There is something called the law of unintended consequences. Republicans really shot themselves in the foot with their shutdown stunt. Not only were they unable to stop the official roll-out of ObamaCare, it seems the Republican Shutdown may have boosted the implementation of the law in unexpected ways.
Follow me over the jump as I explain my thesis on Republican stupidity...
First thing to note is that the Republican Shutdown push the night before open enrollment was slated to begin created such extraordinary publicity surrounding the implementation of the law that more Americans became aware of the October 1st enrollment date than otherwise would have been. The Republicans in effect acted as a big promo for the ACA with their melodramatic rhetoric and actions over the law. This is partly why we saw such an overwhelming response on the state exchanges on the first day of enrollment coupled with the fact that their was incredible pent up demand for affordable health care all across America.
Then by shutting down the government, Republicans shot themselves in the foot a second time as it derailed their message. The shutdown quickly became the overriding topic of discussion in the media on the fist day of implementation drawing attention away from the many glitches which did plague the exchanges (due to overwhelming interest from the public on the websites). Republicans were unable to capitalize on this because people were mostly focused on the Republican Shutdown. At the same time, this allowed President Obama and the Democrats to go on the offensive against the Republicans for shutting down the government while playing up the fact that ObamaCare continues unabated and highlighting the overwhelming interest in the exchanges from the public.
The irony is not lost on some Republicans who are beginning to complain that the shutdown is distracting from their message on ObamaCare. This from a Politico article on the subject:
It was a missed opportunity, some Republicans said, to get traction off of what should have been the easiest news cycle in the world for them. And there is bitter irony that a shutdown aimed at derailing Obamacare took attention from what may have been a realistic motivator for Republicans to build support for … derailing Obamacare.Read more: http://www.politico.com/...
(POLITICO's full Obamacare coverage)
“The shutdown has completely gotten in the way of the message of Obamacare not working,” said Republican strategist Ron Bonjean, a Capitol Hill veteran.
“If there were no government shutdown, Republicans could train all their fire on the failures of the exchanges in a ‘see, I told you so’ approach,” said Bonjean. Instead, he said, “the Republicans are having to fight a two-front war for public opinion — on the government shutdown and Obamacare — when they would rather be focused on the Obamacare rollout.”
Some Republicans on Capitol Hill worried about the timing of the shutdown. “I do sort of regret that this message is getting confused with the rollout,” said Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss. “It’s going to be a disaster for consumers,” he said, but “I’m afraid less attention may be paid to it.”
So not only were Republicans unable to stop ObamaCare, they stymied their own efforts to demonize the law further on its first day of implementation because of their stupid and short sighted shut down stunt.
Having crippled themselves on a futile attempt to stop ObamaCare, Republicans now have the guns to their own heads threatening to pull the trigger by continuing their government shutdown. Democrats are telling them to go right ahead. After all we all want to see the gavel back in its rightful place... in the hands of Speaker Pelosi.