Ted Cruz led the charge to shutdown the government over Obamacare, but all the Republican Party got out of it was a meaningless tweak to the law.
The Republican Party just cost the country an estimated $2.56 billion in costs associated with the government shutdown (and that money is not coming back), and all they got for it was a meaningless tweak in Obamacare. They badly misread the mood of the country, and what was originally the GOP’s big stand against Obamacare earned them a token change in the law.
The Republican Party has thought since 2010 that they can make whatever demands they want, and Obama and the Democrats have to comply.Never mind that the Republican Party lost every part of the election in 2012 (they only kept the House due to gerrymandering, the Democrats got more House votes). What the GOP failed to realize is that the American public sides with the Democrats on many issues and they REALLY side with them on not shutting down the government or threatening the nation’s credit worthiness to extract concessions. The conservative wing of the Republican Party was giddy with the prospect of using those two points of leverage to wring spending cuts from Obama after 2010, and no one told them that the music stopped in 2012.
That’s why the Republican Party just made the government shutdown for 16 days: many of them actually believed that they could get the Democrats to defund Obamacare in exchange for opening the government back up. When Democrats didn’t budge and the public started to turn against the Republican Party, they offered to end the shutdown for an end to the medical device tax. That didn’t work either, so Republicans asked for a delay to the medical device tax.
Finally, Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Senate agreed to a deal to end the shutdown, raise the debt ceiling, go to a budget conference (a Democrat win) and, the big Obamacare concession…strengthen rules around income verification for certain income-threshold provisions in Obamacare.
It’s sort of like the Republican Party went to war to conquer California, and after many costly battles, ended up with a highway sign in Fresno.
Many voters simply vote according to the letter next to the candidate’s name (R or D), but the ones in the middle who make the political pendulum swing back and forth are angry at the Republican Party right now. Angry enough that if the Democrats can keep reminding them about this over the next year, they have a shot at defying all that gerrymandering and taking back the House in 2014.