Rebutting Conventional Wisdom: Government Shutdown and the Battle to Stop Obamacare

Tomorrow, a partial government shutdown may occur if President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) continue to risk a government shutdown to protect Obamacare.  The House has already passed two pieces of legislation to fund the government while stopping Obamacare.  It is prideful, pompous, and shameful that the Left is willing to shutdown the government just to keep this failed law – a law opposed by 57 percent of Americans – afloat.

No conservative wants a government shutdown; we simply want to stop Obamacare.  Liberals need to let the talking points go and face the harsh reality that Obamacare is destroying health care in America.  If the government is shutdown temporarily because liberals remain in denial, conservatives will not be to blame.

And it’s not just that we don’t want them to take the blame; it’s that a careful (rather than cursory) reading of history demonstrates they won’t need to.  Even if they do take slightly more blame than President Obama as indicated by current polling, it will likely have insignificant implications for them politically.

Conventional wisdom about the government shutdown that occurred during the winter of 1995 – 1996 says that Republicans took most of the blame and they suffered for it in subsequent elections.  A recent article in The Guardian contests this notion.

First, polls today indicate that Republicans would take more blame for a shutdown than President Obama, but the divide is not nearly as great as it was in 1995 – 1996, when there was a 19 point divide.  Today the divide is a mere 3 points.

The author strongly questions some of the conventional assumptions surrounding the 1995 – 1996 shutdown.  He disagrees with the common assumption that the shutdown was strongly correlated to if not responsible for President Bill Clinton’s reelection:

I would argue that this looming shutdown will offer nowhere such a clear win for Obama and the Democrats as it did for Clinton. The 1996 elections didn’t differ at all from what you’d expect – given the state of the economy and the outcomes of congressional elections in presidential years when there is split government.

He also explains that, though one may think otherwise, the budget showdown and subsequent shutdown of 1995 – 1996 simply did not result in a steep decline in Congressional approval.  Yes, Congressional Republican approval went down a point or two, but so did President Clinton’s.

Then, in the months after the shutdown, both President Clinton and Congressional Republicans’ approval rose.

The author’s fundamental assertion is this: President Clinton won – and Republicans lost – the 1996 election because the economy was doing well, not because Republicans took more blame for the government shutdown:

There just isn’t much sign that 1996 differed from what you’d expect, given the fundamentals. Clinton won the national vote by a little less than 9pt over Dole. One would think that if the shutdown had really hurt Republicans over the long term, then Clinton would have done far better than the economy would suggest. That simply didn’t happen.

In short, there’s just no clear evidence that House Republicans suffered, even if they were largely blamed for the shutdown.

In fact, Senate Republicans actually picked up two seats in 1996.

Many in the media, along with “more seasoned” lawmakers, have used the 1996 shutdown and the potential of a partial government shutdown today to scare Republicans and to deter them from standing on conservative principle. But as this article suggests, it is unwise to let conventional wisdom guide our predictions for the forthcoming elections.

That being said, conservatives are concerned with policy, not politics.  We know that Obamacare is harming individual citizens, the quality of healthcare in America, and the economy.  And even the Left – though many continue to parrot President Obama who continues to delude himself about Obamacare’s “quality, affordable health insurance” –  acknowledges that Obamacare is bad policy and harmful to America.

Please Share Your Thoughts

62 thoughts on “Rebutting Conventional Wisdom: Government Shutdown and the Battle to Stop Obamacare

  1. Too bad that the liberal media will not print or broadcast the truth. They will put the blame squarely on the Republicans and use scare tactics to paint a horrible problem is the government shuts down. #1. The government will not face a complete shutdown. Too bad, we could use a break from those idiots. #2. Citizens need to come together and DEMAND that they DO NOT GET PAID until this is resolved. My bet is they suddenly would say to heck the protecting OB care, give US OUR MONEY! Money and power is all they care about, the care nothing about the people they are supposed to represent. If they did and really cared for their “jobs” they would pass it with the percentage of people who are against OB.

  2. If this shut down happens, they say it would effect “nonessential” govt. employees. If these people are nonessential, why do they have the job to begin with? Just more govt. waste at the expense of the taxpayers.

  3. The Obama/Reid Dictatorship is refusing to consider even the most limited compromise, even one of almost trivial effect. Their objective is to shut down the gov’t, blame this on intransigent Republicans instead of intransigent Democrats, get plenty of collusion from the MSM and hope to win in the 2014 midterm elections.

    Will the voters’ common sense return to the Obama/Reid dictatorship a super-decapitating boomerang?.

    • Nope. Judging from what I have read on the net the last couple days, the MSM is in full swing, bashing Republicans while completely ignoring the fact that NO ONE wants Obamacare now that the premium costs have skyrocketed (instead of being cheaper like we were promised), employess getting hours slashed (so that small businesses don’t have to pay fines), and employee medical benefits getting slashed (so that big businesses can pay the fine instead cause it is cheaper).

      So the Republicans are actually trying to enforce the will of the citizens, while the Democrats that keep rejecting the budget are only supporting their ivory tower myopically utopian socialist vision of healthcare in America… while exempting themselves from it.

      The worst part is, it seems like people are just lapping up this slanted crap that the media outlets are bombarding them with. So common sense? Not likely. The average American seems to have as much common sense nowadays as the sheep being led into the happy fun time house (err, slaughterhouse).

  4. All you Republicans stand your ground… do not give in to this so called President & his Regime, time to show Obama , ” THIS TIME YOU WILL NOT GET YOUR WAY ” , do as you please President ! They can SHUT IT DOWN, It is on them !

  5. He actually can’t let obama be labeled as a failure as a president. The scandals have given the progressives a vary bad name and obama as the leader of the pack of wolves that run Washington are finding out the American people have had enough of the BS..

    • Reid is actually staging obama’s firmness and he won’t be swayed; after all, he’s lost to Putin, Syria, and possibly Iran.

  6. Because Harry Reid wants to win the 2014 election for democrats so they can finish ruining the country. Power greed apparently makes people blind. It worked the last time in 1998, so why not do it again. I don’t think the conditions are similar, but we will see. I believe that if the Republicans stand up and fight the democrats, the Republicans will win the next election.

  7. Pingback: Reality Check: GOP Expanded Senate Majority After 96 Shutdown | pundit from another planet

  8. Americans should not fear a government “shutdown”. There is, in fact, some relief to be realized during such a time. Aside from the fact that the whole government will not come to a halt, and the truly constitutional functions of government will continue to operate at a near-normal level, it will be visible that we the people do not need much of what is called, “governing”. Blame? Most Americans blame the entire cabal that we call, “the government”. Reid has stifled the existence of a federal budget for years and blame has been negligible. Who cares, really. Stop the “Affordable” Care Act!

  9. I just saw Obo on channel 3 out of Phila, he stood there with a straight face and put all the blame and all the onus and all the “uncooperation” on the shoulders of the Reps. I truly hope the People are smart enough to see through his garbage. It is HE and Reid who are being uncooperative, selfish and every term he used to bash his opposition. He spoke of the ACA being the “law of the land’…yeah, force fed to us! He spoke of most people “wanting it”, last time I checked, 57% NOT wanting it is a majority. (Of COURSE it depends on which poll you look at). What a prime example of an out of touch Administration. Obama, Reid, you disgust me. You act like YOU are giving something to the “poor huddled masses”. You haven’t done a thing with any funds that belong to you. You take and take from the taxpayers and give and give like you are the King of the US. You stood there and said how this will hurt the “middle Class”. You have hurt the Middle class so deeply at this point is why everyone is in an uproar. Our paychecks get smaller, our tax burden grows, you stifle the economy and small business, you and your Administration are a Travesty. You are a Pompus “talking head” with no real sense of what the average American needs. May God have mercy on you and your bleeding of this Nations resources.

    • Obama does know what the average American needs. He just does not care. He told us before he was elected the 1st time that he was going to distribute our wealth and he has. Still with the assistance of some low information voters,free things, and all the fraud, he is back for the 2nd term to finish the job. He did NOT win this election. He stole it. Face it, he intends to bring America to her knees and is doing it almost with no fight. However, I think and hope people are beginning to see thru him. He needs to be tried for treason then we would not need to repeal this awful law. All of his laws would automatically be null and void.

    • Amen, Fred. It is hurting the very ones it is purported to help. the rhetoric is so thick with layers of lies that it can’t possibly be anything but filled with pitfalls. You are so right that it was ignored that it was more against than in favor of. there were changes that were made illegally and passed without protocol. this will create so much more poverty due to ludicrous premiums. it is VERY King George, let’s just tax the people so much so that they have less and the dictator has more. Shameful, this is NOT the America that I proudly grew up in

  10. Demorats will not be in Office this is a losing battle . Its like beting on a bad horse. Some times its better not to bet. Republicans are listening to the American people. If is so great let them use it then. If its good eniough for us and your sticking it down our throats,. Its time for them to stick it.

  11. DEFUNDING obummercare is what all GOP candidates promised when they ran in 2012. Thus if the GOP cannot keep their word they will lose in 2014.


    YEA !! CRUZ, LEE, PAUL, RUBIO particularly for SPEAKING OUT and STANDING UP to oppose this destructive to medical care monstrosity and the other 15 Senators who voted to stop cloture in order to defund obummercare.


    • Dear Joyce, the GOP has tried their damest to defund Obamacare, but when you have a no good President, and a bunch of sissy Dems, that are scared to death of Obama, and they control the WH and the Senate the GOP doesn’t have much of a chance. But I give them an A for at least trying, and what we need is for the Republicans to get in charge of the Senate so we can stop the murder of America.

  12. Our Healthcare at the present time leaves a lot to be desired. Most of Healthcare in the U.S. is presently being taken over by Corporations, eg. Hospitals, Doctors, Nurses & Ancillary Help have all been affected by these take overs. We now have many Hospital Stays” Shortened “to the point where Patients are shipped off to these so called “REHABS” before they are even 1/4 the way to Recovery. The Hospitals & the Rehabs are Hiring “PROFESSIONALLY” TRAINED INDIVIDUALS at a Minimum these days. Not as many RN’s or LPN’s, INSTEAD INDIVIDUALS ARE BEING TRAINED IN SHORT TERMED COURSES IN THERE PLACE. WHY? TO SAVE “MONEY” !! What ever happened to “BEDSIDE CARE” !! Corporations now leave the ” PATIENT ” as the last PRIORITY It’s all about “MONEY” Folks !!! The Health Situation in this Country is Deteriorating. People NOW are being adversely affected. IMAGINE what it will be like when Obama Care is in Place. The TaxPayers are going to pay LONG TERM not the CORPORATIONS !!!!

  13. Republicans Stand Firm!!! The democrats and our so called president have no intentions of negotiating with the the Conservatives, Period! Please contact your senators and representatives and let them hear your voices.

    My healthcare,(catastrophic only) went from $794.00 per month to $848.00 this month. It will increase 150% next month and it’s Not locked in for 6 months. Notified it could go up depending on the number of people that sign on to obummercare. Then BCBS is dumping me March 2014.

    One way or another we must stop this thing. An idea, The “American People” pay their salaries with Our Tax Dollars. We could just fail to pay them!!! We need to band and Stand together, United We Stand, Divided We Fall!!! Who’s with me?

  14. Give em Hell Republicans, America realizes that Harry and the Dems along with their great black hope want to shut down the Gov. Harry the Ape Reid doesn’t play with a full deck, so you know he is dealing from the bottom of the deck to get his way.

  15. The Democrats are rarely interested either in the truth or the facts. Add to those their indifference to the American people, who oppose Obamacare, depending on the poll, from 60 to 70 percent.

  16. please shut it down it is dure to give republicans the senate and house in next election no one with common sense can believe obamacare is going good for our country….republicans stick together the people are for you….well not Harry puke lousy because they made the law for us but geez they don’t want it for themselves…I wonder why if its so good for us ……why not for them!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. He defends it because he and the crooks and thugs DO NOT have to have it!
    He needs to be recalled, kicked out of OUR office. NO BUDGET for 5 years and ALL the actions the House has sent on every thing, he on his own dumps them, never to see the light of the senate! Like bo, its his way or the highway. These are what are called our leaders? NOT

  18. I hate to see a government shut-down, but President Obama and his clones are expecting this to cause the Republicans to back down yet again. I hope and pray that Republicans stand their ground just as Harry Reid and Obama have stood theirs. Americans do NOT want Obama Care and it is our right to stand up against it. But Obama and his little puppets are so power hungry that they will let the country fall apart before they will give a little. IT IS THEIR WAY OR NO WAY. They are not interested in negotiating – only winning. They are a pitiful bunch! I hope they suffer the consequences in the greatest way.

  19. Why is Harry Reid against the USA & the American people, Because the N$A is like a proctologist and they have their fingers up Harry’s, but of course he likes it, and he needs to stop the blackmale now!!!

  20. There seems to be another way of getting rid of Obamacare. The lies perpetrated by Obama and the left were many and it is now very, very evident. These lies were lies and not mere distortions. How is it possible for a law to remain law when it was presented to the American people with lies and deceit? I believe this is called fraud, and fraud vitiates the law, the contract, whatever. I recommend we take this to court and see where it takes us.

    While I am at it, one of the most disturbing things about any socialized healthcare is that people who spend a lifetime taking care of themselves including health clubs and spending several hundred dollars a month on organic produce and nutritional supplements is put into the same category as those who have not cared one iota about their health. These people include heavy drinkers, drug users, smokers, overweight people and people who don’t exercise. Isn’t there something wrong with this picture? Should those of us who have taken care of ourselves throughout our lives be “taxed” at the same rate for government health insurance as those who haven’t?

    Having raised a family of four kids to be extremely healthy (not even a dental cavity by the time they left the house), I know something about the cost of insuring good nutrition and other health practices for my family versus health insurance premiums. I looked at it closely because I was on a tight budget. I opted for a major medical policy only, and then made sure my family exercised proper health practices. It paid off big time saving hundreds of dollars annually back in the sixties. What I am saying is the extra cost of making sure my family stayed healthy was less than the cost of a monthly premium for a normal full coverage insurance policy.

    One more thing: I remember in the nineties there was about a one-third chance a person in the U.S. would get either heart disease or cancer. Combine the two and that means the odds are two in three. I didn’t like the odds so I went to naturopathic school to learn what I could do about it. There is a lot we can do about it that you will not learn from most conventional medical experts. The lesson here is to learn about healthcare and then take action. Do not depend on the medical profession to keep you in good health. They are great at diagnosis and fixing extreme illness, but you should want to keep your body in tune so you never get to that point. If we would all do that, the cost of healthcare could come down from being sixteen percent of the GDP to, probably, ten percent or less.

  21. If you don’t vote straight Republican in the next election, and DON’T vote to re-elect any RINO in your primary elections you will have to live with this monstrosity for the rest of your life!



  22. Let the gov’t shut down…the democrats OWN this one!! Mean-spirited, nasty democrats are going to see a backlash they never anticipated! I can’t WAIT for the 2014 elections…conservatives SHOULD clean house!

  23. …So glad I was not steered onto the gov’t plantation, as so many blacks have been. It’s time for minorities to start thinking about the future of this nation and stop defending the indefensible. Obama was the WORST thing that could have happened to America, especially since black people were blinded by their own prejudices, regarding Obama.

  24. Pingback: Opinion: US Federal Shutdown ‘Obamacare’ and the UK’s NHS « Dr Alf's Blog

  25. Harry Reid is a big mouth moron who is only looking out for himself and what he can put in his pockets, and ovomit is trying to save face as a jerk who gets HIS way no matter what. The both need to go, they have been in office to long and they are responsible for this shutdown.

  26. Pingback: Government shutdown: what’s really going on – and who’s to blame? | World news | « Dr Alf's Blog

  27. Until Congress, House and Senate and the White House liberals , President and his hand oucked czars have to go without a paycheck, the budget nonsense will continue. Did you know THEY ALL get paid if no one else does? Yep, took care of themselves on that and the obummercare exemption too.

  28. the reason why Reid is for the Scorpion care he is a socialist, communist he is not an American he and the Scorpion need to get out of the office

  29. How many of these 400000 + furloughed federal employees voted for the Lying King & Obamacare ??? Not one Republican in Congress voted for that monster of a Bill that no one read or could read !!! In 2010 when the Republicans asked the Lying King if they could help Draft the Health CARE Bill ; His Reply was” No, We Won ” I for One Hope The Republicans Never Cave to the the “Lying King ” Obama & the Idiot Reid ‘s Socialistic Disaster called Obamacare !!!

  30. Every poll i have seen has had the GOP taking the blame at 46% and Obama taking 36%. That is a bit more than 3%. The Republicans are screwed on this one.

  31. Pingback: | Spiralling debt: US begins shutdown amid budget row! | | truthaholics

  32. I do not like Obamacare and would like to see it repealed or changed. I believe it will slow the economy and limit growth and prosperity. However, the polls I saw say by a large margin that we do not want to see the government shut down over the issue. The way to defeat Obamacare is to have a platform to get more Republicans elected to offfice so they can change it with laws. The Republicans will take the blame and instead of gaining seats in 2014 will lose seats because their entire platform seems to be stop Obamacare. There are other important issues. Where are they when the president arbitrarily changes laws that congress passed? I fear that the split in the Republican party will allow more liberals to be elected and that will be the last nail in the coffin for our country as we knew it. God save us. Will I still be able to say that in a few years?

  33. Governor Huckabee has the right solution. Let the Democrats own obamacare by allowing it to stay as is with two stipulations: that there be no exemptions,not a single one, not the President not his staff, not Congress, not buddies, unions, no one! And that there be another opportunity to look at it again early in 2015 after it is obvious a miserable, costly failure.

  34. Pingback: So far, voters are blaming Republicans for government shutdown - Syndicated News Services

  35. Pingback: History Suggests Shutdown Stakes May Not Be That High | Grumpy Opinions


  37. Possibly another bad result of Obamacare. Gentlemen in the insurance industry called into Rush today and stated that car insurance premiums would probably rise for people who had lost their medical insurance. Makes sense.

  38. Pingback: Shutdown Foreshadows Political Collapse In America | WORK IN PROGRESS

  39. One of my Medicare insurances was cancelled as of October 1st, and they STATED it was because of ACA. Their words. My premium went from 2500 to 4750, and I only get 11000.00/year on disability. My co-pays for meds went from zero after premiums met, to 90-95 each. My thoughts when I saw this was that the government (Democrats), and I am a Democrat, was they are purposefully making it impossible to get the healthcare and medications we needed, and we would all just slowly die off. They should NEVER have forced this on anyone, and made it available to those who wanted it. The government employees are exempt, and so should we be according to the law. They broke the law, and thus, need to be arrested like any of us would be.

  40. The shutdown should be viewed as a good thing. We need partisanship in government. The alternative is career politicians constantly thinking of ways to “better” your life for you…so you don’t have to burden yourself with things like hard work and diligence.

    Why Government Shutdown Is Good via @wordpressdotcom

  41. Pingback: Government Shutdown vs. You | How’s the Economy at Your House? | Prepper Podcast Radio Network

  42. STAND YOUR GROUND Do not let Obamacare pass.
    INTO ACCEPTING WHAT IS BEING FORCED UPON US even if this means keeping the government shutdown.
    Where is our government that was set up by THE PEOPLE FOR THE PEOPLE?

  43. darn right it’s hurting real American people. I am a single mom who has struggled to find a full time job, there are none available because employers do not want to pay for insurance for their employees. The part time job that I could find does not offer insurance for one year! so, my choice is file for medicaid…again…i was denied the first time, or pay the penalty. 1% of my already meager income could go to clothing for my kids or something. It is not fair to be cornered into this. The anti bullying campaigns need to stop because the President is now the biggest bully. I thought that we are supposed to be protected, not penalized, for doing the best that we can.this is an o bomination

  44. Pingback: “When Will Republicans Learn?”: Jim DeMInt And The Heritage Foundation Simply Do Not Have Their Best Interests At Heart «

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