Know When To Hold’em, Know When To Fold’em

October 16, 2013 8:26 am

by Nathan · 55 comments

The Republicans in Washington are feeling a lot of pressure from TEA Party conservatives to dig in and don’t budge against the President and his Democratic allies in the Senate.  “We must defund Obamacare!” was the rallying cry from the election last year and the apparent strategy going in to 2013.  I agree, it’s a horrible piece of public policy, and I believe that there are better ways to deal with the healthcare coverage issue.  However, I believe that most folks in Washington probably considered passing legislation that defunds Obamacare the equivalent to spinning one’s tires in the mud.  You go no where fast.

We drew our line in the sand saying that we would not budge on funding Obamacare in the Continuing Resolution (seeing that we haven’t had a budget since President Obama took office).  The House and Senate leadership cooled to that idea when they saw that they were getting no where fast.  Republicans are getting the majority of the blame for the shut down…in spite of the President abusing his authority of barricading open air national parks and monuments inflicting pain upon Americans so that he can get his way.

Yes, Obamacare is unpopular, but I still believe we’re operating in a 2012 election mode.  We need to realize that we lost the 2012 election.  We only control the House.  The opportunity for defunding Obamacare died on election night 2012.  Perhaps we could have (or maybe even still try to) delayed Obamacare, but who knows now.  I believe that we should have seized the opportunity to let Democrats own Obamacare 100%, and we, the Republicans, should have said “the Democrats say that the American people want this.  The President was re-elected in 2012, so maybe Americans, regretfully, agree with them.  However, we believe it’s a horrid piece of public policy that will be an albatross around the neck of the American people for years.  We’re washing our hands of this.  It’s the Democrats’ policy 100%.  We have done what we could, but the American voters believed the tempting lies of a snake oil salesman.”  Kyle Wingfield wrote about that on Monday.

We’ve seen the news that the Obamacare enrollment system is not robust and well overpriced.  People aren’t enrolling in droves as expected as well as distortions of enrolling being perpetuated by Obama supporters.  Unfortunately, that’s been shuffled under the “bigger” news of a partial government shutdown and a seemingly bigger default problem for the country.  We have other policy issues that we can fight on:  the (lack of) budget, Fast and Furious, and just the general lack of transparency.  That same transparency that the President promised us in the beginning of his administration.

I’m sure folks will say that I want us to give up and go home.  No, what I’m saying is, we need to realize that we aren’t winning the battle and retreat, regather, refocus, and live to fight another day.  If anything, we’re hurting our prospects for elections to come.  Rasmussen released a poll yesterday saying that Americans are split on who should control Congress with the Democrats having a 46% edge over the Republican’s 45%.  We ain’t winning any popularity contests, and we certainly won’t if we’re unable to resolve a deal to prevent the country from defaulting in the next few days (even though some economists say it won’t be a big deal if we were able to resolve it within a week or so).  It’s like what Kenny Rogers said:  You got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away and know when to run. ;

Will Kremer (@WillKremer) October 16, 2013 at 8:32 am

Know When To Hold’em, Know When To Fold’em #Obamacare http://t.co/Ml0K95oxxm

xdog October 16, 2013 at 8:59 am

“we need to realize that we aren’t winning the battle”

That’s one way to put it. Another is that the gop is getting bombed out of a position that only an idiot would have occupied.

David C October 16, 2013 at 9:59 am

So basically, it’s the Republican Dien Bien Phu?

xdog October 16, 2013 at 10:09 am

Comparing blunders by the French military and gopers? I like it. One big difference is the Legionnaires didn’t lack for tough guys.

Harry October 16, 2013 at 9:02 am

We are winning the battle, and the war will be won too because Obamacare cannot stand. Keep on fighting.

Harry October 16, 2013 at 9:17 am
Ed October 16, 2013 at 10:06 am

Sometimes I want to live in your reality, Harry.

Harry October 16, 2013 at 11:02 am

Sometimes I want to live in yours.

Scott65 October 16, 2013 at 5:59 pm

…and sometimes Harry even lives in his.

SmyrnaModerate October 16, 2013 at 9:26 am

Can’t help but notice that Ted “don’t blink” Cruz hasn’t been seen in front of a TV camera since the shutdown he insisted on started. Quite the leader you have there…

Stefan October 16, 2013 at 10:10 am

Apparently the embalmer who does his make up was furloughed.

radix023 October 16, 2013 at 11:10 am

The Alinsky playbook was being run and he took himself as a personality out of the spotlight. For a politician to be that humble is refreshing (and opposite to Isakson getting on CNN yesterday to badmouth fellow Republicans (aid and comfort to the enemy))

bgsmallz October 16, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Yes…carpet bombing the other side and taking your ball and going home is the definition of true humility…What a humble man!

And that self-loathing, arogant jerk, Isakson, is just going on CNN saying how bad a job his party is doing because he secretly wants kudos for wearing a hairshirt.

I’m not sure humility means what you-thinks it means.

Mere October 16, 2013 at 9:47 am

Respectfully I have to disagree. While I think a new strategy is needed, I believe that if the GOP falls back on this issue they will lose the House next round. People aren’t just blaming Republicans, they are blaming the whole lot of them, and apparently we see it as a failure because it doesn’t fall along us or them lines. That being said, I doubt an incumbent anywhere could be reelected if somebody doesn’t start leading. The GOP needs to stand up and start advocating for something (that doesn’t have anything to do with the ACA). They need to focus on passing the individual bills that fund programs everyone can agree on and refuse to be distracted by other issues. Moving away from the now common place omnibus spending tactics offers an actual solution to overreaching government (in line with the party platform) and it “reopens” the government.

NoTeabagging October 16, 2013 at 10:02 am

Good summary. I agree all sides are being obstructionists. No one, or their team opposing the Affordable Care Act has presented any alternatives plans to the public for years. Why is that?

I know I have overstated this, but I think more people really don’t are about party politics and the idea that is has to be the party way or no way. Politicians that are trotted out in front of the cameras look like fools when they support “the party” without defining specifically what they support, oppose or would propose as an alternative.

radix023 October 16, 2013 at 11:11 am
benevolus October 16, 2013 at 12:26 pm

I think 2009 counts as “for years”.

So, NOT a false talking point.

Besides, everyone knows that plan won’t work. Been tried and failed already. I suppose that’s why Boehner won’t bring it up for a vote. It’s really just a prop so people on blogs can claim there is a plan out there.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2009/10/rep_tom_prices_empower_patient.html

John Konop October 16, 2013 at 9:56 am

 Before we all debate Obamacare and the budget, please understand this was a GOP idea that was endorsed by the Heritage foundation in 2006. The biggest difference is Romneycare do not deal with cost issue……And as I said numerous times Obamacare has not done nearly enough. But it is extremely disingenuous for the Heritage Foundation to hold up the government on a bill they supported when it was done by a republican. This has been a BS political debate, rather than us focused on real reforms via the budget.

Obamacare verse Romneycare

 ………….The major components of the state and federal law are similar, but details vary. The federal law put a greater emphasis on cost-control measures, for instance. Massachusetts is just now tackling that.

 The state law was successful on one big goal: A little more than 98 percent of state residents now have insurance.

 Claims that the law is “bankrupting” the state are greatly exaggerated. Costs rose more quickly than expected in the first few years, but are now in line with what the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation had estimated.

 Small-business owners are perhaps the least happy stakeholders. Cheaper health plans for them through the state exchange haven’t materialized, as they hoped.

Despite claims to the contrary, there’s no clear evidence that the law had an adverse effect on waiting times. In fact, 62 percent of physicians say it didn’t.

Public support has been high. One poll found that 68.5 percent of nonelderly adults supported the law in 2006; 67 percent still do……………..

Paul Ryan and David Axelrod agree it was a GOP idea:

………..Claim: “It’s not that dissimilar to ObamaCare.” — Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin

Claim: “It was a template. … That work inspired our own health care plan.” — former White House adviser David Axelrod

http://www.factcheck.org/2011/03/romneycare-facts-and-falsehoods/

FROM NEWT!

”Individuals who can afford to purchase health insurance and simply choose not to place an unnecessary burden on a system that is on the verge of collapse; these free-riders undermine the entire health system by placing the onus of responsibility on taxpayers.”

Read the memo.

Gingrich had some criticisms of the Massachusetts plan — including what he called the state’s over-regulation of health insurers — but overall, he loved it.
Newt: ”Massachusetts leaders are to be commended for this bipartisan proposal to tackle the enormous challenge of finding real solutions for creating a sustainable health system.”
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/12/gingrich-06-memo-agree-entirely-with-gov-romney-on-health-care/

From Heritage:

…………The Heritage Foundation’s own website still carries a January 2006 defense of Romney’s plan and the mandate by a Heritage Foundation Center for Health Policy Studies fellow. He begins, “In reality, those who want to create a consumer-based health system and deregulate health insurance should view Romney’s plan as one of the most promising strategies out there. I know, because I’ve been part of the Heritage Foundation team advising the governor and his staff on the design…”

In another still-available post from 2006, a Heritage senior policy analyst argues, “While many oppose a mandate to buy insurance—even basic catastrophic insurance to protect the community from individuals not paying their bills—on philosophical grounds, they should still have a firm factual understanding of the Massachusetts mandate, which may be less problematic than they realize.”

In yet another: “As for the employer fee mandate… [its] real-world impact will be negligible… Rather than focus on the bill’s politically galvanizing ‘mandates,’ policymakers and pundits should step back and look at the big picture of this landmark reform.”…….

http://www.theawl.com/2011/11/mitt-v-newt-tonights-debate-could-be-the-heritage-foundations-nightmare

D_in_ATL October 16, 2013 at 10:13 am

Well said, however , I just don’t believe you can use facts, reason and sensible compromise with the old, angry and white contingent. In a couple of years they will get to do this all over again with Hillary.

radix023 October 16, 2013 at 11:12 am

Show me where I voted for the Heritage foundation. This is guilt by association.

John Konop October 16, 2013 at 11:23 am

This has been widely reported, it is no secrete. You may not have voted for them, but Heritage negatively scoring the vote killed the deal. Just the facts….

FROM AJC:

Johnny Isakson points to Heritage PAC as cause of House GOP collapse

….Isakson said the deal fell apart “because, quite frankly, Heritage Action came out against any compromise, and Republicans could not come together. ……..

http://www.ajc.com/weblogs/political-insider/2013/oct/16/your-daily-jolt-johnny-isakson-points-heritage-pac/

NoTeabagging October 16, 2013 at 10:08 am

Very few can get into the healthcare.gov to create a login, or get back in once they create a login.
Can’t find out any info on the plans until, you guessed it, you login.

Meanwhile the insured are getting nice letters stating their insurance is going up by 40% to %200 to keep their plan or be forced into an ACA plan by 2015. (But wait, didn’t they say we could keep our current plan?) Those that can keep their plan will suddenly find it UNaffordable in 2014 or 2015.

The party players are too busy being obstructionists to see that ACA is going to implode when people face the facts with their own insurance plans. Neither party, nor the media, has done proper service to the public by giving them the facts.

Harry October 16, 2013 at 10:48 am

The Tea Party has been telling you Obamacare is a train wreck, and will continue being the voice in opposition – whether you choose to give us credit or not.

NoTeabagging October 16, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Specifics are needed from anybody at this point. Specifics on what is wrong, and specifics on better alternatives. Get the message out, if you have one. Unfortunately, the media works on sound bites and would rather waste 10 minutes analyzing which party won or lost points on a “sound bite of the day” rather than reporting specifics on legislation or proposed legislation.

Harry October 16, 2013 at 12:28 pm

The results will be apparent.

bgsmallz October 16, 2013 at 12:54 pm

Wait..How do you see results if you don’t let the law be implemented? There can’t be a train wreck if you lie on the tracks to keep the train from leaving the station.

You know what this is? It’s Tonya Harding logic.

“I’m going to defeat that Nancy Kerrigen in the Olympics…you’ll see!”
-Gillooley-
“I told you I was going to defeat her!”

Harry October 16, 2013 at 2:33 pm

What are you talking about? The law is being implemented and you folks own it.

bgsmallz October 17, 2013 at 11:01 am

Harry-

Help me understand where “shutdown the government so that Obamacare will not take affect” and “the law is being implemented” meet?

I don’t know who ‘you folks’ is or are. I’m deeply disturbed by the ACA because it seems like a bad solution to a real problem.

Among other things, I would have loved to have spent the last week talking about how one huge issue with the ACA is that it relies on government contracting to develop the technology for the government run exchanges, which creates inefficiency, waste, and bad solutions by awarding companies that are better at navigating the complicated government contracting process rather than those that are actual better at developing the technology. The GOP would have had a foothold to make changes to government contracting process and possibly to the exchanges themselves by encouraging open competition and privatization rather than bloated government processes and waste.

But alas…we spent two weeks blow-harding about a end game that was NEVER feasible and lost countless opportunities to build planks in the platform to chip away and reform the ACA and develop a real narrative on health care.

I’m tired of the TEA Party usurping the good names and dress of our founding fathers. They don’t understand the basic, singular premise of our nation and Constitution…if our founding fathers had held out for total victory, we would have missed out on the greatest Republic in the history of Earth. The Constitution is the great compromise. Those that currently like to dress up like our founding fathers should take a hard look this Halloween at the children showing up at their door…there is a difference between being a patriot and dressing up like a patriot while acting like children.

griftdrift October 17, 2013 at 11:28 am

Amen

John Konop October 17, 2013 at 11:40 am

……….I’m tired of the TEA Party usurping the good names and dress of our founding fathers. They don’t understand the basic, singular premise of our nation and Constitution…if our founding fathers had held out for total victory, we would have missed out on the greatest Republic in the history of Earth. The Constitution is the great compromise. Those that currently like to dress up like our founding fathers should take a hard look this Halloween at the children showing up at their door…there is a difference between being a patriot and dressing up like a patriot while acting like children…….

WOW VERY WELL SAID!

seenbetrdayz October 17, 2013 at 11:53 am

Maybe ‘you have to sign up for it to find out what’s in it.’

elfiii October 16, 2013 at 10:41 am

Last year after the election on another message board I originated the term “Let it burn”. Almost a year later I now realize how wrong I was. Our Republic is shot out. Burn it down.

Every day the federal government remains shuttered is a great day for America. The tyrants in Washington are unable to do further harm to the people.

Harry October 16, 2013 at 10:50 am

Anti-Federalism is the only solution. Bottom up, not top down.

xdog October 16, 2013 at 10:59 am

“Every day the federal government remains shuttered is a great day for America.”

Patent nonsense, unless your purpose is to break democracy, then it’s wonderful. I suppose the only better outcome from your perspective would be default.

Jobs down: http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/the-exchange/washington-bickering-killed-nearly-1-million-jobs-215211102.html

Mortgage rates up, underwriting impaired: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/shutdown-having-notable-impact-mortgages-110000782.html

Harry October 16, 2013 at 11:01 am

All the kings men can’t restore this bankrupt government.

Scott65 October 16, 2013 at 6:18 pm

Keep the lie alive Harry…we cant go broke. We print money…but you just keep believing what you want, but its wrong…like this whole thread…a bunch of wrong. Ya’ll really need to step back and take a breath…this is the 3rd post in this thread and I dont even know where you people come from. I dont know I’m somewhere between amazed and disgusted

Harry October 16, 2013 at 10:51 pm

We print money…just like Juan Peron. Argentina was wealthy. They thought their exports would cover the spending. We think our exports of paper dollars will cover us. China and others have a different idea.

The only lie being kept alive is the idea that nothing changes.

radix023 October 16, 2013 at 11:13 am

I don’t want to live in a democracy, I want to live in a Republic like we agreed on.

Scott65 October 16, 2013 at 6:20 pm

Who is we? I guess as opposed to THEM…so I guess I’d much rather you explain who THEM is

elfiii October 16, 2013 at 5:43 pm

Did you read my post for content xdog? I thought I made it clear I am no longer a “Let it burn” kind of guy. I am now a “Burn it down” kind of guy.

If this is “democracy” we are living in then I need to find some more gasoline to throw on the fire.

Scott65 October 16, 2013 at 6:16 pm

I’d say your dream government is more fascist the way you talk elfiii…in fact I find it rather repulsive…along with about 80% of the rest of Americans. Of course, there is always the exit door if our government is not to your liking…property is real cheap in Somalia

Harry October 16, 2013 at 12:24 pm

One good thing about all this is, some RINOs and Democrats are going to be removed next year. There will be a load of angry voters – always a good thing. Many folks don’t get angry until it hits the wallet.

Harry October 16, 2013 at 12:32 pm
Three Jack October 16, 2013 at 12:55 pm

Gag me! Watching all the kumbayah bs on the senate floor is sickening. Instead of wasting hours heaping praise upon each other for simply delaying the inevitable yet again, go on and vote.

Ellynn October 16, 2013 at 12:59 pm
Doug Grammer October 16, 2013 at 1:25 pm

I agree that Obamacare won’t be defunded this time around. I’d still like to push for a while that the individual tax be delayed for a year. If we don’t get that (which I doubt that we will), I’d like to see the administration be forced to the plan. They shouldn’t be passing laws that aren’t good enough for them. I see a possibility of this happening. The PR war is bringing all sides down, but I’m not worried about control of the house. Traditionally, polls say that congress is doing a bad job, but people keep reelecting their congressman.

For those who say, “But it’s a GOP plan,” via Romney or the Heritage Foundation, let’s discuss. As far as Romney care goes, what’s good for a state to do doesn’t mean it is something the federal government should be doing. I agree that the issue of costs of healthcare should be discussed. However, I’m never going to sign on to the idea that people should be taxed for something they didn’t buy. Someone show me where that nugget is found in the Heritage plan.

It looks to me that in four years, either this will be up and working smoothly, or it won’t. My money is on it won’t. When that is more commonly accepted that it is now, it will be owned by the Dems, and repealing it will be more likely. There are not enough votes to overcome a veto, and that is all that will happen if it passes then Senate. Repeal won’t happen unless there is a Republican in the White House.

Lea Thrace October 16, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Interesting article on the “history” of the individual mandate and how conservative positions related to it have flowed.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2012/02/07/the-tortuous-conservative-history-of-the-individual-mandate/

Harry October 16, 2013 at 2:36 pm

The reality is that third world countries have crappy socialized for you, special care for them health plans.

benevolus October 17, 2013 at 11:39 am

“polls say that congress is doing a bad job, but people keep reelecting their congressman.”
Yup. Related to term limits. Ted Cruz will probably get re-elected by his district, but they will want term limits thinking that OTHER districts may end up more like their own.

“people should be taxed for something they didn’t buy”.
What happened was that we GAVE everyone access to emergency health CARE in 1986. We’re just now getting around to asking us to pay for that “gift”. If you want to not pay for this, you will need to try to repeal EMTALA. Someone named Reagan signed us up for that.

“either this will be up and working smoothly, or it won’t”.
I don’t things are that simple very often. And in our world, even if they were that simple there would be armies of spinners out there trying to make us believe the opposite of the truth. So it’s much more complicated than just being obviously good or bad. Even if it’s not working well there may (and probably would be) ways to tweak it to make it better. Some will try to obscure that path for political reasons.

Matt Stout October 16, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Obama’s hometown newspaper agrees with the GOP stance on Obamacare https://www.facebook.com/reptomgraves/posts/631424206907917 according to Congressman Tom Graves FaceBook page. So, if Obamacare is that bad, why let them have it? Why give up?

If there is a default, it is your fault. For too you have said “Lets go along with this stimulus, or allow for that bailout, or raise the debt ceiling to accommodate all of our respective out of control spending and each other’s respective earmarks.” You created this mess by encouraging it with spineless jargon.

And now you want to give up on Obamacare too? Sounds like you are being consistently inconsistent with the GOP platform.

I’m thankful for the Tom Graves/Paul Broun types who always have voted the interest of their constituents as the Constitution’s framers intended originally. They are men of courage, and understand the ramifications of Obamacare on every aspect of human life in America.

Scott65 October 16, 2013 at 6:12 pm

Damn…you guys must be lacking oxygen with that bubble you live in shrinking so fast. You need to look in the mirror and take the blame…you made the GOP lose. “burn it down” really? I guess you got ammo to go with that burn, and I’m sure that there is a fascist militia somewhere that has a space for you as we speak. Oh, and that “protest” over the WWII memorial …the one TED CRUZ closed…you might want to lose the confederate flags next time if you want people to think you are better than a bunch of yahoos.
Even now…ya’ll just dont get it…you’ve become John Birch Society card carriers. I wouldn’t be proud of that either, but keep talkin yourselves into believing you are right and 80% of the rest of the country is wrong and you know best…it will be a very long time before you win much of anything on the national level at this pace…especially with the burn it down kinda rhetoric

Dave Bearse October 16, 2013 at 10:39 pm

Don’t forget adding the IRS investigating tax-exempt status and Benghazi to the GOP’s focus on Fast and Furious as issues the GOP can fight on, since immigration and the economy have been handled.

Harry October 16, 2013 at 10:53 pm

Immigration and the economy have been handled. Interesting.

Rick Day October 17, 2013 at 11:11 am

The cycle is perpetuated by money. Incumbents draw money. Incumbents spend that money on campaign strategists (the members of this community included), who are everyday people trying to feed their families. They may not agree with the positions, but they get paid to ignore their conscious because that car payment is due. I get it. I can’t fault it.

What I do fault is WHO you choose to have as a client. And way to many chose the path of ‘low hanging fruit’ and work with incumbents to keep their cushy jobs.

I am going to research and perhaps write an op ed, but the key to change is CHANGING. And you guys who dream up these fuzzy ads with white men in farm shirts and pretty white families by pretty white fences? You guys are the problem. Blacklist incumbents. Support new candidates.

Throw. The. Bums. Out!

Be the change you demand.

Harry October 17, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Throw. The. Bums. Out! Does that include John Lewis and all the multi-term Democrats?

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