ObamaCare Wars Tearing At GOP Seams This Summer

The late-summer burst of organized conservative opposition to Republican incumbents is the sort of red-on-red conflict that bodes poorly for the fall, when Republican leaders hope to form a united front on issues as varied as funding the government, dealing with immigration reform and extending the debt ceiling.

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Jessica Rinaldi / Reuters

The defund ObamaCare effort may be fading in Washington, but for many GOP members of the House and Senate vacationing in their home districts, there has been no break from the constant pressure from outside groups.

The late-summer burst of organized conservative opposition to Republican incumbents is the sort of red-on-red conflict that bodes poorly for the fall, when Republican leaders hope to form a united front on issues as varied as funding the government, dealing with immigration reform and extending the debt ceiling.

Heritage Action for America announced a $550,000 online ad campaign Monday, targeting 100 House Republicans, including Speaker of the House John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who have not signed onto a letter urging the GOP to tie defunding language to any vote on funding the government this fall. (Here’s a demo of what the ads look like.) The author of the letter, North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows, has so far garnered 80 signatures from his Republican colleagues in the House, according to his office.

Meanwhile, another group, the Senate Conservatives Fund, has spent $40,200 on conservative talk radio station ads attacking Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) for labeling the efforts to tie ObamaCare defunding to a government shutdown the “dumbest idea I’ve ever heard.” The same group has spent another $37,500 criticizing Sen. Lindsey Graham since he “refuses to do what it takes to stop funding for this liberal train wreck.” Executive Director Matt Hoskins tells TIME the group plans to buy six more ads over the next two weeks. Also this week, two other outside organizations, Tea Party Patriots and ForAmerica announced that they would target seven Republican senators in online ads for not supporting the effort as a part of their six-figure, “You Fund It, You Own It” campaign.

FreedomWorks has focused its resources on organizing town halls to change the minds of Republican leaders—even if they don’t want to show up. On August 17 a cardboard cutout of Texas Sen. John Cornyn hosted over 500 people in a Dallas hotel. The organization will hold a “Cardboard Lindsey” Graham event on August 27, and will host other events pressuring Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), and Burr through September.

“The point of those town halls is to have that serious, open and honest conversation about policy and about defunding ObamaCare,” says Jackie Bodnar, the communications director for FreedomWorks. “The outrage is almost two-fold at this point. It’s a policy battle, but its also taking offenses to this reluctance of people in Washington to meet with the constituents.”

Proponents of the defund movement hope their efforts will build political momentum to force Obama to undo parts of his signature accomplishment. But in Washington, the Republican establishment is not having any of it. Conservative columnist Ramesh Ponnuru, senior editor of the National Review, recently penned an article called “Drop the Disastrous Plan to Defund ObamaCare.” Columnist George Will and former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney have also disagreed with the anti-ObamaCare tactics. The National Journal polled 91 top Republican strategists, and 63% of them said the effort to link defunding the bill with this fall’s budget fight was “somewhat” or “very” disadvantageous. Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post put in succinctly: “This is nuts.”

If the current defund movement is defeated, Tea Party leaders will have their sights set on 2014, when they threaten to toss out moderate Republicans with primary challenges from the right. “I think the silver lining is that we drew a line in the sand on which members of Congress, both Republican and Democrat, are seriously committed to dismantling the law,” says FreedomWorks’ Bodnar. “Between the battle to defund ObamaCare, the IRS scandal and the NSA scandal, there is a perfect storm going into 2014 for a referendum on unchecked discretionary power and big government gone wild.”

84 comments
united_we_stand
united_we_stand

What do they mean defund Obamacare? It is a corporate product we are forced to purchase. We are required to fund it directly or the irs will take everything we have and throw us in prison. 

oldwhiteguy
oldwhiteguy

As far as I am concerned, anyone who advocates shutting down the government over Obamacare ought to lose their jobs. Obamacare was passed by Congress, signed by the President and ruled on by the Supreme Court. And following its passage, Obama was re-elected by a very comfortable margin. It is not a perfect law. But true patriots would work to make it a better one. Or to change it, even repeal it in the future if it proves ineffective. But it remains that the problem it addresses is real and the approach is valid. Voting 40 times to repeal it is nothing more that a toddler's political tantrum, a charade designed to placate the mob of Obama haters, an irrational, misinformed mob of right wing paranoids. If the Republican party continues on this course of cowardice, they are headed for the trash heap of political history.

BillMorgan
BillMorgan

I think the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will do more harm than good.  I wish it had NOT passed in it's current form for many reasons.  However, my fellow citizens, through their elected officials, have made it the law of the land.  As a citizen, it is my responsibility to obey all the laws, even the ones I do not like.  I want everyone else to follow the laws they may not like but I do.   It should go forward as such without loopholes or selective de-funding.  As the laws effects take place, either I will be wrong or it will cause enough pain for the people to vote for leaders who will repeal it.   It is fine to continue to argue against it and point out it's lack of merits.  However, the constant losing votes brought by the House, the extreme rhetoric and government shutdown threats are just going to turn people away from those type of 'leaders'.  Honesty, solid arguments and valid data will carry the day.

glennra3
glennra3

This is not good for the Republican  Party, the Democratic Party, or America.


In over 35 years as a voting adult I've never voted Republican, but the Democratic Party and the United States need a robust and relevant opposition party. Republicans are devouring themselves into nonexistence, and that isn't good for anyone. 

aztecian
aztecian

say goodbye to the republiKKKcans!  what a bunch of nazis.  they should be charged with treason!

LouAZ
LouAZ

Ya know, couldn't have happened to a nicer more deserving group of people. They earned everything they are getting !

MannyGuillen
MannyGuillen

I just find it humorous, hilarious in fact, that Mitt Romney thinks the anti-Obamacare tactics are a bad idea!

Hey Mitt, you're a day late and $10,000 short on thinking something is a 'bad idea'!

I'll bet you $10,000 on it.

mary.waterton
mary.waterton

Obamacare is tearing the country apart. It's getting to where the only jobs being created are temporary, part-time and contract positions ... and Obamacare mandates are largely to blame.

swagger
swagger

the best thing for democrats will be the right wing extremists trying to extort concessions they will never get.  never.  they are so desperate because they see the possibility of obamacare's success.

Channah
Channah

Whatever tears the GOP apart----------let it happen.  They care nothing about the general public--------why should we give a darn about them?

Titanus
Titanus

Okay, so we have 80 House members and a number of Senators willing to live without pay.  Never thought I would see the day.

therealdude
therealdude

The Tea Party is by far the single best thing that has ever happened for the Democrats in my lifetime. This shutdown idea could really hurt them bad, if the GOP goes along with it. It's a terribly flawed idea to believe they can thrown the whole country on the fire to turn the heat up on Obama to repeal Obamacare and think the America people will blame Obama for the pain that Repubs will be inflicting on them during that time. That's almost as dumb as Jihadists who believe they're helping Islam by killing innocent people.

notsacredh
notsacredh

"Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post put in succinctly: “This is nuts.” "

But then look who's trying to do it. As a liberal, I get the feeling that the GOP doesn't ever want to win the White House again. I applaud them for their "patriotism".

DavidStrayer
DavidStrayer

The GOP is caught on a treadmill of its own making: it can't stop trying to turn the clock back, and it can't seem to come up with a positive agenda that would allow it to propose something that is actually something.

Instead, they're like a hamster on a wheel: they just spinning the wheel, expending untold energy and getting nowhere.  In fact, their efforts at repealing, defunding or shutting the government down over Obamacare are all nonstarters.  So, they're reminiscent of the Beatles' "Nowhere Man", who makes all his nowhere plans for nobody.

The vacuity of their intellectual prowess is amply displayed: they simply can't seem to figure out an agenda that is meaningful to anyone but themselves, and, lacking such an agenda, are stuck in their own "Groundhog Day", repeating the same nonsense again and again and again.


Hollywooddeed
Hollywooddeed

Right?  Nothing pisses me off more than 30 million people getting health insurance and health care in a less expensive and more efficient way.

vstillwell
vstillwell

What do Republicans stand for these days besides opposing everything? Study after study has shown that a vibrant middle class is good for the economy and society as a whole, yet Republicans don't care. Study after study has shown that being on welfare actually pays more than working a minimum wage job these days, yet Republicans oppose any raise in the minimum wage. Oh, they'll give us some stupid Ayn Rand argument that's based on utter fiction and fantasy. The only thing Republicans are for is the increase in H1-B visas so companies can flood the U.S. with cheap educated overseas labor. If it's not a tax cut for the rich, then Republicans are against it. This sucks because the Democratic Party has a lot of problems too. 

redford
redford

Actually, what will happen is that, with the employer mandate delayed, and the individual mandate firmly in place, 100′s of 1000′s of people who have been dumped from their employer-based plans and into the individual market will start to panic when they find out that working exchanges have not been set up for them by Republican governors trying to score points with the base, and that they cannot purchase affordable insurance. The national media will fill with stories of how smoothly the exchanges are working in blue states. Much of the gains from 2010 will be lost as Republican governorships switch to Democrat, and the Republicans lose the House.

The Democrats will win, and the Tea Party will have done their work for them.

barneydidit
barneydidit

@united_we_stand Except that the Act expressly states what the penalties are, and they are NOT being thrown in prison or losing all of you assets. 

glennra3
glennra3

@BillMorgan

Well said.


I also dislike the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, although I suspect for reasons different from yours. I wanted a true single payer system, as they have in Australia, Canada, and the UK. 


What we got was this compromise monstrosity that pleases no one.



Openminded1
Openminded1

@MannyGuillen Who cares about Mitt he was and is a moron too and a mormon to boot.  neither of the ass holes that ran for president were worth voting for. 

reallife
reallife

@retiredvet ahh... soo refreshing to see some impartial writing for a change...

the maddow blog?  really?


LOL

Openminded1
Openminded1

@sacredh Bleeding heart liberals  never quit with the BS . As for your racist president he is the first and last black President in your life times, due to his racist comments, he made it bad for future black racist . White liberals put him office twice and they end up with BS history and a black president showing his true color now that he is a alme duck. 

Openminded1
Openminded1

@DavidStrayer Freedom of speech a wonderful thing and freedom of opinion another great thing, only opinions are like ass holes some are better then others and yours stinks.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@vstillwell Tell that to the over 72 millionaires in the senate and congress who are democrats and who careless about the middle class dummy all they care about is your vote just like republicans they are all the same. with the exception of being bleeding heart morons like you.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@redford Nice try, check back in 36 months and let us all know how your theory worked.

StephenSchwartz
StephenSchwartz

@redford I'm sure Jeremiah Johnson would be disappointed in your post, redford. That young man would have to cough up major dollars to join ObamaCare and he won't do it. He'll pay the penalty and bristle at paying for some old man's lifetime alcohol and smoking habit. Obama will take Jeremiah Johnson's scalp and he won't get away this time. 

TanmayLololAnaisPradhan
TanmayLololAnaisPradhan

@reallife @retiredvet Yes really. LOL.

Unlike Hannitbaugh'reilly, there is actually facts and statistics, numbers and references and such.

Instead of the usualy hot air that keeps getting emitted from the behinds of righto-nuttos

Diecash1
Diecash1

@Openminded1 @sacredh What a complete pile of garbage, as are all of your comments thus far.

Care to substantiate your pathetic assertion of the President's "racist" comments?


TanmayLololAnaisPradhan
TanmayLololAnaisPradhan

@StephenSchwartz @redford Right. Sure. Collective responsibility, instead of emergency room visits is such a monstrosity !

Jeremiah John and you can go take a leap.

This will cut the deficit so fast and hard, when everyone is forced to buy insurance instead of raising the premiums for the rest of us.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@Diecash1 @Openminded1 @swagger Nice try ass wipe no one with intelligence will by that now they know I got you hook line and sinker. Going to dinner now four seasons in LA you need anything call and ask for openminded.1

Openminded1
Openminded1

@Diecash1 @Openminded1 @swagger Snark   wow what college did you go to Howard or NYU  , If you think I am stupid think twice you are the same idiot bantering with me because I got you going ,who is stupid? Look in the mirror bleeding heart. dumb ass

Diecash1
Diecash1

@Openminded1 @Diecash1 @swagger Damn, you're stupid.  My comment above, to which you replied, is snark.  You're too stupid to actually follow the thread, eh?  Typical, dumba$$ troll.


Openminded1
Openminded1

@Diecash1 @Openminded1 @swagger Is that because he agrees with you, that is what dems do follow each other no matter what., I noticed you are a wimp too can not admit weather you are a woman or man black or white. typical bleeding heart liberal waste.

Hollywooddeed
Hollywooddeed

@Openminded1  Maybe you can find a way to continue to pay for the uninsured in the most expensive and least efficient way.

Diecash1
Diecash1

@Openminded1@Diecash1@sacredhOh really?  Precisely what do you call this:

Coming from a moron with an avatar from an old gene wilder comedy, and the name crape crush, you must be black or want to be.

Do you not recall just making this comment?  You seem to be inordinately fascinated with the raceof other postersand, as such, I find your claims more than specious.


Openminded1
Openminded1

@Diecash1 @sacredh By the way ass wipe I do not accuse people of being black I ask, your statement was and is racist, do you hate yourself or white people maybe just members of the GOP.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@Diecash1 @Openminded1 @sacredh Not as long as morons like you are the net, the world needs honest say it like it is people, to keep morons like you in check with all your bs PC crap

Diecash1
Diecash1

@Openminded1 @Diecash1 @sacredh Better question -- How did a moron like you manage to access the internet?  

Let me know when you've grown up enough to make a cogent post, one with facts, logic, and evidence while free from insults.  Somehow, I don't see that happening.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@Diecash1 @Openminded1 @sacredh Who made you the policy guru? For your infomation dummy I am black ,half and half like your man in the Oval office and I amproud of both my heritages. Seems Obama forgets who raised him , his dayys was not around. But the whole country and world heard him say Trayvon could have been me and idf I had a son he would look like trayvon. he is not racist bs.

Diecash1
Diecash1

@Openminded1 @Diecash1 @sacredh This from the troll that keeps accusing people of being black -- hilarious.  You give every impression of a racist a$$hat.

BTW, simple logic dictates that you must prove your assertion.  It is not up to me or anyone else to disprove your idiocy.

Diecash1
Diecash1

@Openminded1 @Diecash1 @sacredh So, no evidence whatsoever?  Why am I not surprised.  You shout "racist" but, like most ignorant trolls, you're unable to back it up with actual evidence.  Truly pathetic, yet expected.