FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Welcome to the Harry and Barry Shutdown Show
What a difference a sense of conviction and the presence of a Republican backbone brings to a debate in Washington. Democrats are beginning to slowly grovel back to the negotiation table, barely able to contain their show of bravado. We are now having a national discussion about Obamacare, something that would have never happened had we not chosen to fight on the budget bill.
As we enter day three of the partial government shutdown, we’ve seen that the Obama administration is forced to employ insidious tactics to ensure that people will feel the effects of the shutdown, and that their willing accomplices in the media will broadcast the pain. Senator Harry Reid and President Barack Obama are refusing to support targeted funding bills for veterans, the NIH, and national parks unless we all agree to fund every last penny of Obamacare, even as the law is universally regarded as ‘not ready for prime time.’ They are placing the priorities of their special interests ahead of the commitments to our veterans.
To make matters worse, the administration has sent out government workers to actively shut down outdoor memorials, such as the World II Memorial in Washington. The administration erected barriers to block veterans from merely walking through their own memorial. Hence, Obama is creating “essential workers” for the purpose of actively shutting down something that doesn’t need to be shutdown. We are seeing government websites going dark, even though a lapse in funding would merely engender a suspension in updating the website, not a closure.
The Harry and Barry Shutdown show is political theater at its worst, but is nothing new. They employed the same tactic early this year when the sequester cuts took effect. Much to the chagrin of the left, nobody noticed when the tree of excess government spending fell in the forest. So Obama took it upon himself to release thousands of criminal illegal aliens onto the streets in order to contrive a crisis and link it to the modest spending cuts.
Something funny occurs when we actually stand and fight. Democrats are put on defense, and they begin to make mistakes. We begin shifting the polls, public perception, and even the media cycle. This shift became apparent today when a flummoxed Harry Reid became unhinged with a CNN reporter, suggesting that he would not want to help one kid with cancer and pass an NIH funding bill. They are completely on the run. Now the narrative is all about the Democrats refusing to fund vital services for the purpose of preserving every penny of Obamacare. Even President Bill Clinton agreed to pass some small funding bills for essential services during the 1995 standoff.
We are witnessing more House Republicans waking up to another day of the shutdown with the realization that the entire narrative of Republicans losing this battle is complete bunk. Even the Republican National Committee is jumping in to this battle, something we would never have expected just a few weeks ago.
Imagine where we would be in this fight if we didn’t have the breakdown of leadership in the Senate led by Senator Mitch McConnell and Senator John Cornyn? One senator after another – from Pat Toomey and Jeff Flake to Tom Coburn and John McCain – are openly siding with Harry Reid, publicly cosigning us to defeat, or undermining our position. Senators Harry Reid and Dick Durbin are reading off the names of the dissenters on the Senate floor. Imagine if the Senate Republicans would join the House in fighting the Harry and Barry Obamacare shutdown show?
Some Republicans are finally learning that intrepid conviction, a simple message, and a noble cause will not fall victim to the doomsday predictions of D.C. conventional wisdom. A unified battle over something as important as preserving our healthcare system will change that conventional wisdom. The more Democrats see Republicans mean business and are willing to stand with unwavering resolve against Obamacare, the quicker their false sense of invincibility will evaporate.