The fantasy of defunding ObamaCare

What they don’t say is exactly how a government closure would lead to the defunding of Obamacare. Would the Obama administration and other Democrats suddenly agree to strip the president’s signature achievement of all funding following a shutdown? Probably not. Instead, Democrats would blame the GOP for shutting down the government, and demand that Republicans back down from their “extremist” demands. And current polling strongly suggests that most voters would side with Democrats. A Morning Consult survey released earlier this week found that voters oppose shutting down the government in order to defund Obamacare by a two to one margin. With the public (and the media) on their side, Democrats would have no reason to cave. …

Tellingly, those backing the defunding push aren’t even bothering to explain how their strategy could plausibly lead. Sen. Cruz has essentially admitted that it’s a losing plan. “If ordinary Washington rules apply, we can’t win this fight,” he told reporters yesterday, admitting that the votes to make it work don’t currently exist. “The only way that we win this fight is if the American people rise up,” he said. But given the recent polling, the strategy seems more likely to cause Americans to rise up against Republican defunders rather than the other way around. The defunding strategy isn’t really a strategy at all. It’s just a hope and a wish that political reality—of public opinion and Democratic determination to keep funding Obamacare—will suddenly disappear.