President Obama held a lengthy news conference today.
President Obama on Tuesday said he's willing to sit down and talk with Republicans over anything they wish to negotiate after they re-open the government and drop the threat of letting the nation default on its loans, if only for a few weeks....
Will John Boehner and the tea party Republican radicals actually move toward helping the country get back to work? The fallout from the Republican shutdown has been enormous with death benefits being denied to the families of veterans, the closing of Head Start programs, federal museums closed, 800,000 furloughed federal workers, etc., etc. The Republicans have the full blame for this catastrophe. Now we know that the entire shutdown was planned by Republicans and their conservative backers.
If Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Mike McIntire are correct in their reporting for the New York Times, the government shutdown wasn’t simply an action of recent vintage, but a long-term plan generated by conservative activists, led by former Attorney General Edwin Meese III, to destroy the Affordable Care Act at any cost, even at the cost of virtually all the other functions of the federal government. Meese’s co-conspirators in this high stakes game included David Koch, the money behind Americans for Prosperity, and Michael Needham of the Heritage Foundation’s recently-high-profile political arm, Heritage Action for America.
The Meese plan, kept secret but signed off on apparently by the “leaders of more than three dozen conservative groups,” was meant to be a “blueprint to defunding Obamacare.” According to Stolberg and McIntire, “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.”
In other words, the current government shutdown wasn’t the result of an impasse between House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and President Obama, but the product of a long-term plan by Meese, Koch, and others to kill the Affordable Care Act no matter what the cost, even if it meant shutting down parts of the federal government, furloughing hundreds of thousands of workers, and cutting social safety net services. The strategy of these conservative leaders included sample Q&As (Q: “What happens when you shut down the government and you are blamed for it?” A: “We are simply calling to fund the entire government except for the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare”), talking points for shutdown advocates (such as Boehner’s “Obamacare is a train wreck” meme), and action scripts (for example, the burning of fake “Obamacare cards,” etc.)......
This was a planned sabotage of the country. Could it be called treason? How could anyone vote for a party that planned to destroy the country and people's lives? This is shameful.