President Barack Obama has come out swinging on day three of the US government shutdown, laying the blame for the crisis right at the feet of the Republicans. He says their obsession with killing his healthcare reforms is the only thing uniting the party at the moment, and they will sacrifice anything to kill Obamacare.
“The only thing that is keeping the Government shutdown, the only thing preventing people from going back to work… is that speaker John Boehner won’t even let the bill get a yes or no vote, because he doesn’t want to anger the extremists in his own party,” he said.
Boehner knows his Republicans are getting most of the blame right now for the shutdown, but ending it would probably cost him his job as the Tea Party faction would oust him from the Speaker’s chair.
He and his party are gambling on winning the argument over time, by insisting Obamacare is an expensive mistake America can ill afford. But time is at a premium with the vote on raising America’s debt ceiling due in two weeks time.
Both sides have too much political capital invested in the argument to back down. Whoever loses the fight will be seriously wounded, but failure to agree might send America, and the rest of the world, into intensive care.