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Democrats still united in ObamaCare battle, Republicans in disarray

  • 660-Schumer-Reid-Durbin.jpg

    Oct. 3, 2013: From left, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., and Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin of Ill., arrive for a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Reid told reporters that House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, and House Republicans are the obstacle to ending the government shutdown crisis.AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

  • 660-Reid-Durbin-Murray-AP.jpg

    FILE - Sept. 30, 2013: From left, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., Senate Budget Committee Chair Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. and Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin of Ill. during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington.AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File

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    U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (C) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (R) lead a rally to celebrate the start of the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare) at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, October 1, 2013.Reuters

As the fight over ObamaCare reaches its apex, conservatives are looking for elected leadership to give voice to their concerns about the future of our country. 

Unfortunately, many Republican lawmakers are giving voice to the other side. 

While Democrats remain united in their intransigence, these Republicans are busy scoring points for the other team instead of fighting with a united front.

When Democrats proposed the federal takeover of the healthcare sector in 2009, they all remained united behind an uncompromising position and aggressive tactics. 

Every Senate Democrat, even those from red states, voted to ram ObamaCare through the Senate using extraordinary parliamentary procedures. They were all willing to walk the plank for the broader goal of creating dependency; even though they knew the majority of their constituents vociferously opposed their proposal.

The GOP has devolved into the little engine that couldn’t, constantly emoting in public “I think I can’t I think I can’t, I know I can’t!”

Fast-forward four years and Democrats are just as united in their obduracy, despite the fact that ObamaCare is even more unpopular and unworkable than ever before. 

Every Democrat is committed to fully funding and supporting every aspect of ObamaCare even if it prolongs a government shutdown. Not a single Democrat has spoken out against Senator Harry Reid’s refusal to give an inch, even on some of the provisions of the law that are universally regarded as unworkable.

When Reid moved to table the Republican compromise, which would have merely delayed parts of the law for one year and repeal the pernicious medical device tax, every Democrat voted with him; the Democrats remained united. 

Even Senator Joe Manchin and other members from states Obama lost by over 20 points voted to fully uphold the law in the budget, opposing efforts to partially delay the law even for one year even the slightest compromise. 

Hence, Democrats are fighting on all cylinders. They are united in their refusal to negotiate or cede an inch of ground.

Contrast the Democrats’ iron-clad unity with the infighting within the Republican Party. Republicans are not only voting to undermine the defund strategy; they are actually giving voice to the other side. 

Twenty-five Republicans, led by Senator Mitch McConnell allowed Harry Reid to reinsert funding for ObamaCare into the Continuing Resolution (CR) last week, thereby undermining the leverage of fellow House Republicans.

Moreover, one after another, certain Republicans are undermining the effort to fight ObamaCare and those leading it. Senator John McCain is such an ardent opponent of defunding ObamaCare that Harry Reid had him speak on the floor on behalf of Democrats. 

Senator Bob Corker who represents conservative Tennessee rebuked Senator Ted Cruz on the Senate floor after his marathon 21-hour speech against ObamaCare. 

At the GOP conference on Wednesday, a group of senators led by Mitch McConnell attacked Cruz for orchestrating this battle.  

A party committed to fighting a unified battle would have instead focused their fire on Harry Reid for prioritizing funding for ObamaCare over cancer treatment at the NIH.

Every day, there are more public statements from elected Republicans openly predicting failure. Senator Jeff Flake Flake said aid ObamaCare is “the law of the land” and should not be debated within the confines of the budget bill. 

Even as Harry Reid refuses to pass any compromise bill to fund only essential services, Senator John Cornyn, publicly said "any opportunity to defund ObamaCare through the CR [Continuing Resolution] -- if there was such an opportunity, it's now gone." 

The GOP has devolved into the little engine that couldn’t, constantly emoting in public “I think I can’t I think I can’t, I know I can’t!” It’s almost as if the establishment Republicans, particularly those in the Senate, are committed to making sure the Democrats win this fight just to prove a point to the conservative base.

On the one hand, we have Democrats, even those representing states deep in enemy territory, willing to hold strong on an unpopular bill. 

On the other hand, we have Republicans, even those who represent conservative states, unwilling to fight the law, opting instead to score points for the other team. Worse, many Republicans are working to buttress the leverage and messaging for Democrats.

As Democrats head into battle united with guns blazing, Republicans stagger in with both hands tied and a knife in their backs.

Daniel Horowitz is a contributing editor to RedState.com.  He is policy director of the Madison Project.