Fox News contributor Erick Erickson is urging conservatives in Congress to separate the debt ceiling and budget fights as part of a strategy to "undermine Obamacare," and is attacking Republican leaders who he claims want to merge them and preserve Obamacare.
Under the headline "This is the Strategy. Now Do It.", Erickson, whose bellicose strategies are often favored by Tea Party members, writes on his RedState blog that "Republican Leaders are begging us to merge the continuing resolution fight and debt ceiling fight" because "They want to conflate it with the debt ceiling so they can do a grand bargain and leave Obamacare alone. He singles out Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) for criticism over his October 8 Wall Street Journal op-ed on debt ceiling negotiations, stating that that Ryan "wants a grand bargain and not once mentions Obamacare. Not once."
Instead, Erickson insists that "the GOP needs to immediately get a short-term debt increase done and keep the fight on Obamacare in the continuing resolution."
The Fox pundit has been a consistent supporter of Republican efforts to shut down the government. He previously described it as "the right thing to do" and told House Republicans to "hold the line" in favor of the shutdown.
In his RedState screed, Erickson explains that "the only path to victory in this shutdown is to keep our fire on Obamacare and our focus on the defunding effort."
"We can still undermine Obamacare," he reassures the party, "but we need to resist the attempt to merge this with the debt limit and hold the line on the continuing resolution. "
A few conservatives, like columnist and Commentary editor John Podhoretz, have been less gung ho. In a New York Post column, Podhoretz warns conservatives that supporting the shutdown is "suicide of the right" that is "ruining" the Republican Party, and notes that while both Democrats and Republicans have been blamed for it, "Republicans look considerably worse."