It’s gloriously emblematic of the Republican aversion to the Affordable Care Act that one of the main spokespeople for their side, as we approach an almost certain government shutdown and possible national default, is Michele Bachmann.
I talked with one of the most vocal of the defund/delay advocates, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, on Friday night, as she waited to hear what path the House Republican leadership would take. It’s safe to say her views reflected those of many of her conservative colleagues, and her reasoning was this: One, Obamacare as a policy is so far-reaching, so consequential, and so damaging that members of Congress should do everything they can — everything — to stop it before it fully goes into effect. Two, lesser measures to fight Obamacare — repealing the medical device tax or making Congress purchase coverage through the exchanges without special subsidies — are just not big enough to address the problem. And three, there have been government shutdowns in the past over far less urgent reasons that did not result in doom for Republicans.
“There is a very large group of us who believe that this is it, this isn’t just another year, this isn’t just another CR fight,” Bachmann told me. “This is historic, and it’s a historic shift that’s about to happen, and if we’re going to fight, we need to fight now.”
“This isn’t just another bill,” Bachmann continued. “This isn’t load limits on turnip trucks that we’re talking about. This is consequential. And I think the reason why you’ve come to this flash point is that this is an extremely consequential bill that will impact every American, and that’s why you have such passionate opinions. And we’re not giving up and we’re not caving in that easily.”
She’s right about one thing — this is consequential.
Bachmann and her crazed Tea Party loons may not be afraid of a shutdown, but they’re deathly afraid of something else: that Americans will experience a decent (not perfect) public health care system … and like it.
That’s the nightmare haunting the Tea Party caucus — the growing certainty that they’re wrong, and that history’s moving on without them, leaving them behind, no matter what they do. It’s a desperate position, and that’s why their actions are increasingly deranged.