicans and their catechisms have had in holding back economic growth post-recession? Trying to passing abortion laws ain’t creating jobs.

    You’re so cute, thinking that facts ever mean anything to republicans.

  16. Tillman says:

    @Mark Buehner: No. Technically, it’s also the the fault of the 107th through the 110th Congresses.

    Really it goes back a ways even further. Big recessions/depressions don’t happen by themselves or even all that fast, but you can always point out periods when government policy accelerated the charge over the cliff.

  17. stonetools says:

    Let’s face it, many of the Housev Republicans WANT the government shut down-because they are convinced that NO government is better than even limited Government.
    Jon Favreau nails it:

    No-government conservatives take their inspiration from Grover Norquist’s famous quote that government should be shrunk to a size where it can be drowned in a bathtub. These Republicans, who make up most of the House and a healthy portion of the Senate, are on an uncompromising mission to abolish most government services, benefits, regulations, and taxes….

    Nor are the goals of no-government conservatives primarily political. They have advisers, they can read polls, and most of them probably know that shutting down the government or forcing a default would be, among other catastrophes, highly unpopular. They realize that rampant hostage-taking and filibuster-abuse are the chief contributors to the obstruction and gridlock that Americans of both parties hate.

    They just don’t care. Jonathan Chait has written about the recent embrace of “procedural extremism” among many congressional Republicans, who have “evolved from being politically shrewd proponents of radical policy changes to a gang of saboteurs who would rather stop government from functioning at all.”

    But for no-government conservatives, this has been their primary policy goal all along. Their fundamental philosophy is purely ideological—the idea that since government can’t do everything, it should do nothing

    RTWT.These guys think that if government shuts down, the public will realize their truth: that no government is the highest good. It will be the libertarian dream come true.

  18. Chip Vogel says:

    What is the history of congress vetoing/defunding programs?
    When has it been tried and when did it work?

  19. steve s says:

    @Mark Buehner: While I despise GWB for getting thousands of US troops pointlessly killed, and tens of thousands pointlessly maimed, (I was an airman once, and young) and throwing away the surplus, I don’t blame him for being in charge when the collapse happened. I mostly blame Jim Leach, Tom Bliley, Phil Gramm, Alan Greenspan, Larry Summers, and the GOP in the House and the Senate who voted for Gramm-Leach-Bliley, and to a smaller degree than the economists, Bill Clinton, who signed it. I mostly blame the stupid randroid economists who think they’re doing rocket science when they’re mostly doing alchemy.

    Paraphrase: ‘This bill will make banks too big to fail and eventually result in a federal government bailout.’
    John Dingell, Nov 4, 1999.

  20. C. Clavin says:

    “…Still all Bush’s fault. Sure…”

    When did that 9% contraction in one quarter happen again?
    You cult members are funny…9.11 wasn’t Bush’s fault…the crashing economy wasn’t Bush’s fault…but you rail on about personal responsibility.

    Truth be told…it wasn’t all his fault.
    But Bush ignored warning signs about risky mortgages, encouraged practices that were at the heart of the crash, and blocked efforts that may have lessened the impact of the crisis.
    Basically when you ignore all the warnings and in ’07…when the worse is yet to come…you say:

    “It looks we’re headed for a soft landing.”

    …you open yourself up to some well deserved criticism.

  21. Woody says:

    Senator Cruz and his allies are simply fulfilling their role in their party caucus. While I don’t really believe in “independents” (OTB has covered this before), it is true that those citizens who are less self-identified with a party are well aware of GOP brinksmanship becoming the default procedural tactic.

    Sen. Cruz does not represent those people, though: he represents the significant chunk of citizens who know current affairs only through News Corp and talkradio. As current events (ACA implementation, for example) are always presented in apocalyptic Manichean frames on those outlets, compromise is literally unthinkable.

    Please tell me of any Republican who has lost popularity within their caucus because they have gone “too far right” in the last 20 years. The GOP’s march ever-rightward is an exact mirror of what is popular on their preferred media. Sen. Cruz may not be President, but he sure could become Majority Leader or at least play kingmaker.

  22. C. Clavin says:

    @ Mark Buehner…
    Let’s just say you are right…and instead of calling it the Bush Contraction I will call it the ’07-’08 Contraction.
    That’s probably more factually correct.
    Doesn’t change anythiing else in my comment.
    Republican catechisms are holding back economic growth.
    That’s what folks like Cruz should be focused on.
    Not tilting at windmills.

  23. Mark Buehner says:

    @C. Clavin: Slowest recovery in modern history. I certainly agree Bush and congresses deserve blame (and Clinton for signing the killing of Glass-Steagall). But ignoring the last 4.5 years as though they never happened is not viable. We should be at 4 or 5% growth right now, but these horrifically anti-growth policies have smothered growth. Again- worst recovery in modern history. Certainly not the worst recession, but definitely the worst recovery.

  24. stonetools says:

    @Woody:

    I’m betting that the House WILL shut the government down over Obamacare. It’s entirely in comformance with their ideology, the wishes of their constituency, and the preachments of their media. If Obamacare is pure evil and will lead the country to certain ruin, then isn’t a government shutdown a small price to play for stopping it?

  25. edmondo says:
  26. stonetools says:

    @Mark Buehner:

    But ignoring the last 4.5 years as though they never happened is not viable. We should be at 4 or 5% growth right now, but these horrifically anti-growth policies have smothered growth. Again- worst recovery in modern history. Certainly not the worst recession, but definitely the worst recovery

    Congressional Republicans voting down every attempt at a second round of stimulus has a lot to do with this being the worst recovery. The overwhelming consensus among economists has been that the first stimulus should have been bigger and that more stimulus was needed.
    The austerian alternative has been comprehensively refuted by the results of austerity minded programs over those same five years.

  27. David M says:

    @edmondo:

    So the fact that the GOP is sabotaging Obamacare means we should repeal it? Pretty sure that’s complete nonsense.

  28. Scott says:

    I wish my Senator would spend more time either getting informed about the issues, spend more time in the state, or in general being more productive. Right now, he is running around the country being our latest political celebrity, living off the taxpayer’s dollar (and taxpayer-provided healthcare plan), and doing nothing for Texas. I have not heard anything out of Cruz that is deeper than a marketing brochure.

    Waste of space.

  29. Dave says:

    @Mark Buehner: Please specify Obama policies that are smothering growth. From what I can see the worst offenders in hurting growth have been Republicans who insist on austerity.

  30. edmondo says:

    So the fact that the GOP is sabotaging Obamacare means we should repeal it? Pretty sure that’s complete nonsense

    .

    No, the fact that it is a giveaway to Wall Street insurance companies and will end up having no effect on the number of medically induced bankruptcies means we should repeal it.

  31. stonetools says:

    @edmondo:

    Yet other polls make it clear that the public favors the individual elements of the ACA.
    All this proves is that the relentlessly negative Republican messaging on “Obamacare” has worked, and that the Democratic counter messaging has been wolefully inadequate. As usual.

  32. edmondo says:

    @stonetools:

    All this proves is that the relentlessly negative Republican messaging on “Obamacare” has worked, and that the Democratic counter messaging has been wolefully inadequate. .

    Here’s another option: The law blows and everyone but a few Democrats knows that. Keep telling the vast majority of Americans you know what’s good for them and to suck it up. It’s a great message for the mid-term elections. A sure winner!

  33. David M says:

    @edmondo:

    [Obamacare] is a giveaway to Wall Street insurance companies

    Irrelevant derpitude. Possibly the least effective and stupidest argument against Obamacare of all time.

    [Obamacare] will end up having no effect on the number of medically induced bankruptcies

    Most certainly an intentional lie on your part.

  34. steve s says:

    “Not the worst recession”

    It was the longest recession, at 18 mos, and the deepest recession, at -5.1 percent GDP, since 1945. Since recessions look roughly like upside-down bell-curves, it automatically follows that, all other things being equal, it will be the longest recovery since 1945.

  35. edmondo says:

    @Scott:

    I wish my Senator would spend more time either getting informed about the issues, spend more time in the state, or in general being more productive. Right now, he is running around the country being our latest political celebrity, living off the taxpayer’s dollar (and taxpayer-provided healthcare plan), and doing nothing for Texas.Illinois I have not heard anything out of Cruz Obama that is deeper than a marketing brochure.

    Shades of 2007!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  36. Scott says:

    @edmondo: So you think he is the right wing Obama? Interesting.

  37. edmondo says:

    @David M: @David M:

    Well, when you have facts like yours on your side I guess I have to admit that I was wrong. Are you going to demand a retraction from on of the most respected medical journals too? After all, you opinion ought to mean more than facts!

    http://org.salsalabs.com/o/307/images/JGIM%20Underinsurance%20Proofs%20Un-Corrected%281%29.pdf

  38. David M says:

    @edmondo:

    Your link contained nothing to back up your baseless claims.

  39. Latino_in_Boston says:

    Cruz only cares about Cruz, as he has amply demonstrated, so why anyone would listen to him is beyond me. Honestly, though, these days I have a really difficult time figuring out whether he is deluding his audience or deluding himself.

    Maybe a little of both?

  40. anjin-san says:

    Look we know Obama care is going to fail.

    How do we know? The same people who said the Iraq war would be fast, easy, and would pay for itself say so…

  41. edmondo says:

    @anjin-san:

    You mean people like Hillary Clinton?

  42. Latino_in_Boston says:

    @Mark Buehner:

    This is exactly right, and it could be a great Onion article.

    GOP demands that Obama cut his own arm off, blames him for impending government shutdown.

    “It’s pretty simple, Mr. President. All you have to do is cut your arm off. Why do you insist on inflicting pain on families all across the United States when you, and you alone, have the answer to solve the problem,” insisted Senator Teapartier (R-Of course)…

  43. Scott says:

    @edmondo: Like Hillary Clinton. So I take it from your comments that you are a supporter of hers? Because you are using her to refute someone else point.

  44. edmondo says:

    @Scott:

    No I voted for Hope and Change the last time. All I got was Hillary without the testicles.

  45. David M says:

    @edmondo:

    Seems odd given your preference for repealing Obamacare and then doing nothing on health care reform for another decade.

  46. christopher osborne says:

    @edmondo:

    can you direct me to where Hillary Clinton said that the war would be fast, easy and pay for itself? or are you just saying that she voted for it and assuming the rest?

  47. al-Ameda says:

    When it comes to Republicans it can always get worse – believe it.

    Just more feces from the same political party that leveraged the Debt Ceiling Limit “crisis” into a downgrade of the rating of American Debt, and the temporary loss of value to investment holdings of millions of Americans – Bravo, well done, ‘Mission Accomplished.’

  48. Grewgills says:

    @edmondo:
    I don’t think that article says what you think it does.
    It undercuts, not highlights your claim.
    It directly acknowledges the ACA helped the uninsured, but says that it offers less help to the underinsured poor. It shows both groups doing better, one by leaps and bounds, the other only marginally.

  49. edmondo says:

    @christopher osborne:

    where Hillary Clinton said that the war would be fast, easy and pay for itself?
    I guess she voted for it knowing it was a quagmire that would cost us trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives (we won’t even guess how many Iraqi died) all in a modern day snipe hunt to catch a unicorn that was carrying “weapons of mass destruction”?

    Whichever alternative you choose, it makes her a fitting successor to the current occupant in the White House.

  50. edmondo says:

    @Grewgills:

    You are absolutely right. You Obots are merely inverse Tea Baggers. Nothing penetrates your pretend world. When provided with anything that conflicts with your perceived reality, you deny it exists and blame the Republicans for “Lying and dissembling and being racists”. You go on and believe whatever you want. Enjoy your world. You built it.

  51. al-Ameda says:

    @edmondo:
    I

    guess she voted for it knowing it was a quagmire that would cost us trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives (we won’t even guess how many Iraqi died) all in a modern day snipe hunt to catch a unicorn that was carrying “weapons of mass destruction”?

    Of course, Bush rushed to war once it appeared that ACTUAL WMD inspections were yielding no WMDs. It’s a nice touch for you to blame Hillary Clinton though.

  52. edmondo says:

    @al-Ameda:

    I know. She didn’t vote for that war right? I forgot.

    Bizzarro world.

  53. edmondo says:

    @Grewgills:

    I guess the Federal Reserve Bank just makes up a bunch of shit too?

    Our findings from surveys of debtors in Massachusetts before and after the implementation of that state’s health reform (the prototype of the national reform) make it clear that such limited coverage will do little to prevent medical bankruptcy.

    Among Massachusetts bankruptcy filers in 2009, 53 percent cited illness or medical bills as a cause of their bankruptcy, a percentage that was statistically indistinguishable from the 59 percent figure we found before reform. Indeed, because the total number of bankruptcies had risen, the actual number of medical bankruptcies in the state increased from 7,504 in 2007 to 10,093 in 2009.[7] Surveys by others indicate that the reform had little impact on access to care.

    http://www.bostonfed.org/commdev/c&b/2013/summer/medical-debt-a-curable-affliction-health-reform-wont-fix.htm

  54. anjin-san says:

    @ edmundo

    where Hillary Clinton said that the war would be fast, easy and pay for itself?

    Why don’t you just show us where she said this – as you claim she did – then you can get back to telling folks about the alternate universes they live in.

    PS – most of us have had that thing were we thought we were the sighted man in the land of the blind. Most of us got over it before we were 20.

  55. edmondo says:

    @anjin-san:

    most of us have had that thing were we thought we were the sighted man

    Yu are stud! You and the rest of the DNC Obots who will blame “racists” and Gerrymanders” and “bad messaging” for all the ills of the current administration. Only you guys see the real wizard of Oz. Clap harder! And Obama will live on forever. Giggles.

  56. al-Ameda says:

    @edmondo:
    DNC? Get some new talking points.

  57. An Interested Party says:

    Whichever alternative you choose, it makes her a fitting successor to the current occupant in the White House.

    I’m just curious who you would like to see in the White House…Al Franken? Sherrod Brown? Howard Dean perhaps…

  58. al-Ameda says:

    @edmondo:
    I

    know. She didn’t vote for that war right? I forgot.

    Who said that she didn’t?

    It’s nice to know that Hillary Clinton is blame for Iraq and Benghazi though. Try really hard and I suspect that you can blame her for the IRS “Scandal” as well as “Solyndra, and NSA Data Mining too.

  59. David M says:

    @edmondo:

    That article does not support repealing Obamacare, and still doesn’t explain why you support repealing Obamacare. You’re joining the completely clueless in arguing that Obamacare makes people worse off, especially when compared with the alternative. (Doing nothing).

  60. anjin-san says:

    @ edmundo

    You and the rest of the DNC Obots who will blame “racists” and Gerrymanders” and “bad messaging” for all the ills of the current administration.

    Well sure. Just show us where I have actually said any of these things. Or are you my spokesperson now as well as Hillary Clinton’s?

    You and Jenos should do lunch.

  61. Barry says:

    @Eric Florack: “how can shutting it down be foolish when the polls consistantly report the voters want Obamacare gone”

    I’m sorry, but do you actually have a set of polls showing this?

  62. C. Clavin says:

    @ Mark Beuhner…

    “…years as though they never happened is not viable. We should be at 4 or 5% growth right now…”

    Really…list how many times and for how long we have been at 4 or 5% growth while at the same cutting the Public Sector?
    Then tell me who is responsible for cutting the Public Sector.
    Thanks in advance.

  63. Barry says:

    @Mark Buehner: “Still all Bush’s fault. Sure. ”

    Well, and the mother f-ing Teatards.

  64. Kylopod says:

    @Eric Florack:

    how can shutting it down be foolish when the polls consistantly report the voters want Obamacare gone

    Once again, I ask you: why do the polls only matter to you when it comes to Obamacare? Polls consistently show the public favoring an increase in taxes on the rich, a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, and the legalization of same-sex marriage. Furthermore, the support for those issues is generally much higher than it is for Obamacare repeal. So why don’t you favor shutting down the government until any of those causes are implemented?

    And let’s get real: if Obamacare becomes popular after full implementation takes effect, would you suddenly argue against repealing it?

  65. Barry says:

    @stonetools: “Let’s face it, many of the Housev Republicans WANT the government shut down-because they are convinced that NO government is better than even limited Government.”

    And because they don’t get hit with it (at least yet, or in a way they can perceive).
    Cut their pension/Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid checks and see if they are happy.

  66. beth says:

    @edmondo: Gee I wonder if there were any other forces in play that would have pushed more people into medical bankruptcies in 2009 than in 2007? Gee why would people be more likely to be thrown into bankruptcy then? Can’t imagine any reason.

  67. Barry says:

    @Mark Buehner: “…but these horrifically anti-growth policies have smothered growth. ”

    The anti-growth policies are Republican policies.

  68. labman57 says:

    Teddy, Teddy … didn’t we tell you what might happen if you went off your meds?

    Reality check: the GOP is something like “O for 42” in their efforts to repeal the ACA.

    The all-too-real fear was that the public would grow wise to all of their hype about “the socialist evils of Obamacare” and their prognostications regarding “the end of society as we know it” … once the legislation was fully implemented.

    They’re well past terrified — they are pretty much resigned to the realization that the nation will not fall asunder, insurance rates will drop significantly in those states that have implemented the policies, more people will be able to obtain affordable coverage, and the GOP will be peeling dried egg from their faces for the next two election cycles.

  69. Grewgills says:

    @edmondo:
    I merely pointed out what the article you provided said. Any reasonable reading of that article does not support your assertion.
    You claimed that the article supported your contention that the ACA did not effect medical bankruptcies. The increase in underinsured would come from the uninsured and some current Medicaid recipients.

    About 40 % of those gaining coverage will get Medicaid. As Magge shows, many current Medicaid enrollees are woefully underinsured. Disturbingly CMS looks set to allow state Medicaid programs to demand copayments and deductibles, even from the poorest of the poor. Several states have already reduced benefits, cut provider payments, and narrowed provider networks. Hence, underinsurance among Medicaid recipients will probably increase.

    Considering any Republican plan would decrease Medicaid funding and would further privatize what benefits there are, that is hardly a slam on the ACA or a recommendation for any plan the current crop of Republicans would conceivably offer. Further, the emphasis on privatizing benefits was what this article found to be a primary cost driver

    More ominously the White House is encouraging state officials to use federal Medicaid expansion funds to purchase private insurance, a shift likely to raise both taxpayers costs and poor patients copayments.

    So again, any conceivable alternative coming out of the current Republican crop (or from what I can discern you) would make matters worse, not better.

    In fact the conclusions of the article that you lauded could not be more different than your own policy preferences.

    Unfortunately, both Massachusetts and the ACA eschewed the social insurance approach which makes care free at the time of use, puts the burden of health costs on those most able to pay — the healthy and wealthy — and relies on readily enforced global budgets for cost control. Instead, they embraced market-based policies that demand far more (percentage wise) from the middle class than the
    rich, and compound the misfortune of illness with financial penalties. Such policies conflate patients seeking care with price-sensitive consumers whose voracious appetites for excessive services must be curbed.

    International evidence indicates that cost-sharing is neither necessary nor particularly effective for cost control; the U.S. has high cost-sharing and the highest costs. Canada, which outlawed co-payments and deductibles in 1981, has seen both faster health improvement and slower cost growth. Canadian provinces control costs by tax-based funding; global hospital budgeting; binding, negotiated physician fee schedules; and a simple unified single-payer structure that minimizes administrative burdens and
    costs. Scotland, which has eschewed market-based policies and patient payments — even going so far as to abolish parking fees has costs about half those in the U.S. Scots view patients as owners of their health care system, not its customers.

    Magge’s sobering data remind us that wish-it-would-work health reforms such as the ACA won’t end the unnecessary suffering that fragmented, market-oriented health financing inflicts on patients.

    So again, we come back to the article not showing what you seem to think it does.

    That doesn’t make me any kind of bot. It makes you a poor researcher and me the one to point it out.

  70. Grewgills says:

    @Grewgills:
    Edit of pp1 did not show up, it should read:
    I merely pointed out what the article you provided said.
    Any reasonable reading of that article does not support your assertion. You claimed that the article supported your contention that the ACA did not effect medical bankruptcies. The final data point in that study was 2010, so it could not show that. Further, it indicated that the increase in underinsured, those most vulnerable to medical bankruptcy, would come from the uninsured and some current Medicaid recipients.

  71. dennis says:

    Not a very helpful statement but: @edmondo: Your stinky underwear are showing. Just thought you’d like to know.

  72. Stonetools says:

    It’s hard to figure out whether edmondo is :

    1. A confused disappointed liberal , or
    2. A right wing troll posing as a confused and disappointed liberal.

    ( My vote is for 2).

    Either way, it shows the problem for Democratic messaging. A lot of liberals during and after the passage of the ACA repeatedly attacked it as a sh!t sandwich saying it didn’t go far enough, that it was a giveaway to the insurance companies, etc. , etc.
    In doing so they were useful idiots for a right wing who want to repeal the ACA and replace it with nothing.
    The plain and simple fact is that there were never enough votes to pass the liberal’s magical single payer alternative. The ACA was the best we could get- and we almost didn’t get that. Instead of uniting behind the ACA as a necessary but imperfect first step, the ultra left have been b!tching and b!tching – to the glee and benefit of the right wing messaging machine.

  73. Kylopod says:

    @Stonetools: I’m also often amazed at the level of ignorance of some liberals as to what Obama was proposing and what he did or didn’t backtrack on. You don’t know how many I’ve encountered who speak as though Obama campaigned on single-payer, unaware that he did not, nor did any of his chief rivals for the nomination, nor did any mainstream Democratic presidential candidate going back at least a generation. (Even Clinton’s 1993 plan, while to the left of Obamacare, wasn’t single-payer.)

    Part of it, I’ve come to suspect, is based on a confusion between single-payer and the public option, which are not the same thing, though I’m not sure how many people realize that. I actually saw a blog commenter once refer to the “single payer public option”! Ever since, I’ve wondered how widespread this misconception might be. Certainly, many liberals had an exaggerated idea of what the public option would do and how central it was to the bill.

  74. Andre Kenji says:

    @Kylopod:

    Certainly, many liberals had an exaggerated idea of what the public option would do and how central it was to the bill.

    They had. On the other hand, specially without the Public Option, the ACA may worsen one of the worst things about the US health care system: the fact that most hospitals are private(And many are for profit) while most of the financing is public.

    It´s true, the large number of people without access to healthcare is an enormous problem, and any attempt to deal with that deserves to be praised. On the other hand, I don´t like the idea of more subsidies for private insurers.

    (I´m lucky, I don´t need to worry about that).

  75. Veritas says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Only the uber intellects believe in a policy of pre emptive surrender. Apparently this site caters to people with unique foreheads and denizens of the left hand side of the IQ scale.

  76. C. Clavin says:

    Floracks comment at the top of the list has 57 down-votes….I think that’s some kind of record.

  77. Caj says:

    Ted Cruz and his ilk are all living on another planet. I say let this crazy lot carry on with their nonsense. It makes the Republican Party look even worse than it is if that’s possible! The fight’s will go on as some are trying to make a name for themselves with the idiot base of the party for 2016. Carrying on cruising Cruz it’s so much fun to watch!

  78. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Stonetools: He’s just a typical firebagger type who doesn’t understand that succesful governance means incremental change and going for the best option you can, rather than holding your breath until you get everything.

    I’m pretty sure he paid for around 5,000 PUMA Convention – 2008! t-shirts out of his own pocket and got stuck holding the bill when only 60 people showed up to the final downgraded convention site at the Best Western off Exit 27 in East Cackalacky. And so its been “Obama is worse than Bush! He sold us out!” since 12:01am on January 21, 2009.

  79. C. Clavin says:

    Florack’s comment at the top is now up to 68 down-votes.
    I wonder if he can hit 100?

  80. Tillman says:

    @Veritas: Ah, the fabled uber intellects of yore, noted for their contributions to the sciences of alchemy and physiognomy. Masters of the natural world, they were.

  81. Eric Florack says:

    hmmmmmmm
    http://www.politico.com/story/2013/06/obamacare-poll-92322.html

    you were saying americans favor obamacare?

  82. David M says:

    @Eric Florack:

    That poll means nothing. Whether or not people think Obamacare was a good idea or not really isn’t a question worth caring about yet.

  83. Tillman says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a post with 86 downvotes before…that’s impressive. You have to piss off an incredibly large slice of the OTB commentariat to get that low.

  84. Tillman says:

    @Eric Florack: From the article:

    Democrats say they will be better off under the law, 35 percent to 11 percent, while Republicans say they will be worse, 67 percent to 4 percent.

    I don’t know, my mind is a meek, shriveled thing, but that seems like partisan bias.

  85. Eric Florack says:

    @Tillman: why would that matter for the purposes of the point? @Tillman: Yeah, well, that’s what happens when you dare speak against the leftist mantra, anymore.
    As an example… look at the meaningfulness of polls… they only mean something if they support Democrats, eh? Amusing.

  86. Tillman says:

    @Eric Florack: (a) Because Republicans have been sold from the beginning on the colossal failure and tyranny (somehow both) that is Obamacare. It’s probably one of the biggest reasons Romney’s bid for the presidency was doomed, as he attached his name to the healthcare reform in Massachusetts that was its model. I would wager that the 11% of Democrats who say they’d be worse under the law and the 67% of Republicans who say the same would have different reasons for saying so.

    (b) OTB’s commentariat isn’t as leftist as many bemoan. It does skew left, but in my experience, diehard leftists can only manage 10 up-or-down votes. Getting closer to the center nets you around 25. You hit 40 or 50, you’re getting consensus approval/disapproval.

    Your total is waaaay beyond consensus. It’s damn near universal.

  87. anjin-san says:

    @ Eric Florack

    How many times (generally when they are getting creamed in the polls) have conservatives told us that a real leader is not driven by polls, but by his instincts and his innate leadership qualities? That in fact, a true leader would ignore the polls if he believed he was doing the right thing.

    But when a poll tells bitsy something that supports his own bias, well, suddenly it becomes holy writ…

  88. westie says:

    @Dave D: Echo Chamber…..Echo Chamber…echo chamber..ec chhhh. Oh wait this is OUR ECHO CHAMBER! Just go away, because RACISSSS!

  89. westie says:

    @Tillman: Universal? Yep this site is just like the Pissgressive Democrat Party, anti-authoritarian except when in power similar to the ant-anti-Communist Bolsheviks that became the New Right aka Troskyite aka NeoCons.
    The forecast is, the Collective Borg Star has been targeted and soon will be no more, because wwwaaazzzism!