This is the Strategy. Now Do It.
Conservatives need to push the debt ceiling fight off the front burner to after Christmas. Republican Leaders are begging us to merge the continuing resolution fight and debt ceiling fight. They covet this with all their mind and heart. They do not want a stand alone fight on Obamacare. They want to conflate it with the debt ceiling so they can do a grand bargain and leave Obamacare alone. Consider Rep. Paul Ryan’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. He wants a grand bargain and not once mentions Obamacare. Not once.Friends, as I noted the other day, we lose everything if we merge the continuing resolution and debt ceiling fights.What’s more, if the debt ceiling gets pushed to just before Christmas, the GOP will collapse in that fight just like they did with Obamacare in 2009.I think somebody like Steve Scalise, who chairs the Republican Study Committee, needs to propose a short-term debt limit for a few weeks and attach to it the Full Faith and Credit Act that ensures the Treasury Department prioritizes interest payments in the event the debt limit is ever not increased. This would buy us some time to finish the fight to defund Obamacare and set us up well to fight the next long-term debt limit increase to the death by removing some of the President’s scare tactics. How do Republican Leaders not adopt and push such a proposal? How does Obama not accept it without looking completely unreasonable?Regardless, the only path to victory in this shutdown is to keep our fire on Obamacare and our focus on the defunding effort. We can still undermine Obamacare, but we need to resist the attempt to merge this with the debt limit and hold the line on the continuing resolution. Otherwise we will lose on both.As long as the conversation stays on the debt ceiling, we are not talking about the deeply unpopular Obamacare. The GOP needs to immediately get a short-term debt increase done and keep the fight on Obamacare in the continuing resolution.We cannot get both the debt ceiling and Obamacare done at the same time. They must be separate fights or the GOP will surrender on all fronts.