PAUL RYAN IS WRONG ON DEFUNDING
Re: Philip Klein's Paul Ryan Sees Limits to Strategy of Defunding ObamaCare:
I, like many conservatives, respect deeply Congressman Paul Ryan for his courage and leadership in developing the bold, visionary document Roadmap for America, which provides a realistic pathway to bringing our nation's fiscal house in order. However, in one of the major upcoming policy battles, whether to fund ObamaCare, Ryan has been less than bold and visionary.
The Wisconsin Congressman recently told The American Spectator's Philip Klein that the problem with defunding is that "I don't see him [President Obama] signing our spending bills, which are the bills you'd have to pass into law to defund ObamaCare." Unlike Ryan, I don't see this as our problem, I see this as the President's problem.
If the President vetoes appropriations bills necessary to run government because they lack ObamaCare's funding, he will be the one that shut it down as Republicans would have given him all other necessary appropriations to run federal operations. Further, the President will be the one going against the will of the public.
With an overwhelming majority of Americans, a clear majority of independents, and even a quarter of Democrats supporting repealing Obama Care, expect voters to be furious with a President that shuts down essential government services, they as taxpayers have already paid for, just because he wants to continue his pet experiment that they reject.
Importantly, opposition to the law and the President's potential decision to shut down government will only rise as we learn every single day of more premium hikes, more insurance companies exiting the market, and more Americans being forced to change their health plans.
Yet Congressman Ryan seems squeamish about stepping in the ring of a funding fight. As demonstrated above, not only is this a public relations battle we will win, but it is a policy battle we must fight and one that if Republicans don't, will severely harm their political standing with the conservative base.
Recently I was at event with Republican congressional candidate Robert Hurt (VA-5) who, when asked about a funding fight over ObamaCare, said "there are hills worth fighting on and this is one of those hills." Hurt is right, we simply cannot afford to let the law be funded and implemented if we want to remain the most exceptional country in the history of the earth and prevent our transformation into another unexceptional European-style welfare state where high unemployment is the norm and personal freedom is secondary consideration.
Make no mistake, the conservative base will revolt against a Republican Party that backs down in a funding fight over ObamaCare. Demonstrative of such a revolt is a recent tweet from conservative opinion-shaper and Red State editor Erick Erickson, who tweeted that "I have a feeling that if the GOP doesn't repeal or defund Obamacare in 2011, there will be no GOP in 2012."
Even if Congressman Ryan has better arguments than presented here, why would he show his hand to the President and let him know that, if he refuses to sign appropriations bills without ObamaCare's funding, Republicans would back down, saying "that means we go to a continuing resolution or something like that"? Showing your hand is just not smart strategy, in war and in politics.
-- Alex Cortes
Mr. Cortes is chairman of DeFundIt.org, an organization advocating the defunding of ObamaCare.