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Even Republican polling shows that the loopy Ted Cruz scheme to use the threat of government shutdown to force President Obama to defund Obamacare would be a disaster. And here's a new independent survey from Kaiser Family Health Foundation that shows the problem for the "defunders" is even worse than their Republican critics acknowledge:

Kaiser Family Health Foundation August 2013 tracking poll
As you can see, the public opposes defunding by a 21-point margin, 57 percent to 36 percent. The reason this is such bad news for the Ted Cruzes of the world is simple: It shows that if Republicans followed through on his scheme, they would not only be setting themselves up to take the blame for a government shutdown, but they'd be fighting for something that wasn't even popular in the first place.

The reality is that Republicans are never going to come close to adopting the Cruz scheme, although a sizable chunk of them will express their dismay at being overruled. But it's worth remembering that the ultimate reason they won't do it isn't just that they're afraid of getting blamed for closing the government—it's that they're afraid of shutting down the government to accomplish an objective that isn't even popular in the first place.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Cruz and Rand Paul are simply (22+ / 0-)

    posturing in advance of a 2016 run for the White House.  When their plans for a government shutdown fall apart, they will blame their fellow Republicans of lacking courage, while touting their own bravery.  That 36% represents the people needed to win the GOP nomination.

    "It ain't right, Atticus," said Jem. "No, son, it ain't right." --Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

    by SottoVoce on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 07:34:47 AM PDT

    •  All I care about… (12+ / 0-)

      …is the GOP proving itself so extreme that we retain the White House in 2016 and get to replace Kennedy, Scalia, and Thomas (with women). And hopefully we get the House back, increase our hold of the Senate, and reform the filibuster even if we can't get to 60 in 2016 (I'm looking at you Sens. Ayotte, Blunt, Boozman, Burr, Coats, Grassley, Johnson, Kirk, McCain, Paul, Portman, Rubio, Toomey, and Vitter).

      Union-printed, USA-made, signs, stickers, swag for everyone:

      by DemSign on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 07:47:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I Don't Think It Is Necessary To Appoint Women (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        judyms9, METAL TREK, Matt Z

        to replace Alito, Kennedy, Scalia, Thomas or Roberts.

        I would take a Liberal/Progressive White Male over the (dis)likes of a Sandra Day O'Conner - and she was a liberal compared to the Neanderthals mentioned above.

        But it would be more than proper if the Supreme Court reflected the demographics of the country, and not just the nation's  "power distribution".

        I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the Republican Party.

        by OnlyWords on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 09:14:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The only time the Right (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TDDVandy, MBNYC, ZedMont

    manages to get a majority to agree with them, is when they completely separate the mandate from the rest of the Act, then ask loaded questions about "compulsion"

    I am happy that they keep doing this. Denial does not win elections.

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    Who is twigg?

    by twigg on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 07:37:08 AM PDT

  •  I think this all might be strategy by GOP... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lynneinfla, scott5js

    They'll "concede" Obamacare funding as their big "give" in negotiations and in return demand permanent sequester level funding.  Once again they use the "crazy" far right in their caucus to be all crazy, and then will offer to appear rational and negotiating in good faith when they say "Look we're getting killed by our right wing for this deal, you need to come to the middle and take equal heat from your left wing - it's only far and would show a fair deal".  

    “I will be far more aggressive in my reporting from now. I am going to publish many more documents. I have many more documents on England’s spy system. I think they will be sorry for what they did.” -G.Greenwald

    by Jacoby Jonze on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 07:37:59 AM PDT

  •  Since when (8+ / 0-)

    do the Republicans care about what's popular?

    29, white male, TX-07 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

    by TDDVandy on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 07:39:01 AM PDT

    •  it's the ideology, stupid (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TDDVandy, judyms9

      or the stupid ideology.  The idea that these true believers will be dissuaded by something so trifling as public opinion is pretty naive, Jed.  

      These people seem to have little conscience when it comes to making other people suffer for what they hold true.  And even less interest in compromising their absolutist principles.  Buckle your seat belts.  October and the debt ceiling negotiations are going to be a bumpy ride.

    •  Real Mericians don't need no steenking polls. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MBNYC, progresso
    •  Republicans only care about what's popular (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TDDVandy, METAL TREK, scott5js

      with the far right. As noted, the far right is who votes in
      republican primaries. But being a far right fringe crazy to get nominated is going to be awful hard to walkback in the general.

      My hope is it drives democrats to vote in 2014, instead of stay home like they did in 2010, and it's make republicans stay home because they KNOW these crazy policies are not in their own best interest. I know, that hasn't stopped them from voting republican in the past.

      The greater effects of the sequester, and the real effects of Obamacare will be felt in the hinterland much more by 2014, and I think republicans will have been proven to be on the wrong side of progress, once more.

      Today's problems are yesterday's solutions. Don Beck

      by Sherri in TX on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 07:55:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yep. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ZedMont, scott5js

        Something like 6 percent of the voting age population in the state voted in last year's Republican primary runoff.

        Not coincidentally, Ted Cruz only pays attention to roughly 6 percent of the voters in the state.

        29, white male, TX-07 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

        by TDDVandy on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 07:57:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Their concern for the American people - 0%

      Their concern for their corporate overlords - 100%

      "If fighting for a more equal and equitable distribution of the wealth of this country is socialistic, I stand guilty of being a socialist." Walter Reuther

      by fugwb on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 08:34:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I hate the law but am furious at efforts to defund (5+ / 0-)

    it, in part for the same reason I don't like recalls and impeachment threats: it is an  end-run around a well-established process that has served the country well.

    Part of  it was Republicans' utter refusal to engage constructively on the issue, which is a serious problem for most Americans -- including many who won't even know it until they have a non-trivial need for the criminal conspiracy we laughingly call American health care.

    We got a bad law, but not a law devoid of merit.  It will help a lot of people.  It may or may not be a step in the right direction, but it's acceptance acknowledges that health care is an appropriate domain for government action.

    Not that we should need acknowledgement -- the government pass laws regarding who can practice medicine, the government issues licenses, the government issues patent monopolies, the government creates Good Samaritan laws that place people at the mercy of passing physicians as the price for ensuring the availability of immediate emergency care,etc, etc.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 07:50:01 AM PDT

    •  Polling on AHCA (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ZedMont, judyms9, METAL TREK

      Consistently shows a majority disapprove of the law.  But that is because many on the left, like dinotrac and myself feel it did not go far enough, and is weak sauce at best.  But when you add those who are in favor of the law with those who think it does not go far enough you get that 57% number.  And once the law takes full effect, you can bet that most of that 8% undecided are going to swing in favor, and a few points are going to be shaved off that 36% as well.

      Republicans are terrified that once the exchanges are in full swing people are going to discover that their costs are going to be substantially lowered.

      •  In my case, more a matter of wrong target (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ZedMont, judyms9

        Not that some insurance reform was out of line. We absolutely needed community pricing and some other advances.

        But -- the real action is in the delivery of care.  Insurance costs are driven by delivery, and failure to rationalize care means we continue to be burdened as a nation by it's costs and as individuals by its irrational elements.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 08:45:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Everything you say is true, but one of the biggest (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          steps in the right direction once this thing gets going, is psychological.  It will no longer be "unthinkable" to many for the government to be deeply involved in healthcare.  And as the flaws in the ACA - there are many, some fundamental - become obvious, people will start suggesting ways to improve it, and as long as those ways are beneficial to participants, they will say "Why not?  Why didn't someone think of this before,?" which of course if they had been reading DailyKos, they would realize those "new ideas" like single payer, medicare for all, etc., are much older than the ACA.

          Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity -- George Carlin

          by ZedMont on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 08:59:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Not Quite Right About The PPACA's "Popularity" (0+ / 0-)

        the only reason why ObamaCare polls in the negative is that the majority of White Americans - left, right and center - oppose it. And they all have their "political" reasons why. Yet, the PPACA is extremely popular with non-Whiate Americans who, if they had not turned out in extraordinary numbers last November, White America's choice for President would have won.

        Only approximately 10% of White Americans oppose ObamaCare due to it not going far enough in the progressive direction. And the only reason why it was not progressive enough is that the majority of White Americans vote RepubliKlan.

        If the majority of White Americans would simply set aside their addiction to White supremacy and start voting their own individual best interest we could have a very progressive nation. Because the only thing that is holding America back from being a progressive nation is how the majority of White people vote.

        But I guess expecting White America to give up their group identity and start voting like enlightened individuals is like expecting the Sun to rise in the West.

        I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the Republican Party.

        by OnlyWords on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 09:27:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Damn the torpedoes....FULL SPEED AHEAD.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


  •  Your premise is flawed. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    What the people want is irrelevant to our present politics. The people wanted single payer and got the abomination that is the ACA. The people that pay republicans want lower taxes on themselves and they get what they pay for.

  •  Facts? Who needs facts! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZedMont, judyms9

    What do facts have to do with furthering your political ambitions. The arrogance of Ted Cruz will remain no matter.

    You hit the nail on the head where the quasi-reality based Repubs know they can't go over this cliff without getting the blame.

    The fact Americans who have access to state exchanges and are seeing real reductions in the costs for healthcare are the greatest threat to Cruz and his posse.

    OMG, a government program, and, and, and it works! Quick, somebody stick their head out the window and see if the sky is falling.

  •  Ted Cruz said I should vote against air, but... (0+ / 0-)

    you know...I want to but I really do like living.

  •  Obamacare is here to stay. (6+ / 0-)

    The biggest improvement to our social safety net since the Great Society. Not perfect by any means, but we're talking about the U.S. government here.

    So the GOP lost, good.

    Give it a decade, tops, and they will defend the ACA as strongly as they now claim to defend Social Security and Medicare. But they've done such a spectacular job branding the ACA as Obamacare that they'll have to give the man that drives them into spasms of fury credit every damned time they do so.

    Well done, GOP. You've cemented this President's legacy into a millstone around your own neck that you'll never be able to lift.

    Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

    by MBNYC on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 08:10:09 AM PDT

    •  Let's start the articles of impeachment....gimme (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      an 'A'.....Anybody?.....Is this thing on??

    •  Obamacare and Holcombe Boulevard (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      There was a time in Houston when the part of Bellaire Boulevard east of Main Street was called Marlborough Drive. Back in the 1940's. Mayor Oscar Holcombe lived on Marlborough Drive and he got the City Council to pave it. Yes, he had some rubber stamps on the Council. His detractors began calling it Holcombe Drive. So he got the Council to rename it Holcombe Boulevard. Pretty soon they renamed much of Bellaire Blvd. to West Holcombe. The cities of West University Place and Southside Place co-operated. Bellaire did not.
      Sound familiar?

      Censorship is rogue government.

      by scott5js on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 10:47:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This may be the last chance to raise..... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RichM, scott5js

    big sums of money off their base before the ACA is implemented.....they will get diminishing returns as the ACA unfolds and more people like it.

    The most perfect political community is one in which the middle class is in control, and outnumbers both of the other classes. Aristotle

    by progresso on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 08:16:55 AM PDT

  •  What's truly startling (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZedMont, OnlyWords, judyms9

    Is that after all the misinformation and disinformation, the scare tactics and the outright lying, a majority of the American People still want this law to work.

    I hope that concern trolls got their Koch agitprop money up front. Those folks didn't get wealthy by paying for stuff.

  •  Obamacare has gotten the attention of the (0+ / 0-)

    average American as something interesting that just might work and open up some new opportunities.  Looks like McCain wants the GOP to bend to the public will and I suspect so do the potential 2016 GOP candidates.  Obamacare has created a split in the GOP between pragmatists and ideologues and I suspect GOP primary voters will not view support for medicaid expansion or other popular aspects of Obamacare as fatal, whereas 'purist' opposition from the likes of Cruz, Jindal, Rubio and others will not yield additional votes at the ballot box.  

    Alternative rock with something to say. Check out Global Shakedown's latest album, "A Time to Recognize": Available on iTunes/Amazon, or stream it at

    by khyber900 on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 08:35:24 AM PDT

  •  Wait for the revisionist history (4+ / 0-)

    When the ACA becomes a popular program, the GOPee
    message will change overnight.

    I expect the following quotes in the near future:

    "The ACA was invented by Mitt Romney when he was Governor of Massachusetts."

    "President Obama STOLE the idea from Mitt Romney."

    The 40 repeal votes in the House NEVER happened.

    The Republican Lies regarding the ACA will be forgotten.

    On Giving Advice: Smart People Don't Need It and Stupid People Don't Listen

    by Brian76239 on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 08:43:25 AM PDT

    •  Emphasis On "President Obama STOLE the Idea (0+ / 0-)

      from Mitt Romney"

      Because long after the RepubliKlans take credit for ObamaCare, they will still be addicted to their racism, because how else will they be able to get the majority of White Americans  to vote RepubliKlan,,,

      I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the Republican Party.

      by OnlyWords on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 09:33:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'd like to see some really good arguments against (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Proud Liberal Dem, Mayfly, judyms9

    the ACA that don't contain lies.  Until then, go away, Republicans.  Oh wait, don't go away too far, you said you were for Jobs, Jobs, Jobs and were going to replace the ACA.  Go for it!  I won't hold my breath, but hey, if you'd actually do something positive, I would consider voting for a republican again, maybe, well, sort of maybe.

  •  All it took for interest in the ACA to grow was (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    a near collapse of the economy, its destruction of individual wealth, and the transition from a full-time employment economy to two-to-three-part-time-jobs-with- no-benefits economy.  Eyes widened and ears perked up everywhere.

    Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

    by judyms9 on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 09:39:10 AM PDT

  •  This Line of Argument (0+ / 0-)

    is way to logical to be actual Republican thinking.  But, I don't pity the dilemma of their own making.

  •  Too many people need it (0+ / 0-)

    Some hate to admit tit.  Some are finally coming around.  I had a Republican friend express concern about whether he will be able to get Obamacare on time.  His son is getting health care only because of Obamacare.

    As Chris Hayes says, I think 2 years from now the question we will be asking is not how to get rid of Obamacare but why can't it do even more!

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Riane Eisler

    by noofsh on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 11:13:41 AM PDT

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