Sowell: Defunding strategy “futile and foredoomed”

posted at 12:41 pm on September 24, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

It’s no secret that Republicans and conservatives have split on the strategy to stop ObamaCare, and that the fight has gotten personal on the Right.  Instead of arguing tactics and strategy, it’s been replaced in many cases by name-calling and fingerpointing.  One of the best and most respected (until now, anyway) conservative minds in the country, Thomas Sowell, weighs in today on the split, and argues that the defunding strategy — while having its heart in the right place — has played into Barack Obama’s hands:

What could possibly rescue Barack Obama from all these political problems and create a distraction that takes all his scandals off the front page? Only one thing: the Republicans.

By making a futile and foredoomed attempt to defund ObamaCare, Congressional Republicans have created the distraction that Obama so much needs. Already media attention has shifted to the possibility of a government shutdown.

Politically, it doesn’t matter that the Republicans are not really trying to shut down the government. What matters is that this distraction solves Barack Obama’s political problems that he could not possibly have solved by himself.

If defunding were possible, Sowell writes, it would be worth the fight.  However, dramatic gestures with no possibility of success aren’t helpful in warfare or in politics:

But, for the same reason that it makes no sense to impeach either President Obama or Chief Justice Roberts, it makes no sense to attempt to defund ObamaCare. That reason is that it cannot be done. The world is full of things that ought to be done but cannot in fact be done.

The time, effort and credibility that Republicans are investing in trying to defund ObamaCare is a high risk, low yield investment.

Even if, by some miracle, the Republicans managed to get the Senate to go along with defunding ObamaCare, President Obama can simply veto the bill.

There is a United States of America today only because George Washington understood that his army was not able to fight the British troops everywhere, but had to choose carefully when and where to fight. Futile symbolic confrontations were a luxury that could not be afforded then and cannot be afforded now.

The trouble with this strategy is that it has no end game, especially now that the fight hinges on blocking a floor vote on the House resolution with the defunding language.  That puts the onus for a shutdown squarely on the Senate rather than Obama.  The effort has failed to produce the desired effect of pressuring Democrats to back down in large part because the story shifted away from ObamaCare itself and onto a government shutdown, as Sowell points out.  And even if defunding had a prayer of passing, it wouldn’t actually stop ObamaCare, since the exchanges and the subsidies get their funding from statutory rather than budgetary sources.

This really isn’t about grassroots versus the establishment.  It’s about what could work — a delay for the individual mandate that would postpone the exchanges and subsidies — versus what has no possibility of working.  In order to put political pressure on Democrats to delay the implementation, we need to shift the discussion to stories like the 500,000 children that will likely be left without coverage thanks to ObamaCare, which USA Today just noticed:

A “family glitch” in the 2010 health care law threatens to cost some families thousands of dollars in health insurance costs and leave up to 500,000 children without coverage, insurance and health care analysts say.

That’s unless Congress fixes the problem, which seems unlikely given the House’s latest move Friday to strip funding from the Affordable Care Act.

Congress defined “affordable” as 9.5% or less of an employee’s household income, mostly to make sure people did not leave their workplace plans for subsidized coverage through the exchanges. But the “error” was that it only applies to the employee — and not his or her family. So, if an employer offers a woman affordable insurance, but doesn’t provide it for her family, they cannot get subsidized help through the state health exchanges.

That can make a huge difference; the Kaiser Family Foundation said an average plan for an individual is about $5,600, but it goes up to $15,700 for families. Most employers help out with those costs, but not all.

“We saw this two-and-a-half years ago and thought, ‘Has anyone else noticed this?’” said Kosali Simon, a professor of public affairs at Indiana University who specializes in health economics. “Everyone said, ‘No, no. You must be wrong.’ But we weren’t, and that’s going to leave a lot of people out.”

Politics is the art of the possible, not the art of the empty gesture. Hopefully we’ll get back to that soon.


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Dr. Sowell is not considering the political reasons to fight on this count. We need to see who will betray us, and we are seeing the usual suspects of the surrender caucus.

Quartermaster on September 24, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Send twenty different bills or CR’s or whatever to the senate, two or three a day, none of which contain funding for JaggazzCare. Why not?

Akzed on September 24, 2013 at 12:44 PM

What difference does it make!

Deano1952 on September 24, 2013 at 12:45 PM

Whatever; pour some gasoline on this b1tch and burn it down at this point. Our side won’t do a damn thing, and if anyone steps up with a plan and tries to put it into action, to a man, the establishment and their accomplices bleat and whine and says, “OMGZ not *that*, *that* is horrible and stupid!”… and then prescribe some other action, for some other time in the future (just not now, OMGZ, not now), and in the meantime, well… we’re more f*cked by the day.

F*ck it.

Midas on September 24, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Dr. Sowell is not considering the political reasons to fight on this count. We need to see who will betray us, and we are seeing the usual suspects of the surrender caucus.

Quartermaster on September 24, 2013 at 12:44 PM

So if we knew who they were already, what was the point?

Good Lt on September 24, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Sowell: Defunding strategy “futile and foredoomed”

Translation: Just up, sit down, let obama destroy America, and enjoy your obamacare.

Pork-Chop on September 24, 2013 at 12:48 PM

Republicans like McConnell/McCain/Cornyn do everything possible to kill the Cruz plan, including sending oppo on him to reporters and lying to voters about the procedures in the senate and hoping they aren’t paying enough attention to notice and then declare that the Cruz plan is doomed to fail when they’re the ones that doomed it, great political party you got there.

clearbluesky on September 24, 2013 at 12:48 PM

Read this – it’s very enlightening.

Schadenfreude on September 24, 2013 at 12:49 PM

The possible is that every day of existence this abominable law becomes more cemented, it should be fought hard right now with everything because time is just about out. There is no art here, all that’s left is deciding how quickly national suicide will happen.

Bishop on September 24, 2013 at 12:50 PM

It’s no secret that Republicans and conservatives have split on the strategy to stop ObamaCare, and that the fight has gotten personal on the Right

Here’s how personal it is – if obama’care’ goes through, and amnesty too, then I will actively work to get Pelosi the hammer back.

Yes, my schadenfreude is literally that big.

Schadenfreude on September 24, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Translation: Just up, sit down, let obama destroy America, and enjoy your obamacare.

Pork-Chop on September 24, 2013 at 12:48 PM

And I kind of agree with him. The harder this hurts, the more unlikely idiots will be so quick to vote again.

Lanceman on September 24, 2013 at 12:50 PM

“Welp, guys, Obama won. We lost. Obamacare is law now. Might as well just throw in the towel and live with it. Elections have consequences, y’know. Maybe the GOP will win next time when Lindsey Graham is the 2016 nominee.”

Jeddite on September 24, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Dr. Sowell needs to look down. That’s plantation dirt he’s standing on.

platypus on September 24, 2013 at 12:50 PM

This article makes it clear that the GOP in the Senate should allow the House CR to be brought to the floor (no filibuster) then, when Reid introduces the amenedment to strip the defunding provision, filibuster the amendment.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/09/23/Senate-fight-Reid

Bitter Clinger on September 24, 2013 at 12:51 PM

Bitter Clinger on September 24, 2013 at 12:51 PM

h/t to bluefox for the link.

Bitter Clinger on September 24, 2013 at 12:52 PM

all that’s left is deciding how quickly national suicide will happen.

Bishop on September 24, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Dr. Kevorkian’s suicide machine has been hooked up and activated already. 2012 was proof of that. The question is how fast the drugs get into the system.

Lanceman on September 24, 2013 at 12:52 PM

Make all live under it, beg. with obama.

It is unconstitutional to have two categories of people in the US, those who have to follow the laws from which those who make them are exempt.

It’s what Cruz/Lee+ are trying to educate the stupid people about.

Schadenfreude on September 24, 2013 at 12:52 PM

I agree Quartermaster, and I also think it’s important that, when enough voters eventually decide that Obamacare must be done away with, Republicans are still seen as the party that will do so. That will be hard/impossible to do if they ‘go along to get along’ now.

Knott Buyinit on September 24, 2013 at 12:53 PM

Yes, my schadenfreude is literally that big.

Schadenfreude on September 24, 2013 at 12:50 PM

Wow. I never heard anybody call his junk that. :)

platypus on September 24, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Even the unions hate Obamacare.

If Republicans will force Senate Democrats to support Obamacare in this vote, some will bolt or they will lose their elections next year. By then, Obamacare will have reached out and touched everyone. The consequences in some instances could be fatal.

When Democrats and Establishment Republicans shriek “government shutdown,” and “the military won’t be paid,” or “law enforcement won’t be paid,” and every other item in the parade of horribles they’ll put forth, remember this: the House can keep sending bills to the Senate to fund anything they want.

Air traffic controllers? Done! Military? Done! Border Patrol? Done!

Funding the government at this point is this and only this: the Senate must stop holding America hostage and vote to fund the government, in whole or piece by piece, without Obamacare in it.

In life and as in the game of football, you can never win the victory if you choose to punt every time you touch the ball.

Schadenfreude on September 24, 2013 at 12:54 PM

platypus on September 24, 2013 at 12:54 PM

Keep the site clean.

Schadenfreude on September 24, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Sowell: Defunding strategy “futile and foredoomed”

As is the Republican Party. I am glad I changed my affiliation.

Doomberg on September 24, 2013 at 12:56 PM

CIVIL WAR……

……..Progressive Ruling Class Beltway elitists versus the Limited government Conservatives that just want to be left alone to decide what kind of freaking toilet we can buy, the shower head with more water pressure than a “pppssssssssssss”. Leave us alone you Beltway control freaks.

Melt the phones. Let’s go down fighting.

The story goes that as Benjamin Franklin emerged from Independence Hall at the close of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia on September 18, 1787, a woman asked him, “Well Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?”.

Mr. Franklin replied, “A republic, madam – if you can keep it.”

http://www.redstate.com/teresakoch/2012/05/09/a-republic-if-you-can-keep-it/

Let’s fight these REDCOATS in Congress by calling, tweeting, posting their phone numbers every where we can until we beat them.

Fight them!!!!

PappyD61 on September 24, 2013 at 12:56 PM

Keep the site clean.

Schadenfreude on September 24, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Hey, you’re the one who said it. Plus, there’s enough trolls and loony leftists around here so that it’s obvious that clean ship has sailed.

platypus on September 24, 2013 at 12:58 PM

platypus on September 24, 2013 at 12:58 PM

Schadenfreude is a very clean sentiment, perfect for the times.

Schadenfreude on September 24, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Sowell’s contention that a shutdown will distract from coverage of Obama’s scandals presupposes that there would be coverage otherwise. But from whom? The media ignores the scandals and the Republicans continue to be obsessed with being good sports and not piling on, so what coverage would there be except for the conservative blogs already covering them?

PersonFromPorlock on September 24, 2013 at 1:01 PM

The problem with the “Let it Burn” strategy is you’re forgetting a couple of points.

1. The MEDIA will blame the CONSERVATIVES no matter what happens.

2. The blame will be that “we didn’t go far enough”, and “we need more money to fund it” and “the private sector is working to defeat this president and his agenda for the American people”.

3. Unopposed tyranny is never satisfied.

4. Fight them until the door closes on the oven and you breathe your last.

fight!

PappyD61 on September 24, 2013 at 1:01 PM

People, and Sowell is a person I respect immensely on many levels, who aren’t making the connection between the way the government is resisting Common Core resisters (see the Baltimore Sun for the parent WHO WAS ARRESTED at a Board of Ed meeting for protesting Common Core) and how the government is going to react when we refuse to abide by Obamacare are being incredibly naive.

And no, I do not call Sowell naive, lightly. But he has never served in politics and so does not get that we have to fight this thing LOUDLY and LONGLY while we still can WITHOUT GETTING ARRESTED.

We the People are Sovereign in this country and we don’t want it.

By continuing to fight Obamacare, these senators are building We the People’s courage to fight against what we don’t want.

Public pressure stopped Obama from going to war in Syria.

Public pressure may FORCE Obama to back off his veto rhetoric.

Then we have a negotiating leg to stand on.

Then we go forward with other tactics such as:

1. Demanding all in government are not excempt and are put under Obamacare rules.

2. Demanding that Obama’s delays be stopped:
a. Big companies must comply on Jan 1, 2014.
b. Eligibility must be proved on Jan 1, 2014.

Right now we don’t have a negotiating leg to stand on to fight Obama’s unconstitutional legislating from the executive branch.

hrh40 on September 24, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Stupid ‘free’ people deserve NO less than utter destruction.

Schadenfreude on September 24, 2013 at 1:02 PM

I agree Quartermaster, and I also think it’s important that, when enough voters eventually decide that Obamacare must be done away with, Republicans are still seen as the party that will do so. That will be hard/impossible to do if they ‘go along to get along’ now.
Knott Buyinit on September 24, 2013 at 12:53 PM

What are you talking about? The House has voted to get rid of Obamacare 40-whatever times but you think that if they don’t do it 41 times people won’t know who’s for it? Come on, if people hate it. There’s only one party they will blame.

People keep talking about how the messaging war will go if there’s a shutdown. The messaging war has already been fought and Cruz lost. Whenever he talks about the CR, he talks about how bad Ocare is. Every time Obama talks about the CR, he talks about how bad a shutdown is. Who do you think people will blame? And yes we do need to win the next election more than we need to make a point we’ve made a hundred times already.

FranklinBluth on September 24, 2013 at 1:03 PM

politics vs policy

Obamacare debacle is good politics for GOP, bad policy for US.

If you think it is bad policy, Let’s get rid of it!

mjbrooks3 on September 24, 2013 at 1:03 PM

This really isn’t about grassroots versus the establishment. It’s about what could work — a delay for the individual mandate that would postpone the exchanges and subsidies — versus what has no possibility of working.

Yeah, Ed, let’s kick that nasty can down the road. Delay just helps this crap sandwich get off the ground better when the exchanges have more time to be built.

Bitter Clinger on September 24, 2013 at 1:03 PM

In 2010 the GOP was handed a huge win thanks to the Tea Party. The message was sent loud and clear. Get rid of Obama Care. A majority voted for this. However Rove and his ilk fought like crazy against the Tea Party. They actually fought for Chris Coons an avowed communist destroying Sharon Angle on day she won her Primary. The Tea Party gave most of state government to the GOP.

In 2012 the GOP elite back stabbed the Tea Party and tried to eliminate them. They would not even allow them into the GOP Convention to vote. There was no getting along what so ever. It was war from the start.

So never ever has the Establishment got along. Period.

This fight is winable. Welfare Reform became law. That is a fact and all the same idiots that say otherwise said the same thing then. Welfare Reform is impossible.

These Polls are complete Propaganda. They ask do you support the GOP 100%. Or do you support compromise. Come on everyone likes Compromise but that is impossible with Obama. Thus the Poll is utter nonsense as one of the choices it not even on the table.

Do you support Obama and Harry Reid shutting down Government in order to force funding of Obama Care?

That is the only valid wording.

Steveangell on September 24, 2013 at 1:04 PM

Can anyone tell me how we get a veto proof majority to rid us of ObamaCare? I`m not saying don`t try, but you have to realize it won`t happen, the numbers aren`t there.

ThePrez on September 24, 2013 at 1:07 PM

our betters are pulling out the stops aren’t they? Never expected to see Thomas Sowell as a surrender monkey but he is what he is. Keep fighting Cruz and Lee. Even it only forces Reid to hold a vote.

DanMan on September 24, 2013 at 1:07 PM

The surrender caucus is becoming as annoying in their screeching as Hillary Clinton. Here’s the bottom line. It isn’t enough to say that defunding is an impossibility, wring one’s hands, and hurl personal insults at Cruz and Lee.

Vichy Republicans really don’t want Obamacare to be instituted and they don’t think that defunding will work….. then they need to do something other than complain and block the efforts of those who are not chickens**t cowards.

Happy Nomad on September 24, 2013 at 1:09 PM

CIVIL WAR……

posting their phone numbers every where we can until we beat them.

Fight them!!!!

PappyD61 on September 24, 2013 at 12:56 PM

I think Thomas Sowell would say your “Civil War” will be a Pickett’s charge.

Much better to push a one year delay in the mandate in the debt ceiling increase battle. In the meantime flesh out your real cost reform alternative to the ACA for the 2014 campaign.

KW64 on September 24, 2013 at 1:09 PM

The only way to defund or repeal Obamacare is to elect a Republican President, House, and Senate… It is impossible to defund it with Obama and a democrat controlled Senate…

Regarding the defund movement being a distraction from Obama problems, perhaps it is but only temporary… Obama problems will never end because he is the most incompetent President ever…

mnjg on September 24, 2013 at 1:09 PM

This really isn’t about grassroots versus the establishment. It’s about what could work — a delay for the individual mandate that would postpone the exchanges and subsidies — versus what has no possibility of working.

Yeah, Ed, let’s kick that nasty can down the road. Delay just helps this crap sandwich get off the ground better when the exchanges have more time to be built.

Bitter Clinger on September 24, 2013 at 1:03 PM

I agree. We have made no progress in four long years. We will never make progress if we never fight. As Obama says he brings a Gun to a knife fight. Well we will have to bring something better than a gun. I would say forcing Obama to shut down Government is something stronger.

Fact is the people do not want Obama Care. Fact is this is a democracy so the peoples will should carry the day. Fact is this is a fight that we can either win or seriously wound Obama.

Steveangell on September 24, 2013 at 1:10 PM

When the most brilliant man in America speaks…I listen.

Doesn’t mean I fully embrace what he says, but seldom is he wrong, seldom does he make the wrong judgement.

So now I am forced to rethink my position, a wise person does not ignore Dr. Sowell…

right2bright on September 24, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Never expected to see Thomas Sowell as a surrender monkey but he is what he is.

DanMan on September 24, 2013 at 1:07 PM

I hate political correctness as much as the anyone out there… but that was, perhaps, some unfortunate wording.

RightWay79 on September 24, 2013 at 1:10 PM

This really isn’t about grassroots versus the establishment. It’s about what could work — a delay for the individual mandate that would postpone the exchanges and subsidies — versus what has no possibility of working.

Fifteenth verse, same as the first.

“This isn’t the right fight, nor the right time…”

Whether it’s the debt ceiling, Obamacare, illegal immigration, etc – doesn’t really matter what the topic is, does it? If it’s a conservative stance, ‘now’ is just never the right time to fight, and it’s never the right topic to take a stand on.

Midas on September 24, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Translation: Just up, sit down, let obama destroy America, and enjoy your obamacare.

Pork-Chop on September 24, 2013 at 12:48 PM

America is too powerful to be destroyed by a single man… FDR, LBJ, Woodrow Wilson, and James Buchanan had much more destructive policies than Obama has ever had but yet we not only survived them but we prospered beyond anyone imagination…

mnjg on September 24, 2013 at 1:13 PM

Much better to push a one year delay in the mandate in the debt ceiling increase battle. In the meantime flesh out your real cost reform alternative to the ACA for the 2014 campaign.

KW64 on September 24, 2013 at 1:09 PM

The Dems are no more interested in delay than they are in defending. No compromise at least until this is forced to committee. Force every single Dem to become rabid defenders of Obamacare- the better to kill them in the 2014 elections.

Happy Nomad on September 24, 2013 at 1:14 PM

politics vs policy

Obamacare debacle is good politics for GOP, bad policy for US.

If you think it is bad policy, Let’s get rid of it!

mjbrooks3 on September 24, 2013 at 1:03 PM

Long term politics vs short term – Cruz is a few moves ahead of Ruling Class…

mjbrooks3 on September 24, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Well, this has certainly shown some true colors of our leaders, hasn’t it. Maybe that’s the purpose… winning the base.

stenwin77 on September 24, 2013 at 1:15 PM

As is the Republican Party. I am glad I changed my affiliation.

Doomberg on September 24, 2013 at 12:56 PM

Excellent, then stay home or vote third party next time… That will show them…

mnjg on September 24, 2013 at 1:17 PM

America is too powerful to be destroyed by a single man… FDR, LBJ, Woodrow Wilson, and James Buchanan had much more destructive policies than Obama has ever had but yet we not only survived them but we prospered beyond anyone imagination…

mnjg on September 24, 2013 at 1:13 PM

Thank you for your clarity of vision and sense of perspective; the rhetoric here is sounding like a national version of Climate Change doommongers.

thebrokenrattle on September 24, 2013 at 1:17 PM

Never expected to see Thomas Sowell as a surrender monkey but he is what he is.

DanMan on September 24, 2013 at 1:07 PM

You are an idiot…try to read what he wrote, and try to comprehend before posting such a vile comment…never mind, you’re an idiot. It doesn’t matter.

right2bright on September 24, 2013 at 1:19 PM

Sowell is right, this is a waste of time and resources. Conservatives would be better off fighting comprehensive immigration betrayal, which is a fight we can actually win.

The only thing we manage to do right now is to tinge the popular opposition to 0-care with the unpopular movement towards a government shutdown.

And all of this just so we can repeat this exercise next year again, because even if we should succeed – which is very, very unlikely – and defund 0-care this time, it stays on the books.

This is utter madness.

Valkyriepundit on September 24, 2013 at 1:21 PM

(1) I would say forcing Obama to shut down Government is something stronger.

Fact is the people do not want Obama Care. (2) Fact is this is a democracy so the peoples will should carry the day. (3) Fact is this is a fight that we can either win or seriously wound Obama.

Steveangell on September 24, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Forgive me for picking some nits, but

(1) The optics of this one just don’t favor our side. As much as we want to imagine a scenario where the general public views Obama as the one forcing the shutdown, that is just simply not how it will play out. Republicans will get the blame… that is obvious if you look at things objectively.

(2) Here’s my real nit-pick… we are a Democratic Republic. The Founders were extremely wary of mob-rule democracy, so we shouldn’t pretend we are a true democracy.

(3) Back to point one… never fight a battle you can’t win. Putting on some Political Theatre and dancing around, cheering like fools while we head towards a shut down will not end well for us.

It’s not cowardice to think this Defund gambit simply won’t work, but rather a firm, sincere belief backed up by precedent

RightWay79 on September 24, 2013 at 1:22 PM

Worth a read if you’re tired of the same old republican nonsense.

clearbluesky on September 24, 2013 at 1:24 PM

Politics is the art of the possible, not the art of the empty gesture. Hopefully we’ll get back to that soon.

Normally, this is true. But when we are fighting uphill against the most lawless administration in American history which picks and chooses which laws it will enforce (or makes them up as they go along) and never is challenged on its lawlessness, what choice do he have? This is not the norm.

Bitter Clinger on September 24, 2013 at 1:25 PM

Thank you for your clarity of vision and sense of perspective; the rhetoric here is sounding like a national version of Climate Change doommongers.

thebrokenrattle on September 24, 2013 at 1:17 PM

Imagine these gloom and doom folks living during the Civil War where the nation was on the verge of ceasing to exist and 600,000 dead, or during Woodrow Wilson time who first introduced the income tax, or during the time of FDR the most destructive socialist President ever and who wanted to be President for life, or LBJ and his Medicare/Medicaid… And they think they have it bad with Obama… Obama is too stupid and incredibly incompetent when compared to FDR, LBJ, and Wilson, and for that we are lucky in a way…

It is just human nature, every generation thinks that it is having it the worst and everything will end under its watch…

mnjg on September 24, 2013 at 1:26 PM

America is too powerful to be destroyed by a single man… FDR, LBJ, Woodrow Wilson, and James Buchanan had much more destructive policies than Obama has ever had but yet we not only survived them but we prospered beyond anyone imagination…

O’bama Varsity Cheerleading Squad on September 24, 2013 at 1:13 PM

LBJ? How have Democrat cities like New Orleans or (heavens!) Detroit “prospered” as a result of Lyndon’s Great Society?

Single men have destroyed powerful countries in the past (see “Hitler”). And individual cities, as well (see “Detroit”).

F-

Del Dolemonte on September 24, 2013 at 1:27 PM

Why fight immigration reform. That will become the new futile, as soon as we’re past this.

vityas on September 24, 2013 at 1:28 PM

This article makes it clear that the GOP in the Senate should allow the House CR to be brought to the floor (no filibuster) then, when Reid introduces the amenedment to strip the defunding provision, filibuster the amendment.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/09/23/Senate-fight-Reid

Bitter Clinger on September 24, 2013 at 12:51 PM

I don’t think that’s what it says. And if it did say that, it would be wrong, because that’s not how it works.

The CR is currently being debated. To end debate requires a cloture vote (3/5 majority). After the cloture vote, the CR can be voted on.

The article is unclear whether they expect Reid to introduce his amendment during the debate or after (most people seem to suspect after), but what it says is that the GOP should not vote for cloture on whatever is presented to them. At this point, that is the CR exactly as written from the House. This is what has been said for days. That the Senate GOP should filibuster the House GOP’s CR.

That’s not going to happen. And anyone bothering to write about it is living in Fantasyland. Personally, I had enough of Fantasyland last October. I’d rather live in reality.

In reality this is Reid’s game plan:

1) Bring the House CR to the floor
2) Debate
3) Call for a cloture vote on the House CR. This vote will pass. No way you’re going to get 41 GOP Senators to vote against cloture on the House CR. The politics for that just don’t work. You have to explain too much. In politics, when you’re explaining, you’re losing.
4) Introduce amendment to CR putting funding for Obamacare back in
5) Call for vote on the amended CR. This only requires 51 votes and will pass.
6) Send the amended CR back to the House for them to deal with. I wrote yesterday on what happens then.

Chris of Rights on September 24, 2013 at 1:28 PM

If the house never votes to fund Marxist care then it never gets funded period. That’s the only truth and the only thing that matteers.

bgibbs1000 on September 24, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Well, this has certainly shown some true colors of our leaders, hasn’t it. Maybe that’s the purpose… winning the base.

stenwin77 on September 24, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Yeah, every single Republican says they oppose Obamacare and yet the “leaders” are more interested in hurling rhetorical feces at anybody that stands up and actually objects. McConnell surrendered the Senate yesterday. Boehner never liked the defunding option and only went to it when trickery where Republicans could vote for funding and defunding through a bunch of parliamentary maneuvering.

Happy Nomad on September 24, 2013 at 1:30 PM

So what would the Senate do if the House again voted on funding all of government but Obamacare and sent it back to the Senate? Call it a second vote because of the bad faith vote in the Senate or something.

Happy Nomad on September 24, 2013 at 1:33 PM

Just another “Do Nothing” elitist member of the RINO punditocracy.

redware on September 24, 2013 at 1:33 PM

It is just human nature, every generation thinks that it is having it the worst and everything will end under its watch…

mnjg on September 24, 2013 at 1:26 PM

Reminds me of the Mikado by Gilbert and Sullivan:

The idiot who praises,
with enthusiastic tone,
All centuries but this,
and every country but his own.

thebrokenrattle on September 24, 2013 at 1:34 PM

One party rule sucks! It’s long past time for a second party.

Palin/Cruz ’16, Freedom Party!

FloatingRock on September 24, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Normally, this is true. But when we are fighting uphill against the most lawless administration in American history which picks and chooses which laws it will enforce (or makes them up as they go along) and never is challenged on its lawlessness, what choice do he have? This is not the norm.

Bitter Clinger on September 24, 2013 at 1:25 PM

Is the Obama administration very lawless? Absolutely… Is it the most lawless in history? Absolutely not… Check FDR administrations or LBJ administrations..

mnjg on September 24, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Quartermaster gets it.

This is about who stands fast, now, before the campaigning starts.

The Rove strategy is to let it go through, see how big of a mess it becomes and then run the mid-terms on it.

It’s all pretense. Pretend like you’re going to fix it. Pretend like you see it’s a problem.

Screw ‘em. Let Cruz make a mess of this.

I could care less about the GOP “strategy”. Whenever they win, every policy becomes solely designed to kiss the investor’s class collective arse anyway.

budfox on September 24, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Futile symbolic confrontations were a luxury that could not be afforded then and cannot be afforded now.

Yeah, FDR was such an idiot to send Doolittle on that bombing raid on Tokyo in April 1942.

Dusty on September 24, 2013 at 1:39 PM

The worms of the land are out in piles these days. May you all shrivel up, dried, dehydrate, you spineless squishes who call courageous people such. I hope obama destroys you and yours. You are a bigger scum of the land than the Kuciniches.

Schadenfreude on September 24, 2013 at 1:40 PM

And even if defunding had a prayer of passing, it wouldn’t actually stop ObamaCare, since the exchanges and the subsidies get their funding from statutory rather than budgetary sources.

This really isn’t about grassroots versus the establishment. It’s about what could work — a delay for the individual mandate that would postpone the exchanges and subsidies — versus what has no possibility of working.

Ed,

The Cruz/Lee plan does include delay – at least according to their own released plan:

http://www.dontfundobamacare.com/q&a.pdf

They claim their plan does deal with the subsidies and the rest of it.

Are you saying their plan doesn’t do this because that’s what’s in the actual legislative language? Where exactly are you getting your information on this?

Also, I don’t see how delay is any more tenable than Cruz/Lee strategy. Unless you’re saying that the fight should be made of the debt ceiling being raised rather than the CR. Trying to delay during the CR has all the same pitfalls as the Cruz/Lee plan does – or am I missing something here?

gwelf on September 24, 2013 at 1:41 PM

If defunding were possible

In fact defunding Obamacare is entirely possible, but only if there are people willing to carry the fight. Unfortunately we have a bunch of corporate cronies and frauds in Congress, and their enablers in the pundit class, and only a few people like Ted Cruz and Mike Lee to carry the fight.

FloatingRock on September 24, 2013 at 1:41 PM

It is just human nature, every generation thinks that it is having it the worst and everything will end under its watch…

mnjg on September 24, 2013 at 1:26 PM

Unfortunately, at some point, they’re right. And before it ends, on the downhill slide, they are right, too.

So are we climbing/improving, or are we declining?

Midas on September 24, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Dr. Sowell is not considering the political reasons to fight on this count. We need to see who will betray us, and we are seeing the usual suspects of the surrender caucus.

Quartermaster on September 24, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Absolutely correct.

I might add that, the establishment GOP might have an arguement to roll over and back up to Ogabe in this case IF … IF … at some point in the past they had actually displayed some balls and FOUGHT him on something.

They never have … and now the rank and file want to see them finally stand up … and they’re crying about having to do it.

Too bad you big pack of pu$$ies – you made this bed … like Johnston, you retreated over good ground and refused to fight because it wasn’t GREAT GROUND. And now you’re in Atlanta and have no choice but to fight!

If ya don’t – it’s the end of the GOP. Any establishment guy that votes for cloture is VOTING FOR OBAMACARE – pure and simple.

HondaV65 on September 24, 2013 at 1:44 PM

Politics is the art of the possible, not the art of the empty gesture. Hopefully we’ll get back to that soon.

Really? How was Obamacare “possible” in the first place? It wasn’t — it was impossible. Obama fuc*ing made it happen. He and the Left made the impossible happen. How? Did he in this case, or any other, contemplate with statesmanlike sobriety the classic “art of the possible” of our sacred two-party system?

Hah.

This is where the train ends and we either get off and find a new way to go, or we just sit there and rot waiting for a new conductor. All the old rules of the game are dead, gone. And Hot Air, as many others on the Right, just doesn’t get it. This is a fight to the death not simply for the soul but the material existence of America.

The Left is like nothing we’ve ever faced. Fight them or die. Looking to keep your powder dry and carefully conceive of the most propitious time to work within the system for an entente cordial is a fool’s errand, and a slow death.

Fight or die. That’s the law of the jungle the Left has brought to our national existence. Whether Cruz’s idea is practicable or not, it is worth fighting for simply because of the Fight.

But we still don’t get it. I hope quaint little bygone maxims like “the art of the possible” console you in the coming darkness.

rrpjr on September 24, 2013 at 1:44 PM

You notice how nobody on the left isn’t defending the rat-eared traitor and Obamacare based on the idea that this is a wonderful plan that will deliver as promised and make lives better for all Americans? If this is such a good deal Congress and the SCOTUS should be at the head of the line for signing up. The lazy stupid bastard shoud be the very first to sign he, Mooch, and their worthless selfish brats up for Obamacare.

Happy Nomad on September 24, 2013 at 1:44 PM

O/T but Oh My!

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has no Catholic right to be granted Communion, said the leading cardinal of the highest court at the Vatican.

Mrs. Pelosi should be denied Communion until she changes her advocacy views on abortion, Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke said, according to the Western Center for Journalism.

Happy Nomad on September 24, 2013 at 1:47 PM

never mind, you’re an idiot. It doesn’t matter.

right2bright on September 24, 2013 at 1:19 PM

Nice. What is Thomas Sowell advocating here? basically do nothing and as Ed Morrissey constantly declares, wait for the next hill to fight for.

Ted Cruz is simply trying to get congress to debate Obamacare. It has never been done. It has been changed something like 19 times by executive order. They have exempted themselves from it. Forcing votes forces debate. I believe it is necessary to have dems on video defending their admittedly unworkable law a week before it gets thrown in our faces. Obviously you don’t.

Tell us what do think should happen? See if you can articulate an answer without the name calling. This ought to be good.

DanMan on September 24, 2013 at 1:48 PM

Sowell is DEAD WRONG on this one.

Let’s follow his advice:

Fine, so Republicans DON’T fight Obamacare funding. They fund it. Make cosmetic changes to the CR – or NONE.

A. Democrats get what they want and more.

B. DEMOCRATS INVENT (if necessary) A REASON TO BLAME REPUBLICANS – and the media obliges.

Smooth move, Sowell. Fool.

Czar of Defenestration on September 24, 2013 at 1:48 PM

It’s a futile symbolic confrontation to find out what happened in Benghazi.

It’s a futile symbolic confrontation to find out what the IRS has been doing.

It’s a futile symbolic confrontation to find out what the NSA is doing.

It’s a futile symbolic confrontation to be skeptical of climate change.

Dusty on September 24, 2013 at 1:48 PM

Imagine these gloom and doom folks living during the Civil War where the nation was on the verge of ceasing to exist and 600,000 dead, or during Woodrow Wilson time who first introduced the income tax, or during the time of FDR the most destructive socialist President ever and who wanted to be President for life, or LBJ and his Medicare/Medicaid… And they think they have it bad with Obama… Obama is too stupid and incredibly incompetent when compared to FDR, LBJ, and Wilson, and for that we are lucky in a way…

It is just human nature, every generation thinks that it is having it the worst and everything will end under its watch…

mnjg on September 24, 2013 at 1:26 PM

But these things never go away, can’t you see that? All those programs are still around. And this is yet another one. At what point is it too much to allow the country to continue?

WitchDoctor on September 24, 2013 at 1:48 PM

Excellent, then stay home or vote third party next time… That will show them…

mnjg on September 24, 2013 at 1:17 PM

I certainly will, since you guys don’t want my vote.

Doomberg on September 24, 2013 at 1:49 PM

The Rove strategy is to let it go through, see how big of a mess it becomes and then run the mid-terms on it.

budfox on September 24, 2013 at 1:38 PM

The Rove strategy is to join with Democrats to fund Obamacare and hurt the American people as much as possible so that they’ll run into Karl Rove’s arms to save them. They aren’t planning on running against Obamacare just in ’14 and/or ’16, but for all time. They will be running against Obamacare decades from now, never with any intention of sticking their necks out to actually stop it, because if they stop Obamacare then there will be no reason for people to vote for scumbags like Karl Rove.

FloatingRock on September 24, 2013 at 1:50 PM

It’s a futile symbolic confrontation to find out what happened in Benghazi.

It’s a futile symbolic confrontation to find out what the IRS has been doing.

It’s a futile symbolic confrontation to find out what the NSA is doing.

It’s a futile symbolic confrontation to be skeptical of climate change.

Dusty on September 24, 2013 at 1:48 PM

You missed the next line in the refrain.

BUT JUST YOU WAIT UNTIL WE HAVE THE NEXT DEBATE OVER RAISING THE DEBT CEILING…… THEN WE’LL HAVE SOME LEVERAGE TO GET THINGS DONE.

Happy Nomad on September 24, 2013 at 1:51 PM

Futile symbolic confrontations were a luxury that could not be afforded then and cannot be afforded now.
Yeah, FDR was such an idiot to send Doolittle on that bombing raid on Tokyo in April 1942.

Dusty on September 24, 2013 at 1:39 PM

After reading up about Doolittle, I don’t see the situations as at all comparable. We’ve had plenty of counter-attacks, what we need are successes…which Doolittle’s mission was most certainly not.

But thank you for teaching me something!

bobs1196 on September 24, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Smooth move, Sowell. Fool.

Czar of Defenestration on September 24, 2013 at 1:48 PM

Yes… Thomas Sowell (!) is a fool.

But only if, by Fool, you don’t mean the actual definition, but rather the popular usage here on HotAir (see also: RINO) –

“Any non-Democrat who disagrees with you on any particular policy, strategy, or tactic.”

RightWay79 on September 24, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Politics is the art of the possible, not the art of the empty gesture. Hopefully we’ll get back to that soon.

Politics is the art of the easily possible or near possible.

Cruz/Lee are correct that if the GOP stood 100% united in delaying and defunding ObamaCare and there was a lot of citizens melting the phones of congresscritters there is a chance to actually succeed. In other words the Cruz/Lee had a possibility of success but not a large one.

This is a long shot because everyone knew the GOP would largely balk at making a stand with risk and the phones haven’t melted enough.

So why should the GOP engage in what Sowell calls a high risk low yield plan?

Because the GOP has a rather appalling track record at shrinking government. Reagan flatlined government growth and before elected he was considered a radical not just by Democrats but by the GOP establishment. The GOP controlled government from 2000-2006 showed that it had no will to shrink government and in fact showed it was corrupt and wanted to grow government. Frankly, the GOP can’t be trusted. Showing some fight would go a long way in convincing voters that they actually want to change things instead of nibble at the edges.

gwelf on September 24, 2013 at 1:53 PM

Sowell is just an old intellectual operating within constructs of political coexistence that no longer apply.

rrpjr on September 24, 2013 at 1:54 PM

(1) The optics of this one just don’t favor our side. As much as we want to imagine a scenario where the general public views Obama as the one forcing the shutdown, that is just simply not how it will play out. Republicans will get the blame… that is obvious if you look at things objectively.

(2) Here’s my real nit-pick… we are a Democratic Republic. The Founders were extremely wary of mob-rule democracy, so we shouldn’t pretend we are a true democracy.

(3) Back to point one… never fight a battle you can’t win. Putting on some Political Theatre and dancing around, cheering like fools while we head towards a shut down will not end well for us.

It’s not cowardice to think this Defund gambit simply won’t work, but rather a firm, sincere belief backed up by precedent

RightWay79 on September 24, 2013 at 1:22 PM

Yawn.

And when the next thing comes along, you’ll pull the same blather blather blather, surrender surrender surrender.

Guess what? The media lies and low information voters believe the media. Therefore, surrendering means you get the blame without having taken the action.

I am sick of you cowards. When do you think the media is going to stop lying about you, when they know the mere threat of it gets you to cower and run away?

northdallasthirty on September 24, 2013 at 1:54 PM

Excellent, then stay home or vote third party next time… That will show them…

mnjg on September 24, 2013 at 1:17 PM

The Republican party will be the “third” party and it’ll be as relevent as the Libertarian party is once all the Conservatives and the base deserts it – which will be soon – and it will be even sooner if the establishment tucks tail and runs … ***AGAIN*** on this fight.

Try winning with a party led by Chris Christie, John Cornyn, and John “Crybaby” Boehner … “uninspiring” would be the understatement of the millenia. You’ll have no voters pal.

We need a new party that’s geographically centered around the South – where conservatism still rules. A party of REAL MEN – not impotent BETA MALES … men who know how to fight – from states who will stand up and say .. “Aw Hell Naw!”

HondaV65 on September 24, 2013 at 1:55 PM

Absolutely correct.

I might add that, the establishment GOP might have an arguement to roll over and back up to Ogabe in this case IF … IF … at some point in the past they had actually displayed some balls and FOUGHT him on something.

They never have … and now the rank and file want to see them finally stand up … and they’re crying about having to do it.

Too bad you big pack of pu$$ies – you made this bed … like Johnston, you retreated over good ground and refused to fight because it wasn’t GREAT GROUND. And now you’re in Atlanta and have no choice but to fight!

If ya don’t – it’s the end of the GOP. Any establishment guy that votes for cloture is VOTING FOR OBAMACARE – pure and simple.

HondaV65 on September 24, 2013 at 1:44 PM

But we didn’t vote for Obama like you did.

slickwillie2001 on September 24, 2013 at 1:55 PM

The GOP is like Joe Johnston … who retreated over good ground and refused to fight because it wasn’t PERFECT ground.

Now the stand has to be made in Atlanta – and there is no more yielding that can be done.

But it was all the “retreating” that got us to this point. The Tea Party has been begging the GOP to fight for ages …

Now they have to fight or they will lose their party.

Simple.

HondaV65 on September 24, 2013 at 1:57 PM

In order to put political pressure on Democrats to delay the implementation, we need to shift the discussion to stories like the 500,000 children that will likely be left without coverage thanks to ObamaCare, which USA Today just noticed:

You could have synchronized both, Ed. The reasons for stopping it are legion and you could have argued for both the symbolic and the substantial efforts to stop Obamacare, but for some odd reason you decided to parrot talking points of the Democrats and their state run media arm rather than fight it.

The news of the 500,000 children is not a new story, though it’s hit the MSM now, I heard tell of this last Friday on Hannity’s radio show. Did you bother to give this a separate post first thing this morning as reason to do anything and everything to stop Obamacare? No, you use it to bludgeon Cruz’ “failed and foredoomed” effort, in your HA’s third effort to bleed Cruz today alone.

Dusty on September 24, 2013 at 1:59 PM

We need a new HotAir.

Alternate take: HotAir misses Michelle Malkin in a big way.

beatcanvas on September 24, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Now they have to fight or they will lose their party.

Simple.

HondaV65 on September 24, 2013 at 1:57 PM

They can’t fight. I mean that — it’s not in their natures. You might as well try to train Zebras not to flee lions. I’m not sure how things will fall out from all this, but the GOP is deeply wounded. And there won’t be the usual demoralization which results from their grindingly monotonous cave-ins and the associated “what else could we do” excuses. This time, people have been to see a counter-poise in Cruz. The emotional consequence of defeat will now be new energy and anger.

rrpjr on September 24, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Dr Sowell is right..Folks would do well to heed his advice..:)

Dire Straits on September 24, 2013 at 2:06 PM

beatcanvas on September 24, 2013 at 2:03 PM

no kidding! I wonder what she thinks of the place now?

DanMan on September 24, 2013 at 2:07 PM

HondaV65 on September 24, 2013 at 1:55 PM

You are a god HondaV65… a god son of a god…

mnjg on September 24, 2013 at 2:08 PM

We need a new HotAir.

Alternate take: HotAir misses Michelle Malkin in a big way.

beatcanvas on September 24, 2013 at 2:03 PM

First, we need a new third party, now we need a new HotAir?

Aren’t there lots of alternative parties/blogs out there already? What will a new party/blog do that hasn’t been done before and how could we trust that it wouldn’t make the same mistakes as before?

thebrokenrattle on September 24, 2013 at 2:10 PM

I am sick of you cowards.
northdallasthirty on September 24, 2013 at 1:54 PM

I’ve been called worse… and usually, right here on HotAir by my fellow Right Wingers. It’s a bit sad… but perhaps this is just the state of modern “Conservatism”.

In any case… I just don’t understand the End Game for the Defund gambit.

We make a grand political statement? Um… yay us. What then?

I am kind of reminded of the Billy Joel song “Angry Young Man”…

And he’s proud of his scars and the battles he’s lost
And he struggles and bleeds as he hangs on his cross
And he likes to be known as the Angry Young Man…

What’s the point? We’re mad as hell and we’re not gonna take it anymore? So… we’ll stomp our feet loudly and pick our (mole)hill to die on. Way to accomplish something, Team. ;-)

RightWay79 on September 24, 2013 at 2:10 PM

Only a naif believes anymore that the GOP opposes Obamacare.

kunegetikos on September 24, 2013 at 2:10 PM

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