September 27, 2013
One challenge to writing on current political events is timing. As I watched Senator Ted Cruz on the Senate floor deliver his marathon address on defunding Obamacare, I could see the contrast of strategies between the one he was developing and that of the Republican leadership. I started writing the article Time Is Everything to express my opinion, hoping I would have it done before it became irrelevant. Thanks to Frank Salvato, the tireless editor of NewMediaJournal.us, it was published the following morning just a few hours before Senator Cruz concluded and the attacks began from fellow Republicans. It was a risk I described with his strategy, and it was exactly what was needed, a confrontation between big government establishment Republicans and Constitutional conservatives.
The Republican Party displayed more energy, outrage and vindictiveness attacking Cruz than they ever displayed toward a Democrat. The left gloated as every accusation that could be mustered was hurled at the Texan. The Republicans got more airtime in the media than I had ever seen. The media complimented the attack with choice excerpts of green eggs and ham without context, deliberately ignoring anything of substance Cruz had said. I expected no less since that was about all their low-information audience could handle.
Cruz employed what I called the Breakout strategy, putting all Republicans on the line to cut bait or fish. As my editor aptly described the engagement in an editorial, Cruz "breaches the 'concrete wall' establishment Republicans have erected around the 'official message' of the National GOP." I described that "official message" in the Grand Slam strategy that requires the Republicans do nothing out of fear of the dread "shutdown."
Cruz took his message to the people while the GOPe* is waiting for the people to come to them. From the activity I saw on Twitter, Facebook, Free Republic and various blogs, many people were there to hear what Cruz had to say and what he said they wanted to hear. These are mostly people frustrated by Republican lethargy and timidity. They are anxious and ready to engage. The people the GOPe is waiting for to come to them are about as active and engaged as a pregnant clam in a mud flat. Now which of those would you want on your side?
The Breakout strategy would produce conflict within the party. It was a call to arms to fight Obamacare and spare the nation the economic destruction it has and will produce. The Grand Slam strategy is depending on that destruction to draw support and hoping to cash in, not now but in 2014. Cruz documented case after case and statistic after statistic of people suffering from the consequences of Obamacare now. He made the urgency to act now clear.
The image of Cruz risking party approval and unity to spare the nation further suffering and the GOPe quaking in their boots out of fear they may upset their chances for winning in 2014 is striking. It was the good of the country despite the risk to the party versus the good of the party despite the damage to the country.
One of the most pathetic and infuriating displays of pettiness, deceit and treachery was Harry Reid requesting Ted Cruz give John McCain 15 minutes of his time. That got the message boards buzzing and no one was fooled by McCain's bid to stab Cruz in the back on his time. McCain did attack later, but on Republican Party debate time. The most ardent supporters of the Republicans are Conservatives, but stunts like McCain's are going to cause a rift much bigger than the one that already exists. McCain also criticized Senator Rand Paul severely after his fine performance several months ago. Do I sense jealousy with a touch of fear of being outshone?
This hostility was a predicted consequence of the Breakout Strategy and it was necessary. The GOPe has a very short time to change course or it can stubbornly pursue a strategy of allowing pain to be inflicted as a campaign strategy, a strategy that could back fire and worth repeating from my previous article.
The economy is crumbling, not for the wealthy or government employees, but for middle and lower income people. They are losing jobs, working hours and health insurance and that will just hasten the decline. They will seek welfare, food stamps, housing assistance and Medicaid, which drives government spending up and tax receipts down. They will turn to the party that offers the best deal, even if it is the party whose policies caused their hardship. The media will be sure to steer them that way. A promise to repeal Obamacare will be too late and too slow to make any meaningful difference. What these people may remember is that GOPe could have done something but did nothing while trying to execute a campaign strategy to exploit their misery. One way or another, the GOPe will get the blame.
Prominent Democrats have openly admitted Obamacare is just the first step to a single payer system. A very bad economy or catastrophe would speed that along. How about a stock and bond market crash, or an interest rate increase, or more funny money, or new regulations, or executive orders, or a currency collapse? That is when Democrats will offer universal healthcare to ease the burden in time for the elections. What will Republicans offer then?
The GOPe has been outwitted, outmaneuvered and bamboozled by Democrats repeatedly while they show contempt and hostility for the conservatives that gave them the House in 2010. Now the GOPe is horrified that conservatives have said enough is enough and want to fight the menace. The timing is right with the high level of public dissatisfaction with Obamacare and the damage being inflicted on the economy, not later, but now.
I am going to stop here and send this to my editor before the Republicans come to their senses and make my article irrelevant. I don't think that is likely, but you never know.
* - GOP Establishment
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