There are very, very few politicians who could do a 12-minute interview with a Chris Wallace the way Ted Cruz did yesterday and manage it as well as he did.
Cruz even gave a terrific response to the most prominent question/objection being thrown at him from the RINO Establishment crowd; namely, what do you do when Reid sticks Obamacare funding back into the CR and sends it to the House?
The RINO Establishment says that if Reid does that, which he will, then the House has a choice to either (1) cave in, or (2) shut the government down.
Which is classic Stupid Party thinking. It accepts every single narrative the Democrats and their friends in the media attempt to apply to this fight. As Cruz said, the House is the body which has passed a bill to keep the funding going. The House is not trying to shut the government down by passing that bill; it’s doing the opposite.
The RINO Establishment for whatever reason just docilely accepts the Democrat narrative that by passing a bill to fund the government they’re in effect voting to shut down the government. And why? Because President Obama and his man Reid are promising a government shutdown if Republicans don’t surrender on funding Obamacare.
The RINO Establishment then says “we’re going to win the Senate in 2014, and after that we’ll be in a lot better position to fight Obamacare.” But Republicans didn’t win the Senate in 2010 or 2012 – and it’s not because of the Tea Party types like Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, despite what they’ll tell you. There have been a lot more RINO Establishment nominees who have gotten killed in Senate races over the last two cycles (Rick Berg, George Allen, Connie Mack, Carly Fiorina, Denny Rehberg and several others) in no small part because they offered their own base very little reason to turn out and vote for them. Unless candidates can be found who show enough fire in the belly to actually motivate conservative voters, this underperformance will continue and there is little reason to count on winning the Senate. There are 30 states in which Republicans control the governor’s mansion and/or the state legislature, so there is little reason why the GOP shouldn’t control the Senate outside of the fact the party’s Washington establishment has clearly depressed its electoral success (the state parties are winning elections and populating state capitols; if that doesn’t translate into power in DC the answer must be elsewhere).
So no, kicking the can down the road and refusing to fight on Obamacare is not a “smart” strategy. It’s procrastination and cowardice.
Cruz wins on fighting even if the fight can’t be won. Dan McLaughlin is absolutely correct with this…
You motivate the base by showing them you fought & lost b/c you needed reinforcements-not by telling them the party's not worth reinforcing.
— Dan McLaughlin (@baseballcrank) September 22, 2013
But Cruz’ answer to the question shows that he’s a great deal smarter than the Beltway “smart set” Republicans. Because he suggests that if Reid does what everyone expects him to do and tries to reinsert Obamacare funding when the CR gets to the Senate, rather than continue to play that game the answer is to pass a series of CR’s funding the parts of the government the two sides agree on.
Starting with the military.
Shouldn’t this be the narrative?
“Today we just passed the piece of the budget that funds the military. There isn’t anything particularly controversial in that piece, and nobody on the Democrat side has offered up much in the way of substantive disagreement for it – in fact, it doesn’t change the basic funding amount for the military at all.
“There is no reason why Harry Reid shouldn’t move this CR to passage. It insures that our disagreements on Obamacare won’t affect our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines getting pay and benefits they deserve, and it makes sure that the greatest military on the planet is able to do its duty.
“Sen. Reid needs to move this CR to the president’s desk so we can minimize the effect of our disagreements on the public.”
Pass that, and move on to the next piece of the budget.
Of course, this is the way the budget process is supposed to work – but it hasn’t worked that way hardly at all since Reid took over the Senate. When the GOP recovered the House in the 2010 elections, returning to a budget built on appropriations bills was supposed to be how it would be done, but Reid wouldn’t play.
So Cruz’ idea works not just to isolate the fight on Obamacare into a small segment of the budget, but also to restore a working budget process.
Either that or to make it a lot more difficult for the Democrats to accuse Republicans of shutting down the government.
Cruz actually understands strategy. The Establishment understands surrender. And because Cruz won’t allow them to surrender so easily, they’re attacking Cruz.
It might not be fair to call the GOP the Stupid Party. It’s not unfair at all to say it has the Stupid Establishment, though – as this controversy shows.