Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) came remarkably close to admitting his threat to shut down the government unless Obamacare is defunded is an empty one, made to score political points. On Fox News Sunday Lee basically acknowledged Republicans are not prepared to actually shut down the government to push their agenda. From Fox:
[CHRIS] WALLACE: But, again, I mean, regardless of the logic of your argument, the president isn’t going to go for it. Democrats in the Senate aren’t going to go for it. They’re not going to accept it. Are you prepared to shutdown the government over this issue?
[MIKE] LEE: Look, Chris, we all know that the government is going to get funded. The only question is whether the government gets funded with ObamaCare or without it? And what I’m saying is that the president has said he’s not ready to implement the law, he said that the law isn’t ready for primetime. And so, if he’s not ready, if the law is not ready, we can’t fund it.
If you are not prepared to truly own your threat to shut down the government, it is not a real threat. If you won’t proudly acknowledge to a national audience that you are planning to shut down the government, you are not prepared to shut it down.
I’m sure Lee plans to stick to his promise to vote against any continuing resolution that doesn’t defund Obamacare, but Lee was probably going to vote against the CR anyway. His vote was never needed nor expected for this.
This way he can at least get lots of media attention and support from his base for what was probably going to be a routine “no” vote. Lee can claim to his supporters he is fighting the good fight without fear of repercussions because he knows the fight is already lost. Enough Republican senators have publicly called this a stupid idea to assure this “threat” will be a non-factor.
It is catnip for the media and conservatives, not a real plan to change government policy.