The game is fixed.
The Republican base is sure that the only reason their party ever loses is because they don’t fight. And when they fight, they know that the only reason they don’t win is because their “moderates” give up.
The Tea Partiers and evangelicals — who are the majority of GOP primary voters in districts Republican members of Congress represent — have been dying for a fight since the moment President Obama took office. And they’ve gotten it.
Republicans have gone to historic lengths to oppose all the president’s nominations and proposals, even after they become law. But still the base feels that their party — which is now almost entirely made up of Rush Limbaugh-worshipping ideologues who’ve pledged never to lower taxes for the rich, to overturn Roe v. Wade and to make an Al Gore joke any time the temperature drops below 50 degrees or someone says “internet” — is full of squishes.
That’s why the 2012 GOP primary turned into a contest of who could say the worst things about the president and the people who vote for him. That’s why Mitt Romney lost. He spent four years only implying Obama was a socialist. He didn’t actually say it. These “Republicans In Name Only” may threaten a global economic crisis to get rid of Obamacare, but they don’t have the Liberty Bells to actually go through with it. That’s why we lose!
And that’s why Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) returned to Iowa on Friday a conquering hero — though the only thing he’d conquered was his party’s leadership, and just for a few weeks.
He’d gotten the government shutdown he’d been demanding for months. But the “tsunami” of support for defunding Obamacare he promised if Republicans stuck together ended up crashing down on the GOP, bringing the party’s popularity to historic lows, and putting its House majority at risk.
He was greeted with a standing ovation and received uproarious applause at the Republican Party of Iowa’s annual Ronald Reagan fundraising dinner. Of course, Cruz is rewriting history for his fans in Iowa.
“We didn’t accomplish our ultimate policy goal in this battle, and we didn’t because unfortunately a significant number of Senate Republicans chose not to unite and stand side by side with House Republicans,” the junior senator from Texas said. “Had we stood together, I’m convinced the outcome of this fight would be very, very different.”
Copyright 2013 The National Memo