Republicans fanned out to appear on all the morning news shows Sunday to discuss the shut down. They wanted to get out the taking points that only make sense to them. The American people found no comfort that the Boehner-Cruz government shutdown will end soon. Worse yet, Speaker Boehner said Sunday the country was on a “glide path to a default.”
Speaker John Boehner appeared on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos. He was asked repeatedly in several different ways what the Republican end-game is. Each time Boehner repeated that this was about “saving the American people from the evils of Obamacare.” When asked “when does this end, Boehner said “when President Obama “picks up the phone and calls me.”
Stephanopoulos said that it seems like there are enough Republican votes in the House along with Democrats to pass a bill to end the shutdown if he would just bring it up for a vote. Boehner relied “There are not enough votes in the House to pass a clean CR.”
The White House immediately challenged Boehner to put it up for a vote to determine if the votes are there or not. If the votes aren't there, what does Boehner have to lose?
Boehner said the word “conversation” 21 times in his short interview. What else can he say since this shutdown is really about nothing? Pundits have dubbed it the: “Seinfeld Shutdown” because it is all about nothing. Boehner did not explain why if he is so eager to talk to Barack Obama, he doesn't just call him. Maybe his cell plan only allows incoming calls.
Poll shows Republican could lose the House
As we enter week two of the shutdown over nothing, Republicans are getting very uncomfortable about what they have done. A poll was just released showing that out of the 24 Republican House members in somewhat competitive seats, voters said they would vote for a Democrat in 17. When the pollster brought up the government shutdown, 21 Republicans would lose the hypothetical race.
Tea Party Republican Rep. Justin Amash learned that Republican businessmen in his safe Michigan district are actively recruiting a Republican moderate to run against him in a primary next year. They want are tired of tea party governance, as exemplified by the budget fight that led to the shutdown and threatens a first-ever U.S. credit default.
Similar efforts are underway in at least three other districts — one in the Detroit suburbs and the others in North Carolina and Tennessee — where business leaders are backing primary campaigns against Republican congressmen who have alienated party leaders. Apparently moderates can play the primary game as well.
Former Republican Senator and Budget Committee Chairman Judd Gregg called the Congressional Republican tactics a “shout-and-disrupt approach.” He said there will be no “resulting action that has a constructive impact on governance, or limits the growth of government, or slows ObamaCare.” He said the party is adrift and floundering and it better get it together if it wants to be something other than “a gathering place for gadflies, PAC funders and base-narrowers.”
Sadly, Gregg’s warnings are too late. The Republican Party is already at best a gathering place for intolerant gadflies and right-wing PAC fundraisers.
Congressman Peter King, Republican Congressman from New York said Republicans are on a “kamikaze mission” seconding the Wall Street Journal. Fox News commentator Juan Williams said that Boehner is a SINO—Speaker in name only. Williams said “never before in American history has the Speaker lost control of his caucus to people who are not elected members of the House,” referring to Senator Ted Cruz who is calling the shots for the GOP on this shut down and the inevitable default coming in two weeks.
This would be entertaining if so many people were not getting hurt. The irony is that a dispute over a Continuing Resolution is historically and logically about the budget. This one is about everything but the budget. Boehner and Republicans say they are concerned about our huge debt. They passed a bill to pay the federal workers and government contractors for staying home during the shutdown over nothing. This runs the debt up by $50 million dollars a day with no benefit to taxpayers at all.
Boehner says we are gliding toward a default. Unless moderate Republicans either grow or borrow a set, he will be correct.