In the wee hours of Tuesday morning, shortly after the government officially had shut down, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer said it was time for Republicans to “throw in the towel.”
During a special broadcast of “Special Report,” Krauthammer explained that Republicans had missed an opportunity to attack President Barack Obama and his unpopular health care law. Instead, Krauthammer said, the GOP will be forced to defend a government shutdown.
“If they had started to make the argument a month ago about delay, to make people understand the unfairness, which is the heart of the issue, to talk about the exemption for Congress — they would have had the upper hand,” Krauthammer said. “But because it was all monopolized by some people in Congress who wanted only to speak about essentially destroying Obamacare, it became an issue of president’s signature. It passed the House, it passed the Senate — all of this that we had been hearing over and over again and then it became — people said ‘are going to say are you really going to do this over a continuing resolution?’ So that was a loser from the beginning.”
“The problem here is that Republicans in the House are now in retreat as it goes from overturning it to delaying it to delaying a provision and now to having a conference,” he continued. “Look, it is over. The ballgame is over. Throw in the towel. The place to fight — this has always been true … you fight on the debt ceiling. We know from the polls that people want to see a fight on the debt ceiling. They’re not even in favor of raising it even in the absence of demands. It’s the one place where the polls have shown 60 percent of Americans want to see it coupled with a decrease in spending and are prepared to see a fight and the threat over it.”
Krauthammer insisted the opportunity to wage a public-relations attack on Obamacare, and that the nation will focus on the government shutdown.
“The other part of it, if I could just add one point — we ought to be showing today the complete dysfunction of the kickoff of health care of these exchanges,” he added. “All of the loopholes, all of the mistakes, all of the stuff that we know is there. Instead of the focus being on that as it would be, we’ve monopolized the headlines. What’s it going to be on? The panda cam is now shutdown in the zoo.”