By Alec Kohut
Last week I wrote about a possible turning point in the media’s coverage of Obamacare as even the mainstream media exposed the GOP for lying about the CBO report and ACA’s effect on employment. We saw another turning point this week as the GOP leadership refused to even consider fighting over the debt ceiling or Obamacare.
Not only did the GOP not want to fight, they were in a hurry not to fight. As a winter storm moved towards the nation’s capital, both John Boehner and Mitch McConnell rushed votes to avoid any battle over raising the debt ceiling, or tying it to Obamacare. And in the process, made one of the strongest statements to the right-wing Tea Party and Ted Cruz yet.
The most important development of the week was that even the most strident Obamacare opponents were willing to fight. Cruz, Rand Paul, and even Tea party favorite Michelle Bachmann steered clear, very clear of any talk about linking Obamacare to a debt ceiling fight. Cruz never even took the floor to read “Green Eggs and Ham.”
You could say what a difference millions of newly insured people make.
Or maybe the GOP leadership is finally figuring out the being a party of “wackos and loons,” as Steve Schmidt calls them, isn’t a reasonable position. Maybe they figured out that an approval rating close to 10% isn’t good. Maybe their internal polls are seeing a shift in the popularity of Obamacare. Maybe they just realized that the Tea party is repugnant to the independent and swing voters of America.
Whatever the reason, it marks another divide between the “establishment” GOP and the Tea party radicals.
Perhaps the 2014 elections will not be about the GOP taking control of the Senate, but about the future of the GOP itself. Will they continue to embrace the radical, anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-immigration, anti-minority, anti-right-to-vote, gun loving Tea Party nuts, or regain some level of respectability to average Americans?
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