Sunday, September 29, 2013

What's Conservative About Shutting Down The Government Or Defaulting To Repeal Obamacare?

Conservatives claim they respect the Constitution as framed by America's founders. Further, I can remember former President George W. Bush repeating "I trust the American people" as if the sentence were an incantation against all evil.

On ABC's This Week Matt Dowd, former George W. Bush political strategist, points out that contemporary politicians seem to have trust issues:
Well first I want to say after watching your interview with the Foreign Minister of Iran. It's somewhat amazing and ironic that more reasonable and enlightenment is coming out of the Middle East than is coming out of Washington D.C. these days. With everything that's happened with Syria and the chemical weapons and all that, it's like we're now in a situation where we have to look at ourselves and say, why isn't our own act in order?
One of the biggest problems that's going on I think in this country today, this government shutdown, which everybody knows is a bad idea and ultimately will be bad for the Republicans and they only hope it's only temporarily bad.
That is that way is, there's a large part of both parties that refuses to accept what actually is going on. So they don't, if they don't like the result of an election, they contest the election. If they don't like the result of a legislative something passing the Senate, passing the House, signed by the president, which is the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare, we actually have a situation, we should accept it.
I have some disagreements with it. I think there's great parts of it. I think there's great parts of it. I think there's some parts of it that could be problematic. But it is the law and we should accept it. But part of the problem is in our politics today is that we refuse to accept our institutions, our legislation and our elections
If Republicans want to repeal the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare, a law that has been upheld by the Supreme Court,  there's a simple constitutional way to do it. Win the White House in 2016.

Republicans have gerrymandered themselves a House Majority until 2022. Even if Democrats retain a Senate majority in 2016, that number will not be filibuster proof. With a Republican in the White House, any tea party Republican competent enough to get elected to either the U.S. House or Senate will be able chip away at Obamacare until it's gone.

Until then, the tea party House members need to remember that in 2012 the American people elected Barack Obama, returned the Democrats to a majority in the Senate, and gave more votes to House Democrats than House Republicans.

Of course, it's possible that all of the talk about trusting the American people and respecting original intent is just talk.


P&R said...

What's liberal about shutting down the government because you refuse to negotiate or compromise?

Just because a law is passed doesn't mean it's a good law that can never be modified or repealed. Legislators always try to change things. There is nothing sacred about obamacare just as there was nothing sacred about Reagan's tax cuts or Bush's NCLB.

Kal Lis said...

Please re-read the post. Nothing in it says that Obamacare can't be repealed. It may be best for it to be replaced. All I said is that the Republicans need to win elections to make that happen. Heck, I'll even make your point for you. Prohibition was a Constitutional Amendment that got repealed. It also make my point. It got repealed after the American public voted in enough people to repeal it.

The point about negotiating is a canard. Politicians in DC haven't negotiated since the early in the first Clinton administration. One side has either forced their positions down the other's throat or blackmailed the nation to get what it wants.

I don't claim to be liberal.I think both sides are extreme. I know the old joke about the only things in the middle of the road are dead armadillos, but it's far safer to dodge cars than deal with the rattlesnakes in the right and left ditch.

On the matter of facts, we both need to do a bit of research, but I think NCLB is still the law of the land. Duncan is granting waivers that the law allows.

P&R said...

I read the post, but it makes a faulty assumption - that there is something wrong or undermining of the Constitution when the Congress does not fund a duly passed law. But Congress has often done this. One Congress, for example, might authorize building 8 ships, but the following Congress only authorizes funding for 4 - it's happened often in this country's history. One Congress authorizes a certain immigration regimen, but a following group only funds parts of it (either restricting or expanding immigration thereby).

Nor is it unconstitutional to delay implementation - President Obama has himself done so (in violation of the law, by the way) for his chosen few. Why is it so terrible for the House to vote to ratify that delay and extend it to all citizens instead of just a few? And why will the Senate refuse to even talk about it? Why does the president threaten to veto the very thing that would render his actions legal?

The members of the House were just as much elected by the American people in 2012 as the president and the members of the Senate. There is no reason to say that only one individual (or group) of those so elected should get its way without even deigning to acknowledge the others' views as equally reflective of the people's will.

Kal Lis said...

If I am operating under a false assumption, you are operating under an equally false one. The House Republicans are a slim majority in 1/2 of one of three branches of government.

They don't get to work their will whether you or I agree with them until they control more levers of government. Further, they don’t get to claim a mandate if more people actually voted for House Democrats than House Republicans. It’s a rare event, but it happened.

What I am saying is that they as alleged adults do not get to throw a tantrum and put the country at risk. Boehner has said the shut down is a trial run for the debt ceiling fight which risks the nation's faith and credit. If they know something is a non-starter, they have other priorities they can bargain for.

We don’t have a parliament where the House and the executive are one. If Republicans want to defund the Democrats key initiative take it to the people and win larger majorities of the House in 2014 and take the Senate in 2014. If that doesn’t work, make repealing Obamacare the central issue of 2016 Presidential election and win.

P&R said...

They are trying to influence policy as their constituents desire using the means available to them. That's not a tantrum. It's politics.

No, the House and Executive aren't one, but that goes both ways, too. Why should the Executive get its way over the House? What's envisioned in the Constitution is that, in circumstances like this, the opposing sides will meet and negotiate a settlement. I've never said the House must get its way absolutely at present (although I would prefer those policies to Reid's). But compromise and negotiation require multiple parties, and as far as I can see, the House alone has indicated a willingness to do so, offering multiple proposals. The latest proposal includes a measure adopted (illegally) by Obama - a delay for 1 year - but makes it legal and applies it to everyone, and a measure Reid has also advocated - removing the medical device tax.

So, the House has offered a CR that does what Obama and Reid have both said in other contexts must be done, and in order to force a shut down, Obama and Reid are rejecting the offer, refusing to negotiate or even meet with Republicans.

Who's being childish and putting the country at risk? Seems to me the brinkmanship is just as much Reid & Obama and we have just as much reason to fault them.

M Larson said...

How is it negotiation when you dictate all the terms and say that we can't have what we want then we will hold your breath until your dead. That is what the GOP is trying to do to the country. You don't like that the majority of the country supported the basis of the law through the re-election of Obama over Romney. That is the American process.

If the GOP can get control of the House, Senate, and Presidency, then they can defund.

If the situation was reversed and the Dems had a small majority of the House while the GOP controlled the Presidency and the Senate in a non-filabuster proof level and the said either defund all military operations and sign the Kyoto Protocol or you get no budget, who would you claim is the one not negotiating. The GOP are the ones acting like children when they could focus on improving the bill and not damage the country.