What happens in politics when one side is absolutely committed to its principles, willing to fight for them no matter the cost, and the other side reflexively surrenders on every issue? We have modern-day Washington.
Today, President Barack Obama fights relentlessly for his liberal priorities. Like the Terminator, he never gives up, he never stops. And Republican leadership responds to every challenge by surrendering at the outset.
President Obama demands of Congress: fund all of Obamacare, with no changes to help the millions being hurt by that failed law, or he will veto funding for the entire federal government. And Republican leadership backs down. President Obama demands: fund his unconstitutional executive amnesty—or he will veto funding for the entire federal government. And Republican leadership backs down. President Obama demands: give $500 million in taxpayer money to Planned Parenthood, a private organization under criminal investigation—or he will veto funding for the entire federal government. And Republican leadership backs down.
The core of this capitulation comes from Republican leadership’s promise that “There will be no government shutdown.” On its face, the promise sounds reasonable. Except, in practice, it means that Republicans never stand for anything.
At this point, it is probably safe to say that Cruz and Mitch McConnell won’t be inviting each other over for dinner any time soon. Or ever.
The Republican leadership’s “go along to get along” strategy of the past several years is almost solely responsible for Donald Trump. They won’t admit it, of course, because recognition of reality isn’t their strong suit.
Cruz has been excoriated by Republicans since his arrival in Washington simply because he believes that they should be discernibly different from Democrats. This year, he’s operating under the notion that they should act like they control Congress. Despite all the wailing from both sides about his arrogance and lack of decorum, those are his only real political sins.
The GOP has gotten away with this for so long because the base they think they’re duping with show votes takes pity come election time and exasperatedly votes Republican.
It would seem that model is about to come to a much-needed end. If it does, perhaps a non-establishment candidate can prevail and change the party’s abysmal record in presidential elections since 1988. If it doesn’t, the Republican Party will more than likely go the way of the Whigs all on its own.
Either way, the Republican Party is doomed as long as the Republican Senate majority leader is only willing to fight a Republican senator and let the Democrat in the Oval Office do whatever he wants.