Debt Ceiling: GOP Didn’t Make The Best Argument Because Leadership Wasn’t Really Feeling It

Some people make things happen. Some people watch things happen. Some people stand there and ask “what just happened?” For that last group, I present the following explanation. The establishment GOP went into the latest battles with Barack Obama and the democrats. on the continuing budget resolution and the increase in the debt ceiling with their usual defeatist attitude, completely buying into the party line that “Obamacare is the law of the land.” Based on past experience, everyone assumed that they would not even try to use the leverage they have to try to rescue the American people from the horrific effects of Obama’s health care scheme. Then came Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Mike Lee who joined with some of the GOP members of the House to say “Hey, we aren’t feeling like doing the democrat door mat thing for a while. Let’s try fighting.” No matter what East Coast Brain Rot ™ afflicted pantywaist pundits say, that was a good thing. I’m sure that they realized that they were facing long odds since they had to defeat not only the democrats and Obama, but also Sen. John McCain, Sen. Kelly Ayotte, Rep. Peter King and the rest of the gutless RINO usual suspects. It’s like that Tom Hanks line from “A League of Their Own.” The hard is what makes it good.

Some of you may be wondering if it really had to be so hard, and if the GOP had to give Obama everything he wanted. They ask why the Republicans didn’t approach this fight from the very beginning, using the clear, simple, winning message that was all on their side, the issue of Obamacare unfairness. It’s clear that the special treatment accorded under Obamacare for members of Congress and their staffs, unions and other Obama cronies, like big business is a winner with the American public. The issue of “one rule for me but not for thee” is straightforward and easy to understand. Had the GOP focused on that fairness issue from the very beginning, and made one unified argument demanding (1) the same 1-year delay in the individual mandate that Obama gave to big business, and (2) a repeal of the Office of Personnel Management’s decision, allowing members of Congress and their staffs to get subsidies to purchase their insurance from Obama’s exchanges, I think that the GOP would have won the day on those two concessions. The argument that it’s only fair for the people to get the same 1-year extension in having to purchase health insurance that Obama gave to big business would have been even more compelling as the disastrous roll out of the changes unfolded, allowing the messaging to connect the unfairness and incompetence dots. You want to penalize people for not purchasing something that’s nearly impossible to purchase in the system you had over three years to create and test? And businesses get a break for a year? And members of Congress are getting a special break on their premiums? Even an Obama supporter can understand that! So, had the GOP spoken with one voice and repeated their irresistible fairness argument over and over again, they would have gotten some decent concessions from the One. It’s not the same as repeal, but it would be a good start.

Sounds good doesn’t it? So why didn’t the GOP take this obvious path to victory? Well, as previously noted, we had people supposedly on our side who were consorting with the enemy. OK, leave the RINO caucus aside. Why didn’t Speaker Boehner and the leadership  initiate the battle by making the fairness argument and press it aggressively? Were they just being their typical lame, clueless selves? I wish that was it. They didn’t because–wait for it–the elites, including the House GOP leadership, don’t have a problem with special deals for members of Congress. From Business Insider:

Boehner railed against the so-called “exemption” for Congress, but the politics of the ploy were better than the practicality. In July, Mike Sommers, Boehner’s chief of staff, went through David Krone, Reid’s chief of staff, to try to set up a meeting with President Barack Obama to find a way to maintain the subsidies.

Business Insider obtained the email exchange (which you can see below) in which Krone requests that they come up with a different cover story than Obamacare for the meeting.

“People will know we are going down there,” Sommers wrote. “We can’t let it get out there that this is for the [Speaker] and [Leader] to ask the President to carve us out of the requirements of Obamacare. … I am even ok if it is the President hauling us down to talk about the next steps on immigration.”

Krone responded that the White House would love to say the meeting would be about immigration.

“I really don’t care what it is about — it just can’t be about what we know it is about,” Sommers wrote back.

So, while I’d like to tell you that when Speaker Boehner heard that Reid and Obama wanted special treatment for the political class, he was steam-nearly-coming-out-of-his-ears enraged, so angry that he was nearly speechless, insisting that this unfairness be remedied immediately, that’s not what happened. In fact, it was just the opposite. Quietly, and behind the scenes, he was trying to make sure that they did get that special treatment. When he realized it would be politically expedient to stand against it, he pretended to believe in that. His stooge was conspiring with Reid’s stooge and trying to cover it up. Was he really going to charge to the barricades and demand its end? We’re fighting for our country’s survival, though, and we need some of that barricade charging stuff, and fast.

It’s pretty hard to fight for principles that you don’t believe in, which is why so often the establishment Republicans end up standing there with dumb looks on their faces, looks that say “what just happened?”

Cross-posted at Illinois Review

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