#1 Why the Establishment Is Wrong and the Defund Gambit Can Work by Rev 25.09.2013 17:29


September 25, 2013
Why the Establishment Is Wrong and the Defund Gambit Can Work
By Joseph Ashby

Dumbest idea I've ever heard." "Can't happen." "Picket had a better chance."

So say some of the right's sharpest and most experienced political minds of the defund ObamaCare effort. Finding Beltway critics of the defund gambit is like finding oil in the Bakken Formation (in that critics are plentiful, not that the Beltway oozes unrefined black sludge under pressure).

The defund gambit carries risk; there is no way around that. As long as Harry Reid and Barack Obama are willing to shut down the government rather than spare people from the added expense, reduced choice, and invasions of privacy that ObamaCare brings, things will get dicey. Ironically, however, it will be the Democrats themselves who serve as the catalyst for conservative success.

Here's how it can happen.

In order to score a political win in a government shutdown, Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and others must portray the situation as intolerable. That portrayal stimulates an incentive within the Beltway crowd, the media, and (to a lesser extent) the citizenry to end the shutdown.

Once the demand to open non-essential government services reaches a fever pitch, the GOP (who have no incentive to extend the shutdown) can simply say, "Great, let's hammer out a deal and reopen government." Once Obama's party comes to the table, the GOP will have won, because any negotiations will mean repealing, delaying, and/or de-funding ObamaCare -- not a 100% repeal/delay/defund, but something higher than 0%.

Certainly the Democrats will realize that negotiation will mean giving away some of their precious domestic "achievement," and thus they will resist coming to the bargaining table. But Obama, Reid, et al. will be trapped by their own rhetoric. If the shutdown is so bad, and the GOP want to end it, then the pressure to negotiate a deal becomes more and more intense.

Making matters more advantageous for Cruz, Lee, John Boehner, etc. is the long-arching media narrative that compromise is the holiest of all political rites. This standoff puts the eager-to-compromise GOP against the Democrat position of "No way. No how. Not even going to talk about it." That political ground becomes increasingly difficult to hold as time passes.

Despite the potential viability of this course of action, many on both left and right believe that a government shutdown is a guaranteed disaster for the GOP. Shutdown-phobia has been the conventional wisdom in Washington for nearly two decades. A close look at the evidence, however, reveals a not-so-shocking truth: Washington is wrong.

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