GOP: Be patient

Written by Editorial Board September 27, 2013 10:20 am

Just how important is it to squash Obamacare before its more far-reaching provisions have been in place long enough for Americans to judge the law’s pros and cons?

According to some Republicans in Congress, it’s important enough to force another federal government “shutdown,” a term we had hoped would be confined forevermore to the Clinton administration.

To be sure, there’s ample reason to be skeptical of Obamacare.

The health care reform law that is the signature legislative achievement of the Obama presidency might turn into a fiscal, indeed societal, mess.

But then it might not.

We don’t know right now.

What we’re pretty sure about, though, is that a government shutdown will cost the GOP significant political capital — perhaps enough to give the Democrats a resounding win in the 2014 mid-term elections.

Which isn’t to say that a shutdown would be disastrous.

It wouldn’t be.

But closing national parks and the like annoy people, and reinforce the notion a lot of Americans have that Congress ought to convene not at the Capitol but in a sandbox.

Republicans ought to show a little patience.

If Obamacare, as some in the GOP insist, is doomed to fail, then its shortcomings will become evident soon enough. 

If that’s the case, there’s little doubt that a large majority of Americans would back any Republican-led campaign to either significantly change Obamacare or to withhold federal money for the program.

At that point the scenario is not whether the heartless GOP will shut down the government to stop an unproven law, but whether Obama and the Democrats would defend a failed law.