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The Beltway Lies of the Obamacare War


"In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies," said Winston Churchill.

What is the truth behind the Beltway lies about these crazy Republicans crashing our government?

Twice in the last week House Republicans have voted unanimously to fund the U.S. government.

If national polls are to be believed, those House Republicans are doing exactly what America wants. A majority of Americans oppose a government shutdown. And a majority oppose Obamacare.

Who, then, is preventing the government from being funded?

Harry Reid and Barack Obama. Neither will accept any continuing resolution that does not contain Obamacare. Both will shut down this city rather than accept any such CR.

It is Harry and Barry who are saying: If we don't get full funding of Obamacare now, we shutdown Washington until the House delivers.

The battle, then, is over this question: Will the next great liberal entitlement program, Obamacare, with its manifest failings and flaws, be imposed upon the nation — against its will?

The House says no. The Beltway says yes.

Few disagree that, in any national plebiscite, Obamacare would be buried in a landslide. Few disagree that if Obamacare were put to a vote of the Congress today, it would fail in both houses.

Why, then, is it radical for the House to use its power of the purse to defund a program America does not want?

Why is it statesmanship for Obama to say he will shut down the entire government if any resolution to keep it running contains even the slightest tweak to his cherished program?

What these questions suggest is that this is at root a political and ideological war, and the Beltway has assembled its usual bodyguard of lies and liars to conceal that truth.

Consider this keening from the Washington Post yesterday about the terrible consequences of a government shutdown:

"[W]e would hope that Mr. Boehner would have compassion for thousands of moderately paid breadwinners who would find themselves in very difficult circumstances. We would hope he would be troubled by how a shutdown would disrupt research at the National Institute of Health and safety inspections at the Food and Drug Administration."

About this lugubrious passage, several questions:

Since Reid and Obama have both said they will block any CR that does not contain Obamacare in its pristine form, why are they not charged with some responsibility for a shutdown?

Answer: The Post is not interested in conveying the truth about this conflict, because in this battle it is as much a political ally of Obama as Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

But it is a more effective ally, since some still presume it is being truthful and objective.

Assume that today John Boehner came out and said at a press conference: "I have taken note of the Post's concerns about an interruption of service at NIH and the FDA. I share those concerns. Therefore, at my direction, the House will vote this afternoon to fully fund both agencies."

Anyone think the Washington Post would celebrate Boehner's compassion and statesmanship the next morning?

Of course not. All this weeping and gnashing of teeth about the terrible consequences of a government shutdown is designed to whip up political animosity, direct it at House Republicans, and break John Boehner. Failing that, it is to foist upon the House Republicans full responsibility for a shutdown that the House has voted twice to avoid.

What this battle confirms is that, on major national issues that pit social and populist conservatives against Big Government liberals, the Beltway press corps invariably acts like a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democratic National Committee.

More problematic, there is a slice of the Beltway right — the contributions bundlers and kennel-fed conservatives, the summer soldiers and sunshine patriots, the George McClellans — that prefers prancing, parading and posturing to the actual fighting.

With them the excuses are always the same. We can't win. We have been beaten on this terrain before. The press will kill us. The White House has a microphone we can't match. We will only hurt ourselves in the polls and throw away our great opportunity in the coming election. Besides, our corporate contributors don't want this fight.

Some "conservatives" even cynically suggest that the GOP let Obamacare take effect, as it will prove such a disaster there will be a backlash against it in 2014 — and from that we can benefit.

With Reid's refusal to accept the House CR with the one-year suspension of Obamacare, a shutdown seems certain.

Every Republican should be out front, on TV, radio and in print this week with a simple message:

"We have twice voted to fund every agency and program of the U.S. government (save Obamacare) in a single CR. We will proceed now to pass CRs for each department and agency of the U.S. government, separately and individually.

"And if Harry Reid's Senate refuses to pass a single one of those CRs, who then is shutting down NIH and the FDA?"

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of "Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?" To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at



2 Comments | Post Comment
This shutdown was certain and planned since 2010. Republicans used "shut down the government" as a campaign promise to each other in 2010. It's easy to find news grabs & videos of their speeches where they brag and are applauded when they promise to shut down our government. It's not "the government" as they call it, it is "OUR" government and these crazies have been waiting in the wings for this moment.

It is and has been their tactic to shut down the government as a way of governance and they are excited that they have done so now. Does Ted Cruz really believe that Obamacare, which started out at the Heritage Foundation twenty years ago as a conservative alternative to Hillarycare, is a socialistic scheme that will destroy the American economy? Of course he doesn't. But he knows that describing it as such, and threatening to shut down the U.S. government, played to the base and will further his own ambitions.

Does Culberson, who represents a Houston district that is one of the wealthiest in the state of Texas, really think that the struggle against Obamacare is comparable to fighting terrorists with your bare hands? I presume he doesn't but in his case it's hard to be sure.
They see it as great news that they " brought the US government to its knees".
I didn't say that, they did.

Republicans are trying to burn America down, not with planes & bombs, and they are gleefully laughing and patting each other's backs as they destroy America in a bloodless war. I'm sure they must be receiving invites for a tell all from all the crazy leaders of the world who are destroying their country, infrastructure, and citizens with guns and bombs.

But it plays to the mood of today. As long as there's no bloodshed, no noticeable property damage, many don't even realize the Republican's have bombed our capital, attacked our President, restricted our freedoms, and closed doors to facilities and parks our tax $$ paid for and support.

These extremist Republicans, not all Republicans but these extremist Republicans need to go. They may even know they're on their way out and plan to destroy as much as they can before they lose office. Why are a small group of extremists being allowed to dictate terms to our us?
Comment: #1
Posted by: morgan
Tue Oct 1, 2013 8:05 AM
Yeah, I know the real problem is dirty money which rules and guides both parties. Politicians on both sides of the aisle are looking out and serving those who matter most, their wealthy backers. Money and greed is what really is destroying our elected officials and our country. And yes, both sides bow down and suck up to their largest donors. If only it were a simplistic problem with extremist zealots. Both parties could shut them down quickly by not supporting them or not voting with them. But that can't happen because of the money. Someone is paying them a barrel full and making promises about fast tracking political careers. Every palm has been greased every player paid. Politicians have sold out, pimped us and America out to the depraved wealthy to appease their greed and need for power and control and even more wealth at any cost. After watching Breaking Bad and the transformation of the main character Walt, it's hard to watch but easy to see how quickly and completely power and money corrupt.
Comment: #2
Posted by: morgan
Tue Oct 1, 2013 8:44 AM
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