Ahead of a likely U.S. House vote on a government funding bill, Yahoo asked conservative and Republican voters whether they’d prefer their representatives vote to fund the government or gut the Affordable Care Act. Here’s one voter’s perspective.
COMMENTARY | Republicans are playing hard-nosed ball these days and risk the destruction of modern conservatism with their aggressive, heavy-handed tactics. Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor are proposing a way out of the looming government shutdown, which is slated to take effect Oct. 1, and allow continued federal funding.
The price? Gut Obamacare by delaying implementation of the Affordable Care Act for one year, effectively giving Republican legislators extra time to combat the legislative package.
I’m often a fan of conservatism, and I worry the Republican Party is recklessly risking its future by turning off American voters. The aggressive tactics used by archconservatives is a tad frightening. Where is the innovation? Where is the negotiation? Where is the compromise? Today’s Republicans have lowered the adult art of leadership and politics to the level of an unsupervised schoolyard recess, wavering between all-or-nothing bravado and refusal-to-play moping. Unfortunately, my local U.S. Representative, Mike Conaway, is one of the gung-ho “Party of No” Republicans who remains popular here in Midland, Texas, the proclaimed hometown of George W. Bush. He says he “will continue to vote to repeal [Obamacare] until it is overturned.”
How can Republicans expect voters to vote for them in 2014 and 2016 if they allow their federal services to be cut today? Allowing a government shutdown out of spite is counterproductive in the extreme: Not only does it hurt an already weak economy, but it also hurts already ambivalent voters. The GOP has had a bad reputation for a while and this hard-nosed ball only makes it worse. Trying to recoup from painful losses, the Republican team has gone wild on the field, eschewing all strategy, training, and form for blind aggression. Instead of trying to craft and run plays, it is trying to slide-tackle the opposing Democrats into submission. Frankly, it’s ugly to watch.
Win or lose tomorrow, the GOP will come out looking bad. Even if I dislike Obamacare and am an ardent conservative, I do not want to be represented by GOP legislators who are willing to shut down my federal government to prove a point. My everyday needs trump your rhetoric, and I do not appreciate your assumption that I value talking points more than ensuring government offices I use remain open for business. I do not cheer for bullies on the field.