RUSH: This is Dennis in Fresno. Thanks for the call, sir. Great to have you with us. Hi.
CALLER: Thanks for taking my call, Rush.
RUSH: Yeah. You bet.
CALLER: Honor to speak with you. A 13-year student, still listening and learning. Rush, I wanted to hear your thoughts on something that kind of came to my mind after all of this stuff happening with the Republican Party, and it is that is it likely that the Republicans don't want to get rid of Obamacare because they know when they get in power, they're gonna have absolute control over this country, or at least some form of that Obamacare?
RUSH: I don't know. I honestly don't think that that's -- I haven't gone that far off the deep end yet. Not to say that you have. I'm talking about the idea that there's that kind of conspiratorial thinking. I just think that it's too hard. It's too hard. It's too risky to fight this. I think the assumption is it's done, it's the law of the land, they can't do it, so why make themselves enemies trying? And in this they don't understand the long game. They don't understand planting the flag and letting people know who they are and what they stand for.
The idea that the success or failure of this effort resides only in successfully defunding Obamacare is incorrect. There's a long game here. The Republican Party's got to establish its identity. It's got to let people know who it is and what it stands for. It's got to push back. It's got to say what it doesn't support. And by not taking every opportunity to do that, they're doing great damage for their chances down the line. The odds are defunding this thing is gonna be difficult to do. Everybody knows this, but there's a whole lot to gain in trying. I just don't think that they want to try.
I think the idea of failing and what the media's gonna say about them and so forth, they think that's gonna do them more harm than just letting this thing go and letting it collapse and letting it fall on its face and then be there to pick up the pieces. I really don't think that they secretly like it and hope it becomes the law of the land so that they have the power to administer it when their day comes, if it does, when they're ever back in the White House. Because I still don't think that's who Republicans are. I think it's something entirely different than that.
CALLER: I would think that they would argue Obamacare not in terms of what it's gonna cost people, 'cause people can't really relate to that. They know that Santa Claus will help them in any case, but coming point by point, here's what we're proposing would be a better way to handle this whole health care debacle in this country.
RUSH: Well, there is that in the House side. The House does have an alternative health care plan. They do. They presented it. You may not have heard it.
CALLER: Yeah, I've heard it, but I haven't heard them really touting it strongly, you know.
RUSH: Well, they would tell you that they have and they don't get covered. And there's a element of truth in that. Obama and the Democrats believe their press. They think they're greater than anything. And the Republicans believe the Democrat press, too. The Republicans believe that Obama and the Democrats are greater than anything and that they can't battle 'em. I don't think they think there's anything they can do.
RUSH: Now, the GOP has a Plan B that they are pushing today, and the New York Times has it with two different headlines.
The first headline for this story: "Raising Fiscal Stakes, GOP Sets Terms to Lift Debt Limit." The same story posted later, different headline: "House GOP Leaders List Conditions for Raising Debt Ceiling." Now, what this is, I'll give you a couple of paragraphs: "House Republican leaders shifted the budget battle on Thursday to a potentially more consequential fight over raising the government's borrowing limit, rolling out conditions for a debt-ceiling increase that they pulled from three years of frustrated efforts to roll back regulations and undo President Obama's first-term achievements. ...
"They include a one-year delay of the president's health care law, fast-track authority to overhaul the tax code, construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, offshore oil and gas production, more permitting of energy exploration on federal lands, a rollback of regulations on coal ash, blocking new Environmental Protection Agency regulations on greenhouse gas production..." There are a lot of conditions here that they have put forth in agreeing to lift the debt limit, including a one-year delay of Obamacare.
So instead of defunding Obamacare, they are willing to settle, in addition to another story, for ending the medical device tax and delaying the individual mandate. The employer mandate got a waiver for one year, and so the Republicans are saying, "Well, okay. Then let's delay the individual mandate for a year, to make it fair." They're trying to fix it. This is the compromise.
The employer mandate's been delayed for a year so the Republicans are saying, "Well, look, we'll give you the debt limit increase if you get rid of the personal mandate, individual mandate." All that's doing is tinkering with it. That's not defunding it. That's not rolling it back or stopping it. All of the top Democrats want to do away with the medical device tax anyway. Reid, Dingy Harry, just called it "stupid" a half hour ago.
Delaying the individual mandate will just put the real pain off (laughing) until after the 2014 midterms, which the Democrats want, too! I mean the Republicans ought to, in a strategic sense, the way I look at it, want the individual mandate! If they're looking for this thing to collapse, and they want people to realize that it's bad... If they think this will discredit the entitlement state, discredit liberalism, why offer to delay one of the things that might do that, in their thinking?
I don't profess to understand this.
I'm not in their business.
There may be something here that I don't understand. But as I look at these two proposals, they offer to go along with lifting the debt limit for a one-year delay of Obamacare, and then they've offered... (interruption) Well, I would be tempted to take it, too, if I was a Democrat, to delay the individual mandate for a year, thereby limiting the amount of pain felt by the voters, until after the 2014 midterms? I don't know. You all can figure this out.