Lessons from the Republican Loss

Friday, Oct. 18, 2013
by Bob Adelmann

The liberal media could scarcely contain themselves over the Democrat win and Republican loss regarding the budget battle, the debt ceiling, Obamacare, and government spending. The capitulation by the establishment Republicans was stunning. As expected.

The vote to preserve the status quo in the Senate was bad enough (81-18) but the collapse in the House made the earth move: 285-144. Translation: more than 80 Republicans joined with the Democrats to make sure that government spending would continue as before, the debt ceiling would be lifted, and Obamacare would be untouched. The only sop to the Republicans was a “bi-partisan negotiating team” to consider options on cutting government spending. Experienced observers will know what will happen there: nothing. And the precious “sequester” is on the table for revision or removal – another loss for the Republicans.

Moderates in both houses who voted for the Senate bill were quick to justify their positions. After all, every House member is up for reelection next year. Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), whose Freedom Index rating is a dismal 45 out of 100, serves as a good example of how moderate Republicans folded like a cheap suit: “This legislation must be supported, but it should not be celebrated. It’s not a win for anyone….” He was joined by Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.) whose FI was only slightly better, at 69, who said:

I’ve been calling for the political brinkmanship to end … Washington cannot continue to operate in perpetual crisis mode.

House Speaker John Boehner decided to avoid defending his yes vote altogether by focusing on the wonderfulness of the negotiating team that is going to do everything he couldn’t:

Our negotiating team will pursue real reforms that address the drivers of our debt [and] get control of spending [and] put us on a path to a balanced budget…. These negotiations are a big opportunity.

One person the media avoided altogether was the “The Night Stalker” in the White House who advised Obama to put up a strong defense against the Tea Party: Valerie Jarrett. She has had the ear of the president since day one. As Edward Klein wrote in “The Amateur: Barack Obama in the White House,” following a conversation with a White House insider: “If it wasn’t for Valerie Jarrett, there’d be no Barack Obama to complain about.” She is called “The Night Stalker” because of her virtually unlimited access to the family’s quarters in the White House, day and night. Wrote Klein:

Jarrett is ground zero in the Obama operation, the first couple’s first friend and consigliere. Once asked by a reporter if he ran every decision by Jarrett, Obama answered without hesitation: “Yep. Absolutely.”

So when Klein sought information about how the White House planned to combat the Republicans to keep his precious healthcare monstrosity safe from harm, he interviewed half a dozen of his closest contacts in the White House and learned that the strategy was all hers. She convinced the president “that a government shutdown and default offered a great opportunity to demonize the Republicans and help the Democrats win back a majority in the House of Representatives in 2014.” She is vicious:

Valerie came [up] with the idea of using the words “hostage” and “ransom” and “terrorists” against the Republicans. She told the president: do not cooperate one iota on Obamacare. Don’t give an inch. Let the Republicans stew in their own juice.

That’s the first lesson. The Obama administration is at war, not only with the Republicans, but with the American people. There are no strategies too outrageous, no lies too horrific, no effort off limits in efforts to protect ground already won and attack to capture new ground.

The second lesson may be more important. Despite the back-pedaling and the spinning by moderate Republicans on their caving, remarks by Senator Ted Cruz were seized by those not ready to give up the fight. In an interview right after the House signed the “clean” Senate bill, Cruz said:

We saw the House of Representatives take a courageous stand, listening to the American people….

This was a remarkable victory, to see the House engage in a profile of courage.

Unfortunately the Senate chose not to follow the House … that was unfortunate. [If] the Senate Republicans had united and supported House Republicans, the outcome of this, I believe, would have been very, very different.

The pushback against moderates by the Tea Party has already begun. Mississippi state Senator Chris McDaniel announced that he would challenge Senator Thad Cochran in the Republican primary next year. Cochran, with a Freedom Index rating of a measly 53, is certainly vulnerable. Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican RINO (FI of 63) from South Carolina, has two opponents in the primary, both of whom have already leveled blasts against his weak-kneed yes vote. Senator Mitch McConnell (FI of 61) is facing a primary challenge as well, along with Senator Lamar Alexander (FI of 53).

A word on the Freedom Index: of all the various political polls out there measuring performance – the ADA, the NRA, the American Taxpayers Union, and so on – the FI is the only one that measures a member’s votes compared to the Constitution. The difference is telling. In Colorado’s 5th Congressional District, Doug Lamborn boasts of his A+ rating from the NRA and his 100% rating from the American Taxpayers Union. He claims he is the most conservative member of the House. His FI rating? A much more realistic 79.

Back to the fray: Obama added a jibe to the insult just suffered by the Republicans: “You don’t like a particular policy or a particular president, then argue for your position. Go out there and win an election.”

That’s just what the newly galvanized and outraged Tea Party people appear to be doing.



World News Daily: The White House Planned the Shutdown

Washington Times: Shutdown over: House approves Senate budget deal; avoids debt default

Newsmax: Republican Reaction: Swift, Strong, Diverse

MarketWatch: Sen. Cruz on deal to end the shutdown and lift the debt ceiling

How the House members voted

How the Senate members voted

Amazon: The Amateur

Washington Times: Tea party determined, not chastened, after loss

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