Public opinion numbers bode poorly for GOP

Elijah Anderson

Earlier last week an unnamed senior White-House staffer was quoted saying that President Obama and the Democrats were “winning” the current government shutdown debacle. These comments led our impassioned Speaker of the House John Boehner to reply that the government shutdown “isn’t some damn game.” But let’s be honest; that’s exactly what it is. The battle for public opinion wages on and the question at hand is who stands to win?

According to a CBS News poll taken last week, a majority of Americans blame Republicans for the government shutdown, and we absolutely should. The Tea Party faction that has wrapped its tentacles around the Republican base is the architect behind this current crusade that hopes to derail the successful implementation of the Affordable Care Act by holding the annual budget hostage.

The Tea Party, which slithered its way into power during the 2010 midterm elections, has been a constant source of gridlock-inducing partisanship that paralyzes our legislative branch and makes our country the laughing stock of the civilized world. It has been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. I think it’s safe to say the Tea Party is suffering a bout of insanity as this current effort marks the 42nd time Republicans have tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Allowing our government to shutdown, furloughing thousands of government employees and risking economic fallout is the highest stakes gamble made yet by the ambitious, naive Tea Partiers. It is antics like this that will turn the tide of public opinion against the Republican Party, which is already suffering from a popularity crisis, especially with my generation.

President Obama and the Democrats stand to win the war of public opinion. The Affordable Care Act is law. The Supreme Court has upheld it, President Obama was reelected and it has survived 42 attempted repeals. The persistent effort of the Tea Party to remove the Affordable Care Act does nothing but paint them and their supporters as delusional. Holding a country hostage the way that the Tea Party is currently doing will devastate their legacy, detract from the valid opinions of the Republican Party and paint Obama as the valiant victim of the Tea Party’s unmerciful vendetta.

If the Affordable Care Act is as awful as Republicans proclaim it to be, why not let Americans see firsthand how devastating it is and ride that animosity to 2014? After all, there have already been some major kinks unearthed in the opening of the state insurance exchanges last Tuesday.  Instead, Republicans have opted to risk political suicide with a generation of fed up voters.