To the GOP leadership in both the House and Senate, including Speaker John Boehner, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy:
The Republican leadership – both in the House and Senate – would do well to listen to the American people rather than attempting to use “trick rules” to deceive, because it is an insult to the intelligence of We the People. You may very well soon find yourselves out of a job, which is exactly what you are all trying to keep when you shrink away from a winnable debt ceiling fight with a weakened president. The American people are on the side of the effort to defund Obamacare and are supportive of the debt ceiling fight, if only you had the courage to lead them. While you have refused, others have tried to fill the leadership void you have left.
A day after the release of a new Fox News poll showing a majority of Americans want to turn back the clock to pre-Obama healthcare, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida reiterated that he’s for defunding Obamacare in its entirety through the continuing resolution. The decision made by GOP leadership to oppose the effort to defund Obamacare is the wrong decision politically and morally, and you will pay for it with your careers.
That isn’t a threat, it is reality, based upon simple observation one can make if they just listen to the voices of the American people. While you maintain a government shutdown would hurt the Republican Party, Americans agree with Republicans like Sen. Rubio, Sen. Cruz and Sen. Lee, not you.
In an op-ed appearing in Townhall, Sen. Rubio writes that the “people of Florida who I work for didn’t send me here to keep postponing hard choices and leave our problems unsolved for future generations to deal with.” Many Republicans who rode the 2010 anti-Obamacare wave – which consequentially, gave Speaker John Boehner We the People’s gavel – have already forgotten their campaign promises. However, at least some – like Rubio, Cruz and Lee – are trying to make the best out of a pathetic way to govern.
“Early in my Senate term, I realized these short-term CR’s were a miserable way to run the federal government and decided I would not go along with this budgetary charade again. I came to the Senate to solve real problems and eliminate the biggest threats standing in the way of the 21st century being another exceptional American century,” Rubio wrote in his op-ed. But the 21st century cannot be another exceptional American century if our economy continues on the path that it currently is on, and that requires leadership. The latest jobs report brought more disappointing news for working class Americans, with the Obamacare-induced part-time plaque clearly tightening its grip on the American economy.
In Florida – where Sen. Rubio and I reside – Rubio noted that SeaWorld announced they will be cutting their part-time workers’ hours to avoid Obamacare’s tax penalties. Florida is not alone, to be sure, as the new face of poverty is much more diverse and wide-spread than the administration and the Bureau of Labor Statistics would like Americans to believe. No amount of “tech trouble” or GDP measurement gimmicks can stop most Americans from seeing the economic suffering of our fellow-citizens. Ignoring the Oxford study - which found that Obamanomics is crushing the working class – after it was released by the Associated Press, is not a jobs plan. A golden opportunity to highlight President Obama’s and the Democrats’ economic failures presented itself, and you were silent.
In the latest NBC/WSJ poll, by a 2 – 1 margin, Americans oppose raising the debt ceiling that will be reached by mid-October. Most voters agree a federal government shutdown would be bad for the economy, but a clear majority are willing to risk one until Democrats and Republicans in Congress agree on ways to cut the budget, including the effort to defund Obamacare. According to the latest Rasmussen survey, a majority of Americans – including 78% of Republicans and 57% of unaffiliateds voters – support the idea of a partial shutdown until Democrats and Republicans can agree on what spending for Obamacare can be cut.
Broad-base support, such as the support seen to defund Obamacare, is a rare political opportunity, one which you are too afraid to capitalize on. For once, there’s no gender gap, with 65% of men and even more women – 70% – both saying they are concerned about the law in the latest Fox poll. Even a majority of Democrats – 56% – said they were concerned, with 31% feeling “very concerned” about Obamacare. As with the Rasmussen survey, the Fox poll shows that an overwhelming majority of independents align with the Republican Party on this issue, with 72% of independents sharing the same view as 77% of Republicans.
Obviously, the American people are standing firmly with real conservatives, with only the GOP establishment, President Obama, and his liberal allies in Congress opposed to the effort to defund Obamacare. Considering that 78% of Republicans and 64% of unaffiliated voters favor a federal budget that cuts spending – a view shared by 34% of Democrats - the so-called leadership in the Republican Party must decide whether or not to stand with and fight for the vast majority of Americans. And now is the time to do it.
President Obama’s poll numbers are in free-fall as it relates to healthcare, the budget, the economy, etc., and it is now taking a toll on his overall approval rating. Couple this free-fall with opposition to his handling of Syria and foreign policy, and he has little political capital left to spend.
Speaker Boehner is already in trouble in his own district, mostly with Republican voters who feel he has not done enough to defund Obamacare and other highly unpopular liberal policies. Rep. Pete Sessions, who attempted to pass a “trick rule” to allow the House to pretend to defund Obamacare without actually doing so, will also have his own price to pay. The House Conservatives Project will actively recruit and support a conservative primary challenger against him next year. In a red state like Texas, representing an even deeper red district, how do you suppose that will work out for him?
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is in no better of a position, either. The latest round of polling has him losing to his Democratic challenger – Alison Lundergan - by a margin of 46% – 40%. That is most likely Lundergan’s ceiling of support, but of course, he must first make it past his primary challenge. In polling, which I am sure he can see, the minority leader’s biggest problem is a lack of support from his own party. Judging by the email sent out by Senate Conservatives Fund, McConnell’s vulnerabilities are not being ignored, and they will soon decide whether or not to throw their weight behind Matt Bevin.
I would urge GOP leadership in both the House and Senate to pledge to the American people that the Republican Party – at all levels – will support the effort to defund Obamacare. Most American want them to do so, but there is more than public opinion to consider. A Republican worthy of a leadership role should know that Obamacare is killing jobs and destroying dreams. It’s going to increase dependence on government and bankrupt our country. It will also hand off personal and confidential information – supposedly protected by the Fourth Amendment – over to an agency that has already proven unethical, unaccountable, and completely corrupt.
Either begin to support the effort to defund Obamacare and tell rank and file members “don’t fund it” – or get packing, because you will be fired in 2014.