Republican voters, your leaders in Washington are lying to you. They are giving you hope that ObamaCare, which you so passionately hate, will be defunded if only you shut the government down.
They are telling you that independent voters will reward you in 2014, if only you stand strong and refuse to fund government until the White House and Congressional Democrats cry uncle and cede to your demands.
Most of these leaders, like House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, know better. They know that ObamaCare will never get defunded.
The Democrats controlling the Senate would never support a bill to gut it.
President Obama would never sign legislation eradicating his signature legislative achievement.
You need to get over it. ObamaCare is not going away, no matter how many times you vote to repeal or defund it.
The more you tilt at this particular windmill, the more non-primary Republican voters wonder why you are not addressing pressing issues of government, where both sides can actually work together to make progress on the myriad issues facing this nation.
Please, get out of the echo chamber. Your leaders are telling you what you want to hear, so that you don’t support a primary challenge from the right against them next year.
They care more about protecting their own seats than regaining a majority in the Senate or the White House in 2016. This is the same echo chamber that convinced you Mitt Romney was going to win the election in 2012, despite independent polls telling you otherwise.
Learn from that lesson.
Just because you passionately believe in something does not mean that your neighbor agrees. Even if your neighbor agrees, it does not mean that the rest of the nation does.
If you only speak to like-minded people, you will misread the mood of the country. And the mood today is tinged with weariness over unwinnable battles that hold the business of the country in abeyance to appeal to a narrow sliver of the electorate that holds many Republican members of Congress hostage.
Don’t take my word for it. Look at recent independent polls, which show that the American public may not be enamored with ObamaCare but strongly opposes a plan to defund it.
According to the non-partisan Kaiser Foundation, 57% do not approve of the plan to cut funding for the law.
Just 15% of Democrats and 39% of independents support the proposal. The echo chamber may be effective in staving off primary challenges but it is wholly ineffective in winning over the independents the Republican Party needs to regain the White House and the senate majority.
Congress passed the Affordable Care Act.
The president signed it into law.
The Supreme Court upheld it.
The 2012 presidential election, which was in part a referendum on the law, returned its architect to the White House.
Don’t blame this on “low information” voters. Blame this on the fact that most voters are not with you in your efforts to defund ObamaCare.
You need to stop sounding like the dumped boyfriend who refuses to believe that his girlfriend has moved on.
The battle is lost. Focus on the next one.
Julie Roginsky has extensive experience in government, politics and public relations on both the federal and state levels. She is the president of Comprehensive Communications Group, a public relations and crisis communications firm that counts Fortune 500 corporations, elected officials and non-profit organizations among its clients. Follow her on Twitter @JulieRoginsky.