Three words describe the 2015 crop of elected Republicans: cowards, liars, and idiots. Despite having control of the House, and significant numbers in the Senate, plus a cultural bomb in the form of nine undercover videos from the Center for Medical Progress, Republicans have failed to do anything of substance to remove funding from Planned Parenthood or to curb abortions in our country.
The prevailing thought seems to be that since President Obama is in office, there would be no point to fighting a budget battle and potential government shutdown just to defund Planned Parenthood. As John Kasich said:
“Well if you shut down the government, the question is, will you defund (Planned Parenthood)? I think the answer is no,” Kasich said. He added that in such a scenario, the government would shut down, reopen and Planned Parenthood would still be getting funds.
“The American people will say, ‘What are you doing?'” Kasich said, adding, “The President is not going to sign a bill like that. He’s not going to.”
Kasich may not be a liar, but he’s being a coward and an idiot.
A Shutdown Forces the Media to Talk About the Videos
One of the most frustrating trends since the Center for Medical Progress released their first has been the complete and utter silence from the media. Newsbusters points out the overwhelmingly biased reporting as contrasted to the news reports on Cecil the Lion:
Tuesday, the networks spent 5 minutes, 44 seconds during their evening news shows on Cecil — and that’s not even counting the teasers. Wednesday morning, ABC, NBC and CBS lamented over the lion for 8 minutes, 17 seconds…In the first 9 hours and 30 minutes of news shows broadcast after the story broke, ABC, NBC and CBS, spent only 39 seconds on the first video. It took more than 24 hours before all three covered the story. In the week after the first video, the networks gave a mere 9 minutes and 11 seconds to the story
This is why John Kasich doesn’t get it. Sure, Republicans may lose the battle to President Obama (although that’s not certain), but Republicans can force the media to over the videos.
If conservatives demand that funding for Planned Parenthood be diverted to organizations that don’t participate in abortions, and if that demand forces a shutdown of the government, the media will be forced to cover the abortion debate and the videos in particular.
When The Public Sees the Videos, Planned Parenthood Support Drops
St. Augustine famously said “The truth is like a lion; you don’t have to defend it. Let it loose; it will defend itself.” This is proven to be true with the CMP videos.
While the majority of Americans support funding for Planned Parenthood, those Americans who have seen the videos do not support funding:
Overall, 54 percent supported federal funding of Planned Parenthood, and 26 percent opposed it.
But 44 percent of respondents who saw the videos said they now have a more negative view of Planned Parenthood, compared with 34 percent who said their views were unchanged.
Consider the fact that what most respondents actually favor is funding for general women’s services, such as prenatal services, proposing a bill that would redirect funding to non-abortion providing care centers would have overwhelming support.
The Coward: Mitch McConnell
Mitch McConnell has the opportunity to expose Planned Parenthood to the nation and to possibly defund an organization that pumps millions of taxpayers dollars back into the campaign funds of Democrats. Do you think he’ll take advantage of this opportunity?
What we are going to do is move to the pain-capable [abortion] bill sometime this month and see how people feel about that
We’ll see how people feel about a pain-capable bill? Are you kidding me Sen. McConnell?
The fact is, Mitch McConnell has avoided the abortion conversation as much as possible. Despite promising in November of 2014 that he’d work to restrict abortions, McConnell pulled a trick from Harry Reid’s hat called “filling to amendment tree” to effectively block amendments that would have defunded Planned Parenthood back in July.
One amendment would defund Planned Parenthood, the nationwide abortion provider which receives more than a half billion dollars in taxpayer subsidies annually. McConnell has previously said he supports defunding Planned Parenthood, which was recently the subject of undercover sting videos in which executives with the organization can be heard discussing the sale of organs from aborted babies. But the leader blocked an amendment to the Highway Bill that would have defunded the organization.
McConnell used a tactic called “filling the tree,” made popular by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid when he was majority leader to block Republicans from being able to offer amendments to Democratic bills. “Filling the Tree” is when the allotted time for amendments is loaded by the leader, generally with small, insignificant measures favored by the majority leader, who controls the process, crowding out everyone else.
Now, when faced with a second opportunity to take a strong stand, his response is that a government shutdown is a wasted exercise:
the Kentucky Republican is intent on steering the GOP away from a politically disastrous government shutdown this month and to avoid the kinds of headlines that could damage his party’s chances of winning the Oval Office, not to mention his own prospects of remaining majority leader beyond next year. Reversing President Barack Obama’s Iran deal, stopping his executive orders on labor and climate policy … even serious entitlement reform will be within reach if Republicans can hold onto the Senate and take the White House next year, McConnell said.
“This is a critical election, in my view, about whether we want to continue to go down this European path, or whether we want to recapture the growth rates and the greatness we’ve had most of our history,” McConnell told POLITICO during an extensive interview in his Capitol office overlooking the National Mall. Until 2017, Republicans are “going to make what progress we can for the country in spite of this far-left administration with which, frankly, most of my members and myself have very little in common.”
What Good is Political Capital If You Don’t Use It?
Governor Kasich and Sen McConnell suffer from the same disease: they save their political capital hoping that they’ll win the next election. Their fear is that a government shutdown will turn the public against the republican party and make the 2016 election a swing year in favor of the Democrats.
But this is a problem that they’ll always have. Let’s assume that Republicans take complete control of the House, Senate, and Oval Office: do we really think they’ll have the guts to spend their political capital at that point, or will Boehner, McConnel, and whoever is president preach about the need to keep these offices to protect against a liberal agenda?
At least the democrats understand how to use political capital. After Obama was initially elected into the presidency, they moved ahead with force to pass Obamacare, despite its unpopularity.
The Public Will Agree With Conservatives
Redirecting funding from Planned Parenthood is not a marginal issue – it’s a no-brainer. So long as Republicans present their case as a redirection of funds away from a criminal organization towards organizations that actually care about helping expectant mothers, they will have the public on their side.
Yes, shutting down the government will force a lot of attention on Republicans, but it’ll also force the media to look a the videos. While the media will still be predictably biased against conservatives, the truth is too strong, too apparent in these videos for the public not to see.
McConnell Risks Losing Seats
McConnell wants to win more seats to making passing spending bills easier. But his lack of courage in the face of an obvious evil, Kasich’s lack of courage, and Boehner’s lack of courage will drive voters away from Republicans to other third party candidates who are willing to take a stand.
McConnell’s ‘play it safe’ strategy is poised to backfire.