Monday, August 12, 2013

Delay or defund

The GOP is locked in a battle of tactics. You have the conservative wing, led by Mike Lee, who believe that defunding Obamacare could be done through the CR to fund the government. There are some issues with this tactic. First the GOP needs all Republican Senators to vote to defund Obamacare. Right now there are just over a dozen who have committed to vote this way. There are several including Richard Burr who have said they will not sign onto such an effort.  So at this point it looks like we won't get all GOP senators. Then the next problem is that we would need a few democrats to vote against the President and vote to defund Obamacare. There is no democrat who will do this. So conceivably this tactic may be great, but in reality it is tough to enact. 
The next tactic is to delay. Grover Norquist and other conservative groups have sent a letter, encouraging our leaders to delay the laws implementation. Karl Rove and many other GOP leaders are advocating this delay tactic. They feel that if we delay and avoid a government shutdown that the Senate will be in GOP hands after the 2014 elections. There are some holes in this tactic as well. There is no guarantee of victory in 2014. Even if the GOP did gain a majority it would fall short of the sixty vote threshold to pass legislation. Even if the defund Obamacare  movement was successful after the 2014 elections, the President would veto it and the GOP doesn't have enough votes to override his veto. 
Conservatives are pushing the defund Obamacare option for several reasons. First they feel that this is the best opportunity to stop the law. They also are tired of past GOP promises that have never come to fruition. Much of the anger we see in this debate, and rightfully so, is from past betrayals. 
The GOP leadership wants to delay. They feel that a government shutdown will spell disaster for republicans in the 2014 elections. 
In the end it is a gamble. Either we can try and in Paul Ryan's words, "swing for the fences", or we can take the safe route. 
There is no guaranteed outcome. My personal opinion is to try to defund. We have got to try and do all we can. Playing it safe has gotten us nowhere. Romney was the safe choice. Picking the safe route here will dispirit the base and will send everyone a message that the GOP is weak. I don't mind swinging for the fences. I may strike out but at least I took my cuts and tried. I hope our GOP leadership will do the same. 

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