Something similar is happening right now to the GOP — although this being the Republicans, the fighting is symbolic and not visceral. But the hatred is. It speaks well of Senator Cruz that, even before his stunt, he was widely loathed by the PBFP establishment, whose cowardly members couldn’t wait to knife him, anonymously, to Chris Wallace of Fox News. But happening it is. Earlier today, over at NRO, I posted some bullets points regarding how I think things stand on the right side of the aisle at this moment. Some excerpts:
- After his disgraceful attacks on Cruz, including his reach-across-the-aisle, dog-in-the-manger response today, this should be the end of Senator John McCain as a voice of influence in the Republican Party. Ditto his mini-me, Senator Lindsey Graham. Indeed, the entire Old Guard of business-as-usual “comity” fans passeth. When you care more about what the other side thinks, it’s probably time either to switch teams or step down.
- There is new leadership in the GOP, whether the party wants to admit it or not: Cruz, Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Jeff Sessions, and the others who stepped into the breach to spell the senator from Texas.
- The Cruz faction in the Senate, and its allies in the House (whose leadership is now up for grabs), must now press their advantage. The louder the Democrats squawk, the more they are wounded; the one thing they’ve long feared is a direct assault on their core beliefs as translated into actions, and the deleterious effects of Obamacare, just now being felt by the population, are the most vivid proof of the failure of Progressivism that conservatives could wish for.
- Win or lose, the battle is now joined: First the struggle for the GOP and then the battle for control of Congress and the presidency. Cruz just struck at the kings he could reach — the Republican “leadership” — and has most likely dealt them a fatal blow. Now the Tea Party hordes must back him up by eliminating his opponents (who tend to be geriatrics, and thus “leaders” by longevity rather than talent or commitment) through the primary process wherever possible. If he can carry off this coup, he and Senator Paul will very quickly find themselves elevated from back-benchers to commanders.
- Any party that cannot successfully sell freedom and personal liberty doesn’t deserve power. The trick will be to explain — by word and deed — that the Democrats’ Manichean choice (Big Brother or the orphanage) is a false one, that less can be more, and that the restoration of a Republic of self-reliant citizens will benefit all Americans — not simply the government class and its clients.
And this is the key. I’ve been out of the country for the past several months, so I’m just now catching up to my good friend Mark Levin’s wonderful new book, The Liberty Amendments, which strikes at the heart of the great divide in our current political system: the gradual and deliberate corruption of the Constitution at the hands of the “progressives” and the concomitant reduction of personal liberty and individual aspiration in the name of a Marxist “collective good.” (It speaks well of the dishonest genius of the Left that crude, mid-19th century atheism can be successfully repackaged as quasi -Christian do-gooderism and practically no one the wiser.) Here we are, more than 20 years after the complete collapse of Marxism-Leninism and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and we’re still having the same argument.