Washington Post columnist and MSNBC guest host Ezra Klein on Monday night said the Republican war against the Affordable Care Act has turned into a campaign of self-sacrifice.
"This is a weird thing that's happened to the campaign against Obamacare," he remarked. "It began as most campaigns do, as a campaign for self-interest. Obamacare, conservatives said, will raise your taxes, take away your doctors and possibly put you in front of a death panel. The fight to keep it from passing was a fight to keep bad things from happening to you."
"But it's become something weirder: A campaign of self-sacrifice," Klein continued. "The current crop of Republican strategies ask conservative congressmen to hurt their constituents, governors to hurt their states and conservative activists to hurt themselves. It is a kamikaze mission to stop Obamamcare, a campaign against your own self-interest."
Republican Sens. Ted Cruz (TX) and Marco Rubio (FL) have threatened to shut down the government by blocking appropriation bills if Obama doesn't agree to defund his signature health care law. The move would hurt their own constituents, Klein said, and likely hurt their own political careers.
Many Republican governors have also refused to receive federal aid to implement the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion, putting their states' health care systems under financial stress. Conservative activists, meanwhile, have urged Americans to refuse to accept a subsidized health insurance plan under the Affordable Care Act, even if that means going without health insurance coverage.
"Republicans have responded to minority status by adopting more extreme political tactics. Chief among them is hostage taking, threatening to shut down the government or breach the debt ceiling if they don't get their way," Klein said. "But now Republicans have done something truly new, they have taken themselves hostage. They're threatening to hurt themselves and their states and their voters and their most committed activists if Democrats don't give them their way on Obamacare."
Watch video, courtesy of MSNBC, below: