Surprise: Conservatives Like New GOP Plan to Pretend-Defund Obamacare

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 18 2013 4:27 PM

Surprise: Conservatives Like New GOP Plan to Pretend-Defund Obamacare

Activists on the right have reacted with war whoops and cheers to the House GOP's tired embrace of the "defund Obamacare" continuing resolution. Among them: Amy Kremer of Tea Party Express, whose email to supporters is titled "WE DID IT."

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

This is a huge victory for the Tea Party and once again proves that we are a strong force and won't be ignored.  While we won this battle, the war it not over.  Once the continuing resolution that defunds Obamacare is passed by the House, it will go over to the Harry Reid and Democrat-controlled Senate for vote.  Once this happens, we are going to need your help to put pressure on the Democrats and moderate Republicans in the Senate to pass it as well.  Many of these members are up for re-election in 2014, and we will need to leverage that heavily. 

Jenny Beth Martin of Tea Party Patriots and Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center:

The time has now come for Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell to get on board against ObamaCare. If Sen. McConnell will get behind the efforts of Sen. Mike Lee, Sen. Ted Cruz, and other principled Senate conservatives fighting to defund ObamaCare, they can spare the nation from this job-killing monstrosity and prevent the largest government entitlement in American history from taking hold. If Harry Reid and President Obama want to shut down the government to save this law that nobody wants, they and Senate Democrats will have to explain that to the American people.

There's plenty of this across conservatives' inboxes; just as interesting, I think, is Erick Erickson's new insistence that the defund campaign has been boosting conservatives' poll numbers.

What is the net result of Jim DeMint’s tour that has these congress critters all claiming to support defunding Obamacare?
Well, Congress’s job approval rating has gone up in the past month. It may only be at 20%, but that’s ten points higher than before Jim DeMint and Ted Cruz and Mike Lee started talking about defunding Obamacare.” The Republicans now lead the Democrats on issues tied to the economy and the debt. Over the past two weeks, thanks to the President, they now lead on foreign affairs too.

Erickson's trying to promote polling about Republicans that hasn't really cracked into the MSM. Well, okay, the bit about Congress is overheated, probably because the polls that have shown Congress bottoming out in the single digits were outliers taken by YouGov. If you scan the last six months of polling, Congress has risen from an average -65 approval rating to an average -56 approval rating. Improvement, whereas Obama's rating has fallen from +2 to -6. The problem is that Obama's meager 44 percent approval rating is higher than Congress's improved 19 percent rating. Isn't it? I'm flashing back to Unskewed Polling all of a sudden.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 


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