Tea Party Defeats Itself

Just like with the Fiscal Cliff, the House drove us right to the brink until the Senate grabbed hold of the steering wheel, with the news that the Senate has put together a deal to end the government shut down, at least for a while.

As I predicted two months ago, there was no plan, nor any strategy for using the budget CR to defund Obamacare. Everything that happened, from the media spin, to plummeting poll numbers, to final defeat was all perfectly predictable.  There was never any reason that President Obama would negotiate.  He was never going to negotiate on defunding Obamacare. In fact, it’s obvious that he would have been perfectly willing to let us go right through the debt ceiling.  In fact, that could have worked to his advantage.  Any economic upheaval that would have been brought about by stopping the government’s ability to borrow more money could be blamed on the Republicans.  The 2016 campaign slogans write themselves.  Republicans broke the economy, Obama came in and fixed it, and Republicans broke it again.  Are you voting for the breakers or the fixers?

The only thing not predictable was how poorly the Obama administration bungled their handling of the shut down.  Between Harry Reid’s War on Cancer Kids to the administration’s fake and unnecessary closing of the nation’s monuments and other static displays that are normally opened 24/7 without being manned anyway, including the World War II Memorial; which lead to the unpleasant sight of Park Police strong arming elderly national heroes. How badly have you bungled when you pick a fight with cancer kids and World War II veterans in the same week?

Even the administration’s high fiving themselves on the fact that they were “winning” didn’t make them look too smug, since they were in fact winningConsidering that a government shutdown could only help the administration, there was really no way for them to lose, and that’s what irritates me the most; the Tea Party picked a fight in which there was no option that would have allowed them to win.

Although Ted Cruz is given most of the credit/blame for this debacle, I think a good portion of that has to go to talk radio.  Senators Cruz and Lee have appeared on Hannity multiple times talking up their “Don’t Fund it” strategy, but they never exactly explained how the strategy was going to actually achieve its goal of defunding Obamacare.  At no time did Hannity or Rush, who also was in favor of charging this windmill, question how this was supposed to succeed.  That’s a question I’ve been asking for two months and the reason I never got an answer is because there never was an answer.  Meanwhile talk radio egged it on.  On September 25th Hannity had Rand Paul on as a guest, who explained to Hannity that there was no mathematical way there would be votes to defund Obamacare.  Hannity seemed stunned and surprised that Rand couldn’t insure this strategy would work.  As recently as October 3rd, Rush was insisting that the Democrats were imploding on the issue.

The only thing that imploded was the Republican chances of winning the Senate in 2014.

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4 thoughts on “Tea Party Defeats Itself

  1. It would seem that the GOP has broken into to factions. True believers who preach to the choir and throw red meat to their base, and the McCain/Graham faction, which hopes to win by becoming more like Democrats. One faction alienates independents/moderates, while the other attracts a small percentage of them at the expense of a significant portion of their own base. Neither is a winning strategy. What they need to do to win is to expand their base, which is done by selling more people on conservative principals. As near as I can tell, there is no one currently in the GOP who has a clue how to do that.

    • John, I do think that there are factions and divisions in the Republican Party that long term, may prove to be incompatible. However on this particular issue, I think there was largely agreement on the goal: getting rid of Obamacare. I think the party was largely united behind that. The split was over the means to accomplish it. This wasn’t split between Tea Party vs Establishment Republicans or Moderates as much as between those who thought that Obamacare could be defunded this way and those who didn’t. So although I definitely regard myself as Tea Party-friendly in terms of ideology and goals, I never bought how this strategy was ever going to accomplish anything other than damage the Republicans and the Tea Party.

      As far as educating goes, there is a desperate void in leadership on the right. Sometimes history does swing on the right person being at the right place at the right time. There isn’t anyone filling that void now.

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