September 30, 2013

We are reaching the cul-de-sac that opponents of the ludicrous “defund” plan had predicted all along. The Senate moments ago rejected on a straight party line vote the House continuing resolution with the one-year delay of Obamacare and the medical-device tax repeal. House moderates understand the only likely play here may be a clean CR; House Republican hardliners and the outside groups will throw a temper tantrum. But when, in fact, the clock winds down (or we go beyond midnight), there will be, I strongly suspect, enough Republicans and Democrats to pass the Senate’s clean CR (or something very close). After all, there have now been multiple votes in which, contrary to the claims of the defunders, no Democrats have broken with the White House.

The White House and Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid are practically gleeful. White House spokesman Jay Carney began to list the parade of horribles that a shutdown will entail. He sweetly implored the House Republicans to, you know, stop holding up the show and allow the government to stay open. The Republicans are trying to paint Reid’s decision to take Sunday off as the cause of a potential shutdown; it’s an operatives’ line and not a convincing strategy.

Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, according to one report, suggested another one-week CR to allow the House time. McConnell’s office would not confirm that, and surely any delay would have a bell or whistle attached. A McConnell spokesman would only say, “Despite the Democrats’ refusal to work with the House to solve the problem, Republicans are working to protect the troops, prevent a shutdown and find solutions to the difficulties caused by Senate Democrats’ delays.” Unfortunately for the defund crowd, the Senate will have a clean CR on the table to point to as the “reasonable” way to end this. A disgusted Republican aide said of the defund protagonists: “These guys basically dug a grave, forced Boehner in and then walked away.”

Meanwhile, GOP governors are demonstrating once again why they are the successful politicians in the party. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie sent out a YouTube video (from an appearance six months ago) that is on-point today and could be the first ad of the 2016 presidential primary:

A spokesman for the Republican Governors Association remarked, “Republican governors are solving the nation’s problems, balancing their budgets on time and
providing a direct contrast of leadership to President Obama’s Washington, D.C.
While Obama blames, GOP governors lead.”

At some point, the Republicans in the House, with or without the Vitter Amendment and with or without the Dems, will pass a clean CR. Anyone who imagined they’d obtain something monumental by threatening to blow themselves up must have been, well, working for Heritage Action or one of its comrades.

 

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.