Just a few months ago, in July, the Republican Deputy Whip in the House said the following:
It seems to me there’s appropriate ways to deal with the law, but shutting down the government to get your way over an unrelated piece of legislation is the political equivalent of throwing a temper tantrum, it is just not helpful. And I think it is the sort of thing that could create a backlash that could cost the Republicans the majority in the House, which is after all the last line of defense against the president, and could materially undercut the ability of the Republicans in the Senate to capture the majority in 2014 which I think they have a decent chance to do.
And yet, this same Congressman just voted to shut down the government if Obama doesn’t delay Obamacare for a year and allow businesses to opt out of contraception coverage. That’s right, the Republicans actually broadened their demands, and decided that reopening the long settled fight over contraception was the way to do it? They are simply crazy.
Adding to the irony, today Senator Ted Cruz called on Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid to call the Senate back into session on Sunday, instead of waiting until Monday when it is scheduled. Cruz says “The Senate needs to act”. Of course, just a few days ago, it was Cruz who mounted a faux filibuster on his own party’s bill in order to delay action in the Senate by days, which failed miserably. Then, on top of that, he delayed the Senate vote another day just so that — in the words of his own party members — he could get more publicity and raise additional money from conservative donors. Why is he in such a hurry now?
UPDATE: Speaking of temper tantrums, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has come out saying the Republicans should force the shutdown. That’s right, the same man who almost destroyed the Republican party in the 90s by forcing a shutdown didn’t learn from that experience at all. Even more ironic, Gingrich accuses Obama of refusing to negotiate, but offers no evidence for that claim at all. In fact, Obama said again today that he was “not only open to but eager” to negotiate. Unfortunately, the Republicans are not interested in negotiating, they are only interested in making demands while holding the threat of a shutdown like a gun up to the heads of the American people.