House Republicans could pass a bill that funds the government while killing all Obamacare spending. But the Democratic Senate could just amend the measure to restore funding and send it back to the House. —Karl Rove
At his heart, conservative iconoclast Karl Rove is more than a little pragmatic. Perhaps that’s why, even though he frowns on the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), the former George W. Bush adviser is sternly warning Republicans that fighting to defund Obamacare is not in their best interests.
“It is (understandably) hard to see the end game of the defund strategy,” Rove wrote in an op-ed article for Thursday’s Wall Street Journal. “House Republicans could pass a bill that funds the government while killing all Obamacare spending. But the Democratic Senate could just amend the measure to restore funding and send it back to the House. What then? Even the defund strategy's authors say they don't want a government shutdown. But their approach means we'll get one .
“The desire to strike at Obamacare is praiseworthy. But any strategy to repeal, delay or replace the law must have a credible chance of succeeding or affecting broad public opinion positively. The defunding strategy doesn't. Going down that road would strengthen the president while alienating independents. It is an ill-conceived tactic, and Republicans should reject it.”
Responding to Rove’s Wall Street Journal piece, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman wrote in Friday’s New York Times, “So now we get to witness the hilarious spectacle of Karl Rove in The Wall Street Journal, pleading with Republicans to recognize the reality that Obamacare can’t be defunded. Why hilarious? Because Mr. Rove and his colleagues have spent decades trying to ensure that the Republican base lives in an alternate reality defined by Rush Limbaugh and Fox News.”