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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

History of a Shutdown -- By Heather Higgins, National Review

The developing narrative, whether on talk radio or in these pages and other publications, about the shutdown fight — who was on what side, what the options were, and what was gained or not — often starts from incorrect premises, based on incomplete or erroneous assumptions. Since we need to understand how we got here if we want to do better, as a team, next time, it’s important to lay out some of the unpublished history.

 The ACA passed Congress without a single Republican vote. After it became law, Republicans were essentially unified in their opposition to the law and in their oft-stated desire for repeal. Nonetheless, Republicans fell essentially into three strategic camps on how to go forward.

1. Fixers: On the center-to-right portion of the spectrum (since there are no longer any Rockefeller Republicans, who might well have approved of the ACA), the most moderate/centrist were the “fixers,” who thought that the law, if not repealed, could be repaired. Many conservatives initially feared that much of the GOP establishment and leadership lay in this camp. But in the wake of the 2010 election, any advocates for this strategy completely disappeared; the post-shutdown conversation, however, might bring them back.

2. “Win elections, then repeal”: On the far right (not in the establishment, as has been alleged), led by then-senator Jim DeMint, was the “repeal only” camp — no delay, no defunding, no relief from any provisions in the law. The idea was to allow the deployment of Obamacare in full force, with all the horribles it entailed, then to win the election in 2012, and repeal it at that point. Anything short of that was deemed a “fix” that might weaken the coalition favoring repeal. It was pointed out that this strategy depended on winning the presidency and the Senate in 2012, but those who advocated this approach believed a 2012 win was certain — so they saw no need for a backup plan.

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