Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) appeared on CBS' Face the Nation and told host Bob Schieffer if there is a government shutdown because of a failure to find an agreement on the future of Obamacare, it will be entirely Barack Obama's fault.
Paul explained the Republicans had moved from their position of full repeal to what they view as compromise in asking for a one year delay, something that is already a part of many aspects of Obamacare. As a result, they are asking Democrats to compromise.
"But see, he is saying 100 percent of Obamacare or the highway," Paul said. "The president is the one saying I will shut down government if you don't give me everything I want on Obamacare. That to me is the president being intransigent and being unwilling to compromise."
Though Schieffer said that Obamacare had "already been passed," implying that the time for arguing over whether it should be law had passed as well. It seems he never made that argument when Obama decided not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) or when Obama decided not to enforce immigration laws and his administration told Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents not to enforce immigration laws. Hypocrisy Bob?
Paul suggested that the House and Senate leadership come together and hash out the differences.
"I think there is a way," Paul said with respect to a resolution. "And I have been saying all along that we should negotiate. See, historically Bob, the way it worked is if the House is Republican and passed something and the Senate was Democrat and passed something you had a conference committee, equal number of Republicans and Democrats, and you hashed out your differences. Why don't we have a conference committee on this? You could appoint one today, they could meet tomorrow and hash out the differences. That is the way it is supposed to work. Republicans and Democrats are supposed to find a middle ground but right now, it is the president saying my way or the highway, if I don't get everything I want, if I don't get Obamacare -- which Democrats passed without any Republican support -- the Democrats are saying they are willing to shut down the government."
Frankly, I can remember lots of those little meetings between leadership resulting in nothing good for the American people. Some of the latest of those little conferences was the fiscal cliff and debt ceiling deals. To borrow a word that Chris Matthews attempted to use against Senator Ted Cruz, You cannot negotiate or compromise with terrorists. Barack Obama and the Democrats are nothing more than domestic enemies of the Constitution and the American people (and no, I'm not apologizing for saying that).
However, Paul is right. Obama and Reid haven't compromised one thing. They have simply stood their ground and from the beginning Obamacare was rammed through along the Democrat Party line. Not one Republican voted for it, not one!
Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) appeared behind Paul and attempted to rebut his suggestion of setting up a conference committee to negotiate differences between the resolutions in the House and Senate.
"Conference committees are the normal course of action," Durbin said. "We have been trying for more than six months to get the Senate Republicans to agree to a conference committee on the budget. They refuse a conference committee, when it comes to our budget. When it comes to healthcare reform, there should be an orderly process."
"But look what we have to work with on the other side," Durbin added. "Almost forty-five times now the House Republicans have voted to abolish ObamaCare, not to change it, not to come up with any specific change. The closest they have come is with this medical device tax. But, if there's to be a constructive conversation about the future of healthcare reform, it's going forward; I fully support that. But let's sit down in a bipartisan and calm way—not with the prospect of shutting down the government or shutting down the economy."
Frankly, when it comes to funding, that is Congress' job and they can fund or not fund whatever they desire. That authority is their's per the Constitution. They also have the ability, due to the balance of powers, to challenge the Affordable Care Act. There is nothing wrong with that either.
Democrats are just attempting to apply pressure here. Those Republicans who believe Obamacare is not only unconstitutional, but simply bad law, should stand their ground. They shouldn't compromise one inch. Do they see Democrats compromising? I don't. When it comes to that issue, they could learn a lesson from the Democrats and stand on their principles rather than seek to compromise. Compromise is only good for your adversary. As Margaret Thatcher once said,
"If you set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing."
…and as Andrew Carnegie adds to that sentiment:
"The 'morality of compromise' sounds contradictory. Compromise is usually a sign of weakness, or an admission of defeat. Strong men don't compromise, it is said, and principles should never be compromised."
This is the mindset of many in the Republican leadership. They are more concerned with being liked and the media not beating them up than they are with actually achieving what they say their goal is. My advice to Republicans is, let Obama and the Democrats shut the government down. Stand your ground and you will be rewarded for it by your constituents. If you don't stand your ground, you will face your constituents' wrath.
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