Big news: Republicans just announced that they will only allow the federal government to stay open if President Obama agrees to delay implementation of Obamacare.
The New York Times says the announcement “all but assured that large parts of the government would be shuttered as of 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday.”1
This is not a drill. After years of threats, Speaker John Boehner and the Tea Party are about to shut down the government for real, with millions of Americans losing access to vital services, hundreds of thousands of public servants unpaid, and a big blow to our economic recovery.2
We can’t stop the Tea Party from pushing America’s economy off a cliff, but we can make sure they pay a steep political price like they did in 1995 so that they finally stop this nonsense. Our plan is to start by putting targeted web ads on Facebook and other websites targeting the most vulnerable Republicans facing reelection next year and then keep up the pressure till the Republicans give up on these outrageous demands.
The Tea Party’s popularity has already sunk to near-record lows, and if the shutdown backfires, it could send the entire Republican Party into a tailspin.3 But time is of the essence—we need to raise $200,000 in the next 24 hours to power our rapid response campaigning and give us the ad budget we need to hold the Republicans accountable. Can you chip in $5 today?
The GOP has descended into chaos and infighting—literally yelling at each other on the Senate floor.4 The shutdown—while terrible for America—is a big opportunity to go on offense and send the Tea Party into permanent decline.
MoveOn has launched an ambitious campaign to discredit Tea Party Republicans and expose their 1% backers—to hold them accountable for threatening to sabotage our economy and trying to subvert our democracy. We’ll keep them on the defensive in the short term and ensure that no one forgets their reckless hijinks as elections approach next year.
After four straight years in which Tea Party Republicans have forced a job-killing austerity agenda down our throats, their reckless decision to risk a government shutdown finally has them on their heels. If they follow through, we’ll have a historic opportunity to expose just how extreme they are.
We’ll need to move quickly and speak forcefully to win the debate and bring about a repeat of 1995. That was the year Newt Gingrich and House Republicans shut down the government because they refused to negotiate with President Clinton. They paid for it dearly.5 Now, it’s on us to ensure this time is no different. If we play our cards right, 2013 could become known as the year the Tea Party relegated itself to the dustbin of history.
Our campaign includes rapid response ads and press outreach, as well as long-term strategies to discredit the Tea Party and take away its power, including pushing PBS stations to air “Citizen Koch,” the thus-far-censored documentary exposing the Koch Brothers as the Tea Party’s 1% financiers. We’ll also shine a spotlight on positive alternatives to the Tea Party’s agenda, including a higher minimum wage to tackle income inequality. And we’re amassing a war chest to ensure that this week is one everyone will remember well into next year. But first things first—the next few hours and days are crucial, and to win this fight, we all need to pitch in.
Together, MoveOn’s 8 million members have tremendous people power. Let’s go all in together to seize this opportunity and send the Tea Party packing.
Thanks for all you do.
–Anna, Carinne, Bobby, Alejandro, and the rest of the team
1. “House Leaves U.S. on Brink of Shutdown,” The New York Times, September 28, 2013
2. Everything You Need to Know About How a Government Shutdown Works,” The Washington Post, September 24, 2013
3. “Tea Party Support Has Shrunk to Near-Record Low,” Gallup Politics, September 26, 2013
4. “GOP Anger at Ted Cruz Hits Senate Floor,” Politico, September 26, 2013
5. “Republicans Flunk Government Shutdown History,” Salon, September 8, 2010
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