Ted Cruz and Mike Lee being vindicated on shutdown

The GOP establishment is loath to admit it, but the government shutdown is turning out to be a brilliant political chess move on the part of Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee. The Obamacare disaster, fully predictable by anyone who understands the effect of incentives and the fundamental incompetence of academic theorists and left wing ideologues, has made the go-for-broke attempt to stop it an obvious profile in courage.

Just take a look at this chart from the Huffington Post, via Charlie Cook:

Cook, a seasoned observer, sees the polling data moving against Democrats, and wonders, "Can Democrats Recover From the Obamacare Catastrophe?" But he fails to connect the dots, and dishes some typical establishmentarian snark at Cruz and Lee.

...in August, statements started coming from some of the more exotic Republicans in the House and Senate that perhaps it was a good idea to shut down the government over the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Notwithstanding warnings from House and Senate Republican leaders and experienced (and wiser) members that such an effort would be a disaster for the party, the Republicans in the "kamikaze caucus" barreled ahead, over the cliff, shutting down the government.

They were stupid, in Cook's eyes, because the polls turned against the GOP, as the media launched its predictable campaign blaming it for the ginned-up inconveniences (remember fencing off the WW II memorial?). What Cook doesn't (or refuses) to see is that the turning of polls against the Democrats post-healthcare.gov is not a random, chance occurrence, but rather predictable to anyone who looks two or three moves ahead on the chessboard.

The budget and debt limit fights lie ahead. Cruz and Lee have laid out the path for us. The GOP can now say that that because the Democrats have shown they are willing to shut down the government in order to preserve Obamacare, this time around there will be no shutdown. The previous efforts were futile, so we will not repeat our principled move. The federal government will continue to operate, and Obamacare will continue to damage the well-being of the American people. The Democrats have proven that they are so adamant about inflicting it upon us that they are willing to shut down the government.

A catastrophe is unfolding that is depriving responsible Americans of the health care insurance they prudently purchased, and leaving many unprotected next year, despite administration assurances that they are "enrolled" (even though their insurance companies don't know it and haven't been paid).

I am stunned that so many people, such as the brilliant Charles Krauthammer, fail to see how the predicate was being laid. Having proven themselves willing to shut down the government to protect Obamacare, the Democrats now own it. President Obama's promise that it will not be repealed "while I am president" makes his ego the problem, and Democrats who support him become equally culpable.

One person who does get it is William Jacobson of Legal Insurrection:

Cruz and Lee were trying to stop the disaster known as Obamacare. The legacy will be Democrats going to the mat to protect and preserve Obamacare. If Democrats owned Obamacare before, as a result of the efforts of Cruz, Lee and others, Democrats swallowed Obamacare whole in September.

Now everything has changed because Obamacare and Democrats are one and the same.

Bill and I are still lonely voices. But maybe others will wise up. Today's polling results are not the be-all and end-all of politics. Standing on principle gets noticed when the disaster being fought unfolds as predicted.

Of course, the polls could change by November 2014. But Obamacare is so deeply flawed that its ownership will hurt the Democrats and benefit the GOP.

Hat tip: Instapundit

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