Tuesday, October 1, 2013

GOP Rep Inadvertently Demonstrates Why Obama Cannot Compromise On Obamacare Even An Inch

So the Republicans have come up with a strategy on how to avoid blame for shutting down the government. It's a two-pronged plan. The first part consists of Republicans insisting that it is in fact, the president, and not them, the party who proudly declares how much they hate government, who wants to shut down the government (a.k.a. the "I know you are but what am I?!" gambit). The second part, which has taken shape for the past week or so, is equally idiotic.

To quickly review, when this inane battle first started, the House sent a bill funding everything in the government, EXCEPT Obamacare. It was then sent over to the Senate, where Harry Reid used it to line his bird cage. After that, the House sent another bill that would allow a one year long delay in the individual mandate, thus settling for merely crippling the law as opposed to outright destroying it. Republicans have now used this little trick to prove that they're the ones being reasonable, while mean old Harry Reid and Obama are being stubborn jerks.

This is of course, an absurd proposition. At first glance it might not seem particularly offensive, but that's only because Republicans started off from a completely insane opening bid: the complete destruction of Obamacare. Anything short of that would seem, to the average viewer who doesn't follow this sort of thing closely, uncontroversial, and they may very well think the president is being pigheaded by not wanting to negotiate.

But that's not the case at all. If some random gunman kidnaps one's daughter and threatens to kill her, this does not make the parent equally "extreme" for expecting her to come out of this alive. Nor would be a reasonable "compromise" if the gunman agreed to let her live but keeps part of her arm.

So had Republicans doing just that earlier today on CNN. Ashleigh Banfield invited GOP Reps Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) to talk about the looming shutdown. Both whined about how the Democrats weren't willing to negotiate at all on Obamacare and Banfield asked why the House attached an amendment to defund Obamacare to the continuing resolution, knowing that it would cause massive problems. Her explanation included this important piece, which Blackburn said without even a hint of self awareness (Apologies, can't embed the video for some dumb reason, but it starts at 4:00):

This year, they [the Senate] did pass a budget, but then they said "Okay House, we're not going to negotiate with you unless you agree to a tax increase." We weren't gonna do that.

Yes, in a tirade about the Democrats being uncompromising, she unwittingly points out how uncompromising she and her fellow Republicans were as well.

Now you might be thinking whether any of this is relevant, in which case, yes it is. Imagine if, after President Bush enacted his tax cuts, the Democratic House, under Nancy Pelosi offered a continuing resolution bill that had an amendment that repealed all those tax cuts. Obviously, Bush and his Republicans wouldn't take such a demand seriously. So then Pelosi and the Dems send an amended bill that would raise the rates from 35% to 37% as opposed to the original 39.6% they used to be. Would Republicans accept such a "compromise"? HELL NO! It would be mocked endlessly, and be laughed out of the room. Republicans would never even entertain the idea of raising those taxes even by a penny.

And yet we're supposed to believe that it's perfectly fine if Republicans offer this bullshit "compromise" on Obamacare? Republicans would never compromise on taxes, so why should Obama and the Democrats ever compromise on health care reform? The idea that the President should willingly chip away at his signature achievement is something that no self respecting journalist should take seriously.

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