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If you're a Republican, this morning's New York Times isn't for you.  In a devastating front-page story (below the fold), it's revealed that a small group of conservative activists began working to yank funding for the health care reform law almost as soon as Obama's reelection was assured--and were willing to shut down the government to do it.

Shortly after President Obama started his second term, a loose-knit coalition of conservative activists led by former Attorney General Edwin Meese III gathered in the capital to plot strategy. Their push to repeal Mr. Obama’s health care law was going nowhere, and they desperately needed a new plan.

Out of that session, held one morning in a location the members insist on keeping secret, came a little-noticed “blueprint to defunding Obamacare,” signed by Mr. Meese and leaders of more than three dozen conservative groups.

It articulated a take-no-prisoners legislative strategy that had long percolated in conservative circles: that Republicans could derail the health care overhaul if conservative lawmakers were willing to push fellow Republicans — including their cautious leaders — into cutting off financing for the entire federal government.

Read the letter here.  The people in on this effort should surprise no one--the Heritage Foundation, Americans for Prosperity, FreedomWorks, the Club for Growth, and Tea Party Patriots among others.  They actually began working on it when the last continuing resolution was due to expire.

The pressure really started ramping up when Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC11) circulated a letter urging Boehner to make defunding Obamacare a condition of passing a spending bill to keep the government open.  When several lawmakers balked, Heritage Foundation's PAC, Heritage Action, ran Internet ads in their districts attacking them.

By the end of the summer, they were ready to try again.  And as proof that they were well aware of what they were doing, Tea Party Patriots created a "defunding toolkit" with a series of talking points for those who supported lobotomizing Obamacare.  One of them is very telling:

What happens when you shut down the government and are blamed for it?

We are simply calling to fund the entire government except for the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare.

The message must go out--not only was the wingnut fringe willing to shut down the government, they knew damned well what they were doing when they started this effort.

10:54 AM PT: Since this made the rec list, I thought I'd share a CNN piece about Meadows that aired on Tuesday.  Read it here.  Meadows crassly says that he is only concerned about representing the people of his nicely gerrymandered, R+12 district.  Yes, but you also have a responsibility to your state and your country.

11:12 AM PT: This article was reprinted in two papers that serve major swing areas--the Tampa Bay Times and the Fresno Bee (no link yet).  Hat tips to Beemerr90s and ybruti.

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