October 15, 2013 1:49 pm -

As the hours tick away toward U.S. economic catastrophe, we wait to see many things: whether John Boehner can get anything at all passed through the House; whether Ted Cruz will try to blow the whole thing up in the Senate; just how long it takes before Boehner turns to House Democrats, tail-between-his-legs, to rescue him from this self-imposed disaster… One thing we do know for sure, however, is this: Obamacare will not be defunded, delayed, or in any way altered on policy.

Those lofty dreams died weeks ago for the GOP, and they’re left today bickering over whether to strip the employer insurance premium match from their own staffers’ compensation. It’s got to be quite a let-down.

But just because Republicans don’t hold the political power to kill Obamacare doesn’t mean they’re going to cease their crusade. Sure, their ability to actually pass any legislation is practically nil, but they still control House committees. They still have Darrell Issa. And they still hate Obamacare.

Byron York at the extremely conservative Washington Examiner reports:

As House Republicans see it, there is much to talk about. Last Thursday, Rep. Fred Upton, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, sent letters to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, as well as some major Obamacare contractors, wanting to know why HHS officials were painting a rosy picture of the exchanges just weeks before it all came crashing down…

In addition to Upton, Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Sen. Lamar Alexander, the ranking Republican on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, are seeking answers from the administration. In a letter to Sebelius on Thursday, the lawmakers demanded a wide range of information from HHS, “for us to better determine whether any corrective legislative actions are necessary.”

The number of Obamacare investigations on Capitol Hill is likely to grow in coming weeks. There’s no denying the probes will have a political element, as Republican chairmen in the House lead the charge. And if Obamacare’s problems continue, and perhaps expand, the situation could be politically advantageous for the GOP. No one should be surprised if a White House on the defensive accuses Republicans of playing politics.

Yes, no one will be surprised if the President correctly calls out Republicans for playing politics. He’s proven quite adept at that throughout the shutdown/debt ceiling fiasco. But if I were Republican leadership, I’d be less concerned with what Obama might say and more concerned with how the public, 74% of whom blame the GOP for our current crisis and see it as reckless politics, will interpret these actions.

Seems to me that when your extended tantrum over Obamacare has landed you at the bottom of a chasm in public opinion, maybe you stop digging and start trying to climb out. Maybe you could try governing? Just a thought.

Oh, who am I kidding? Of course the GOP will push forward, full-steam ahead, on investigations. After all, there’s a nice, neat, right-wing conspiracy theory just itching for some C-SPAN coverage. From ‘Fast and Furious’ to Benghazi!! — Republicans just can’t help themselves.

Sandi Behrns