Posted By LambChop
The budget standoff ended last week and the mainstream media has labeled it a “defeat” for the GOP. Liberal media points to the Republicans’ “misguided strategy” to tie defunding Obamacare to the debt ceiling debate, ultimately playing chicken with the Senate Democrats and daring them to shut down the government. The game resulted in just that – a 16 -day shutdown courtesy of President Barack Hussein Obama and Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Republican establishment folk and liberals alike blamed their “less seasoned” colleagues for “holding the government hostage” and forcing the House leadership to bow to their wishes.
The GOP establishment trotted out squishy former Governor Jeb Bush for his elder statesman-like moderate viewpoint. Practically pleading for us all to get along during an interview for “This Week,” Bush encouraged the GOP to come up with an alternative health insurance solution and “show some restraint” in their negotiations. ABC’S John Karl asked Jeb Bush about advice for Senator Ted Cruz and his efforts to repeal Obamacare. Bush said, “So have a little bit of self-restraint. It might actually be a politically — a better approach to see the massive dysfunction…And when we have these spikes of political conversations that are not grounded in reality, the rest of the world looks at us as untrustworthy.”
Meanwhile Senator Ted Cruz had this to say to his critics like Bush during an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash: “Some Republican gray beards in Washington who make the point, ‘Let’s just let this collapse,' and then Republicans will benefit. I profoundly disagree with their message…I want to step on their message. Number one, I consider that very…the ‘Bad Samaritan Theory.’ Basically inflict a bunch of harm on the American people and hope we benefit politically from it. What a terrible, cynical approach.”
The New York Times gleefully quoted the irrelevant Richard Viguerie: “It’s civil war in the G.O.P.,” said Viguerie, an 80-year-old conservative who last supported Ron Paul in 2008.
The reality is that not ONE SINGLE REPUBLICAN VOTED TO PASS OBAMACARE. They all campaigned to repeal or defund the highly unpopular law especially after Justice John Roberts became the swing vote to uphold the constitutionally shaky legislation. Today, they are all apparently now for it despite the fact that they used to be against it.
Meanwhile, tongues are wagging about the supposed rift within the GOP – a war between establishment leaders versus the upstart populist tea party extremists, but that is not the real issue. The real issue is that majority of the American people who identify as Republicans are fed up with the establishment. Resentment has percolated for quite some time starting with George W. Bush’s legacy including a large Medicare drug coverage expansion, proposed immigration reform and the emergency bailout in 2008. Conservatives were already disillusioned in presidential elections in 2008 with the McCain nomination and again in 2012 with the Romney nomination. The elections were lost primarily because GOP folks stayed home or switched sides. The establishment claims there is an absence of strategy on the Tea Party side while the Tea Party focuses on the winning message of controlling government spending.
The anomaly was the Tea Party domination of the midterms in 2010 resulted in historic Democrat losses across the board. The fact is that because of 2010, there is an established precedent today of Tea Party candidates winning primaries against Republican rivals with long-term corporate and lobbyist backing. Matt Kibbe of FreedomWorks told The New York Times: “We’ve always been outspent by orders of magnitude.”
So fast forward to October, 2013. The Republican Establishment and liberal media have joined forces. The Republicans have FINALLY discovered Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals (Obama’s blueprint for campaigning) and are using Alinsky tactics to eat their young.
These Establishment Republicans who have fed from the trough for decades patently reject the notion that if all forty-six Republican Senators had stood with Senator Ted Cruz and Senator Mike Lee instead of trashing them, the political ramifications would be very different– more like 2010. Obama and the Senate majority would have been exposed for their hypocrisy, the Obamacare enrollment website would have failed and Republicans would be considered prescient. What would be the political fallout if they had actually done what the American people wanted and stood their ground against Obamacare and the debt ceiling? - Victory.
Instead, Republicans opted to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. The final bill funded the government with a completely suspended debt ceiling and created a bicameral budget super committee (which failed before). Gallup, NBC and Wall Street Journal polls conducted after the end of the shutdown noted that the GOP achieved its lowest favorability rating since polling of this kind began.
The Republicans achieved very little with the public infighting. Future battles will cause the Republican establishment to back down quicker for fear they will be saddled with blame for shutdown threats during debates – they have, in effect, lost their strong position they had after the 2010 election results. It also gave the Democrats the ability to lie to the low information public that the GOP shutdown caused the problems with the Obamacare sign -up. The only bright side to the Republican schism is that they held the line on the sequestration number – spending limits are still at 2008 levels, keeping the baseline low from which to negotiate a budget.
Republicans are actually suffering from a generational battle - the Gen Xers versus the Baby Boomers. Boehner is 63; McConnell is 71; McCain is 77; and Pete King is 69. Ted Cruz referring to the “gray beards” in the GOP during his interview with CNN reflected this generational conflict. Senator Rand Paul was born in the mid 1960s while Senators Cruz and Lee were born in 1970 and 1971 respectively.
Paul, Cruz and Lee are products of Generation X who see the liberalism and excess of the Baby Boom generation as a negative. Feminism did not have the net positive effects for women, the sexual revolution ushered in the breakdown of the family, and liberalism promoted the growth and abusive power of government over the individual.
Gen Xers lost 45% of their wealth during the Great Recession of 2008 as their median net worth dropped to about $42,000 in 2010, from $75,000 in 2007. Unlike Baby Boomers who profited during the dot com and housing bubble booms, Gen Xers are facing insecure retirements and downward mobility as they age. They are pissed off. Angered over government overreach and spending, the mismanagement of our fiscal house, the ponzi scheme of our government entitlements like Social Security, GenXers have had enough.
Paul, Cruz and Lee have capitalized on this undercurrent of dissatisfaction, tapping into the psyche of Americans who are doomsday prepping in record numbers. Establishment Republicans have underestimated the power of this group. The results of the debt ceiling battle and government shutdown combined with news of NSA spying and IRS targeting have angered this sleeping giant – the Tea Party 35-50- year -olds who are out for blood. American is a center right country and Obama’s 15 minutes is up. It will be up to the new Generation, the Xers, to fight this battle. But the American people are on their side despite what The New York Times prints.