A lot happened this week in Washington, DC that captivated the nation, the world, as well as the locals. A partial government shutdown that political elites said would never come to pass, started. There were two odd events such as the car chase ending the death of the driver and, a less publicized incident, an act of self-immolation on the National Mall.
Yet the most fascinating moment was not memorialized in much detail: the failed circling of the political wagons by the GOP Senate Conference of Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah). It did not work. In fact, I think it may have just emboldened the two Senators, the majority of the Republican base, and maybe even House Republicans that may have been starting to waver.
The folks over at Red State do a great job summarizing the political state of play (and why I think the shutdown process is just the beginning of a much longer debate that is long overdue):
According to Bob Corker — at least I assume it is Corker given the similar language to statements Corker has made publicly — Cruz has no strategy.
Here is what no strategy looks like:
- Get the American public excited enough to pressure the GOP into forcing the issue.
- Filibuster for 21 hours to direct even more attention to Obamacare.
- See a sharp turn in polling against Obamacare.
- Watch the government shut down.
- Suggest the House of Representatives pass a bunch of funding resolutions for various parts of government.
- Have the House of Representatives do exactly that.
- Watch Harry Reid and Barack Obama implode before the press handling this.
Now, here is Bob Corker, Lamar Alexander, John Cornyn, and Mitch McConnell’s strategy to stop Obamacare:
Some strategy that is.
Cruz has led. In fact, he and Mike Lee have together led so well they’ve seen the House of Representatives do exactly as they have suggested.
No matter what side of the issue you take, Republicans should spend a less energy attacking fellow Republicans. The problem is not Republicans, heck it is not even all Democrats (for there are moderate forces within the Democratic Party that want to work with Republicans to craft a solution).
The issue here amigos is the radical Left, statists, who want to ensure a strong role for the federal government in our lives. This is more than ObamaCare. We’re talking about federal debt and spending that must be reigned in. This was not Obama’s doing alone. Republicans, including former GOP Presidents, helped get us here as well. If this were not the case, Ted Cruz or Mike Lee may have never been elected to the Senate. There may have never been a Tea Party movement.
There are generations of new voters that have a strong libertarian streak. This scares the radical Left. We need to do a better job reaching these new voters, and attracting moderate Democrats who agree with us on a lot of issues, including having a debate on ObamaCare. Any Republican who does not see this is in denial.