In Friday's continuing resolution vote, more than half of GOP senators voted with the Democrats to continue funding Obamacare. This means that those Republicans are now co-owners of Obamacare. They knew that the GOP had one and only one chance to defund Obamacare, without a single Democrat vote. That chance was to block cloture until an agreement could be reached with Democrats, to leave the defunding language in the continuing resolution. Instead, more than half of Senate Republicans voted to continue funding Obamacare. As a result, they have become accomplices in Obamacare and now won't be able to use Obamacre as a differentiating issue over Democrat challengers, in the next election.
Sure, those big-government Republicans will make the election argument that they voted to defund Obamacare, but such arguments are easily seen as a smoke screen. They knew going in that there were two possible votes on defunding. But they also knew that the GOP could stop Obamacare funding without a single Democrat vote on only one of those roll-calls. They knew that if only 41 Republicans voted against cloture, they could stop Obamacare cold. This is a fact. They also knew that if cloture passed, then Reid would remove the Obamacare defunding wording from the continuing resolution and that Republicans would not have the 51 votes necessary to block passage of the modified continuing resolution, without Democrat help.
So what did they do? They voted for cloture. This result of cloture was never in doubt. The Obamacare defunding language would be removed. Then, once defunding was removed from the continuing resolution, those big-government Republicans hoped that they could safely make a show vote against the modified resolution, knowing that without Democrat support, their pretend vote to defund Obamacare would fail and implementation of Obamacare would continue. Those big-government senators knew that this was the only possible outcome of voting for cloture and the voters know that they knew it.
So how does this affect elections? Well, consider that in most elections, including Senate races, the deciding votes come from independents and other un-decided voters. Then further consider that polls show that independent voters now overwhelmingly oppose Obamacare and that they strongly tend to rate abolishing it as one of the most important issues. But if there is no real difference between the Republican incumbent and his Democrat challenger on this pivotal issue, Obamacare actually works against the Republican.
To begin with, those big-government Republicans can no longer use Obamacare to pound their Democrat challengers. They've effectively taken one of their strongest election issues completely out of play. But it gets worse. Their challengers and the legacy media will emphasize the fact that there is no real difference between the candidates on Obamacare. This will then leave the challenger free to ignore what should have been his Achilles heel and focus on issues where the Republican is perceived to be weak.
But even that isn't the worst of it. Consider the fact that there will be some Republican voters who won't vote in any election where their only choice is to vote for a Democrat or what they call a "Republican In Name Only" (RINO) or "Democrat Lite." Granted, refusing to vote because the candidate closest to your views is not perfect, is an absurd concept. But the 2012 presidential election proved that there are more than enough such obstinate Republican voters to swing an election. They sat out the most important presidential race in modern times, rather than vote for a Mormon. Like it or not, such Republican voters do exist. There aren't many of them. But they exist in numbers large enough to swing a close election and they will sit out an election rather than vote for a candidate who supports Obamacare.
The end result is that it will be much harder for those GOP senators, who voted to continue funding Obamacare, in the cloture vote, to hold on to their seats; especially those who face re-election in 2014.
In fact, there are a number of TEA Party groups around the nation, who are even now, talking about starting recall efforts against those senators. It should also be noted that any time any elected official faces a recall, even if he survives, he is politically weakened in his next election. But more importantly, a recall forces an incumbent to use campaign funds that would have been used in the next regular election. This means that he has less of a war chest to use in his next regular election.
The GOP leadership has shot the Republican Party in the foot and revealed that the GOP leadership, just like the whole of the Democrat party, has never seen a government program that they didn't like.
There is, however, a light at the end of the tunnel.
There is one other chance coming soon, to end Obamacare. It was just announced on Friday that the FairTax - the only substantive tax reform bill in Congress - will soon be brought to a vote in the Ways and Means Committee. If it's passed out of Ways and Means, then the full House, where it already has more co-sponsors than any tax reform bill in history, will vote on it and possibly send it on to the Senate. The reason why this is important, is because, among other things, the FairTax eliminates the enforcement arm of Obamacare. That enforcement arm is the IRS. You see, one of the key features of the FairTax is that it abolishes the IRS… completely. Of course, without enforcement, Obamacare will collapse of its own weight. So even if the big-government types, who make up the GOP leadership, manage to continue funding Obamacare, concerned Americans of both parties still have another chance to end Obamacare, in the form of the FairTax.
In fact, after the embarrassing showing from big-government GOP senators on Friday, the FairTax may be the only thing that might save their chances for re-election. That's because it would take Obamacare off the table as an election issue, without drawing attention to the fact that they once supported it.
Of course, there is also likely to be another round of votes on the continuing resolution, where we maybe able to turn some of these renegade GOP senators around. Word out of the House is that they will not accept any continuing resolution that does not contain a delay of Obamacare. So we still have a chance.
Below is a list of the names, states, Twitter handles, and phone numbers of the big-government Republican senators who chose to continue funding Obamacare, rather than listen to their constituents. Call them now and tell them that the voters are fed up with their duplicity and their pretend votes that are specifically calculated to do nothing. Make DC listen. Tell them to "Stand with Cruz" and do everything within their power to block any continuing resolution that contains even one penny that can be used for Obamacare.
Here are the the names of the GOP senators who voted to continue funding Obamacare.
State - Name - Twitter handle - DC phone number
AK - Lisa Murkowski - @lisamurkowski - (202) 224-6665
AR - John Boozman - @JohnBoozman - (202) 224-4843
AZ - John McCain - @SenJohnMcCain - (202) 224-2235
GA - Saxby Chambliss - @SaxbyChambliss - (202) 224-3521
GA - Johnny Isakson - @SenatorIsakson - (202) 224-3643
IL - Mark Kirk - @SenatorKirk - (202) 224-2854
IN - Dan Coats - @SenDanCoats - (202) 224-5623
KY - Mitch McConnell - @McConnellPress - (202) 224-2541
ME - Susan Collins - @SenatorCollins - (202) 224-2523
MO - Roy Blunt - @RoyBlunt Chief: - (202) 224-5721
MS - Roger Wicker - @SenatorWicker - (202) 224-6253
MS - Thad Cochran - @SenThadCochran - (202) 224-5054
NC - Richard Burr - @SenatorBurr - (202) 224-3154
ND - John Hoeven - @SenJohnHoeven - (202) 224-2551
NE - Mike Johanns - @Mike_Johanns - (202) 224-4224
NH - Kelly Ayotte - @KellyAyotte - (202) 224-3324
NJ - Jeffrey S. Chiesa - @ChiseaNews - (202) 224-3224
OK - Tom Coburn - @TomCoburn - (202) 224-5754
SC - Lindsey Graham - @LindseyGrahamSC - (202) 224-5972
SD - John Thune - @SenJohnThune - (202) 224-2321
TN - Lamar Alexander - @SenAlexander - (202) 224-4944
TN - Bob Corker - @SenBobCorker - (202) 224-3344
TX - John Cornyn - @JohnCornyn - (202) 224-2934
WI - Ron Johnson - @SenRonJohnson - (202) 224-5323
WY - John Barrasso - @SenJohnBarrasso - (202) 224-6441