By Ron Crumpton
Candidate Alabama Senate District 11
This morning doors remained shut, offices remained closed and more than 800,000 federal workers have been laid off because members of Congress would rather pitch a fit like a child at Wal-Mart than address the issues facing this country.
It doesn’t seem to matter to the Republican Caucus that the Affordable Care Act has passed both houses of the Congress, that it has been found to be constitutional by the Supreme Court, that Mitt Romney ran on repealing the Affordable Care Act and was soundly beaten by Obama in 2012 or that they just do not have the votes to repeal the law they are still determined to waste taxpayer dollars and congressional resources on pursuing a fool’s errand.
The Republican led house has voted more than forty times, unsuccessfully, to repeal the Affordable Care Act at a cost of more than $54 million to the American tax-payer.
That was bad enough, but now they have allowed their spurious obsession with the Affordable Care Act to put our nation’s economy at risk, put the lives of hundreds of thousands on hiatus and scare the hell out of the American public in a fight that they just cannot win.
Quite simply, House Speaker John Boehner, (R) Ohio, allowed extremists in his own party to bully him into going “all in” with nothing and no card that can save him, his only hope is that President Obama will fold. The problem is that the president holds all of the cards and he knows it.
Forget for a moment that the Republican Caucus does not have the votes in the Senate to advance a resolution defunding or delaying the Affordable Care Act. Boehner does not have the votes in his own house to override a presidential veto that is certain to come with any of the legislation put forth by the house that attempts to defund or delay the law. All he has is the threat of public opinion and the hope that the president will bow to that.
Obama, on the other hand, is a second term president who cannot run for office again, he has a steadfast Senate opposing the Republican led House and he has a presidential veto in his pocket. He has the “The Nuts ” and as long as he does not fold, he cannot lose.
What possible reason would he have to fold? His signature legislative accomplishment, which he knows will help millions, is on the line.
Let us look at it from another point of view. Let us imagine that Mitt Romney is in his second term as president, Boehner controls the House and Harry Reid controls the Senate. Now, let us imagine that during the budget process, Harry Reid passed amendments to the budget that banned the sale of assault weapons and handguns.
Would anyone expect Boehner to pass the bill through the house or expect Romney to sign it? Of course not. Why would they?
I myself am a student of politics, and I can see the advantages for Boehner and certain members of the Republican Party and why they would want to make an issue of this and play the hand right out to the end, but last night when the Senate stripped the continuing resolution (CR) of amendments delaying or defunding the Affordable Care Act, they ran out of cards, yet they are still trying to play the hand.
This leads us to some very important questions. Did Boehner, Ted Cruz and other Republicans want to see the government shut down? Was it their intention all along? Did they intend to put the economy at risk? Did they intend for 800,000 Americans to lose pay? Did they do all of this to make an ideological point that they could not win?
I think we should expect more from our elected leaders. It is one thing to oppose the Affordable Care Act, but when you are willing to hold the American economy hostage to get your way, you are putting yourself above the best interest of the American people and that violates your oath of office, betrays those who elected you and defeats the purpose for which you were elected.
Either way, the GOP has over played its hand… but we get to take the loss.