President Obama refuses to negotiate over the government shutdown. Perhaps his reluctance stems from the enormous amount of campaign cash his party is raising off utterly confusing and scaring the public with this political issue.
I got a call at home on Wednesday evening from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee asking me to donate $10 for every one of the 17 House seats it “needs to flip” to regain the majority.
The Democratic staffer told me that the call was being recorded and that he was “one hundred percent sure the House Republicans shut down the government.” He said that, “We are using the money to make a majority in the House because now it’s being run by a man named John Boehner, and he is a complete nightmare.”
As I did not yet turn over my credit card, the fundraiser upped his game, asserting that, “Now that the government has been shut down, they are using voter suppression. They are moving voting places to make it hard for a vote to be casted [sic].”
He promised that “committed Democrats” will match my donation two to one, and the $510 total would be sent “straight to Washington tomorrow.” He warned that if they didn’t get enough money right away, “We could ultimately lose the Senate and the White House.”
The fundraiser said the only thing keeping people from starving to death or getting medical treatment was the president’s refusal to allow for any changes to Obamacare.
“We can’t stop the shutdown because the Republicans have the majority in the House. They have Obama in a grip, so he’s not able to get to sign certain bills or certain things. The poor have to be fed. And in order for Obama to help, he has to kinda compensate — like sacrifice — because Obama really has to do certain things. And Republicans are not looking to give people affordable care.”
So, if the Republicans single-handedly caused the shutdown, what could my support for Democrats do to resolve the conflict? Would the shutdown go until the House was “flipped” in 2014?
“It could, I don’t know that,” he said. “I hope not.”
This fundraiser actually told a potential donor that the federal government could be shut down for the next 15 months until those 17 Democrats are elected and sworn in to take over for the “nightmare” Speaker Boehner — at a cost of $170.
Not finished with his pitch, the Democratic staffer threw more fuel on the fire of the big, bad GOP that had to be beat. “We see it clearly — and people don’t want to do much about it — Republicans are taking money from them every day.”
He told me that House Republicans passed a bill a few weeks ago “behind closed doors” by a narrow vote of 217 to 210 that cut $40 billion out of food stamps programs. As a result, he said, “These Republicans voted — without anyone having a say — to kick 1.7 million people off this safety net this year and 3.8 percent next year.”
He was referring to the Nutrition Reform and Work Opportunity Act, which passed on the House floor in daylight and required food stamp recipients to look for a job, do volunteer work or take job-training classes to receive benefits. No one who makes these simple efforts will lose food stamps.
He intoned, “From the facts I gave you, we’re looking at a big catastrophe if we don’t do something now.”
Actually, the big catastrophe is if Democrats’ fear-mongering and delusional spin is successful in getting honest people’s hard-earned money.
Emily Miller is a senior editor of opinion for The Washington Times and author of “Emily Gets Her Gun” (Regnery, 2013).