Rand Paul (R-KY) appears to be a lethal combination of dumb and cynical, which he demonstrated Thursday in the halls of the Capitol. Paul was caught in a candid moment speaking to Senate Minority Leader and fellow Kentucky Senator, Mitch McConnell (R-KY), even after being warned that McConnell was “wired.” While the hot mic moment wasn’t that incriminating on its own, it does give a glimpse into the fact that Republicans, or at least Paul, seems to feel that the government shutdown is a political game to be won instead of an economic disaster. McConnell’s response revealed that the Democrats are standing as firm in private as they are in public. Here’s the transcript and video from MSNBC:
Paul: “Do you have a second?”
McConnell: “I’m all wired up here, um.”
Paul: “I just did CNN and I just go over and over again, ‘We’re willing to compromise. ‘We’re willing to negotiate.’ I think, I don’t think [Democrats] poll tested ‘we won’t negotiate.’ I think it’s awful for them to say that over and over again.”
McConnell: “Yeah, I do too and I, and I just came back from that two-hour meeting with them and that was, and that was basically the same view privately as it was publicly.”
Paul: “I think if we keep saying, ‘We wanted to defund it. We fought for that and now we’re willing to compromise on this’, I think they can’t, we’re gonna, I think, well I know we don’t want to be here, but we’re gonna win this, I think.”
The American people seem to disagree with Paul. A poll shows that the vast majority of Americans are against the government shutdown and that more of those blame Republicans than they do Democrats. Regardless of who is blamed, it would be virtually impossible for Democrats to compromise. The Republican demand is that Obamacare is delayed for a year, which at this point, can’t be done.
For those in the Democratic base and for those who are relying on having health insurance by the first of the year, the fact that Democrats are standing as firm in private as they are in public is refreshing.