Well, they hate Obamacare. Yes they do. These Republicans hate it so much they cannot hate it more. They hate it so much they will stand up blabbing for 21 hours just to emphasize the point, that they really, really hate Obamacare. They hate it so much they threaten to hold hands and jump off the fiscal cliff — shut down the government of the United States, refuse to raise the debt limit, not borrow another nickel without concessions. This may throw the nation into economic ruin, but tough beans, because we hate Obamacare.
And by the way, they want President Obama to negotiate. What, exactly? Help us eviscerate your prized legislative accomplishment or we’ll intentionally throw the economy into a pit? A White House adviser said, “It’s not a negotiation if I show up at your house and say, ‘Give me everything inside or I’m going to burn it down.’ ” The House Republicans say they will play ball on the debt ceiling if the president agrees to their demands, the laundry list, including suspending Obamacare, building oil pipelines, ditching banking reforms and environmental regulations, malpractice reform, etc. The president says he will not negotiate over the credit of the United States.
The Senate Friday passed a stop-gap spending bill, Obamacare included, sent it to the House and left town. House Republicans Saturday countered with a proposal to continue funding the government if Obamacare is suspended for a year and a tax supporting it is repealed. It is a futile proposal that likely means a government shutdown at the close of the fiscal year Monday. Then we move on, to mid-October and the ultimate risk — exhaustion of federal bonding capacity, followed by disaster and default.
Democrats may not be whitewashable in this drama. The president is consistently inconsistent, the Senate leadership excessively smug with not much to back it up. But for Republicans, toying with economic disaster to stop a law already passed by Congress, upheld by the Supreme Court, that is not stoppable in any event, is treading far too close to the edge. Obamacare may not be everybody’s favorite, but it is the law. Give it up.
If there could be a sensible strategy, Republicans would act as good stewards of government, meet their responsibilities, do their duty for the republic, and then campaign against their hated law in a quest to seize the legislative majority. Succeed, and maybe they can do something. Instead, they threaten to bring on disaster for self-satisfaction and grandstanding purposes. While they show off, the government sputters until the engine cuts out. This is not a strategy. This is worthless.
This is the opinion of The Wenatchee World and its Editorial Board: Publisher Rufus Woods, Editor Cal FitzSimmons and Editorial Page Editor Tracy Warner.