How the GOP Congress Saved Obama from the Dog House

The former GOP House Majority Leader on why his party hasn't learned the lessons of the '95-'96 shutdown

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Alex Wong / Corbis

U.S. President Barack Obama leaves a policy luncheon after meeting with Senate Republicans at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 10, 2013.

Tuesday October 1, 2013, must have been a dreaded day for President Obama and his party, ever since the day they passed the Affordable Care Act with its deferred implementation date. That was the day on which the American people would be forced to comply with the mandates and cost of “Obamacare.” That was the day that all those young people who had so eagerly voted for “change they could believe in” would discover themselves to be compelled to buy insurance at inflated rates in order to subsidize older people. That was the day that the cherry-picked exceptions unilaterally granted by the president to his political cronies would stand in stark contrast to the punitive mandate most of us could not escape. That was the day that the press would report stories from all over the nation about how unhappy the American people were with this big, clumsy, unworkable system. Surely the president and his party must have known that if the news of the day was Obamacare, they were going to be in the dog house with the American people.

But something happened on the way to the dog house. They found their reprieve from the most unlikely source: Congressional Republicans rode to their rescue by changing the subject. They made Majority Leader Reid an offer he could easily refuse. Either the Senate Democrats could accept continued government spending at House-set levels, lower than the Senate levels (which they had already done), and accept total defunding of Obamacare (which they had already said they would never do), or they could reject it—in which case the government would just “shut down.”

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This must have seemed like pennies from heaven to the Democrats. All they had to do was refuse to be “blackmailed” by this “extreme” and “irresponsible” demand, and the news of the day would turn from Obamacare, where Democrats were big-time losers, to a government shutdown—something that always hurts Republicans. (If there was one thing we Republican learned in the ’95-’96 shutdown, it’s that presidents don’t get blamed for government shutdowns… Republicans do.)

Just say no, and they were off the hook. Not a bad deal. So they did just that. Frankly, it is a change that is working out quite well for them.

What about the Republicans, split internally between the Tea Party and the more moderate members? They are in a state of serious internecine conflict. Tempers are short and patience is running thin. Having impaled themselves on the wrong demand, they cannot now make new, more attractive demands with credibility. The Democrats need only retain the posture of being sad and disappointed while they say “no,” and the Republicans will remain stuck on their own stick.

The Republicans have successfully snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory, and the Democrats will let them live with it until such time that they sue for peace. This is not going to end well for Congressional Republicans. But, while the pain is inevitable, the suffering is optional. There is a way to turn this around and Speaker Boehner is just the guy to do it.

(MORENewt Gingrich to House Republicans: “Don’t Cave!”)

John Boehner need only rise to the level of his ability and to the stature of his office. He should bring a continuing resolution to the floor with House-level funding, a one-year delay of the individual mandate and a proviso that any Obamacare exemption granted to any entity must be available to all. This last proviso not only deals with the congressional exception, but also highlights and puts an end to President Obama’s cherry-picking cronyism.

The Speaker should then allow the Democratic minority to have an amendment (in the form of a substitute in accordance with regular order in the body). If Minority Leader Pelosi offers a clean continuing resolution, it will most likely prevail, and the House Republican ordeal will be over. They can then get back to serious work—and if they have learned the lesson to not start a fight they can’t win, they may just avoid the same debacle on the debt limit later this month.

Finally, Speaker Boehner will, if he does this, demonstrate that he has the stature of the office and will remain Speaker for so long as he desires.

MORELessons from the Age of Ron and Tip

145 comments
oldwhiteguy
oldwhiteguy

Armey buys his own right wing propaganda that the ACA is going to cause some sort of shift in the fabric of time and space, causing widespread panic and rebellion. He of course is full of it. At its most basic, ACA is simply an avenue for uninsured people to get insured through PRIVATE insurance companies without being penalized or dropped for pre-existing conditions. Like any other piece of major legislation, it will have to be evolved. But when the right chose to go the route of personal attack politics to combat their shrinking base, they fired everything they had at Obama and, by extension, at Obamacare. And now they're stuck. Obamacare is law. People will eventually break thru the propaganda to find out it's a good thing. And they will see the House Reps for what they are: self-serving prophets of doom willing to bring anarchy to our government in order to please their base. The Republican Party is going to be in need of health care. They have tied their shoelaces together and they're hopping toward the stairs.


DwDunphy
DwDunphy

"Finally, Speaker Boehner will, if he does this, demonstrate that he has the stature of the office and will remain Speaker for so long as he desires."

Yes, but Sen. Cruz thinks you're a RINO and isn't concerned about what you think in return, Mr. Armey. If you cannot see the utter failure that is the stubbornness in your own party, and the need to purge that stubbornness fully, then everyone connected with the GOP remains forever at risk. 

HazeAndDrizzle
HazeAndDrizzle

WTF? Were did that comment go. It disappeared faster than a Tea Party terrorist run from responsible governance.

WiseoldMan
WiseoldMan

It's truly only right to pass a bill that postpones the ACA another year after all the companies have already received a postponement of one year why not the people?

CanePazzo
CanePazzo

At last, Obama has his chance to really stick it to the Republicans.   Remember politics is a contact sport.  He just has to keep up the appearance of being reasonable.

DamienOris
DamienOris

Anyone know why it's called Obamacare? So people who don't like Obama can simply read the name of it and disapprove of it without knowing anything about it. Look up Jimmy Kimmel's skit where he asked people which they preferred--Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act. Those who said they disapproved of Obamacare actually agreed with everything in the Affordable Care Act.

If we were all honest with each other, we'd all agree that while the Affordable Care Act isn't perfect, it's better than what we have. It's also better than what the Republicans are proposing to replace it with--which is nothing. And how can Republicans fight the Affordable Care Act when their front runner just a little while ago, Mitt Romney, had such great success with his healthcare system in Mass. that he proposed that's--guess what--very similar to the Affordable Care Act.


Even moderate Republicans are trying to pass a clean CR. It's just the Republicans tied to the tea party nuts who are holding out because they have their testicles in a vice.

RobertWilson1
RobertWilson1

Retired Attorney was the first REDFLAG,this ACA is 3 years old. I know that Obama has seen ROOTS and therefore "knows his rights". If you saw that miniseries they horsewhipped poor Kunta into saying his name was Toby! Barack will not change his name although Obamacare was first implement by none other than Mitt Romney right?

Kalyan
Kalyan

Guys.. I am from India and always thought that third world countries have a monopoly on political idiots. You are desparate to prove that we were wrong. You would soon lead in this too.

firestrokerlfd24
firestrokerlfd24

Here is a little tidbit of info you pro-Obama fans should read:

The Truth About the Health Care Bills - Michael Connelly, Ret. Constitutional Attorney

Well, I have done it! I have read the entire text of proposed House Bill 3200: The Affordable Health Care Choices Act of 2009. I studied it with particular emphasis from my area of expertise, constitutional law. I was frankly concerned that parts of the proposed law that were being discussed might be unconstitutional.

What I found was far worse than what I had heard or expected.

To begin with, much of what has been said about the law and its implications is in fact true, despite what the Democrats and the media are saying. The law does provide for rationing of health care, particularly where senior citizens and other classes of citizens are involved, free health care for illegal immigrants, free abortion services, and probably forced participation in abortions by members of the medical profession.

The Bill will also eventually force private insurance companies out of business,and put everyone into a government run system. All decisions about personal health care will ultimately be made by federal bureaucrats, and most of them will not be health care professionals. Hospital admissions, payments to physicians, and allocations of necessary medical devices will be strictly controlled by the government.

However, as scary as all of that is, it just scratches the surface. In fact, I have concluded that this legislation really has no intention of providing affordable health care choices. Instead it is a convenient cover for the most massive transfer of power to the Executive Branch of government that has ever occurred,or even been contemplated. If this law or a similar one is adopted, major portions of the Constitution of the United States will effectively have been destroyed.

The first thing to go will be the masterfully crafted balance of power between the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of the U.S. Government. The Congress will be transferring to the Obama Administration authority in a number of different areas over the lives of the American people, and the businesses they own.

The irony is that the Congress doesn't have any authority to legislate in most of those areas to begin with! I defy anyone to read the text of the U.S. Constitution and find any authority granted to the members of Congress to regulate health care.

This legislation also provides for access, by the appointees of the Obama administration, of all of your personal healthcare a direct violation of the specific provisions of the 4th Amendment to the Constitution, information, your personal financial information, and the information of your employer, physician, and hospital. All of this is a protecting against unreasonable searches and seizures. You can also forget about the right to privacy. That will have been legislated into oblivion regardless of what the 3rd and 4th Amendments may provide.

If you decide not to have healthcare insurance, or if you have private insurance that is not deemed acceptable to the Health Choices Administrator appointed by Obama, there will be a tax imposed on you. It is called a tax instead of a fine because of the intent to avoid application of the due process clause of the 5th Amendment. However , that doesn't work because since there is nothing in the law that allows you to contest or appeal the imposition of the tax, it is definitely depriving someone of property without the due process of law.

So, there are three of those pesky amendments that the far left hate so much, out the original ten in the Bill of Rights, that are effectively nullified by this law. It doesn't stop there though.

The 9th Amendment that provides: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people;

The 10th Amendment states: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are preserved to the States respectively, or to the people. Under the provisions of this piece of Congressional handiwork neither the people nor the states are going to have any rights or powers at all in many areas that once were theirs to control.

I could write many more pages about this legislation, but I think you get the idea. This is not about health care; it is about seizing power and limiting rights. Article 6 of
the Constitution requires the members of both houses of Congress to "be bound by oath or affirmation to support the Constitution." If I was a member of Congress I would not be able to vote for this legislation or anything like it, without feeling I was violating that sacred oath or affirmation. If I voted for it anyway, I would hope the American people would hold me accountable.

For those who might doubt the nature of this threat, I suggest they consult the source, the U.S. Constitution, and Bill of Rights. There you can see exactly what we are about to have taken from us.

Michael Connelly
Retired attorney,
Constitutional Law Instructor

BruceM
BruceM

Of course, Armey has ZERO evidence that insurance will end up being purchased at "inflated rates", but he's never let facts get in the way of a good argument, so why should he start now?

firestrokerlfd24
firestrokerlfd24

They are all morons, there is no one side right and one side wrong. THEY ARE ALL WRONG. There is no representation for the people in this country any more. Its all about the politicians and what they can do for themselves. Every single one should be locked up from the top down. Obama is a crook, pure and simple. He is the most dishonest president this country has EVER seen. You people do realize he is opening Pandora's box by having legislation passed that disregards the Constitution, right? This is only the beginning. Your rights just became null and void. You can ignore it or not, say he is doing the right thing, or whatever fairy tale you believe. But he is tearing this country apart from the inside out, which is how Muslim extremist do it by the way, in case you haven't noticed. If you support him, you are just as responsible for what is to come as he is.

DavidBorsani
DavidBorsani

The Tea Retards have shut down the Government and the Retards will loose this battle as they did the Elections, Supreme Court decisions on Gay Marriage and Health Care.  Thank God the Retards are looking like Morons which is better each day for Hillary!   These same posters said Mitt would win.,  Yeah Right...

BuyGuns
BuyGuns

Seriously....all you Mentally iIl Libtards on this blog are nauseating.  It's hard to read most of these bleeding heart comments.  All of you please move to Europe or somewhere else where they think like you do.  We see where that got them.  ughhh!!  Apologies to the normal, commen sense commenters here.

irceeyore
irceeyore

Yes, let's all heed the advice of someone pushed out of his own organization for funding a bunch of candidates who all lost in the last election cycle. 

PollySauers
PollySauers

Wow....a lot of thoughts are posted.....however, it appears that everyone has forgotten who is in charge here....I mean, really???? God is in charge, it has not escaped God's attention that our government is shut down for good or for bad....I defer to write my personal thoughts on this forum regarding my thoughts on the shutdown....did you ever think that God is trying to get the nation's attention? The US of A in so many ways has strayed so far away from God that I am surprised that God doesn't say "enough already". However, God has not done that and we are all in a position to look at ourselves first, get our lives right first, pray to God, lead our children as the Bible teaches and read the Bible regarding the shutdown or any other human problem that we encounter while on this earth. Prayers of the righteous availeth much, moaning and groaning and casting educated or uneducated thoughts is a complete waste of time, in all things pray....be anxious about nothing...Philippians 4:6. Remember the story of Nineveh and how Jonah preached repent or be overthrown, the people listened, the King repented and God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it (Jonah 3). So, either listen to "man" as this world appears to be doing or pray in all things and wait on the Lord....your choice.

tricky__dick
tricky__dick

@WiseoldMan Postpone it just to give the Republicans yet more chances to try to kill it? They've tried over forty times so far. It would be a big win for the Republicans if they could continue trying to kill it right up to the next elections, to keep their base whipped up into more heights of ecstatic fury and keep the contributions coming in.

And it would be a big win for them in other ways. You think they'd thank or praise Obama and the democrats? No, they'd insult them every way possible, calling them weak, gutless leaders, saying they don't support their own plan, etc. They'd make their ads calling Obama weak and then milk their contributors even more. You'd radicalize the GOP even beyond what it is today.

Plus, what do you do with the 10 million people who would have signed up for the ACA in the next few weeks or so. Tell them to go to hell?

WiseoldMan
WiseoldMan

@Kalyan you forget we have everything here bigger better and faster, the political idiots are no exception we mastered that 20 years ago.!

glennra3
glennra3

@firestrokerlfd24 

You know what trumps a retired attorney when it comes to constitutional law? 

The U.S. Supreme Court, which has declared the Affordable Care Act constitutional.

AngelSanchez
AngelSanchez

@firestrokerlfd24 Thank you for your post, but unfortunately after you posting this people will still not even blink and jump into it feet first.  It's only when all the things you have seen in "black & white" on paper start to actually happen to those people who wanted it will then decide that it's something they don't want and it's too late at that point.   I am copying your post to reference for other things.  Thank you for your diligence. 

HazeAndDrizzle
HazeAndDrizzle

@firestrokerlfd24" The Bill will also eventually force private insurance companies out of business,and put everyone into a government run system. All decisions about personal health care will ultimately be made by federal bureaucrats, and most of them will not be health care professionals. Hospital admissions, payments to physicians, and allocations of necessary medical devices will be strictly controlled by the government."

Fraudster. Nowhere does it say that. Many wanted single payer. Just do Medicare for all. No to that. Then we asked for a crumb of a public option to balance the for profits. No to that. Then they threw in the unrealistic micro-tidbit of cooperatives. That got defunded and disposed. But odd, no Repub complaints that Obama was "changing the law".

God help your clients if you are not just a complete fabrication. And if you are, it wasn't very convincing, try harder. We expect better of junior high school student.


CanePazzo
CanePazzo

@firestrokerlfd24 Fortunately you are retired and no longer polluting the minds of aspiring law students.  The US Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of the law.

WiseoldMan
WiseoldMan

@firestrokerlfd24 AS it was once said when the all the people are enslaved by the few, mans time will be at its end. The time is coming faster than they think and it will not be graceful for many.

netsrac1977
netsrac1977

@firestrokerlfd24 so you know better then the supreme court and the best lawyers both sides could provide... yeah ... ok ... 

cda2013
cda2013

@firestrokerlfd24 Yes, and a government run system will lead to lower infant mortality rates, better health care outcomes, higher life expectancies, etc. Look at Canada, Britain and EVEN CUBA! They all have government run healthcare systems. Look at the FACTS and try to help those who don't have insurance. Help the poor.

firestrokerlfd24
firestrokerlfd24

@BruceM People, its not the insurance that is the problem, its the pieces of legislation inserted into this healthcare bill that is horrendous. Maybe you should research that.

hedgehpg
hedgehpg

@BuyGuns No, we're going to bring rational government (like they have in most of Europe) here.  Why don't YOU move to China, where there's only one party and it's slavishly devoted to the rich.  Seems to match your desires.

HazeAndDrizzle
HazeAndDrizzle

@PollySauers Geesuhs, what a pitiful weak gawd that hides his ass. You create the universe and you ought to have the decency to come out and show yourself. Come on guy, it can't be hard. Just do it. Why do you leave it to scoundrels and the feeble minded to fabricate "your will". Can't you decide on anything yourself and take credit. We found Jesus - hiding behind the couch. So come out, show yourself. Bring the bird too. We created you in our image and now let's see the handiwork.

BruceM
BruceM

@PollySauers 

For those who see God everywhere in every thing, life must be very very simple indeed.  Unless they think about that too hard.  So, they check their brains at the church door, and bathe in the sheer simplicity of it all. 

bm6760ny
bm6760ny

@PollySauers 

GOD is big in feeding the poor and cure the sick.  Why doesn't GOD or his followers do the right things?  It looks to me most of those who oppose the Obamacare are GOD's followers; what's wrong with them?

tami.sheffler
tami.sheffler

@glennra3...According to your logic, the SCOTUS got this right too.   http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4h2933.html       I know millions who would disagree.   Oh and one more thing...the SCOTUS deemed this train wreck constitutional as a tax.   The Constitution provides that The House of Representatives are the body that holds the purse.  The House says what gets spent on government programs and tax revenue bills shall come out of The House only.  Thank God they are doing their job in this case and I can only pray they continue to stand their ground against the largest tax to the American people in our history.  

tom.litton
tom.litton

@AngelSanchez @firestrokerlfd24 Why would it be too late?  If it is really that bad, then people wanting to repeal or modify it will get more votes and it will happen. 

It's only if it provides benefit to a large portion of the people (or lets face it to a small, but very rich portion of the people) that it will stay without major changes.

tami.sheffler
tami.sheffler

@HazeAndDrizzle...the only fraudster here is Dear Leader and his gang of thieves (on both sides of the isle).   You have been duped.  The ACA has, in order to prepare for what's coming, caused the medical community to flee in large numbers, caused employers to stop the offerings of health care to employees & their families,  caused the standards for screenings of prostate cancer, breast cancer (changed back because of the outrage), cervical cancer and many others to be made less frequently.   My normal cervical cancer screening went from yearly to every 3 years..what do you suppose will happen to women who get cervical cancer within 6 months of their screening?   I'll tell you, they'll be dead for waiting another 2.5 yrs. for their next screening.  Without government interference the medical community would set the recommended standard..now Dear Leader decides what the insurance companies will or will not pay for.  

tami.sheffler
tami.sheffler

@cda2013 @firestrokerlfd24 ..take your own advice and look up the facts...specifically, the facts on how infant mortality rates are gathered from country to country.  There is different criteria used so as much as you'd like to pretend that we suck in the things you listed, you are incorrect.  Until the standards by which this data is gathered are identical for each nation, you have are spreading misinformation.    

AngelSanchez
AngelSanchez

@cda2013 @firestrokerlfd24 Canada has adopted a 2nd tier healthcare....modeled after our current model.  They couldn't keep up with the COST of it in it's original form.  As you said look up the facts.

DeweySayenoff
DeweySayenoff

@firestrokerlfd24 @BruceM So, you're saying that people paying their way isn't the best thing to do?  Good to know.

Note to self: Righties are not, repeat NOT, for personal responsibility or fiscal responsibility.

The ACA is like castor oil.  If you don't know what castor oil is, look it up, and what it's used for.  (Hint: It's not for castor wheels).  No one liked castor oil.  Everyone HATED castor oil.  But taking castor oil was better than suffering with what it was that the castor oil cured.  

Do you know why few people today know what castor oil is? Becuse smart people came up with SOMETHING BETTER.  Dumb people say "It's awful stuff, we have to get rid of it."  And, frankly, those are the people in the greatest dire need of castor oil in the history of humanity.

If the GOP was smart (chortles for five minutes), they'd be heroes and improve on the castor oil turining it into something that was better than what it is now.  But they're dumb.  They're not improving it.  They're not amending it.  They're not doing anything at all on any level to address what it is this particular kind of castor oil cures.  They'd rather people DIE because they can't afford their health care.  They'd rather people watch their bills skyrocket because other people aren't paying their OWN medical care bills.  They'd rather perpetuate a grossly broken health care system just so the n**ger in the White House "doesn't win".

No one likes castor oil.  But it's better than what we have now.  And the GOP is being ret**ds by trying to keep castor oil from the American people who desperately NEED SOMETHING MORE than what they have now.  Maybe some smart people in the future will figure out a better kind of thing than the castor oil we have.  

But it sure as HELL won't be anyone from the right.

firestrokerlfd24
firestrokerlfd24

@BruceM @PollySauers Its ok Bruce, hell has room for you. Like it or not, believe it or not, that's fine. If I'm wrong, no harm. But if you are wrong, good luck

firestrokerlfd24
firestrokerlfd24

@bm6760ny @PollySauers I hope bm6760ny likes it hot! Its people like you who turn your back on God and fail to acknowledge his power and control of things, that send this country down the tube. You ask why God doesn't do the right thing? Good news, he does. Its man that falls short. God has let man live freely, so the mess we make is ours, not his. Whether we ask for his help and guidance determines the outcome. You can believe in him or not, but one day you will stand before him and give account, like it or not. Until then, you still have the choice of Heaven, or flame broiled. But you and you alone make that choice.

tricky__dick
tricky__dick

@cda2013 @firestrokerlfd24 @BruceM @PollySauers Jesus also said of the rich for them to give away all they had in order to follow him. He said to turn the other cheek when attacked. He made water into wine to get drunk people even more drunk. He gave free food to the poor, creating it from thin air. He gave away free heath care--this was free health care given away by the King of Kings, the head of the ultimate government there is. He washed the feet of prostitutes. Etc. Yes, this is the Savoir the conservatives worship--basically the inventor of liberalism which conservatives hate above all else and the one most responsible for spreading liberalism across the planet.


And when the good conservatives die after leading a good conservative life of accumulating riches and such, where do they get to go--to a heaven paved in gold where everything is provided for them. Since heaven is paved in gold, gold and money would have no meaning. So where do they go, well to the ultimate of all socialist/communist paradises, of course. Enjoy your eternity, comrade.

nowjudithWHY
nowjudithWHY

 @firestrokerlfd24firestrokerlfd24 you short sighted religious nuts, i don't understand how you can't see the patterns.  Let's see, so your logic is--if you believe in God and you end up being wrong, no harm done.  Hmm, let's see...thats right--theres this whole other world out there with other countries, people, cultures who have other doctrines FAR older than yours that say unless you worship THEIR god, you are going to burn in, etc, etc, etc...HENCE all the extremists and bombing and WARS that have ravaged on for centuries...

This is how we logical people can so easily conclude that religion is nothing more than a way for those who lack moral common sense to be GUIDED along to live in a reasonable manner.  You really think because your parents told you a story, YOURS is the one true GOD?  You think millions of people on the other side of the world who believe something else will all just reside in some imaginary hell because they didn't get to go to your church?  This is what is wrong with this country, we are all so sure that 'MERican values are the only ones that matter--pull your head out of your ass and think for once, quite being AFRAID of change and use some logic.   

cda2013
cda2013

@firestrokerlfd24 @BruceM @PollySauers The only people going to "hell" are people who judge others and are not charitable and giving. Help the poor Jesus said. Obamacare helps the poor. Again, twisting religion for ideological reasons does nothing to help the poor. Then bashing people who want to help the poor? Please show me where Jesus said to do that?

smwest95
smwest95

@firestrokerlfd24 @smwest95 @bm6760ny @PollySauers not really an obama fan. this is about the fundamental contradiction most people who defile my christian faith by voting against everything jesus asked of us, Help the poor, help the sick, nonviolence, im a christion and therefore im for any small step towards these larger goals. By contrast the "religious", notice i did not say godly, party on the right says screw the poor, screw the sick, and live by the mantra "might makes right". do you really believe jesus would be a republican just because they are pro-life? well, not entirely pro-life, once a person is born they say kill em all! the bible is very clear on this