Defunding Obamacare is a great idea and I'm not just saying that because I was the first one to promote the concept in March of 2010. Back then, the GOP Leadership agreed with me with no arm twisting required. John Boehner, Eric Cantor and Cathy McMorris Rodgers all vowed to defund Obamacare if the GOP took back the House. Today, it's finally going to happen, but only because Ted Cruz and Mike Lee have forced the GOP to stand up and fight.
That being said, it is admittedly unlikely that Barack Obama will agree to defund Obamacare. To make that happen, we'd need a unified GOP caucus and leaders with skill at messaging who could keep the public on our side for months after Obama shuts down the government. We don't have that, which means we probably can't achieve our ultimate goal. However, that doesn't mean that there is nothing to be gained or that the GOP is doomed to take a beating on the issue.
1) We're nearly on even ground with Obama at the moment: According to the latest Gallup poll, if there was a government shutdown, 39% of the public would blame the GOP, 36% would blame Obama and 17% would blame both sides. Those are not bad numbers and when Obama is shouting from the rooftops that he won't compromise under any circumstances, there's no reason the polls have to dramatically tilt against the Republican Party if Democrats insist on shutting the government down. If people assume your side is holding up a deal when the other side is telling everyone that it won't compromise, then maybe it's time to start questioning whether your leaders are effective enough at messaging to continue to lead.
2) The GOP has to prove it's willing to stand up and fight: Jonah Goldberg once said, “(J)ust to clarify: If you go into every situation saying there’s absolutely nothing worth fighting over, you will inevitably end up on a cot sleeping next to a guy named Tiny, bringing him breakfast in his cell every morning, and spending your afternoons ironing his boxers. Or, in the case of the French, you might spend your afternoon rounding up Jews to send to Germany, but you get the point.”