I wrote earlier about how Roy Blunt was making subtle signs that he didn’t really want to be associated with his party’s drive to shut down the government over Obamacare. Not so Rep. Ann Wagner (R-2) who seems determined to go full tilt toward the crazy. Her stance is perhaps a bit surprising to those of us who detected a bit of GOP relief in the belief that they had fielded an almost sane replacement for erstwhile Rep. Todd Akin; Wagner impressed many as a smooth operator who could put a more respectable face on a party that is rapidly rebranding itself as home sweet home for rightwing kooks. Evidently, though, Wagner, even more than Blunt, sees her interests best served as red meat for the base.
Below the fold I reproduce the text of an email I received from Wagner in response to comments I sent her on shutting down the government in order to fight off the dread (to GOPers) Obamacare. The money portion of her effort to justfy her vote largely echoes press releases on her Web page and presents one of the most flagrant examples of political double-talk that I have ever seen:
With the deadline approaching to prevent a government shutdown – the American people want Congress to do two things: keep the government open and stop ObamaCare from destroying our economy, lowering the quality of our care and putting the Federal Government between you and your doctor. That is why I voted last Friday to keep the government open, while protecting the people of the 2nd District from the devastating consequences of ObamaCare. Now it is up to Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee to answer the calls of the American people, and lead the fight in the Senate to defund ObamaCare and keep the government running.
Did you get that “I voted last Friday to keep the government open … “. Isn’t that like tellng frantic parents after you’ve kidnapped their children for a ransom too costly for them to pay, that you only took the kiddies to give the parents a chance to save them by paying up – ergo, you’re the one acting to keep the children well and safe. This is what I mean about trying to have your cake and eating it too – which we all know nobody can really manage to do.
And did you also get the note of seeming hero-worship Wagner directed toward toward Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee – the Senate hostage executioners who, according to Wagner’s reasoning, are also doing their best to keep the government operating by demanding a pound of bloody Obama flesh? Shouldn’t respectable, pearl-clutching “tradtionalist” Republicans shy away from nutjob demogogues?
Nothing, though, is actualy what it seems. Wagner’s shout-out to the chief Senate agitators on the topic may just be short-hand for “I did my part to impress the yahoos – now it’s your turn to bear the nasty load,” an indirect salvo in a “fight between House and the Senate — neither of whom want to be left holding the bag when this effort to defund Obamacare fails.” They all – and this where Wagner’s particularly cloying brand of cynicism manifests itself – want the savage Tea Partiers at home to think they did their best.
ADDENDUM: Here’s Ed Kilgore on the type of shutdown double-talk I reference above on the part of Ann Wagner:
What’s really bizarre is the effort (by Cruz at least) to pretend that Obama and/or congressional Democrats are responsible for risking a government shutdown or a debt default because they are (so far) refusing to make major concessions to the party that does not control the White House or the Senate. This cynical gambit needs to be mocked relentlessly. If Republicans evade total responsibility for the chaos currently gripping Washington, it will be a historic injustice. They lost the 2012 elections, and consequently their activists want to pitch a hissy fit and kick over as much furniture as possible. I wish someone could design a video game where they could work out their frustrations and recommit themselves to the imagined America of the distant past without ruining the neighborhood.
Wagner’s email missive – the survey link at the very bottom works if you want to let Wagner know what you think abou shutting down the government:
Keeping the Government Open
Do you remember when Nancy Pelosi said you had to pass ObamaCare to find out what’s in it? Well – it didn’t take the American people long to find out what’s in ObamaCare: more taxes, fewer choices, skyrocketing premiums and unaffordable care.
One of the main reasons I ran to be your Representative is because I believe ObamaCare needs to be repealed and replaced with free-market based solutions that expand access without destroying our economy and lowering the quality of our care.
As each day passes, more and more families are feeling the pain of Obamacare right here in the St. Louis region. Many of you might have heard a few days ago that BJC Healthcare can no longer afford to provide health insurance to its part-time employees. This is just another example of the coming economic disaster Obamacare poses when a large, highly respected healthcare company such as BJC Healthcare cannot afford healthcare for its own workers.
With the deadline approaching to prevent a government shutdown – the American people want Congress to do two things: keep the government open and stop ObamaCare from destroying our economy, lowering the quality of our care and putting the Federal Government between you and your doctor. That is why I voted last Friday to keep the government open, while protecting the people of the 2nd District from the devastating consequences of ObamaCare. Now it is up to Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee to answer the calls of the American people, and lead the fight in the Senate to defund ObamaCare and keep the government running. Bear in mind that Cruz is either so unhinged or so determined to emerge as the Teajadist leader that he has excited the contempt of most of his Senate GOP colleagues:
As always – it is truly an honor to serve the people of the 2nd District, and I look forward to speaking with you again soon.
Member of Congress
P.S. Take My Survey
Do you think we should shut down the government if the Senate fails to defund ObamaCare?