Today is Tuesday, October 8, 2013. I waited until the President gave his press conference on the shutdown and Boehner’s reaction to it before I wrote my thoughts for the day. I was disappointed in John Boehner’s response. He gave exactly the same Republican talking points that he rolled out over the weekend: 1) The House proposed 4 Bills to fund the government that included ‘fairness for the American people’ when it comes to the ACA, all of which were rejected by the Senate. 2) The Senate refused to negotiate. 3) President Obama never got involved other than to support the Senate decisions. 4) The President has refused to negotiate and come to him to have the ‘conversation’ about the problem. As President, he should be talking to all the congressional leaders to help jump start the process. In addition, this time he added his view that the President wants the Republicans to ‘surrender unconditionally’ before he will sit down to have the ‘conversation’ Boehner keeps wanting.
What Boehner didn’t say, and hasn’t yet said in public, is that the ‘refusal to negotiate’ is only about the defunding of the ACA. Every Republican proposal has included defunding the ACA, which was passed by Congress, signed by the President, approved by the Supreme Court, survived 42 tea party efforts to stop it, and began on October 1st this last week. It is absolutely true that any House budget proposal that didn’t defund the ACA would be passed immediately. Boehner is saying without putting it into words that the government will stay shut down and the debt ceiling will not be raised unless the Republicans are allowed to defund the ACA, which will not happen. He is trying to say it’s Obama’s fault that the government shut down and that the debt ceiling will not be raised, forcing the U.S. to default on its debt. I just don’t see it that way. I see clearly that it’s Boehner’s fault. He could put a bill on the table without defunding the ACA–a ‘clean resolution’–and we would have the budget we need and there would be negotiations on the debt ceiling. He refuses to do that, because he won’t stand up to the tea party radicals who want the ACA to disappear. This Republican strategy is Ted Cruz’s idea and it’s cynical, destructive, and infantile.
These tea party people could care less about the national and international economic impact should the debt ceiling not be raised. They apparently don’t care at all about the government shut down or anything else, but defunding Obamacare. In my opinion, the government needs to be up and running yesterday and we dare not default on our debt. They are willing to risk serious long-lasting social, political and economic repercussions, because they hate the ACA. It’s madness.