It's only a matter of time before the Republican Party caves
In the midst of the first government shutdown showdown in 17 years, negotiations to resolve it remain bleak at best, but I still think a resolution may be very close at hand. Unlike in the past, president Obama and Democrats are not wavering in the face of Republican “our way or no way” tactics. Obama’s steadfastness has the Republican Party divided on the government shutdown and for the first time, Republicans have effectively run into a brick wall.
The all or nothing tactics of the Republicans in the past four years has ground to a halt this time. President Obama and congressional Democrats are standing strong and have made clear they will not touch the ACA (affordable care act/Obamacare) to get a clean continuing budget resolution passed or raise the debt ceiling. Senate Democrats have already passed a bill that funds the government without de-funding the ACA, but Republicans in the House are still holding out in the hope of cutting something from Obama’s signature legislative achievement.
In a recent interview with NPR, Obama made it clear that the ACA was not on the table for negotiations for as he put it “doing your job.” He was clear that the Republicans will not black mail him to derail healthcare reform. Obama is going on a roundhouse tour to attack the Republicans and as Democrats stand strong in the Senate its only a matter of time before the Republicans crack.
One reason why the Republicans in the House will cave is because the party is divided over the government shutdown itself. Two factions are fighting with each other. One is the establishment branch of the party while the other side is the Tea Party faction. The Tea Partiers want to continue the government shutdown until the ACA is derailed in some way, while the establishment side wants to simply end the shutdown with or without an ACA repeal just to save face.
Republicans in the Senate have already folded and there is enough Republicans in the House ready to pass a continuing resolution with democrats. John Boehner however, continues to state he will not vote on a bill in the House unless a majority of Republicans will vote for it. Getting a majority of republicans on side is the hard part, but it it may not matter in the end.
Obama is not only galvanizing the public on this issue, he is also leaning on Wall Street for help. Wall Street dreads a government shutdown and default, so Obama has decided to get them to use their influence to get Republicans in the House behind ending the shutdown. Wall Street doesn’t care too much if the ACA is still in place. They care a lot if the debt ceiling is not raised.
If Obama can get Wall Street fully on his side, then the Republicans will have no choice but to fold as they cannot risk losing their Wall Street financiers. The only reason why Wall Street has an alliance with the Republicans is because they do their bidding in Congress. If Republicans won’t play ball, Wall Street will take its money elsewhere.
A divided party, an upset populace and an upset Wall Street spells certain doom for any chance Republicans had of coming out of the government shutdown on top. Obama is not wavering and unless the Republicans concede soon it could cost them massively in the political arena. Let’s remember, 2014 is an election year. If the Republicans lose Wall Street backing and receive the blame they deserve, then the polls could be crushing for them. The clock is ticking for the Republican Party, and it’s only a matter of time before they fold.