Last fall, when Senator Ted Cruz was urging Republicans to stand firm against Obamacare and letting Obama shut down the government over the issue, the “voices of moderation” in the Republican Party were all telling us that this would spell political disaster for Republicans. Well, here we are a year later, and they were clearly wrong.
So now we hear them inventing new reasons for taking a government shutdown off the table as Republicans try to negotiate on the budget. Mitch McConnell simply says that there will be no government shutdown, and tries to tie it to defaulting on the national debt by putting it in the same sentence. But of course standing firm on the budget would only save money and help the government pay its obligations, so that makes no sense. Then Colorado Senator-elect Cory Gardner, in an interview with Joe Scarborough on MSNBC simply said that a shutdown was not something a mature governing body would do.
Here’s a key for figuring out what is going on in politics. First, you have to realize that most politicians are trying to fool you about what they really think. Radical leftist Democrats try to get you to think they are moderates. Liberal and moderate Repubicans try to get you to think they are conservatives. With that you need to realize that most media people play along with that dissimulation. Then second, what you need is a long memory which helps you separate those who are trying to fool you from those who aren’t, coupled with paying close attention to what is going on with sources who are willing to tell you. Then when politicians tell you things that don’t pan out, or things that don’t make sense, you have figured out their game. That is what is going on here. We have a Republican establishment that simply doesn’t actually want to rein in government spending or rock the boat but is content to preserve the status quo. A year away from an election, they told us that a shutdown would be disastrous politically. It clearly wasn’t. I believe it actually helped the Republican brand. Now, two years away from the next election, they have to make up other reasons.
Here’s what Republicans would do if they were serious about reining in this out-of-control government. Cooperate in passing a short-term budget resolution in the lame duck session. Then, come January when they take over the Senate, announce that we will go back to the traditional budget resolutions that were used for the first 200 years of this government, funding the government department by department. That way, they would fund what they wanted and not fund what they didn’t want. If Obama wants to have a hissy fit over that strategy and shut down the government rather than sign any of these budget bills, then just tell him, “Go ahead, make my day,” and stand firm.
But they won’t do that because deep down inside, in spite of their rhetoric, they’re quite comfortable with the status quo. This is why we’re so sick of Washington.
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