Posted by | September 20, 2010 13:18 | Filed under: Contributors Opinion Politics Sandi Behrns

by Sandi Behrns

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) can always be counted upon to go over the top with his rhetoric. He’s done it again, this time demanding that Minority Leader John Boehner and the GOP House leadership swear a “blood oath” promising to force a government shutdown over repeal of the Affordable Care Act. (“Obamacare,” as they prefer to call it.) A shutdown didn’t work out so well the last time the GOP tried it under the Clinton administration, but King has the problem figured out:

King said the problem in 1995 wasn’t the government shutdown under President Bill Clinton — which occurred after Republicans attached Medicare cuts and other items to spending bills — it was that Republicans blinked when they feared the polls were turning against them.

“We must not blink,” he said, noting that money cannot be spent without the House voting to pass it. “If the House says no, it’s no.”

Their new tea party backers won’t tolerate anything less than a full repeal of the health care law, he said.

“They will leave us if we go wobbly,” he said. “I am worried about that, but that’s why I think it’s got to be a blood oath.”

One has to believe that even John Boehner is aware of the disaster this kind of gambit would be for the Republican Party. Unfortunately, it seems the Tea Party faction has them backed into a corner. Steve Benen notes:

But the party is already backing itself into a corner. The House Minority Leader has already said scrapping the entire health care reform law is his top priority, and Boehner’s caucus — and the party base — will expect follow-through. Boehner could pass a repeal bill in the House, but after it failed in the Senate or got vetoed, he wouldn’t be able to say, “Well, we gave it a shot; let’s move on to other issues now.” It’s too late for that — defunding the law is already far too popular within the GOP. There’s an expectation that the fight has to happen.

Of course, all of this is first dependent on the GOP retaking control of the House this November. While current polling shows a very good chance of that happening, I can think of few things better than Steve King’s “blood oath” to help motivate recalcitrant Democratic voters.

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Copyright 2010 Liberaland
By: Sandi Behrns

Sandi Behrns is a noted policy nerd, new media & web developer, and consultant to progressive organizations and campaigns. She is a senior contributor to Liberaland, and the Executive Editor of Progressive Congress News.

  • allison1050

    soft sigh

  • allison1050

    soft sigh