may yet split the
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Hell) was reduced to “angry pleading” in Friday. Click image to enlarge.
THE NIGHTMARE for the Republican Party – what they fear most – seems to be coming true.
And with it is coming a second nightmare no one had imagined a few months ago.
Their first horror is that President Obama’s signature accomplishment in office – what they disparagingly call “Obamacare” – is off to a rousing start and looks likely to make a huge difference for millions of uninsured Americans.
The second, however, is that the continuing shutdown of the federal government – and the looming debt ceiling crisis – threaten to split their party into two warring factions.
The evidence for both scenarios is mounting by the day.
WE FIRST WROTE about the initial nightmare on Aug. 20 in GOP fears nothing more than Obamacare success (with video)
The Republicans, after losing the massive and nasty campaign that preceded the law’s enactment in 2010, have fought it tooth and nail ever since.
Now that major portions of the law have started to benefit millions of Americans – with more coming soon – there is no way they can stop it. Except by growing up!
The New York Times’ story on the GOP’s closed-door meeting on Friday. It is getting desperate. Click image to enlarge.
As is his custom, The New York Times columnist and Princeton Professor Paul Krugman was right on the money with his Friday column headlined Reform Turns Real.
“[The] confrontation did start with a real issue: Republican efforts to stop Obamacare from going into effect. It’s long been clear that the great fear of the Republican Party was not that health reform would fail, but that it would succeed.”
Indeed. That was the goal all along: to make it fail.
“[D]evelopments since Tuesday, when the exchanges on which individuals will buy health insurance opened for business, strongly suggest that their worst fears will indeed be realized: This thing is going to work.”
Krugman points out that almost all new government programs have trouble getting out of the gate, but “the nature of this week’s problems has actually been hugely encouraging for supporters of the program.
“We’re not quite there yet, but more and more, it looks as if health reform is here to stay.”
This is driving the GOP nuts.
We first reported on its insanity back on Aug. 20 in GOP losing its grip on reality: fantasy ‘policy’ proposals abound when we said: “Republicans seem unable to participate in the governing process.”
They have demonstrated that in spades since forcing the federal government to shut its doors this week.
THE DESPARATION of the Republicans was on full display elsewhere on Friday, with the speaker of the House of Representatives being forced to “plead” in an “angry” tone of voice.
In With No New Plan, Boehner Makes Angry Plea on Shutdown Jonathan Weisman and Ashley Parker reported Friday in The New York Times online:
“House Republicans emerged from a closed-door meeting on Friday with no new strategy to end the budget standoff and an angry plea to President Obama to negotiate over his health care law. (emphasis added)
“Four days into a crisis that has shuttered much of the federal government — and 13 days before the nation faces an even more serious deadline to raise the statutory borrowing limit or risk defaulting on its debts — Congress appeared no closer to a resolution,” the reporters wrote.
They then described the meeting as one of Speaker Boehner’s “fractious conference”
Millions who need it most wont get health care coverage in states run by the GOP, The New York Times reports. Click image to enlarge.
Indeed, it is fracturing. It’s a welcome development – just as is the backbone the Democrats and the president seem to have grown, suddenly.
“Senate Democrats and Mr. Obama are standing firm against any measure that links further financing of the government to a blow against the Affordable Care Act, and they are opposing Republican efforts to relieve the pressure by reopening politically sensitive or visible government functions,” the report adds.
There is, however, another sorry aspect of the story, also uncovered in The New York Times.
In its depressing but brilliant story Millions of Poor Are Left Uncovered by Health Law we discover that Republicans at the state level have deliberately sabotaged Obamacare at the expense of those least able to afford it.
Sabrina Tavernise and Robert Gebeloff report:
“A sweeping national effort to extend health coverage to millions of Americans will leave out two-thirds of the poor blacks and single mothers and more than half of the low-wage workers who do not have insurance, the very kinds of people that the program was intended to help, according to an analysis of census data by The New York Times.”
The GOP is just being spiteful.
“Because they live in states largely controlled by Republicans that have declined to participate in a vast expansion of Medicaid, the medical insurance program for the poor, they are among the eight million Americans who are impoverished, uninsured and ineligible for help,” we learn, even though “[t]he federal government will pay for the expansion through 2016 and no less than 90 percent of costs in later years.
“People shopping for insurance on the health exchanges are already discovering this bitter twist.”
Bitter it is, indeed.
It is a national tragedy that one of the two major parties is doing all it can to harm the national interest for selfish reasons.
It is impossible to figure out how the GOP plans to win the next election this way. It is alienating millions of voters because the party is held hostage by its radical right wing zealots who don’t care less about mainstream voters. They don’t have to; they are anything but not mainstream themselves.
It’s tempting to gloat – and I would forgive anyone who does – that the nightmare scenarios of the Republican Party are unfolding before their eyes, and they seem powerless to stop them.
Stay tuned as this national drama drags on into its second week – with no resolution in sight, and another crisis already unfolding.
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