The GOP’s two-pronged assault on ObamaCare:
A senior House source told Fox News that the tentative plan is to debate and vote on the emerging debt-ceiling bill on Saturday. That bill is expected to cover a lot of ground, with provisions to raise the debt ceiling, tee up future tax reform, approve the Keystone pipeline and, perhaps most important to Republicans, delay ObamaCare by one year.
This comes as the Senate deals with a measure that would keep the government open past Sept. 30 in exchange for defunding the health law. The Senate voted Wednesday to advance the bill and, if Democrats can clear one final hurdle on Friday, Majority Leader Harry Reid plans to strip out the ObamaCare measure and send it back to the House.
I like the defunding effort, I really do — it chums the waters ahead of next year’s midterms, and the base hasn’t really smelled any blood since 2010. Witness the reaction to Ted Cruz earlier this week. People are hungry.
The problem of course is that it won’t go anywhere. Defunding is tantamount to repeal, and that simply won’t happen in Harry Reid’s Senate or Professor Ditherton Wiggleroom’s White House. It has been the Progressive dream to centralize life and death decisions in Washington, and having gotten it they will not let it go. They’ll lose elections if needed (witness 2010 — they knew what would happen) but they will Not Let It Go. So act accordingly and vote Republican — even the sucky ones. Because that’s the only way to kill this beast.
The delay effort has a better chance of accomplishing something, because it gives Republican lawmakers a chance to help Wiggleroom feel smart. Witness how the Professor loves to brag about repealing ObamaCare’s onerous small business compliance mandates — even though they were a part of the original bill he helped push through and then signed. And he loves to brag about it, even though it was a GOP idea. But it was a popular GOP idea, one which help them take back the House in 2010. Wiggleroom could tell which way the wind was blowing and hopped on board the bandwagon so he could boast, “See? I’m smart enough to fix some of the bad stuff I was stupid enough to have signed.”
He seriously gets off on that stuff.
Well, there’s a lot in need of fixing, and the Congressional Democrats are stuck in the uncomfortable position of having to defend a deeply unpopular law. That’s why I’m in favor of Let It Burn, because the GOP really shouldn’t be getting their fingerprints anywhere near ObamaCare. But it’s too late for that now, as we discussed the other day. The GOP is now pot committed to doing something about O-Care. The trick is to accomplish something without:
A) Making the damn thing popular somehow.
B) Making themselves even less popular.
That’s a narrow road on a twisty mountainside. A) is far less likely than B) of course, because ObamaCare is such a destructive beast of a law. But don’t count out the GOP’s ability to accomplish B) seventeen times with a single action.
Let It Burn left all the onus on the Democrats for a craptaculent law they foisted on the nation without a single Republican vote. Now the GOP is in on the action, the only way they’re going to accomplish anything is to give Wiggleroom a chance at winning back some of his squandered capital, just like he did with the 1099 reporting repeal. That’s not a great position for Republicans to be in, and it’s going to take a more adroit performance than we’re used to seeing from them.
But if Cruz can lead the “crazy” defund wing, that might give Boehner a chance to cut a decent deal with Obama and Reid.