With one vote on Friday, the Republican-led House launched the latest spending battle in Congress -- one that could bring a government shutdown in less than two weeks.
By a 230-189 tally almost strictly on party lines, the House passed a short-term government spending plan that would eliminate all funding for Obamacare.The measure now goes to the Democratic-led Senate, which is certain to reject the provision that defunds President Barack Obama's signature legislative achievement of his first term.
The best part is that Republicans think they are perfectly reasonable burning the country's economy down.
"The American people don't want the government shut down, and they don't want Obamacare," the Ohio Republican said to applause and cheers. "The House has listened to the American people. Now it's time for the United States Senate to listen to them as well."
In a display of the raw politics of the battle, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia called out Senate Democrats facing re-election next year by name, asking how Sens. Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Begich of Alaska and Kay Hagan of North Carolina will vote on the House proposal.
"It's up to Senate Democrats to follow House Republicans and show some responsibility," Cantor said.
The President laughed that nonsense off.
Later Friday, Obama accused conservative Republicans of holding the nation hostage by trying to make passing a federal budget and increasing the debt ceiling contingent on defunding health care reforms.
"You don't have to threaten to blow the whole thing up if you don't get your way," Obama said in a campaign-style speech at a Ford plant in the Kansas City, Missouri area, adding that legislators in Washington were focused on politics and "trying to mess with me," rather than helping the middle class.
Ding ding ding! It does have to be said, folks: this is about attacking the President. That's all that the GOP cares about. If they can't get rid of the President, they will make America so awful that they think we'll do it for them. It's better to get rid of the Republicans, of course. And even Republicans are starting to think this is a really bad idea.
But please proceed, gentlemen.