Both sides now have reason to dig in and refuse to budge. Both sides think they’re on the verge of achieving a cherished goal, if only they hang tough.
For President Obama, the Affordable Care Act is taking effect even as we speak, despite the so-called “partial” government shutdown. Health care for all has been a Democratic goal for 60 years or more. Obama has a passed bill, a signed law with his name on it. The president and Democrats believe that once Obamacare is implemented, people will decide they love it — just like Social Security and Medicare — and will refuse to give it up.
The Republicans are dead set against Obamacare, just as they were against Social Security and Medicare. But in the process of seeking to block Obamacare, conservative Republicans have achieved their long-sought goal of limited government. They’ve shut down all the “nonessential” parts of government; only “essential” functions continue, such as the military and air traffic controllers. This is exactly the kind of severely limited government the Tea Party wants. And I think it’s what most conservative Republicans want as well. Are there any nonconservative Republicans? No, I didn’t think so.
Bottom line, the way I see it, neither side is willing to give up what they’ve already won — Obamacare for the Democrats, and smaller government for the Tea Party and Republicans.
Republicans in Congress have offered a slightly revised bill that would include funding for the National Institutes of Health and for National Parks. President Obama doesn’t think Republicans are likely to negotiate in good faith, and he’s probably right about that. Nonetheless, the president’s repeated refusal to negotiate is starting to wear thin. Poor Harry Reid seemed downright befuddled today.
Red vs. Blue on the chess board, and nobody wants to make a move. Folks, this could continue for a while.
— John Hayden
- Evening newscasts place most blame for government shutdown on GOP: study (theblaze.com)
- The Republicans’ Ideological Shutdown – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)