The Washington Times has an interview today with Minority Whip Steny Hoyer. Hoyer suggests that Republicans should package the debt ceiling debate with the funding of Obamacare. “That would be a responsible way to go. It would give confidence to the marketplace and give confidence to those overseas. The government would run out of money as soon as Oct. 17 if Congress does not raise the debt ceiling by then". I happen to agree with Steny on this tactic.
I also agree with Rand Paul who wanted to avoid the government shutdown and who told CNN yesterday “I think a continuing bill to keep the government open while we negotiate is a good idea. I do agree that negotiating with the government closed probably to Democrats appears like strong-arm tactics.”
The Republicans have the unenviable position of settling the Obamacare debate to open the government, only to threaten to shut it down a few days later over the debt ceiling debate. I completely understand some conservatives position that the GOP is finally standing up for their core beliefs. The problem is standing up and fighting don't mean anything if you can't win.
Americans are clear that they don't like Obamacare and are willing to punish the Democrats in next years elections for forcing that upon them. However they hate government shutdowns more than they hate Obamacare, and now they want to punish both parties. Talking about how Obamacare is going to hurt Americans is a powerful story, but not as powerful as the people who are flooding the airwaves with how the Republicans are hurting them right now with a government shutdown.
Conservative Senators are never going to convince liberal Senators to vote with them. So we need to get more conservative Senators into Congress. Last week I mapped out 8 seats I believe Republicans should pick up in 2014. Those 8 senators swing the power from Obama and Democrats to a Republican house and senate. Congress writes the laws. Republicans didn't have either side in 2010, which is why Obamacare passed the House even with 34 Democrats voting against it. Final vote was 219-212. Seven votes was all conservatives needed to stop it in 2010! John Spratt lost his seat after 28 years of repping South Carolina's 5th district over that vote. The 5th is a moderate district with a lot of influence from Charlotte. But Spratt was actually crushed by Mick Mulvaney in one of the biggest landslides of the 2010 election. Spratt knew he was voting himself out of office too! But he couldn't stop himself from doing what Democrats do. The DNA of a Democrat is to expand government under a belief that they are helping people. Republicans DNA is to restrict the growth of government believing that smaller government helps people by allowing them freedom. If you want to restrict the growth of government you need more Republicans. To get more Republicans you need to convince voters IN DISTRICTS CURRENTLY HELD BY DEMOCRATS to vote Republican. Remember most Americans are not either Republican or Democrat. 40% of American's say they are Independent!
Independents live everywhere. There are certain areas that aren't in play though. Democrats don't target the upstate of SC because it's one of the most conservative areas of a very conservative state. Dems own the 6th district and had held the 5th till Obamacare. When you think Liberal you might think of my home state of CT. You would probably assume Republicans wouldn't win many house races in Connecticut. They have 5 seats in Congress and all are Dems. But 3 of those seats have been held by Republicans at some point over the last 10 years.
"All politics are local" is very true. Mulvaney Gowdy, Duncan or even Tim Scott wouldn't stand a chance in the 6th District. The more liberal the better for the vast majority of the District 6 voters. Likewise Clyburn would be crushed by anyone with an R next to their name in the 3rd or 4th District. In order to move the country one way or another you have to win those districts that can go either way, like our 5th district. And when the voters in those districts announce that they hate 2 things but 1 more than the other, you can't be the party that is protecting them from the thing they hate second by doing the thing they hate most. The old rule in politics is "when your opponent is committing suicide, leave him alone". The Dems were falling on their sword and turning power over to the Republicans. And like Spratt, they knew they were dead, but couldn't stop themselves from doing what Democrats do! Now thanks to Republicans "brave stand" the Democrats see a way to expand government healthcare and retain power, aka live. If you truly want to stop Obamacare, the brave thing for a Republican would be to help the Democrats open the government. It would invite a RINO charge and a primary challenge in a lot of districts, and could end their career as a politician, but would help the conservatives pick up seats and thus truly change the direction of the country. It's time to get out of the way and let the Democrats in moderate districts or states commit political suicide.