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Boehner Gambit Will Not Work

The recent conversation from US House Speaker John Boehner, where he warned his fellow Republicans "against using the threat of a government shutdown to stop the implementation of Obamacare" is disappointing. It is disappointing because it further evidences a failure of understanding and failure of strategy.

According to the idea, Boehner is asking for a "clean" Continuing Resolution (CR) that funds the government at current levels with agreed-to sequester spending restraints in place. The attempt is to galvenize the branding / messaging to holding spending to agreed levels. To this line of thought, it is not the time to challenge Obamacare when Americans have not yet been hit with its increasing costs. He wants to delay any action until a later negotiation for debt limit increase. At that time (so the theory goes), opposition to Obamacare would have increased and Republicans would be in a "better" position to change / repeal the legislation).

As noted, this is a failure of both understanding and strategy.

From an understanding point of view, waiting until after Obamacare is implemented and its pain has taken effect to oppose it is asinine. Boehner and his team assume that the pain will further bolster their position against it. In fact, it will place them in a debt limit negotiation against Democrats who will blame Republicans and their spending restraint for government inability to ease the pain. With additional spending and additional taxes, Democrats will simply blame "the rich" for not paying "their fair share" which would fund Obamacare and their other spending.

Outcome: Loss

On the strategy front, this plan is possibly worse. Again, Boehner sets up a CR negotiation in which Obama and Democrats do not even participate.

Boehner & Republicans state that they are unwilling to go to a government shutdown to stop Obamacare. Obama & Democrats state that they cannot believe Republicans would be willing to shutdown the government to stop Obamacare.

Notice that? Boehner is negotiating against himself! He has surrendered before he started.

Outcome: Loss

After all this, Republicans are told that it is yet another "bad time" to delay or stop Obamacare. They are told to wait until another "better time" in the future that (as recent history shows) never comes.

The net result is a further frustration and disappointment among his base of support.

Feel free with your comments & thoughts of what might be a better strategy!