What Should Republicans Do Next?
September 30, 2013
RUSH: The truth of the matter is -- and somebody on our side besides me had better start saying so -- if Harry Reid refuses to talk with Boehner, if Harry Reid refuses to take the CR the Republicans passed on early Sunday morning which delays the personal mandate for a year -- it eliminates the tax on medical devices; even the Democrats don't want that. That issue alone has 79 votes in the Senate, getting rid of the medical device tax, and then exempting the military from any of these onerous things. If Harry Reid is the one who refuses to take that up, then it's Harry Reid who has shut down the government, not the Republicans.
That's the way this needs to be positioned. That's the way this needs to be discussed, that it's Harry Reid and the Democrats in the Senate who will be shutting down. I mean, if the Republicans want to go that route, if they want to play "the blame game" on the government shutdown, if they want to get a position staked out on it, that's what they would say.
It'd be a good thing for them to throw it back at 'em. I think the Republicans made a good move, don't misunderstand. I like what they did. But now the pressure is on to hang in. The worst thing that could happen now is if the Republicans back off of this. Not just for the substance, but for the future, what I felt are the other reasons they've done this. It's time to hang with it now. There's nothing really to lose here.
In terms of, "Can it get worse?" or what have you, I don't even like looking at it in that way. But this, to me, is a win-win if they hang in. They've got a majority of the American people with them on this, whether they know it or not. Okay, to the phones as promised. We're gonna start in Latham, New York, with Tom. You're next. Great to have you on the program. Hi.
CALLER: Thank you. Hi. I suspect that the Senate is going to reject the House offer --
CALLER: -- current House offer, and that means the House is gonna have to come up with another offer. I think that the House needs to stop playing backcourt basketball and put the ball in the forecourt and make the Democrats play defense. And one way to do that might be to send the funding back as it is but with an attachment that says, "Okay, we'll go ahead with Obamacare as you want it, but no exemptions. Nobody gets an exemption. Everybody has to have play on the same playing field. That's only fair." Fairness is the Democrats offer. Then the Democrats, if they reject that, are going to have explain to the American people why they're willing to shut down the government in order to keep the exemptions for their favorite groups.
RUSH: Well, I know you think it would be that way on paper -- and in common sense terms, it should be -- but it's not gonna eventuate that way. In the media, there is no reversing of fortunes here. There's no way, in the media, the Democrats are gonna be on their heels. There is no way in the media the Democrats are not gonna have the edge. Now, your idea is intriguing to me. Go ahead and send another one back which gets rid of the exemptions. "No member of Congress or staff gets a subsidy," is basically what you're saying.
CALLER: Or unions or anyone else.
RUSH: Right. Okay, now, what is your ultimate objective with that? I'm serious. There's no trick here. What do you hope is the end result of that?
CALLER: Well, what is gonna happen is they're going to be negotiating or discussing the debt limits and spending. I think what the Republicans should do, assuming the Democrats accept the offer and don't shut the government down, they say, "Okay, we'll go ahead with that. No exemptions," and when they start negotiating the debt limit and the spending limits, Republicans should be able to say, "Look, we gave you Obamacare. It's gonna cost whatever it's gonna cost. Let's say it's $500 billion."
RUSH: There will be no appreciation. The Democrats are never going to act or react in a way that you would that. "Okay, there's a good-faith effort. The Republicans are showing a good-faith effort so I'm gonna appreciate that and reciprocate." They're not going to act that way.
CALLER: Don't you think that it's not the Democrats that the Republicans are talking to by doing this? It's the people of country, and when they come to negotiating and spending and debt limits, they will be able to say, "Look, Obama. We gave you Obamacare. It's gonna cost $400 billion. We've gotta cut $400 billion elsewhere. That means we gotta take another $50 billion out of food stamps. We gotta take another --"
RUSH: And I think you've just lost 70% of the country.
CALLER: Well, perhaps, but --
RUSH: You're into minutia.
CALLER: But the Republicans need a win and they ain't getting any right now.
RUSH: Well, okay, what are the Republicans going to need to get a win, in practical, real terms?
CALLER: They need to put the Democrats on the defensive and give them an offer they cannot refuse.
RUSH: No, but they're gonna have to do something. I mean, correct me if I'm wrong, but if I want to roll up my sleeves and comment on this in the pure, unbridled legislative sense, and get rid of all the politics, the Republicans are going to have propose something that's gonna get some Democratic votes, are they not?
RUSH: Well, otherwise they don't have the votes to get anything done. To avoid a shutdown and to achieve something, they're gonna have to propose something that some Democrats will break away from Harry Reid on a vote for. I don't know what it is, don't misunderstand. I don't have that answer. But if you're gonna start playing this back-and-forth with 'em...
I gotta take a break.
RUSH: Okay. How about this? Our last caller might have been on to something. You offer... Well, I'm not gonna be able to squeeze this into the remaining seconds, but in offering something, you force Democrat votes to join you, and peel away votes from Harry Reid. The thing to attack is all of these members of Congress getting their subsidy. Make them vote to defend that.
RUSH: Now, I want to go back to this business of the government shutdown and build on a little bit what I was talking about with our previous caller right at the end of the first hour. And it is this. He said that the continuing resolution proposal needs to be sent back and a new one sent over to the Democrats that forces their hand. Now, forget for just a second all of the distractions and all the external things that are being said and done for public consumption.
Let's talk about the sausage making for just a second, the actual business of having a piece of legislation that is successfully passed and voted on. In this case, you have a lot of things going on. There's a showdown over Obamacare. Now, the Republicans have sent a continuing resolution over which delays the individual mandate for a year, eliminates the tax on medical devices, which includes a lot of sexual devices, and it exempts the military from some of the onerous regulations for a while. The Democrats are saying, "Ain't no way, pal. No way." And Dingy Harry in the Senate not even showing up 'til two o'clock today. They're positioning it as the Republicans are trying to deny people affordable health care.
This is in the AP story today. And again, this is worth repeating because this is how literally outrageous this has become. Chris Van Hollen, who is in the Democrat leadership in the Senate, is saying that the Republican effort to delay the individual mandate -- and I want to be clear. I go through this, I don't really know how many people even know what I'm talking about. The individual mandate is a fundamental requirement in Obamacare. It mandates, it requires that you have health insurance or you pay a fine.
Now, you can argue all day long over whether it's constitutional. The Supreme Court said that it is, but in a purist sense, it isn't, because the federal government cannot require you to buy something. The Commerce Clause expressly prohibits this. But that's another issue. It still infuriates me. They got around it by calling it a tax, if you'll remember, but bottom line is, the individual mandate is an onerous thing. It is a sign of an oppressive statist, pure socialist government, to have the government mandating, requiring citizens to buy anything, in this case health insurance. The Republicans are trying to stand up for that. They're trying to stand up for the idea it's unconstitutional. It's not right. It's not the role of government. It's got to stop. They want to delay it for a year.
Some people think they shoulda gone for the fuel defund, they didn't have the guts, the votes, whatever, to do that, so they've done this. Delay the mandate for a year because the employer mandate was delayed for a year by Obama. The employer mandate requiring employers to provide insurance has now been waived until 2015. Again, the reason for that is that the real objective of Obamacare is to destroy the whole private sector insurance market. If the employer doesn't have to provide insurance, that is obviously a reduction in guaranteed customers for the insurance companies. And if you as an employee cannot depend on your employer providing it, then what? Well, here's the personal mandate, the individual mandate, you've got to have it.
So now it's on you to go get it. And you've either gotta sign up at an exchange starting tomorrow or you've gotta find a private sector policy or pay the fine. And most people are gonna pay the fine 'cause it's cheaper the first couple of years, by design. Obama is happy as hell about people not buying insurance for a couple of years. That destroys the private sector market and eventually the only place you're gonna be able to get insurance will be at a government exchange.
Now, until that time comes the Republicans are trying to delay this individual mandate to go along with the employer mandate to scoop the guts out of Obamacare. If you eliminate the requirement to have it, you have scooped quite a bit out of Obamacare. Democrats aren't gonna go for that. There's no way that this continuing resolution is gonna get one Democrat vote, and it doesn't have a prayer without any Democrat votes, just talking strictly about sausage making.
It doesn't have a prayer without any Democrat votes. Nothing does, because of the current lay of the land. So the Democrats working with the Democrats and others in the media are now characterize the individual mandate as compassion. They're saying that the Republicans trying to delay it for a year means that the Republicans don't want you to have health insurance, and so they're out there, in conjunction with the AP saying that the Republicans are willing to shut down the government to make sure that you do not get insurance.
That's the degree to which this has been bastardized.
It couldn't be further from the truth. The Republicans are not trying to deny anybody health insurance. The Republicans are trying to save the American medical system being from destroyed because it's taken over by a government and run by people who haven't the foggiest idea what they're doing and don't care. To them, it's simply the latest measure for total control of the people. But the low-information crowd who read AP or wherever the story gets posted, hear, "Republicans want to eliminate your ability to get health insurance, and they're willing to shut the government down."
So that's not gonna get any Democrat votes. So there might be a shutdown, which is the Democrat Party's opening move in the 2014 campaign, in this case for the House. That's their objective. So what could get Democrat votes? The caller's idea was we're gonna have to turn the tables on this at some point, and the Democrats are gonna have to be put on the defensive -- and there might be a way.
Remember, because of the lay of the land, nothing the Republicans propose that doesn't peel off some Democrat votes in the Senate has a chance of actually happening. So if we go the shutdown route, then who wins is gonna be determined by who blinks first, and you know how that's gonna go. The media is just... I mean, they got an endless parade of suffering people because the government shutdown. It's all gonna be lies and it's all gonna be exaggerated. It's all gonna be made up.
But it's been done before.
We've been here and did that. It's all deja vu.
So what might work otherwise? Well, there's something out there that's happened. I really believe that if a majority of the American people knew about it, they would be fit to be tied and would not tolerate it, and that is the fact that members of Congress and their staffs are getting their health care subsidized. Seventy-five percent of the cost of health care insurance for members of Congress and their staff will be paid for by taxpayers.
Now, if you could write a CR repealing that and send that over to the Senate -- in other words, make the Democrats vote to defend their getting a subsidy, particularly the Democrats that are up in the Senate in 2014. You send something over there that makes them vote for that, and theoretically (and I'm just talking off the top of my head) that might work. I could be whistling Dixie here, too. I may not have the slightest idea what I'm talking about.
But that might be embarrassing enough that you could peel some Democrat votes off, that some Democrats might not want it publicly known that they are voting for you to pay for 75% of their health care -- cause that, right now, is the law of the land. They bitched and they moaned about the price. These are people making upwards of a hundred, $174,000 a year. They complained about the cost to them of Obamacare, and they wrote it, in many cases, the staff, and they certainly defended it.
But then they did a "Waaaa-hah-hah-hah," and said they couldn't afford it, and Obama -- trying to head off a problem at the pass -- went over there and promised 'em they would be subsidized, not through the exchanges, but through the office of personal management. It's still taxpayer dollars, but they're not gonna be subsidized through an exchange like those who will be subsidized will have it taken care of.
They're not gonna have to mess with the exchanges.
They're gonna be taken up with another government agency. Okay, that's the law of the land now. They're gonna be subsidized. So send something over that cancels that. Put it in your bill, Republicans. Put that in your defund or your delay bill that also we want to remove this subsidy for members of Congress. The original bill said that members of Congress have to go through everything just like everybody else does, and now they don't.
So put it in your bill that they have to live with it just like everybody else does and pull out this subsidy they've the bottom, and then put them on the defensive of having to vote to defend something you can't get. Now, that might turn the tables, and it might get some Democrat votes.