Much coverage in the last week or so has focused on highlighting daylight between John Boehner and his caucus, on one hand, and tea-party and pro-life groups on the other. But today, at least, all of them seem to be closing in on a common political enemy: the president and his party, who are closing ranks as we near a potential shutdown.
In a conference call this hour with Marjorie Dannenfelser, the head of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, and Jim Jordan, the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, the focus was on President Obama, who appears to be living up to his record as an abortion-rights activist.
It is the “height of unreasonableness for this president” to “shut down the government in order to protect this one organization,” said Dannenfelser, who spoke of Democrats’ insistence that a potential shutdown has everything to do with Planned Parenthood. As she pointed out, the president has been a supporter of Planned Parenthood as well as a beneficiary of their support. She added, “Primary health care for women is something we should be fighting for, and Planned Parenthood cannot claim the mantle for that.”
Jordan, who said that specific details about the current state of negotiations were not discussed by the speaker in conference this afternoon, said, “We don’t want to shut down the government. We want to do what the American people sent us here to do” — get serious about spending at a time when “our country is broke.”
Jordan added that “the vast majority of Americans do not want their money to go toward abortion,” presumably referring to the D.C.-abortion-funding debate that has been a part of negotiations with the White House.
He repeated: “The Senate and the president” are “willing to shut down the government because they think Planned Parenthood should get your tax dollars. “