The GOP wants to shut down the government to stop Obamacare. They tried to stop it in 2010, but couldn't win the Senate. They tried again in 2012, and were very clear about their intentions: Vote for us and we will kill Obamacare. The people spoke just as clear and re-elected Obama... you know the guy who Obamacare is named for.
I spent a lot of time in 2012 talking about polls, sitting across from right-leaning pundits. They frequently reminded me that the only poll that counts is the one on Election Day. That's absolutely correct.
Remember Election Day eleven months ago? I do, I was on the air till 2 a.m., even though it was clear to me at 7 pm that the president won. Maybe Republicans were out of town on Jan. 20 this year when we swore-in twice-elected President Barack Obama. Too bad for them - Beyonce was great and so was Sen. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), chairman of the congressional Inaugural committee.
Will someone remind Republicans that they're supposed to be the loyal minority, not behave like minors? The GOP needs to chillax or they will go the way of the Whigs. They lost badly last year, and for the past 11 months they and their spin machines have been lying to the American people about Obamacare. Obama himself has under-responded to their lies, probably because it is getting harder and harder to take them seriously.
It has become very clear that the Republicans' obsession with stopping Obamacare is all about people liking it. If they really believed it's going to suck so bad, let it run for a year, and cowards in my party will run to kill it themselves if it threatens their continued existence.
Problem is, it's not bad, and they know it. After all it was their idea. States like New York and California that have embraced the reforms are showing significant decreases in premiums. And Republican governors who have sworn to resist setting up their own exchanges are starting to panic. I predict by year's end all but the craziest GOP governors will give in and set up exchanges. Not because they want to, but rather because their constituents will demand it.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention Ted Cruz and his demagoguery. Ted's a smart guy. Smart enough to know that when he stands for re-election in 2018 Texas will be lost to Republicans. He knows his time is short. He also knows that Rush Limbaugh usually signs three-year contracts and if the pattern continues he will be finishing one a couple of years later, around 2020. He's got about five years to audition to be Rush's replacement, and he's making the most of it.
Unfortunately we all have to watch his amateurish performance. Someone tell Ted that Rush is an entertainer and he's an Ivy League-educated U.S. senator - and it's time to start acting like it.
Christopher Hahn is a highly sought-after progressive pundit, political consultant and attorney based in New York. He is a veteran of over 1,000 national television appearances on a variety of political and public policy topics. Christopher's skill in dealing with public policy issues was honed during five years he served as a senior aide to Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), and as chief deputy county executive for Nassau County, N.Y. Follow him on Twitter @christopherhahn.