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Train wreck at Montparnasse - 1895
Obamacare is a trainwreck—for House Republicans, because the one thing just about everybody on the outside of Ottawa Senator House Speaker Ted Cruz's silo can agree on is that threatening to shut down the federal government unless President Obama agrees to repeal Obamacare is a bad idea.

But inside that silo:

Conservative Republicans are confident they’ll avoid blame in 2014 if the government shuts down over the GOP’s push to defund ObamaCare, despite public polling and historical precedent that indicates the party is putting itself in political peril.  

More than a half-dozen conservatives who voted for the House GOP’s continuing resolution (CR), which strips funding for President Obama’s signature healthcare law, refused to even speculate about the political fallout if their strategy fails and the government is shuttered.

“The Democrats are trying to talk to us about a government shutdown. We passed a CR. They control the Senate. They control the White House. They ought to take our bill up and pass it,” said Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), who will face a difficult reelection fight next year.

Yes! Davis couldn't be more right. Democrats control the White House, and they control the Senate, and now, even though a million more Americans voted for Democratic congressional candidates than Republican ones, they should do what House Republicans are demanding, because ... well, because Ted Cruz said so.

And the best part of the deal they are offering is the fact that their bill will fund the government all the way until December 15, so as long as President Obama and Democrats are willing to repeal Obamacare, they can prevent a government shutdown for 75 days. That's almost three full months! What a deal!

Of course, that's not going to happen. So what will happen? Well, Davis accidentally stumbled on something that is true:

“It’s not on us anymore. It’s on the Senate Democrats to come up with a solution.”
And everybody knows what that solution will be: Legislation preventing a shutdown that doesn't play games and doesn't repeal Obamacare. And when that legislation comes back to the House, Speaker John Boehner will need to turn to Democrats to pass it, because, as House conservatives have shown, they still haven't figured out the best way to prevent a government shutdown ... is to prevent a government shutdown.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Chris Hayes is completely right. (39+ / 0-)

    The vehemence and virulence with which the GOP is trying to block or cripple the ACA is testament to the fact that they know it'll succeed... and they've bet the farm on its failure.

    If it was going to fail, they'd sit back and let it fail and THEN repeal it, and ride the ACA's failure to 2014.

    But they're inextricably entwined with the opposition to the ACA... and they know what disaster will befall them when the people of the United States discover just how good it is.

    "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

    by raptavio on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 07:35:21 AM PDT

    •  The truth about ACA is just weeks away and they (8+ / 0-)

      cannot stop it now....

    •  What I think Cruz' backers are up to (0+ / 0-)

      I don't think the GOP's backers are that politically stupid.  I looked up who funds Cruz.  For 2012, his single greatest institutional backer was the Club For Growth, followed by the Senate Conservatives Fund.  We know that his backers include medical insurance companies. We know the vision these organizaitons hold for the USA is to turn it into the planet corporate hegemon with nukes, no social services, and a population of disposable labor.  

      We know that Cruz wants to run for President.  We know he thinks he can win the GOP primary. This requires only that his backers buy up all the air time in the major metro areas around the country.  The way to take the Presidency is then by getting the Independents' votes, in combination with suppressing the D's votes.  The electoral college = 538 votes, and they have plenty of gerrymandered districts.  They probably think they have a really good chance.  

      As for the Senate rules, I am pretty sure Harry Reid is not sweating and knows his own back yard.  The question is why do Cruz' backers think that even when Cruz loses the ACA fight he is still a fungible candidate?

      This is us governing. Live so that 100 years from now, someone may be proud of us.

      by marthature on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 08:24:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Gerrymandered districts (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sherri in TX, Odysseus

        mean next to nothing. There are only two states with by-district electoral votes: Nebraska and Maine - meaning eight votes are 'at play' - and NE almost always goes red, Maine almost always blue, even district by district.

        Cruz is doing this to raise his profile, certainly, in anticipation of a Presidential run. It will definitely increase his profile among the tea party base, but he's earning lots and lots of enemies among the establishment of the GOP, and will be forever yoked to his stalwart opposition to what will ultimately become a very successful program.

        If this is the Club for Growth's gambit, I seriously doubt it will be a successful one.

        "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

        by raptavio on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 08:33:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Correction: (0+ / 0-)

        NE and ME each have two congressional districts and two statewide EVs - meaning perhaps four EVs are individually at play on a district-by-district basis. It's almost irrelevant.

        "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

        by raptavio on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 08:35:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The best way to prevent a government (11+ / 0-)

    shutdown is for no party involved in the budget negotiations to view the threat of a shutdown as part of those negotiations.

    If that is not obvious to you, you are not a House Republican.

    I'm on a mission! Testing the new site rules.

    by blue aardvark on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 07:38:18 AM PDT

  •  I'm tellin ya Jed....if Obamacare is implemented (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Aunt Pat, judyms9, Sherri in TX, Matt Z

    it will be the end of the world as we know it.......Heard that from Rush Limbaugh.

  •  Well.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, VPofKarma, pashber
    Yes, Obamacare is a trainwreck. For House Republicans.
    Pull the curtain aside.
    Let everyone see the underbelly of the beast.
    Turn the proverbial rock over and watch the slimy 'R' creatures scurry.
    Time for all the 'R's lies to come home to roost.
    They deserve every bit of the scorn and derision (and hopefully, defeat at the polls) they're gonna get for their blatant lies and horrible misinformation about the ACA....among so very many other egregious things.

    I think, therefore I am........................... Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose....AKA Engine Nighthawk - don't even ask!

    by Lilyvt on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 07:45:14 AM PDT

  •  We're all being played... (9+ / 0-)

    Make it about Obamacare, so when Boehner and GOP "cave" on it, Obama and Dems "win" when in reality GOP gets continued sequester cuts - which is a huge win for the GOP that nobody is talking about.  

    Glenn Greenwald promotes far-right fringe extremist group The Oath Keepers -

    by Jacoby Jonze on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 07:45:56 AM PDT

    •  And Don't Forget Grand Bargain on SS and Medicare (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      murasaki, RichM

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 08:10:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Just what I was going to post about. (0+ / 0-)

      The Sequester is a WIN for the repubs.  And they don't have to even mention it because Dems are busy ranting about government shutdown, which at least some repubs are smart enough to know the Dems will avoid at all costs.

      There's a no-win on the sequester cuts continuing. This is the budget battle the Goppers have already won.

      Democrats promote the Common good. Republicans promote Corporate greed.

      by murasaki on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 08:22:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Overton Window is all about the funding... (0+ / 0-)

      Hey Kids!  Remember when the sequester was the worst thing in the world?  Yeah, that was before Obamacare was going to (not) be defunded.

      Now, sequester level funding looks like the best thing we can get out of the dysfunctional House.  When we win this one, we will have lost...

      "Dissent is the Highest form of Patriotism." Tommy J.

      by Dissentinator on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 08:46:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Some "win" (0+ / 0-)

      the CR only extends government spending to December.  So the sequester would get extended a whopping two months under this bill.  

      I don't think we are getting played at all, and at this point Boehner doesn't know whether to scratch his watch or wind his butt.

      Cake or DEATH? Oh, I'll have cake, please.

      by wmtriallawyer on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 09:25:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  We are (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      but we need to keep ACA intact (which is a tremendous reform of our health care system) first and foremost and then we need to focus on getting rid of as many Republicans and somehow wresting back control of the House and keeping the Senate.  That seems to be the ONLY way that we'll be able to keep things from getting worse and avoiding these destructive games the Republicans have been playing.

  •  Thune.....Obamacare hasn't brought the cost of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat

    care down.

    Is it October yet?

  •  Republicans on Cruz control (6+ / 0-)

    Are about to get pulled over.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 07:48:43 AM PDT

  •  The ACA's implementation is already (6+ / 0-)

    running into some problems and questions that weren't addressed in the original law.  The problems could be solved by a few tweaks, and the questions can be answered as the implementation progresses.

    But the Republicans refuse to even discuss tweaking the law to smooth out some of the rough edges (rough edges caused, for the most part, by their own maneuvering during the formation of the Act).  Instead, they will spend the next year stirring foment about bad outcomes, e.g., workers' hours being cut to keep employers from having to provide insurance coverage, rather than fixing the problems.

    The only hope for enacting minor changes to make the law correct the unintended consequences of its initial structure is to take control of ANY portion of the government from the Republicans and give it back to the Democrats.

    "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

    by SueDe on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 07:49:24 AM PDT

    •  Looks like the Dems will propose some tweaking (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      highacidity, Stude Dude

      in re medical devices. Goopers might agree.

      That will be that.

    •  2014 is nearly upon us. (2+ / 0-)

      Do things people want done and make sure they know about it.  Those standing in the way will face the heat.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 07:53:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There's always an election coming up (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        We're still closer to the 2012 election day than the one in 2014.  And November 2012 was when the current Congress was elected; they didn't go to work until January 2013.  They've been at 'work' a bit less than nine months if you call what they've done work.  

        I agree with putting the heat on those who stand in the way.  I'm just tired of hearing, "We can't do that now, we're too close to the next election," as an excuse.  Your title reminded me of that excuse.  

        In general, I suggest we vote against any Congresscritter who offers, "We're too close to the next election," as an excuse.

        We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

        by david78209 on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 08:33:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The year 2014 is nearly upon us, and the campaigns (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          start well before the election does.

          The notion of not doing things because you're close to an election seems utterly undemocratic.  The only reason to hold off is because you know people won't like it and it will thus hurt you.

          Doing things people want done is good for you on election day.
          Blocking things people want done is bad for you on election day.

          FDR knew it and acted accordingly.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 08:40:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Are they 4? (3+ / 0-)

    Do it my way or I won't play with you! Or in this case, they will just shut down the government and make life a living hell for every single person in America.  How dare they use that as leverage.  I hope the Democrats will keep standing up to this bullying tactic.  How can we teach our kids that bullying is not acceptable, if it is being used, very publicly, by people that are supposed to represent us? I don't know if the people that voted these GOP members in would agree that shutting down the government is such a good idea. Granted, there are those that follow blindly, but the smarter ones can see disaster looming. (One would hope).
    Congress is paid to create a budget, not hold government hostage.  They are supposed to protect the people, not threaten their well being.  It just seems so childish of them and definitely unbecoming.

  •  a nit to pick... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Proud Liberal Dem

    I am trying to get some sense of what the numbers are of conservative congressmen who are driving this trainwreck.

    The quote from "thehill" is "more than a half a dozen". So, we are talking less than a dozen (12) but more than half a dozen (6), so there are between 7 and 11 conservatives in the House who are not concerned about being blamed for a government shutdown? Out of a total of 535, 233 of whom are Republicans.

    Just doesn't seem like that many. I don't get it.

  •  remember "better dead than red"? i do... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    i wonder if any repub would be willing to claim "better dead than obamacare"?

    Sarah Palin is a disgusting racist pig.

    by memofromturner on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 07:57:46 AM PDT

  •  I have a procedural question............. (0+ / 0-)

    "can Boehner refuse to bring the Senate version of the CR bill to the floor or do the House rules provide that it, as a budget bill and/or bill that originated in the House, it must be taken up?"  

    If he can and does refuse then the only option left would be a discharge petition. Right?  I have to guess a DP would be signed by all the Dems and hopegully enough saner Rethugs to be successful.

    The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation--HDT

    by cazcee on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 07:59:39 AM PDT

    •  absolutely he can (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      He can bring it as it stands, not bring it at all, make changes to it and then bring it. He can do almost anything procedurally.  He clearly does not want a govt shutdown, but it's anyone's guess what he'll be willing to do on what will likely be 48 hours notice once all the delaying in the Senate is done.

      Regarding a discharge petition, my understanding is that it can only be brought on measures that have been held up in committee for 30 or more days. I am not certain that that applies in this case, though maybe one of the rules gurus can comment.

      Want a progressive global warming novel, not a right wing rant? Go to and check out New World Orders

      by eparrot on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 08:12:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  GOP about to be Cruzified (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skillet, SanFernandoValleyMom, a2nite

    Nutcase Ted is about to Cruzify the GOP.

    Has there ever been a more arrogant asshat than Ted Cruz?


    •  Possibly the Ted in the newsroom of the old (0+ / 0-)

      Mary Tyler Moore Show.  But that Ted was lovable in a weird way because he lacked the leering, sneering, slithering demeanor of Cruz.

      Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

      by judyms9 on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 08:08:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So these are the same people who were so (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    confident that Mitt would win?

    Not going to Vegas with any of them.

    And if you want to sign up or help any of your friends sign up, NARAL is running a campaign to help people sign here...

    Also has info on signing


  •  Well, actually, some of those Repubs are right. (0+ / 0-)

    If you're a Tea Party Rep in a district with a high enough Republican PVI, shutting down the Government is exactly the right thing to do -- that is, in order to be reelected.

    Profiles in courage, they're not.

    Après le thé, le déluge. -- Glenn Beck, aka Napoleon XIV

    by mspicata on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 08:03:50 AM PDT

  •  I'm officially bored (0+ / 0-)

    Republicans and their paymasters can sort this out among themselves. It has nothing to do with us.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 08:03:51 AM PDT

  •  Henceforth, the GOP shall be known as (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The Lemming Party.

  •  Enough with the Canada nicknames below (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    david78209, a2nite

    Good work as always Jed, but the Canada putdown is starting to sound like a good song that you've heard 463 times too many on a top-40 format station. No offense, Dude.

    Cruz is not really Canadian (though he could be). McCain is not Panamanian. Obama is not Kenyan or Indonesian either.

    So goodbye Calgary Cruz.


    Teahadi Ted
    Teddy Teabag
    Jose McCarthy
    Crazytrain Cruz

    Better ideas will be much appreciated...

  •  The Administration has done a crappy job of (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    murasaki, skod, zinger99

    selling this program to the public.  No mailers.  No public service announcements.  Most of the people I know are still confused about the program.

    If Obama was a brand manager at Johnson & Johnson with this poor product introduction, he'd be fired.

    Sorry to you "Obama at any price" fanboys.  He's done a shitty job on this program.

    •  First mistake.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ....was not putting enough money into the original,bill to fund a public awareness program.   They thought they could go back to the well later on and didn't anticipate the irrational opposition that would go so far as to intimidate the NFL to block public service announcements.  Now they're having to rely on "free media" (public relations), but the media - like Chuck Todd stated - do not feel any responsibility to even correct the lies promulgated by the GOP.

    •  Exactly (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Boris49, Proud Liberal Dem

      He's not a brand manager. Obama is a statesman, a leader, and a policy maker.

      However, I would agree that his administration seems to ignore/dismiss the need to effectively communicate policy, and to counter the dis-information of policy opponents.

      •  I'm tired of all of the "Blame Obama" mentality (0+ / 0-)

        He put the full weight of his Presidency and, to some extent, his re-election, behind building support for and getting Congress to pass ACA into law in the first place and he and his cabinet have been busy defending the law in courts and getting it implemented while Republicans- with the collusion of the "liberal media"- sabotage, lie, obfuscate, and otherwise try to destroy the law in its infancy- before it can take effect.  The question, at least for me, is not what Obama has/hasn't done in terms of "selling" the law but what have WE done?  Have we had his back?  

        •  Read it again (0+ / 0-)

          Perhaps, you should re-read my first sentence before suggesting me guilty of some "blame Obama first mentality". I am, and have been, a supporter of and contributor to the Obama campaign since 2007. But that doesn't render me blind to his weaknesses. He is human, yes?  

          So, when Americans are still so widely confused or unsure about what Obamacare will do and not do then, yes, there has been a failure by the administration to effectively communicate it.

  •  Historical Precedent Doesn't Apply. (0+ / 0-)

    That was a Presidential year with equal representation and voter access.

    This is a midterm year when moderates and many Dems stay home, with millions of Democrats thrown out of the polls, and millions more mooted for House elections by gerrymandering.

    Also the election is over a year away unlike the 96 shutdown.

    This shutdown is definitely going to happen and the ones who need to brace for the consequences are progressives.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 08:15:57 AM PDT

  •  Ottawa or Calgary? (0+ / 0-)

    You scratched out a reference to Ted Cruz as the "Ottawa Senator", but I thought he was born in Calgary.  Does he have an Ottawa connection?

    "Calgary Cruz" has a nice ring to it.  I suggest we stick with that term.

    We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

    by david78209 on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 08:19:54 AM PDT

  •  Chuck Todd is reporting that Dems will offer... (0+ / 0-)

    "sweeteners" in the Senate bill to try and win House GOP votes and stave off a shutdown.

    Really?  So Dems would benefit greatly from a shutdown, but Dems will give them more of what they want to ensure there isn't a shutdown?  What give them even deeper cuts to make up for stripping out the ACA defunding?  

    Does Durbin think we're stupid?

    Glenn Greenwald promotes far-right fringe extremist group The Oath Keepers -

    by Jacoby Jonze on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 08:29:19 AM PDT

  •  The thing is... (0+ / 0-)

    The Media is totally buying this line of horse shit.  They are blaming the shutdown and gridlock on both parties equally - including the House Democrats - who basically have no power.

    “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” - John Steinbeck

    by RichM on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 08:29:23 AM PDT

  •  A Ted Cruz filabuster over the ACA ... (0+ / 0-)

    will bring about the end of the American Experiment, as the country dies of utter boredom.

    Energy is neither created nor destroyed when I am you. - UID 16382

    by glb3 on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 08:35:42 AM PDT

  •  I've heard that (0+ / 0-)

    a number of corporate and military brass/contractors are freaking out over the sequester/ shutdown scenarios, and are furious with the Repubs......its gonna get weird.....

  •   WWLD? What Would Lincoln Do? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    WWLD? Or What Would Lincoln Do? Cong. Davis represents a swing district he barely won in 2012. Lincoln represented this area in the 19th Century(1847-1849). In addition to  saving the Union, Lincoln stood for "Big Government." The Homestead Act, passed in 1862 basically gave free land to settlers out West. And Lincoln also signed the 1862 Morrill Act, creating state/land grant colleges. The Dept. of Agriculture was created under him. He certainly would have been behind the ACA bringing modern medical care to millions of uninsured people. Look at how his mother Nancy Hanks Lincoln died of "milk sickness" on the frontier or how devastated Lincoln was when he lost a son  to illness in the White House. Based on these policies, a Life Magazine special on Lincoln called him a political liberal.  Shame on GOPer Davis. Vote him out in 2014! For more on Davis and other political doings, read this      

  •  Rodney Davis is John Shimkus' lackey, (0+ / 0-)

    so we should not be surprised that he acts like one.  This is the same Shimkus who believes humans co-existed with dinosaurs and that higher CO2 concentrations aren't really bad for us because, think of all the lush plant life that existed then.

    Of course this is also the same Shimkus who said he would only serve four terms in the House and has lived off the government teat all of his life, including his education at West Point (which must not have had a course on paleontology).  Rodney Davis needs to be a one-term House member.  Ann Callis for IL-12.

    A petty criminal is someone with predatory instincts but insufficient capital to form a corporation. --Clarence Darrow

    by stlsophos on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 11:56:19 AM PDT

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