Here’s the way grown-ups deal with something they don’t like:
Tea party Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) put the GOP on notice Tuesday by characterizing a vote against shutting down the government by refusing to fund the Affordable Care Act as endorsing the law outright.
“Defund it, or own it. If you fund it, you’re for it,” Lee said on the Senate floor.
Lee, joined by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), is spearheading an effort not to fund the government unless it excludes appropriations to implement Obamacare. The lawmakers are finding severe resistance within their own ranks, however.
You do know that when I used the term “grown-ups,” I was being sarcastic.
This is the equivalent of a child telling us that if he doesn’t get his way, he’ll hold his breath until he turns blue. To which most parents would respond, “Go for it. Knock yourself out.”
I’m not surprised to find Marco Rubio joining in the nutsery caucus over this. He tried immigration reform; that was going to be the deal to seal it for the run in 2016 and he was going to be the savior of the GOP and get back into the good graces of the independent voters. But now that’s blown up in his face — he won’t even support the bill he wrote — so now he’s decided to throw his lot in with the demagogues and the fit-throwers. It keeps his name in the mix, and when the primaries come up, he’ll be right in there with the base in Iowa and South Carolina, rallying the cranks.
The thing is, though, that the two things that could bridge the gap for the Republicans and help them get back the majority of voters who could swing a presidential election in their favor are immigration and healthcare. They touch all the voters regardless of party. Even if a voter isn’t Hispanic or a recently-minted new citizen, immigration has an impact on the economy by stabilizing the work force, keeping families intact, and putting an end to exploitation by disreputable employers, not to mention getting the work done that a lot of people won’t do. As for healthcare, everyone needs it, and since the law has been passed and passed muster by the Supreme Court, fighting it by trying to defund it is a cowardly way of trying to get their way. Not to mention ineffective: the law will be implemented whether they want it to or not.
So the Republicans are actively crapping on the two things that could win them elections by landslides if they got behind them. Go for it. Knock yourself out.