I have to admit that the Congressional GOP’s Obamacare defunding strategy has me a little nervous – mostly because it just might work. When the GOP does something clever, I start looking for the other three horsemen of the apocalypse.
Designing a strategy starts with understanding the ends you seek. Sure, the memo has gone out about the GOP’s “civil war” and how the GOP is “crazy,” but it seems that the party has a realistic end state in mind. It’s not to stop Obamacare today, or even next year, but in 2017 when we can actually drive a stake through the heart of this neo-socialist abomination.
Ted Cruz and his merry band of insurgents know they can’t repeal Obamacare with Obama in office. They are instead setting the foundation to repeal it by drawing attention to the bureaucratic crazy train that is coming down the tracks straight at every American – including the mouth-breathing, low information voters who make up the Democrats’ core constituency.
This defunding fight, in military parlance, is an information operation. The goal is to reinforce the existing perception among voters that Obamacare is a disaster while tricking Obama into doubling-down as its owner. They want Obama to be Creepy Uncle Sam in the minds of every American, embodying Obamacare’s intrusive, fascist failure. Unbelievably, the GOP seems to be maneuvering Obama into doing just that.
Sure, this unexpected display of competence on the part of the GOP leadership has me worried. We can only assume that having given failure so many good old college tries it decided to give success a whirl. They aren’t happy about it – only when they figured out that real Republicans wanted to fight did they decide to go along with Ted Cruz and the Testosterone Caucus.
There was plenty of grumbling among the GOP’s Meet the Press Caucus, the pompous losers who have nothing but contempt for the conservative voters who elected them. Townhall’s Hugh Hewitt was scathing in taking on Senator Bob Corker – whoever he is – after Corky trashed Ted Cruz. Senator Cruz’s sin, the reason he is detested by the GOP establishment even more than by the liberal establishment, is that he is both conservative and effective.
The House has passed a continuing resolution without a penny for Obamacare. The ball now goes over to Harry Reid for some Senate shenanigans. Obama is eagerly awaiting this fight, fortified by his slobbering minions – you get the impression that since Axelrod ditched there’s no one left there willing to tell the Lightbringer, “Uh, no.”
They think that the GOP has walked itself into a trap, and they are figuratively rubbing their hands thinking about how they can regain the initiative. They shot blanks on gun control and immigration reform has hit a wall. With 2014 coming up, and conservatives mobilizing, they need a game-changer and they think a shut-down crisis is it. They figure the mainstream media will have their back. And they think that they are supremely smart. After all, they’re liberals.
Of course, pride goeth before a fall in the polls, and there are already indications that Obama is overplaying his hand. Obama’s recent call to Speaker Boehner refusing to negotiate will turn off normal people, though may delight the semi-employables at Daily Kos and thrill both MSNBC viewers.
To pull this off, the GOP needs a little cunning – of which the establishment, at least, is in notoriously short supply. GOP leaders must get in front of every mic they can find with a unified, coherent message of reasonableness. Let’s keep it simple: “We implore the President to work with us, to compromise and help solve America’s problems together rather than refusing to speak with the people representing half our great nation.” Now, repeat that over and over and say nothing else.
Well, maybe a little something else: “Mr. President, is your pride so important that you will force this unready, untested Obamacare program onto the American people rather than talk about working together to compromise on how we can keep America’s health system the best in the world for America’s families?” Now cue those tears, Speaker Boehner – tears for the children the President will deprive of a future because he can’t admit he’s wrong.
Let’s let Obama be the one making seniors eat Alpo, not paying our soldiers, and depriving the art world of cowboy poetry slams. Yeah, eventually we’ll need to pass a bill that will keep Obamacare alive a little while longer. But we should do it reluctantly, sadly, loudly telling the American people how we tried to protect them but, darn it, Obama was going to make seniors eat Alpo, not pay our soldiers, and render America cowboy poetry slamless unless we relented – which we did, for the children.
Let Obama beam with pride between the Geritol ads on ABC, NBC and CBS as he takes full credit for refusing to let the GOP stop the Obamacare nightmare from taking effect. Let the Democrats running next year get on the record backing up their party’s leader. The footage will make great campaign ads in 2014.
Sure, this plan is kind of crazy but it just might work– if we understand the difference between our short-term and long term objectives. And if they pull it off, Ted Cruz and Company will have succeeded in manipulating Obama even more thoroughly than Vladimir Putin did, which is saying something.