The President and others are using the term blackmail to describe what the Tea Crackpots are trying to do in shutting down the government or holding hostage the debt limit. It's not. It's extortion.
Extortion is a form of theft that occurs when an offender obtains money, property, or services from another person through coercion. To constitute coercion, the necessary act can be the threat of violence, destruction of property, or improper government action. Inaction of the testimony or the withholding of testimony in a legal action are also acts that constitute coercion.
Blackmail, in contrast to extortion, is when the offender threatens to reveal information about a victim or his family members that is potentially embarrassing, socially damaging, or incriminating unless a demand for money, property, or services is met.
Obama should know better. The Dems did nothing wrong or secretive in passing ObamaCare... except, of course not going to Single Payer.
OCT 3ed EDIT... it's now clear the GOP's public relations strategy is to divide and conquer. They hope to exploit a few highly public... and emotional issues and use them as hostages. If the Democratic Senate doesn't agree to just fund national parks, or the NIH... or the vets... then THEY are to blame!!! Let's sweep under the rug the KEY FACT in this charade that it's the GOP House leader BOEHNER who refuses to send to the Senate a clean Continuing Resolution... a funding bill with no strings attached. It would get the votes of the Dems and sane GOPers. Why doesn't he? He knows being the grownup in today's GOP full of crazies as it is... he'll lose his speakership.
Sadly, this PR ploy has worked with diehard True Believers on the right who refuse to believe the GOP can do any wrong... no matter how much they act as infantile brats.