Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK): Asked on MSNBC on Monday if a shutdown was “going to hurt the Republicans,” Cole said, “I do, but more importantly I think it’s going to hurt the American people.”Each of these Republicans clearly understands that shutting down the government to extort concessions on Obamacare is the wrong thing to do, but each of them nonetheless voted in favor of doing exactly that when they supported the House GOP's plan fund government for two months while delaying Obamacare for a year.
Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA): “I’m prepared to vote for a clean resolution tomorrow… It’s time to govern. I don’t intend to support a fool’s errand at this point.”
Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ): “Obamacare is definitely not ready for prime time. But I do not want the government to shut down. I think after voting against it some 40 times, we have represented our constituents and made our point.”
Rep. Peter King (R-NY): “We should not be closing down the government under any circumstances… That doesn’t work, it’s wrong, and, you know, Obamacare passed. We have to try to defund it, we have to try to find ways to repeal it. But the fact is, we shouldn’t be using it as a threat to shut down the government.”
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI): “We have to stay on the right side of public opinion… Shutting down the government puts us on the wrong side. The fight is on the debt limit.”
If these guys want to be seen as anything less than complete hypocrites, they need to reverse course and agree to approve a clean funding bill. Charlie Dent, one of the members of Congress listed above, told Greg Sargent that if such a bill came before the House, it would pass, but the fact that it would pass is something that everybody already knows. The question is whether such a vote will come up, and the guys who are speaking out against a shutdown while voting for it are the people who will ultimately decide whether that happens.
If it there isn't a vote on a clean funding bill and the government does shut down, these guys will look worse than the tea partiers in Congress, because at least the tea partiers have the decency to admit they are nihilistic political hostage-takers.