Over the weekend, Congress has been debating whether to pass a continuing resolution that would keep the government funded. Failure to do so would lead to a government shutdown for the first time since December 1995.
It used to be in American politics that "Elections have consequences." In 2012, President Obama was re-elected to a second term by convincing results in the electoral college and though not official the popular vote. President Obama won 332 electoral votes last November, well past the required 270 needed to win. President Obama won 65.9 million votes vs. challenger Mitt Romney's 60.9 million. Obama was the second Democratic Presidential candidate since 1932 to win the popular vote with more than 50% of the result. Democrats held on to their majority in the US Senate and while Republicans still control the most seats in the House (234-201), Democratic candidates running for the US House got more votes (60.3 million vs. 58.5 million).
Latest news is that the Senate rejected the House's recent bill by a vote of 54-46 that would keep the government funded as long as the implementation of "ObamaCare," or the Affordable Care Act of 2010, is delayed another year. The implementation of "ObamaCare" is going to happen because it passed both chambers of Congress in 2010, survived a Supreme Court challenge in June 2012, and most importantly the Presidential Election validated it. Republicans can stomp their feet about this law but it is happening. If they were smart (which they aren't) they would allow for it to go through and let it bomb and THEN campaign on it leading into 2014 and 2016.
But here's the thing? What if folks end up liking it? Then the Republican brand is in deep trouble going into the next two elections because they have NOTHING to offer the American people except the 40+ "Repeal ObamaCare" votes in the last two-and-a-half years since Republicans took charge of the US House. No Comprehensive Immigration Reform? How about a jobs bill? Fix our roads? Employee Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)? Fixing the Voting Rights Act?
Nah, but the House named a lot of Post Offices and other federal buildings.
If the government does end up shutting down in the next 75 minutes, it will be because House Republicans are so disconnected from reality. In this interview with Diane Sawyer of ABC News days after President Obama's victory, Speaker of the House John Boehner recognized that "ObamaCare" is the law of the land.
But.... Speaker Boehner has joined his caucus in these repeal efforts as if the 2012 election did not matter. The events of 6 November 2012 seem to have had no affect on the GOP. Yeah, they had their little autopsy report and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is saying "We should stop being the stupid party" but it is business as usual with the Republicans as they pursued an anti-choice bill here in Texas, reduced voting hours in North Carolina, and added an amendment to a proposed spending bill to ban the enforcement of the contraception mandate in the heath care law.
The Republican Party will be to blame for this shutdown and the voters will remember come 4 November 2014.
If they thought 2012 was ugly when their bubble burst, then just wait for November 2014 when the whole House of cards implodes.