This is how you can tell the shutdown’s hurting the GOP — even the Koch brothers are trying to run away from it:
‘Koch believes that Obamacare will increase deficits, lead to an overall lowering of the standard of health care in America, and raise taxes,’ the letter said. ‘However, Koch has not taken a position on the legislative tactic of tying the continuing resolution to defunding Obamacare nor have we lobbied on legislative provisions defunding Obamacare.’
What the Koch flacks aren’t saying is that they give generous amounts of money to many if not most of the groups that started plotting this shutdown:
The billionaire Koch brothers, Charles and David, have been deeply involved with financing the overall effort. A group linked to the Kochs, Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, disbursed more than $200 million last year to nonprofit organizations involved in the fight. Included was $5 million to Generation Opportunity, which created a buzz last month with an Internet advertisement showing a menacing Uncle Sam figure popping up between a woman’s legs during a gynecological exam.
Shortly after President Obama started his second term, a loose-knit coalition of conservative activists led by former Attorney General Edwin Meese III gathered in the capital to plot strategy. Their push to repeal Mr. Obama’s health care law was going nowhere, and they desperately needed a new plan.
Out of that session, held one morning in a location the members insist on keeping secret, came a little-noticed ‘blueprint to defunding Obamacare,’ signed by Mr. Meese and leaders of more than three dozen conservative groups.
It articulated a take-no-prisoners legislative strategy that had long percolated in conservative circles: that Republicans could derail the health care overhaul if conservative lawmakers were willing to push fellow Republicans — including their cautious leaders — into cutting off financing for the entire federal government.
‘We felt very strongly at the start of this year that the House needed to use the power of the purse,’ said one coalition member, Michael A. Needham, who runs Heritage Action for America, the political arm of the Heritage Foundation. ‘At least at Heritage Action, we felt very strongly from the start that this was a fight that we were going to pick.’
Sorry, Charles and David Koch. Your financial fingerprints are everywhere on this turkey, and no amount of letter writing will wash them away.
UPDATE: And looky here — now Heritage is trying to fake running away from their own shutdown!
But of course they really aren’t. Note the parts in bold:
Rather than try to hold the debt ceiling vote hostage to the defunding of Obamacare, [Heritage's Needham] said, the better ‘tactical’ course for Heritage and other key foes of the administration is to continue to focus on annual spending — and on allowing the full opening of government only if Obamacare is dismantled.
‘No, we should raise the debt limit,’ he said, though he added that he would oppose an increase that extends until after the 2014 election, which is Obama’s preferred outcome.
But with regards to the government shutdown, Needham insisted that his group would continue to oppose any continuing resolution — no matter how short in duration — that did not defund the health care law.
‘My tactic is to focus on the CR,’ he said.
Matt Kibbe, the president and CEO of the influential conservative group FreedomWorks, also said in a Wednesday interview with The Huffington Post that the debt ceiling should be raised in order to keep the Obamacare fight focused on the continuing resolution.
‘This is an emerging set of opinions that looks to be where everybody’s gravitating to,’ he said.
Heritage Action, funded by small donors, corporate allies and wealthy individuals Needham refused to name — other than the Koch Brothers, who he said had given $500,000 — has become a powerhouse in a new generation of conservative groups.