Norm Ornstein Accuses Republicans of Trying to Blackmail Obama


Writing for the conservative National Journal, Norm Ornstein points out that Republican efforts to sabotage ObamaCare are unprecedented and spinning out of control. He writes that it’s contemptible for Republicans “to threaten the even greater disruption via a government shutdown or breach of the debt limit in order to blackmail the president into abandoning the law.”

Ornstein, a political scientist and resident scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, points out that Republicans refused to confirm anyone to lead Medicare and Medicaid for three years, with an eye to causing problems in the roll out of ObamaCare.

Republicans are now using the problems they caused as yet another phony excuse to repeal the law of the land.

Furthermore, Ornstein expresses outrage over long list of threatening behavior from elected Republicans, “Guerrilla efforts to cut off funding, dozens of votes to repeal, abusive comments by leaders, attempts to discourage states from participating in Medicaid expansion or crafting exchanges, threatening letters to associations that might publicize the availability of insurance on exchanges, and now a new set of threats—to have a government shutdown, or to refuse to raise the debt ceiling, unless the president agrees to stop all funding for implementation of the plan.”

Pointing out that yes, Democrats appeared to be rooting for the troop surge to fail under Bush, Ornstein notes a very important difference – once again, Democrats stepped up to govern and did not obstruct American law or success, “But of course they did not try to sabotage the surge by disrupting funding or interfering in the negotiations in Iraq with competing Shiite, Sunni, and Kurdish power centers. To do so would have been close to treasonous.”

That’s a little dig at Senator John McCain, among others, who took secret meetings in Syria as a pretend, wannabe, shadow President and fell on his face doing so:

McCain is pushing back against allegations that he posed with rebels who kidnapped 11 Lebanese Shi’ite pilgrims, after saying we should arm Syrian rebels because we can tell who the good guys are.

But, what Republicans are doing with ObamaCare is not treasonous — but it is blackmail — and it is way, way beneath the standards of elected officials. “What is going on now to sabotage Obamacare is not treasonous—just sharply beneath any reasonable standards of elected officials with the fiduciary responsibility of governing. ”

And then Ornstein, who considers himself a centrist but is friend with Senator Al Franken and seems to have the conscience of a liberal, digs into the despicable immorality of the GOP’s actions. It’s not just a few crazies, but party leadership (my bold):

“But to do everything possible to undercut and destroy its implementation—which in this case means finding ways to deny coverage to many who lack any health insurance; to keep millions who might be able to get better and cheaper coverage in the dark about their new options; to create disruption for the health providers who are trying to implement the law, including insurers, hospitals, and physicians; to threaten the even greater disruption via a government shutdown or breach of the debt limit in order to blackmail the president into abandoning the law; and to hope to benefit politically from all the resulting turmoil—is simply unacceptable, even contemptible.”

For Republicans to make as their sole goal the destruction of American law is notable in and of itself. Instead of coming up with an alternative, Republicans are all about destruction. They’ve become the party of lawless, nihilist activists– and we’re talking party leaders here, not a few Bachmann crazies.

Republicans are successfully pressuring sports leagues to avoid helping implementation of a law that will help Americans. They insinuated that the Obama administration was pressuring sports leagues to help alert the public to the law, as if following the law were a bad thing. Republicans are investigating Obama over this, yet another imaginary, phony, fake scandal in which once again, Republican behavior is the real scandal.

Republicans’ big plan in August is to hold rigged and staged “Emergency Health Care Town Halls”, and then give the media sound bites from an “unhappy” (read: pre-screened) public. All the world is the GOP’s stage, and our media still follows along behind the delinquents with their tales between their legs begging for a pet or a fake email “scandal”.

Jason Easley wrote this morning, “Republicans are literally trying to convince individual Americans that healthcare is bad for them.” Republicans are anti-law, anti-governing, anti-morality, and anti-health. Their entire 2014 campaign rests on the idea that affordable healthcare for you is bad thing, and so you should send them back to DC as an elected representative, so that you can pay for their very excellent healthcare coverage.

A little blackmail to boot? No problem. As I wrote yesterday, the GOP’s governing plan is more like an extortionist’s plan, “Give us Obamacare or the economy and the public gets it!”

Tick tock, the extortionists say, while expecting to be paid as lawmakers, not lawbreakers.

Read the entire National Journal article here.
Image: Masters of Trivia blog, with a handy definition of extortion.

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