Why we NEED a GOP government shutdown

Michigan’s Republicans are STILL trying to take health insurance from 470,000 Michiganders

490px-Justin_Amash,_official_portrait,_112th_CongressThe New Yorker‘s Ryan Lizza has a great piece breaking down “Where the GOP’s Suicide Caucus Lives.”

The Suicide Caucus is a convenient monicker for the 80 House Republicans who persuaded  Speaker Boehner pass legislation that adopted Senator Ted Cruz’s defund Obamacare scheme. They are the same House Republicans who are now trying to alter the bill the Senate passed Friday that keeps the government open, which would practically guarantee a government shutdown.

Lizza describes the districts the Suicide Caucus come from, the 18% of America they represent, as being predominately white. “While the most salient demographic fact about America is that it is becoming more diverse, Republican districts actually became less diverse in 2012,” he writes.

So if you’re wondering why the GOP has given up the rebranding they know they need to win the White House, it’s because it actually hurts House Republicans to seem interested in expanding their party’s base.  In a recent poll, 54% of minority voters said they think Obamacare will benefit them or their families, which is exactly double the percentage of white voters who said the same thing.

Of course, a shutdown wouldn’t actually defund Obamacare. The marketplaces would still open on October 1, but it could give the Kamikaze Caucus fight they’ve been begging for.

This is why that a lot of people from The New Republic‘s Noam Scheiber to Slate‘s Matt Yglesias the Business Insider‘s Joe Weisenthal to me and now The Daily Caller‘s Matt Lewis think  a shutdown may be a good thing. It could be the only momentum shift that gives Speaker Boehner the ability to sway the non-suicide caucus in his party to fund the government and avoid another disastrous debt limit crisis.

Of course, Michigan is home to 5 members of the Suicide Caucus. But what’s truly interesting is that 2 of those members — Rep. Justin Amash and Rep. Kerry Bentivolio — are actually facing every Republican’s worst nightmare: a primary challenge.

Their challengers aren’t crazier, more hardcore Republicans — because those Republicans don’t really exist. Amash and Bentivolio are facing a challenge from the business wing of the GOP that recognizes that you actually have to win elections to get what you want.

I’m not cheering for the business wing of the GOP, of course. But at least that part of the party is resigned to accept Obamacare with Medicaid expansion to an estimated 470,000 Michiganders that is going to do more to help workers and grow our economy than anything since the auto rescue.

If the suicide caucus succeeds in getting their shutdown and that actually costs some of them their seats, that would do wonders for the sanity of Congress.

After Obama was elected, Republicans decided that elections shouldn’t have consequences. That’s pretty much an unprecedented stand in recent history.  You have to go back to 1861 for something comparable. But this civil war is only going on inside the Republican Party.

All we can do now is hope that it erupts in into battle to fund the government that may slow the economy a bit. Because that would be far better of a debt default that will destroy all the slight, slow progress since of the last GOP financial crisis.

  • Carolyn 4444

    The sooner Bentivolio saddles up his reindeer and moseys out of Congress the better! I have a full year’s worth of Bentivolio votes in my “Benti-Folio”, and I believe he only voted two or three times in what can be called a responsible manner representing his constituents – and those were times the opposing vote was zero!!!
    This man needs a banjo or ukulele, some domestic beer, and hammock to simply live out the rest of his days. He’s totally useless as a representative of the majority of his district. (He doesn’t know this, of course, because he’s never really available to any of his constituents who don’t agree with his every thought and word!

  • bryan

    I agree with the “primary from the left” on the extreme right incumbents who, in my view, are Libertarians posing as Republicans. We and everyone else need to recognize that these are a minority faction of the party and that, given a moderate alternative, the Republican party can regain its footing.

    I would like to see these Libertarians come out of the closet and run as the Libertarians they are, rather than cloak themselves as Republicans. That will raise the question of why third-parties are blocked from getting on the ballot — a good question to ask and answer.

    As long as they are pretending to be Republicans, they only sow chaos and friction within that party. That distracts from and weakens their ideological argument and presents themselves as obstructionists and RINOs.

  • Mary W. Matthews

    I don’t know HOW, but surely the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution is there as an 11:59:59th-hour reprieve. (“Thou shalt not f**k with the public debt,” in 18th-century-ese.)

    • http://eclectablog.com Eclectablog

      Nice : )

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