Lessons Learned from the Government Shutdown
Though it’s over and it didn’t turn out the way we had hoped, we still learned 10 valuable lessons from the fight to defund Obamacare.
10. Texas Senator John Cornyn thinks you’re an idiot.
Cornyn voted for cloture to fund Obamacare two weeks ago, but then turned right around and voted against cloture to fund it to end the shutdown. This guy must really think the people of Texas are awfully stupid. Let’s hope in next year’s primary they prove him wrong.
9. Rand Paul is still not sure who he is.
He almost always votes the right way, but Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is certainly not his father—for better or for worse. He gets much closer to gray areas than his father ever did, flirting with disaster before eventually choosing the right side. He did on both the big fights this year—first with scamnesty and now with the defund Obamacare effort. He appears to be trying so hard to make himself a national figure in time for a 2016 presidential run that the identity that launched him in 2010 is being lost in the process. Is he the heir to his father’s revolution or has he become Ditch McConnell’s sidekick? You can’t be both. It appears he has yet to decide, but he better decide quickly. The passive-aggressive act is wearing thin with many liberty people I know, let alone dampening his efforts to successfully reach out to social conservatives.
8. Ditch McConnell is treacherous.
How else would you describe a Senate Republican “Leader” who knowingly tried to squash House conservatives, hung the Republican Speaker out to dry on a national stage, and then cut a deal with Democrat Leader Harry Reid that gives President Obama everything he wanted plus control of the debt ceiling? Oh, and did I mention it also provides a $3 billion taxpayer-subsidized bribe for his home state?
7. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee are now the Senate Opposition leadership.
Leaders lead, and that’s just what these two have been doing for months now. They are even better together. Let’s pray it stays that way.
6. The only reason John Boehner is still Speaker.
It’s beyond pathetic for Republicans to keep trotting out such a weak-kneed man as the face of their caucus, and as we reach the point our frustration for Boehner turns to pity many of you are asking why they keep doing it?
The only reason I can come up with is House conservatives have not settled on a viable alternative. Lord knows those waiting in the wings like Paul Ryan and (especially) Eric Cantor would actually be downgrades if you can believe that. Cantor is a wannabe McConnell. Ryan won’t stop pushing scamnesty until we all call English our second language. Until conservatives settle on a viable alternative, we’ll have no alternative but to cringe every time the man with the perpetual tan shows up to assume the position for Obama.
5. Why current GOP leadership will never beat Obama.
The President of these United States is a progressive statist with Marxist leanings. I don’t say that as an insult, but as a lucid observation of his actions, tactics, policies, and talking points. Neither he nor his followers should be anymore insulted by that then I should be insulted at them calling me a “fundamentalist” because I believe the Bible is true. I am what I am, and he is what he is.
A progressive statist Marxist does not see history through the lens of traditional Western Civilization beliefs, which begin with the notion mankind is fallen and therefore history is viewed through the lens of God’s judgment and redemption (law and grace) in conflict with man’s wickedness.
A progressive statist Marxist begins with the premise mankind is basically good, and will only get better if the “haves” share with the “have-nots.” If the “have-nots” will not share, then they should be made, conditioned, or educated to care through the force, encouragement, and/or coercion of government. A progressive statist Marxist views those of privilege as the “haves.” So in America that would be the affluent, whites who believe in American Exceptionalism, and Christians that hold to Biblical orthodoxy. Therefore, when those populating any of those groups condemn Obama you are not pressuring him. You are motivating him. He sees your disdain as a sign he’s doing the right thing, for in his worldview this is always the reaction justice-seekers get when confronting oppressors. He’s out to make a historical point bigger than the next news cycle, poll, or even election.
The current GOP leadership fails to recognize this, because they’re deal-cutting political lifers. They rose to power playing small ball, and know no other game. They do not view themselves through the lens of history, but through the latest batch of polling optics from their consultants, which will grow stale 30 minutes from now.
This is why McConnell gets along so well with Democrat Senate Leader Harry Reid, because they’re cut from the same cloth. The McConnells and Boehners of the world have no answer for a man like Obama that won’t take “yes” for an answer. Obama doesn’t want to split the difference. He wants to defeat you.
Unless you match someone of Obama’s courage of conviction with someone of equal courage but your conviction, you will never beat him. You’re playing a game. He’s playing showdown at the OK Corral.
You can only defeat him with a leader(s) who comes to the table with the same sense of urgency for your worldview that Obama has for his. Unfortunately, right now those kinds of leaders are in short supply in today’s GOP.
4. There is really only one major political party in America.
That would be the Government Party, which is in the business of serving government’s interests and using government to serve its interests. There might be Republican and Democrat wings to the Government Party, but the vast majority of them belong to the Government Party nonetheless. Those who still believe in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness don’t have a major political party representing them nowadays.
3. We are definitely on the road to a new major party.
The center here simply cannot hold, and if you believe in the free market as I do then you have to also believe this many people cannot continually go un-served before something arises to serve them.
The birth of the Tea Party in 2009 was the first step in that process. The next step is likely to be the Tea Party operating as essentially a party within a party in the 2014 and 2016 election cycle. If the Tea Party is able to get someone in the White House in 2016, and thus claim the GOP’s infrastructure as its own, then you’ll see ruling class Republicans become Democrats because the GOP will now become a threat to their government gravy train (see the Virginia governor’s race as an example).
If the Tea Party is unable to win the White House in 2016, then the Republican Party will disintegrate as the traditional GOP base abandons hope, all ye who enter here. Either the Tea Party will become its own party, or you’ll see the country breakdown regionally along ideological lines similar to what you saw in the 1850s.
2. We need Patriot, not Republican, majorities
A majority of majority Republicans voted against the fiscal cliff in January, but the Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted for the largest tax increase in 20 years nonetheless. A majority of majority Republicans voted against funding Obamacare, but the Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted to fund Obamacare (and pass the largest tax increase of all time) nonetheless.
When we needed them most, the Republican-controlled House was not there for us. They worked with Democrats to work around us. Losing control of the agenda is the ultimate cardinal sin in parliamentary politics, for whoever has control of the parliamentary agenda has control. Translation—we essentially have a Democrat-controlled House when push comes to shove.
This is something no Democrat Speaker in our lifetimes would’ve ever allowed. This is something the previous two Republican speakers, Newt Gingrich and Denny Hastert, would’ve never allowed. Control of the agenda is the majority’s point of the sphere. If you don’t maintain control of the agenda your majority is pointless.
Just working for Republican majorities moving forward is as useless as trying to find a Mensa member at a “Jersey Shore” cast reunion. We need a majority of Patriots who understand what American Exceptionalism is all about. Otherwise the Government Party is in charge regardless of what they call themselves.
1. Obama will delay the individual mandate himself.
Had Republicans followed Cruz and Lee’s lead in keeping the focus on staying unified and defunding Obamacare, they had a much better chance at success here. Obama was never going to negotiate with people whose will he doesn’t respect, and why should he? If Republicans had stood behind Cruz and Lee and shown they were serious about making him solely own all of Obamacare’s failures, they had a much better chance of getting some kind of concession out of him to declare a victory.
But they didn’t do that. Their lines broke like Peyton Manning breaks down NFL defenses, with their leaders effectively racing each other to surrender first. As a result, now Obama will grant that concession on his own, and get all the credit for it.
All along I have predicted Obama will suspend the individual mandate, long before this entire ordeal began. It’s simply not politically viable to go into next year’s midterm elections granting waivers for corporations and not individuals. Republicans rightfully get killed when they do it, and the same thing would happen to Obama.
But the last thing Obama wanted to do was give that victory concession to the Republicans, and when he saw they lacked the fortitude to force his hand he just waited them out. Now liberals are coming out of the woodwork, even going on Fox News, demanding a delay of the dreaded individual mandate in Obamacare for a year.
Some on our side believe this is a sign even the Left recognizes the disaster that is Obamacare. Do not be fooled.
This is not liberal outrage at Obamacare’s failures. This is the kind of fork-tongued, coordinated meme the Left is very good at (i.e. war on women, Sandra Fluke, etc.).
Obama took a hit for not negotiating during the shutdown. This is an attempt by the Left to make Obama look reasonable and likable again, for now he will be the one to magnanimously announce the individual mandate delay after the Republicans’ bloody signature has dried on the sellout.=
This will also at least somewhat temper the Obamacare issue in next year’s midterm elections, because the Democrats will turn right around and say yes Obamacare is broken right alongside the Republicans. They’ll even point out how they admitted it was, and publicly demanded Obama give individuals the same break corporations got from the White House.
But they’ll also say “we tried to fix Obamacare, and the Republicans never helped us.” Yet again, the Republicans will get all the blame and none of the credit for what they are perceived to believe. The Republicans almost can’t lose the House next year no matter what, but this will make it tougher for them to win the Senate.
This is what happens when you don’t stand united on principle, but are a movement run by shills, gutless cowards, and feckless bureaucrats.
(You can friend “Steve Deace” on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @SteveDeaceShow)