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by
Bryan Preston

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September 23, 2013 - 5:22 am
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Republicans who fear the effects of a possible government shutdown over Obamacare next month seem, chiefly, to fear that Republicans will be blamed. This blame would translate into losses in next year’s mid-term elections, and if those losses are large enough, they could cost the GOP not only a shot at re-taking the Senate, but could cost control of the House as well. Democrat control of Congress would give Barack Obama nearly unchallenged power for his final two years in office.

Some Republicans fear the consequences of a shutdown so much that they’re smearing Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texan who is leading the defund effort, sniping at him in the media and even sending opposition research on him to Fox News Channel’s Chris Wallace.

Their fears are understandable, but they’re overblown.

The 1995 government shutdown, which pitted then House Speaker Newt Gingrich against President Bill Clinton, is widely seen today as a disaster for the Republican Party. It wasn’t. That shutdown put a major dent in President Clinton’s prestige and popularity, while at the same time most Americans actually experienced no ill effects from it. The sky did not fall.

Gingrich and the GOP probably would have won the shutdown outright if he had not come off as a sore winner a few months later, when he appeared to blame it all on a personal snub by Clinton to him. Sen. Cruz and today’s other GOP leaders can be expected not to make such a bonehead, self-centered mistake. They are not Newt Gingrich.

Barack Obama is not Bill Clinton. Clinton was a superior politician whose instincts were less ideological than Obama’s. Clinton was able to connect with a majority of the American people directly; Obama has remained aloof and distant during his entire term in office. Clinton was seeking re-election and was thus more malleable; Obama is a far more rigid ideologue who is not facing re-election. Obama is more liable to mistake his re-election for a freer hand to combat Republicans now than Clinton was, and overreach. He made that mistake over gun control, and failed spectacularly. Obama has no one around him in the White House or among his congressional allies to rein in his leftist instincts.

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Top Rated Comments   
Courage is contagious, so is hope. If Cruz and Lee give enough people hope their ideas will catch fire. Perhaps people aren't suffering enough? That's what I keep saying to my kids when they doubt, but given the track we're on, it's a foregone conclusion that ultimately the pendulum will swing back. Hopefully there's something left resembling our country when it happens.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This whole thing is going to reveal that the president & Harry Reid have managed to become even weaker than the GOP. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee have sensed this fact well ahead of anyone else. Why is the fact obscured? because the media has been working on burying facts, full time, which does not change the facts one bit. Cruz is willing to take big risks on this, and this is precisely why he has succeeded so far, and why he will be effective again in the senate battle.

Are Ted Cruz and his close supporters risking their careers? You don't ruin your career by showing courage. You ruin your influence by failing to show courage for fear of losing your career, which is not the same thing. We are going to get some clarity about the difference between conventional wisdom and a greater kind of wisdom, that of the bold.

Eh! What makes perceptions shift, when they do?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
There doesn't seem to be a single political hill that establishment Republicans are willing to die for. We know that the majority of citizens are opposed to Obamacare. The GOP could be engaged in a "We're trying to save your jobs" campaign. They are not. The GOP could be reaching out to the big unions with a "Saving Your Healthcare" campaign. They are not. We've got maybe two people in the Senate with a spine (Ted Cruz and Mike Lee)

Earth to Republican Establishment: People will not vote for a party that doesn't stand for anything.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (36)
All Comments   (36)
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Rick Perry didn't support Cruz. He knew. TX should recall Ted the Charlatan and let their Gov select a replacement that better represents what TX is all about.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Gingrich made a good boogie man. Cruz doesn't have nearly as much baggage. This could work, but ...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Here is my understanding of the power plays if my numbers aren't off. The bill in question has already passed the House. It now goes to the Senate. If any Senator objects to it the bill automatically then goes to debate and requires 60 votes to pass. And 60 votes to end the debate.

Reid will need 6 Republican defectors to reach 60 IF he keeps all of the Democrats.

So one issue is can he keep all of the Democrats? The bill is unpopular. Unions hate it. The bill is only postponing its implementation but is being advertised a defunding it. I think the Democrats won't hold.

Now what is the exit strategy?

Scenario 1 - If Reid cannot get all the Democrats and Republicans hold together the defunding bill passes - does Obama veto it? He have to prepare for this as he will certainly threaten to.

Scenario 2 - Reid cannot hold all Democrats but he gets some Republicans. We get stalemate. Will Obama/Reid negotiate?

If so Conservatives will be disappointed and I wouldn't blame them. For the Republican side might cave in negotiation and agree to limiting the defunding, or allowing it - in exchange for limitations on the debt ceiling or adding stricter sequestration rules to it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Even having to back of off defunding for other buget concessions is far more than we would have gotten if we had not even pushed defunding in the first place, so to me even that counts as a minor win. The only real win for obama would be if the cowardly repub leadership caves completely, and gives up defunding with little to no concessions in return.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Shut the government down. Ground Air Force One. Unplug the teleprompters. Keep the president safe, keep him at home. * wishful thinking, I admit *
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Stop perpetuating the balanced-budget myth. At no time, during the Clinton administration, did the income ever match or exceed the outlays.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Well, they did balance the "budget" - it was just that pesky P&L that upset the apple-cart, since those suffering from Washingtonitis can't seem to stay On-Budget.

Like the story of George Allen's hiring by the Washington Redskins, and the owner, Edward Bennett Williams, was asked about Allen's history of going after high-dollar players to win now, and worrying about the future later? Williams responded that it wasn't going to be a problem. The reporter asked if Allen had been given a budget?
Williams answered: Absolutely, and he's already exceeded it!
THAT, is DC.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I do have to spare half a chuckle at the notion that "Obama is so badly damaged he can't even pass a measly war powers resolution against a tinpot dictator anymore", a dictator who hasn't attacked the US or even Israel and who is at least better equipped than Gadaffi. At any rate, being seen to fight is sometimes as important as any chance of actually winning. When you're the opposition in exile your chances are limited. Yes, surrender can make the government work more smoothly, but one must ask, and what else?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Democrats also don't have Bob Dole as Republican leader in the Senate to pressure the Republicans into giving up just as the Democrats, according to their own records, were on the verge of giving in.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Bob Dole v. Mitch McConnell....is that a distinction without a difference?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
One reason I will agree that the shutdown now is not ideal is that Democrats will be able to claim that it hasn't taken effect yet, so evil Republicans are preventing Americans from discovering how wonderful it is. But I am convinced the exchanges will be semi-functional at best, and the job and coverage cuts and rising premiums have only just begun.

So on the one hand a shutdown in 3-4 months might be more "convincing." On the other hand, if even 5 people get wonderful Obamacare coverage, the media and the Democrats (but I repeat myself) will trumpet those cases endlessly as "proving" that Obamacare "works," while doing their best to minimize or ignore all the bad news.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Bryan - you are missing the point. The big Leader Republicans don't WANT TO WIN THE FIGHT. They don't want to repeal Obamacare. They don't want to fight Democrats. They don't want to reduce the deficit. They dont want to stop illegal immigration. They don't want to stop the EPA. All they want is their fat salary, their fat benefits, their fat campaign warchest to keep for their own, and enough TV time to get invited to the good parties. The Republican Leadership is so gutless and spineless they make jellyfish look solid. The Republicans, and National Review, and Charles Krauthammer and Karl Rove all want to get along with Democrats. The Republican Leadership is the best advertisement for a third party there is. If Ted Cruz formed a third party, within a month it would have greater membership than the Republican Party. There is no there there in the Republican Party. It is over.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
That's why Cruz and Lee are loved by the American People...finally a voice for the People!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Born of the Whigs, they'll die as the Whigs.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Delay, delay, delay. The cruelest form of denial and BHO has earned it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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