Shutdown Hangover for GOP?
It’s hard to go more than a few hours without being slapped in the face with some example how out of touch Washington’s wizards are with the country they rule. And there is no more compelling example of this dynamic than the retrograde opinion of Ted Cruz’ filibuster and the resultant “shutdown,” concerning which there is still a wrongheaded delusion held by almost everyone in town.
Inside Washington, the Republican establishment -- and everyone else in the beltway to Manhattan media bubble for that matter -- is still obsessed with the few days of shutdown late last year. They are all convinced that it did great damage to the Republican Party, and moreover, will do so in every instance the government is shuttered in perpetuity. It’s our elitists’ first grade equation: shutdown = Republican disaster, period. John Boehner can’t think past it, and neither can Mitch McConnell, Karl Rove, Bret Baier, Brit Hume -- or apparently anyone else in either the 202 or 212 area codes not named Ted Cruz.
Certainly not the editorial board of the embarrassingly stodgy and formulaically conventional Wall Street Journal, which labeled Cruz a “minority maker” for this tactics. And no, they haven’t revised their opinion, the 2014 midterms be damned.
Yet outside of glares given at Washington cocktail parties by reporters, there is no evidence this is the case. Not even a smidgen. In fact, there is considerable evidence to the contrary. You might remember the 2014 midterms? You know, the very thing the WSJ was referring to with the phrase “minority maker.”
Nonetheless, the power elites remain convinced they are right even though they could not possibly be more wrong. This arrogance/ignorance combination is driven largely by one factor: total isolation from the rest of the country by almost everyone involved in taxing, regulating, and legislating us as well as those who comment on them for a living. None of them know anything about us. It’s two separate planets, as the red/blue map shows.
Outside that bubble of the shutdown is but a distant memory. Actually, many in the real world welcomed the shutdown -- and/or realized that there was really no shutdown at all. The only PR damage was that done to the liberal Democrat idea of a bureaucratic state of totalitarianism, as videos of government union thugs going wild went viral. Only perhaps the ‘Gruber stupidity voters’ -- not to mention the stupidity media and the stupidity GOP establishment types -- are still hung up on the shutdown.
Those too smart for Gruber and ObamaCare from the get go realized from day one that the horror of the reality of ObamaCare would far outstrip the phony problems caused by a faux shutdown. We all like Cruz even more as a result.
If the Republican establishment was half as smart as they think they are, they would be crediting Cruz -- and his Tea Party supporters -- with planting the flag that ultimately resulted in yet another midterm wipeout of the Democrats. With that wipeout, a mandate is indeed clear. Do what you have to do to shut Obama down, and if that means the entire government -- so be it.
Cruz remains steadfast in his convictions. In an interview a couple months after the filibuster, Cruz said “I have a difference of opinion on how Republicans win. Some in the Washington establishment think Republicans win elections by keeping their heads down and not rocking the boat -- not making any waves -- and hoping we win in November. I think the way we win is by taking a stand for principle.”
And indeed history is on his side. Rocking the boat and standing for principle worked pretty well in the American Revolution, and also in 1980, 84, 94, and 2010. Playing it safe was an exploding cigar in 1992, 96, 2008 and 2012. And standing for principle is also the right thing to do.
Concerning the 2014 midterms, ObamaCare was the number one issue on the minds of voters, who seemed more capable of understanding that ObamaCare is the jobs issue, is the issue of the economy, is the issue of debt, and is exhibit A in the arrogance and totalitarian reality that is the left’s vision of governance. No thanks to the GOP establishment messaging machine however. The sooner in the campaign Republican candidates figured this out, the larger their margins were. Thom Tillis barely got there in time in North Carolina, in a race that should have been 12 points.
Now as a Republican House and Senate will face Obama and his increasing threats to go around Congress on amnesty, environmental regulations tied to global warming, not to mention what he might do on ObamaCare, another shutdown or three might be called for. Again, the devastation of amnesty, an out-of-control EPA -- and yes, still ObamaCare -- will be far more important to most of the nation than having our precious bloated inefficient and corrupt government pretend to shut down for a few hours.
This is common sense. Washington naturally misapprehends the situation. It’s bad enough that the pusillanimous McConnell and Boehner have tried to take any kind of shutdown off the table as a result of this illusion, but lately even Mike Lee -- Cruz’s heretofore soulmate -- has rushed in front of reporters to denounce the notion. At least with respects to executive action on amnesty.
Then there’s that whirling dervish of recent incoherence Rand Paul, who called the shutdown a “dumb idea” -- yet said he might vote for it again.
And let’s not forget Hume, who was furrowing his brow and earnestly and painfully insisting in his best conventional wisdom jargon that the GOP would get the blame for any shutdown.
All of this leads us to some conclusions: first among them is that Cruz is a uniquely fearless leader with acute situational awareness. He alone seems to realize that the real problem was not the bind he put other Republicans in, but the fact that they did not all join him. “All 45 Republicans should have stood together,” Cruz said in Sarasota.” The Washington establishment once against refused to listen to the American people and just made the problem worse.”
He’s right. People in Washington don’t listen to anyone not in Washington -- unless they work for a New York media outlet -- or are a paid professional crony liberal like Jonathon Gruber. Washington is unfamiliar with us now. The elites are clueless, even after the midterms. And now it appears that even Senators Paul and Lee have been infected with Potomac Fever. Many on Fox News are long gone. Thank God for talk radio and the internet!
We might need to quarantine Cruz, to make sure he doesn’t get contaminated. Because we might need him to shut this sucker down again soon. And it will be a good thing. We'll call it Cruz Control.
The author is contributor to American Thinker, Breitbart, Newsmax TV and Talk Radio Network, and author of WTF? How Karl Rove and the Establishment Lost…Again. He can be followed at his blog and social networks in his name.