Now that the House GOP leadership has listened to its far-right Tea Party wing and shut down the government in a failed attempt to block the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, Republicans in Congress are trying to present themselves as American heroes.
They are patting themselves on the back for attempting to stop a law that they claim most voters oppose…despite the fact that voters re-elected President Obama just last November and overwhelmingly oppose the Tea Party shutdown.
We attempted to wade into the Tea Party’s alternate universe to condense Right’s six favorite talking points about the shutdown.
Obama’s Re-Election Had Nothing To Do With Obamacare
Only in the delusional reality of conservative activists was Obamacare not an issue in the last election. Mitt Romney campaigned for a full repeal of the health care law with the message, “Day one. Job one. Repeal Obamacare.” But not according to Heritage Foundation head and Romney backer Jim DeMint, who said that Romney and other Republicans lost because they weren’t conservative enough and “because of Romney and Romneycare, we did not litigate the Obamacare issue.” Sen. Rand Paul maintained that there hasn’t been a “big debate on Obamacare” since 2010, while Fox News anchor Steve Doocy defended repeal efforts by making the dumbfounding claim that “the November election last time was not about Obamacare.”
Obamacare Isn’t A Law!
Congressional Republicans have tried to avoid admitting that Obamacare is even a law, with several GOP lawmakers in the Senate and theHouse — including Speaker Boehner — referring to the Affordable Care Act — signed into law in 2010 — as only a “bill.” The right-wing group FreedomWorks said that it is encouraging Republicans to label the law as a “bill” in order to undermine it by “emphasiz[ing] that the law remains quasi illegitimate, because it has never accepted by one of the two major parties.” It should go without saying that just because one party doesn’t like a law, doesn’t mean that it is not a law.
Obamacare Wrong Because People Will Like It
The GOP is insistent that Congress must repeal Obamacare before people begin enjoying its benefits. Sen. Ted Cruz warned that “it is likely Obamacare will become a permanent feature of our economy” once people become “addicted to the subsidies, addicted to the sugar.” Rep. Michele Bachmann similarly asserted that “it will be virtually impossible for us to pull these benefits back from the people” after “they enroll millions of more” people into health insurance plans and get them “addicted to the crack cocaine of dependency.”
Democrats Need To Compromise On Derailing Obamacare
Republicans and several media outlets have tried to create a false equivalency between GOP hostage-taking and Democratic officials who simply want to keep the government running. Cruz said his anti-Obamacare strategy represents “the essence of a compromise” and asked, “what have the Democrats compromised on? Nothing. Zero.” Rep. Dana Rohrabacher also slammed Democrats for having “refused to even consider the compromise that [Republicans] have offered.” Of course, these notions of “compromise” are based on the absurd premise that simply funding the government is itself a concession on the part of Republicans, and Democrats now should return the favor by agreeing to their objective of undermining the health care reform law.
Obamacare Opponents Emulating Civil Rights Legends
Florida freshman Ted Yoho said that Republicans who shut down the government over the health care law are just like Civil Rights Movement activists Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr., and Polish Solidarity founder Lech Walesa: “It only takes one with passion — look at Rosa Parks, Lech Walesa, Martin Luther King,” Yoho said. “People with passion that speak up, they’ll have people follow them because they believe the same way, and smart leadership listens to that.”
House Republicans Like 9/11 Heroes
Texas Republican John Culberson tried to rally the House GOP by comparing their struggle to the passengers on United Airlines Flight 93, who fought the terrorists who hijacked their plane: “I said, you know like 9/11, ‘Let’s roll!’”