Republican Civil War Over Obamacare Explodes on Twitter

Mounting tensions between House and Senate conservatives spill into the public.

Reps. Tim Griffin (left) and Sean Duffy are shown.
National Journal
Alex Seitz-Wald
See more stories about...
Alex Seitz-Wald
Sept. 18, 2013, 2:55 p.m.

Ten­sions between House and Sen­ate con­ser­vat­ives has been brew­ing for weeks over a scheme to try to force a gov­ern­ment shut­down un­less Obama­care gets de­fun­ded, but the fric­tion spilled in­to the pub­lic and onto so­cial me­dia Wed­nes­day night after Texas Re­pub­lic­an Sen. Ted Cruz ac­know­ledged that the plan is prob­ably doomed in the up­per cham­ber.

“Harry Re­id will no doubt try to strip the de­fund lan­guage from the con­tinu­ing res­ol­u­tion, and right now he likely has the votes to do so,” Cruz said, ac­cord­ing to Roll Call. “At that point, House Re­pub­lic­ans must stand firm, hold their ground.”

House Re­pub­lic­ans have quietly re­sen­ted how much pres­sure has been put on them to carry out a plan hatched in the Sen­ate, and the two cham­bers have been passing the hot potato for the past week about who would be the ones to ac­tu­ally vote down a gov­ern­ment fund­ing bill if it comes to that. Cruz’s com­ments were ap­par­ently the the last straw for some. A spokes­per­son for House Speak­er John Boehner im­me­di­ately put the pres­sure back on the Sen­ate — “We trust Re­pub­lic­ans in the Sen­ate will put up a fight worthy of the chal­lenge that Obama­care poses” — but oth­er Re­pub­lic­ans had stronger words.

so far Sen Rs are good at get­ting Face­book likes, and town­halls, not much else. Do something… RT … ht­tp://t.co/fVo2eu2c6a

— Tim Griffin (@Tim­GriffinAR2), Sept. 18

House agrees to send #CR to Sen­ate that de­funds Obama­care. @Sen­Ted­Cruz & @Sen­MikeLee re­fuse to fight. Wave white flag and sur­render.

— Sean Duffy (@RepSean­Duffy), Sept. 18

Duffy ad­ded more on Face­book, writ­ing, “It is time for Sens. Cruz & Lee to show they can hold the line against Sen­ate Demo­crats. Let’s hope they do not sur­render be­fore the fight even be­gins.”

UP­DATE (8:18 p.m.): House lead­er­ship is now also tak­ing Cruz to task, with an un­named aide to GOP lead­ers telling CNN’s Dana Bash, that “Wendy Dav­is has more balls than Ted Cruz,” re­fer­ring to the Texas state law­maker who fili­bustered an anti-abor­tion bill earli­er this year.

And there’s more:

Hse R on Sen­ate cons on say­ing Re­id has votes to block health care de­fund­ing: “Those “%&#<-ers ran ads in my dis­trict over the Aug re­cess.”

— Chad Per­gram (@Chad­Per­gram) Septem­ber 19, 2013

Hse GOP­er on Sen­ate con­ser­vat­ives on Obama­care: They re­mind me of the French. Waved white flag & dropped their rifles be­fore fir­ing a shot

— Chad Per­gram (@Chad­Per­gram) Septem­ber 18, 2013

{{ BIZOBJ (video: 4451) }}

What We're Following See More »
STAFF PICKS
These (Supposed) Iowa and NH Escorts Tell All
8 hours ago
NATIONAL JOURNAL AFTER DARK

Before we get to the specifics of this exposé about escorts working the Iowa and New Hampshire primary crowds, let’s get three things out of the way: 1.) It’s from Cosmopolitan; 2.) most of the women quoted use fake (if colorful) names; and 3.) again, it’s from Cosmopolitan. That said, here’s what we learned:

  • Business was booming: one escort who says she typically gets two inquiries a weekend got 15 requests in the pre-primary weekend.
  • Their primary season clientele is a bit older than normal—”40s through mid-60s, compared with mostly twentysomething regulars” and “they’ve clearly done this before.”
  • They seemed more nervous than other clients, because “the stakes are higher when you’re working for a possible future president” but “all practiced impeccable manners.”
  • One escort “typically enjoy[s] the company of Democrats more, just because I feel like our views line up a lot more.”
Source:
STATE VS. FEDERAL
Restoring Some Sanity to Encryption
8 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

No matter where you stand on mandating companies to include a backdoor in encryption technologies, it doesn’t make sense to allow that decision to be made on a state level. “The problem with state-level legislation of this nature is that it manages to be both wildly impractical and entirely unenforceable,” writes Brian Barrett at Wired. There is a solution to this problem. “California Congressman Ted Lieu has introduced the ‘Ensuring National Constitutional Rights for Your Private Telecommunications Act of 2016,’ which we’ll call ENCRYPT. It’s a short, straightforward bill with a simple aim: to preempt states from attempting to implement their own anti-encryption policies at a state level.”

Source:
STAFF PICKS
What the Current Crop of Candidates Could Learn from JFK
8 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

Much has been made of David Brooks’s recent New York Times column, in which confesses to missing already the civility and humanity of Barack Obama, compared to who might take his place. In NewYorker.com, Jeffrey Frank reminds us how critical such attributes are to foreign policy. “It’s hard to imagine Kennedy so casually referring to the leader of Russia as a gangster or a thug. For that matter, it’s hard to imagine any president comparing the Russian leader to Hitler [as] Hillary Clinton did at a private fund-raiser. … Kennedy, who always worried that miscalculation could lead to war, paid close attention to the language of diplomacy.”

Source:
STAFF PICKS
Hillary Is Running Against the Bill of 1992
8 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

The New Covenant. The Third Way. The Democratic Leadership Council style. Call it what you will, but whatever centrist triangulation Bill Clinton embraced in 1992, Hillary Clinton wants no part of it in 2016. Writing for Bloomberg, Sasha Issenberg and Margaret Talev explore how Hillary’s campaign has “diverged pointedly” from what made Bill so successful: “For Hillary to survive, Clintonism had to die.” Bill’s positions in 1992—from capital punishment to free trade—“represented a carefully calibrated diversion from the liberal orthodoxy of the previous decade.” But in New Hampshire, Hillary “worked to juggle nostalgia for past Clinton primary campaigns in the state with the fact that the Bill of 1992 or the Hillary of 2008 would likely be a marginal figure within today’s Democratic politics.”

Source:
STAFF PICKS
Trevor Noah Needs to Find His Voice. And Fast.
9 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

At first, “it was pleasant” to see Trevor Noah “smiling away and deeply dimpling in the Stewart seat, the seat that had lately grown gray hairs,” writes The Atlantic‘s James Parker in assessing the new host of the once-indispensable Daily Show. But where Jon Stewart was a heavyweight, Noah is “a very able lightweight, [who] needs time too. But he won’t get any. As a culture, we’re not about to nurture this talent, to give it room to grow. Our patience was exhausted long ago, by some other guy. We’re going to pass judgment and move on. There’s a reason Simon Cowell is so rich. Impress us today or get thee hence. So it comes to this: It’s now or never, Trevor.”

Source:
×