Ted Cruz and the Fight for the Soul of the Republican Party

With key conservatives pushing for sanity, the grown-ups have a chance to take back the GOP.

ted-cruz-reporters

Jim Fallows is tired of the seemingly endless cycle of crisis in which every vote on spending and the debt ceiling generates a high stakes game of chicken. He’s even more tired of his colleagues treating it as business as usual.

  • As a matter of substance, constant-shutdown, permanent-emergency governance is so destructive that no other serious country engages in or could tolerate it. The United States can afford it only because we are — still — so rich, with so much margin for waste and error. Details on this and other items below.*
  • As a matter of politics, this is different from anything we learned about in classrooms or expected until the past few years. We’re used to thinking that the most important disagreements are between the major parties, not within one party; and that disagreements over policies, goals, tactics can be addressed by negotiation or compromise.This time, the fight that matters is within the Republican party, and that fight is over whether compromise itself is legitimate.** Outsiders to this struggle — the president and his administration, Democratic legislators as a group, voters or “opinion leaders” outside the generally safe districts that elected the new House majority — have essentially no leverage over the outcome. I can’t recall any situation like this in my own experience, and the only even-approximate historic parallel (with obvious differences) is the inability of Northern/free-state opinion to affect the debate within the slave-state South from the 1840s onward. Nor is there a conceivable “compromise” the Democrats could offer that would placate the other side.
  • As a matter of journalism, any story that presents the disagreements as a “standoff,” a “showdown,” a “failure of leadership,” a sign of “partisan gridlock,” or any of the other usual terms for political disagreement,represents a failure of journalism*** and an inability to see or describe what is going on. For instance: the “dig in their heels” headline you see below, which is from a proprietary newsletter I read this morning, and about which I am leaving off the identifying details.This isn’t “gridlock.” It is a ferocious struggle within one party, between its traditionalists and its radical factions, with results that unfortunately can harm all the rest of us — and, should there be a debt default, could harm the rest of the world too.

That the Republican Party became more radicalized, in the form of the so-called TEA Party movement, in the wake of President Obama’s inauguration is well established. After a wave in which the most moderate Republicans were defeated in back-to-back elections during the worst days of the Bush administration, a new wave of firebrands swept to power in 2010. For a variety of reasons, they’ve wielded outsized power since.

What’s interesting in the current struggle is that we’re seeing substantial pushback, not just from the senior leadership but even some of the stalwarts of the party’s conservative wing like Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn and Texas’ senior Senator John Cornyn.

Freshman Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who has grandstanded his way into prominence in short order, finds himself the most hated man in Congress. Slate‘s John Dickerson recounts the reasons why. Among them:

He’s fooled the grassroots: By suggesting that Obamacare could actually be defunded through his Senate action, he confused voters by setting expectations that could never be met. Furthermore, he was an enabler to interest groups who sold that “bill of goods,” as Sen. Tom Coburn put it, so that they might raise more money from the grassroots.

[…]

Breaking Reagan’s Commandment: Cruz says he has not attacked Republicans specifically, but in his alliance with Jim DeMint, the former South Carolina senator and now president of the Heritage Foundation, he has done something more powerful. He has helped raise money to run advertisements against incumbent Republican senators.

He wasted precious time: Republicans don’t want to get the blame for a government shutdown. By soaking up valuable Senate time with no-win maneuvers, Cruz has left House leaders with less time to follow their legislative strategy—one that might have won limited concessions from White House. Or, with significantly more time, House Speaker Boehner might have been able to produce a funding bill that would have at least included a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act. That would have put Democrats up for re-election in vulnerable states in a tough spot; at the very least, red state Democrats would have had to take an unpopular vote. Now the GOP looks fractured, time is short, and Boehner may only be able to pass the funding bill passed by the Senate Democrats—which he’ll almost certainly have to do with Democratic votes, offering even more leverage to the enemy.

[…]

He made Obama’s critique look accurate: For years, President Obama has said a minority faction of zealots controls the Republican Party. By hijacking the system for a cause that had no chance of success, Cruz confirmed Obama’s cartoonish vision of a party controlled by a wing unconcerned about practical results.

He turned a tactical fight into a purity test: The majority of Republican senators agreed with Cruz on the importance of defunding Obamacare, but they disagreed with him on tactics. He characterized those with whom he had a tactical disagreement as ideological turncoats.

He blunted the GOP’s best plan of attack on Obamacare: The Affordable Care Act was falling under its own weight as stories of rickety implementation, layoffs, and companies dropping coverage of their employees continued to be published. By linking the “defunding effort” to continued funding of the government, Cruz distracted the public from Obamacare’s inherent problems. That distraction undermined Republican efforts to chip away at the legislation through smaller attacks, like a one-year delay that might have led to a full repeal if the GOP took back control of the Senate in 2014.

Of course, Cruz isn’t endearing himself to his colleagues, either, by refusing to endorse Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Cornyn for re-election. Or rallying his the Tea Party wing in the House to vote against their own Speaker’s compromise bill.

We’re at an inflection point. The grown-ups in the party understand that this constant cycle of crisis is not only bad for the country but bad for the GOP. And it’s especially destructive to continue to pull this stunt in an effort to defund ObamaCare. As someone noted on Twitter the other day, it’s rather hard to defund ObamaCare when a guy named Obama is sitting in the White House. It just ain’t gonna happen. Even Ted Cruz understands that. But we’re wasting billions of dollars and making the country look like a banana republic, anyway, for what seems to be the sole purpose of raising Cruz’ profile ahead of the 2016 presidential primaries.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Mark Ivey says:

    Who needs Soul when you´re on Cruz control? GOP LoL




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  2. superdestroyer says:

    If the establishment Republicans really want to have influence on policy or governance, then they have to be competent and they have to deliver some level of success on their policy goals.

    The current establishment Republicans have no credibility because they not only abetted the incompetence of the Bush II Administration but ever since then, they have not been able to explain what they stand for or how what they want to do would benefit the people who vote for them.

    The current establishment Republican leadership is incompetent, vision-less, have zero charisma, and are incapable of understanding policy or governance. If the establishment does not have demagogues to spring up in the Republican Party, then those establishment Republicans have to deliver for the people who vote for them.




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  3. Mr. Replica says:

    What’s the downside for Senator Cruz, exactly?

    Government shuts down, he still gets paid.
    Instead of standing in front of the camera while on the Senate floor, he stands in front of a camera in some studio somewhere.
    Donations still come flying in because the kind of people that support Cruz are the kind of people the GOP have been going after for the last 30 or more years.

    Even if Cruz gets booted out in his next election, he’ll probably get paid millions of dollars to be a lobbyist.

    So, I ask again.

    What’s the downside for Senator Cruz, exactly?




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  4. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Man, it sure does suck when the proles actually think they get a say in how things get done, doesn’t it? Don’t they know their place — and it sure as hell isn’t in any place of power. They need to just shut up and let things up to their betters.

    Who got us into the current mess in the first place, but that’s why they’re best qualified to steer us back from off the cliff!




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  5. Moosebreath says:

    Not seeing much fighting going on, James. To the contrary, all Republican senators voted with Cruz in the end. I don’t see any Republican House members saying they want a clean bill to be voted on.

    If this is a fight, the so-called grown ups look like they’ve regressed into a second childhood.




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  6. Argon says:

    We’re at an inflection point. The grown-ups in the party understand that this constant cycle of crisis is not only bad for the country but bad for the GOP.

    I’d like to think so but somehow I don’t believe that’s the case. First, because there’s a lot further down to go for the GOP. The murky waters of stupid truly are deep. Second, I don’t see the ‘establishment’ Republicans of today as having a track record of behaving all that responsibly themselves. Many are, after all, remnants of the Gingrich era and so haven’t seen responsible adults for over two decades.




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  7. john personna says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Did you mean trolls? But seriously folks, l’ll be here all week …

    You and Cruz actually demand minority rule. This is well established.




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  8. Jim Treacher says:

    Wow, you guys are super-racist.




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  9. john personna says:

    @Argon:

    I agree. The most adult are already RINO’d out. Battle between overwhelmed babysitters and their rebellious charges.




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  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Ted Cruz and the Fight for the Soul of the Republican Party

    What can I say? I hope he wins ’cause you don’t win many elections with only 22%. Only after losing another national election will sanity return to the GOP.




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  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @john personna: Heh.




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  12. Ron Beasley says:

    It’s not the grass roots who should be blamed for this but a few billionaires and their organizations -Heritage Action, the Club for Growth, and FreedomWorks.




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  13. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @john personna: Minority rule? Hell, no. Cruz is just playing by the established rules. I realize you’d be far more comfortable with absolute rule by the majority, but that’s just because you currently are part of that majority — just not enough to get all you want.

    And Treacher’s right — this is straight-up racism. Keeping the brown man down, like with George Zimmerman. Just own your racism, folks. You can’t keep living in denial forever.




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  14. Ron Beasley says:
  15. Rafer Janders says:

    From Jon Chait at New York Magazine:

    The Republican Party right now most closely resembles a Weatherman gathering from about 1969, with various factions debating the feasibility of immediate communist revolution versus building a working-class movement as a prelude to smashing the state. As such, distinguishing the various gradients of ideological fanaticism has become an increasingly abstruse task.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/09/ted-cruz-now-ruining-john-boehners-life-too.html




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  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    And Treacher’s right — this is straight-up racism. Keeping the brown man down, like with George Zimmerman. Just own your racism, folks. You can’t keep living in denial forever.

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…..

    Jesus H f’n Christ, if stupidity was graded on a 10-1 scale you would score a negative 13.




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  17. Scott O says:

    @Argon:
    Speak of the non-grownups and Jim Treacher doth appear.




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  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Keeping the brown man down, like with George Zimmerman.

    And just to punctuate, having as your hero a man who shot an innocent unarmed black child….

    You are a sick sick sick person. You need to be committed.




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  19. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Rafer Janders: Interesting perspective. I wonder if Obama’s old friend, mentor, and partner, Weather Underground co-founder William Ayers, was consulted?




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  20. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    And as far as the odious comparison of the Tea Party movement to the Weather Underground… get back to me when it gets violent.

    Excuse me, I mean when the Tea Party turns violent. ‘Cuz all the politically-inspired violence of the past few years has been from the Left. The Occupy Movement, the gay activist who, egged on by the SPLC’s “Hate Groups” list, attempted to pull off a mass shooting at the FRC…




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  21. Rafer Janders says:

    Looks to me like someone here is having a bit of a meltdown this morning. Can we all agree to ignore the child so that the adults can keep having a conversation amongst themselves? All he really wants, after all, is attention.




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  22. Rafer Janders says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    A good reminder from Balkin’s piece:

    The “mainstream conservatives” the press talks about today are a misnomer. Mainstream conservatives aren’t moderate at all — they are very, very conservative in relation to the Republicans of days gone by. What distinguishes “mainstream” Republicans is that they are not much interested in what they see as the Tea Party’s suicide mission.




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  23. Grumpy says:

    Political blabber mouths and establishment politicians class keeps referring to conservatives as a small minority of extremists.. But as the Bikers proved last month, and the Big Rigs will again prove in two weeks, that minority can put 1000000 people in DC for for a protest anytime they want..on less than a months notice..

    Not easy or cheap to drive cross country, and most of the people showing up are covering their own costs themselves.. While some of the million truckers are accepting donations for fuel.. most will be spending several thousand dollars out of their own pocket to protest the DC Establishment- Takes a lot of $3,50 -$4.00 a gallon fuel at 5-6 MPG to get a semi from California to DC

    For everyone who attends one of these protests- there are dozens at home would like to be there.. many because they can’t afford to participate…

    Two protests in two months with a million or so participants in each- Tell me, does either of the two major political parties have enough of a following to get 1000000 people to DC on a months notice, even if the party picked up the costs?

    That small minority just might be a little bigger than the politicians want to acknowledge




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  24. Lounsbury says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: I believe that in a proper organised democracy, the ‘proles’ have their voice in organised elections, duly held and executed.

    I have typically seen such obstructionism in new democracies where one or more parties lack an understanding of democratic give and take, and are unable to accept actually losing elections to the opposition.

    It is the sign of a sick democracy and a party that has imbibed undemocratic principals, the side doing it. American right has become quite Bolshevik in its attitudes and comportment in the past decade.




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  25. Todd says:

    I notice among my Facebook friends, the same people who LOVED Sarah Palin are already fantasizing about “President Ted”.




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  26. Todd says:

    @Grumpy:

    That small minority just might be a little bigger than the politicians want to acknowledge

    No, that is the delusion that most ‘Conservatives’ suffer. You (Conservatives) are not the majority, you’re just loud and arrogant. Everybody knew who the bullies were in middle school; and they definitely had (outsized) influence. But that doesn’t mean everyone agreed with them. Most were just too scared to say anything.




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  27. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Man, it sure does suck when the proles actually think they get a say in how things get done, doesn’t it? Don’t they know their place — and it sure as hell isn’t in any place of power. They need to just shut up and let things up to their betters.
    Who got us into the current mess in the first place, but that’s why they’re best qualified to steer us back from off the cliff!

    This mess is entirely the result of the 2008 crash of the financial and housing markets, which happened happened during the Bush Administration, and which was was caused in part by the very proles that now vote for Tea Party politicians. Yes, those proles overextended themselves to purchase housing that they couldn’t afford. So who would not expect them to know what’s best for the rest of us?




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  28. al-Ameda says:

    @Jim Treacher:

    Wow, you guys are super-racist.

    Wow, you are superficial.




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  29. Matt Bernius says:

    While things are ugly now, the real question is what will happen when Cruz and company are unable to deliver what they promised (which they are all but certainly not able to do).

    Conservative Media has fallen into lock step behind Cruz. As with the elections of 2008 and 2012, they are blindly heading for defeat (and promising their audiences victory all the while). The issue is that this time, rather than the “defeat” coming from the “takers across the aisle”, it’s going to come from the members of their own party.

    I can’t imagine that they’re going to handle the latest crushing defeat particularly well.




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  30. bk says:

    The grown-ups in the party

    There are no grown-ups in the party.




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  31. James Pearce says:

    @Grumpy:

    But as the Bikers proved last month, and the Big Rigs will again prove in two weeks, that minority can put 1000000 people in DC for for a protest anytime they want..on less than a months notice..

    While that’s impressive, that’s only a fifth of the 5 million votes that Obama got over Romney. Protest all you want.

    But y’all lost the election and since the GOP hardliners don’t control the government, you’re going to lose this fight too.




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  32. Matt Bernius says:

    But as the Bikers proved last month, and the Big Rigs will again prove in two weeks, that minority can put 1000000 people in DC for for a protest anytime they want..on less than a months notice..

    Based on most reports of the event you have at least two, if not three, extra zero’s on that attendance estimate (hint, it was in the *thousands* at best). Which gets to the point made by @James Pearce. One of the key delusions of conservatives, created in part by Talk Radio, is the claim that the are the secret national majority.

    The obvious problem with the “secret majority” claim is that it’s yet to consistently prove true in party primaries (see just about ever Republican Presidential nominee since Reagan), many state wide races (see recent examples in red states like Missouri and Indiana — not to mention that Democrats captured the majority of the popular vote in Congressional races), and the last two national elections.

    It’s great to say your the majority, but the facts have yet to bear that out.




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  33. rudderpedals says:

    @Lounsbury: I think the analogy you drew bears close study because I think it helps explain what’s playing out and where it could be headed. Boehner’s Menshevik faction’s been outmaneuvered and emasculated. Who’s going to play Trotsky in all this?




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  34. Grumpy says:

    @Todd:

    The proof is in the number of Bikers who showed up, and the number of truckers who will.. Obama was hard pressed to get a million supporters to his second inaugural.. But getting a million truckers to DC to support Our Constitution- and condemn the antics of the political class, piece of cake..

    Oh, and as far as those high school bullies you want to mock – at one time or another, most people get bullied and most people at some point bully others.. Best advice, stand up to a bully – funny how fast they back off or resort to crying and name calling when when someone stands up to them..

    LOL- My grandson had a Middle School incident with a bully about a year ago. The bully was a couple years older and a lot bigger.. He had grandson down and was beating the heck out of him- till my grandson hit him in the solar plexis.. Now the bully doesn’t bully anyone anymore, at least when my grandson’s around.. The other bullies at the school leave him, and anyone he’s with, alone.. Nice and simple




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  35. KM says:

    @ Grumpy:

    Sooooo…. You’re saying Boehner should just punch Cruz in the face to make this stop? He is after all the Big Bully in all this. I’m cool with that and I suspect a lot of Congressmen would be too at this point. Would make some great Fox footage to boot!!




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  36. Matt Bernius says:

    @Grumpy:

    Obama was hard pressed to get a million supporters to his second inaugural.. But getting a million truckers to DC to support Our Constitution- and condemn the antics of the political class, piece of cake.

    Beyond discussions of inflated participation numbers, this is a wonderful example of how Conservatives have come to embrace symbolic street theatre over political substance.

    It doesn’t matter how many supporters show up of the inauguration (and BTW, as a general pattern, 2nd inaugurals rarely draw the crowds of 1st inaugurals). It does matter how many supporters show up on election day.

    For all the talk of the conservative majority, there is very little evidence to substantive demonstrate that this is the case. The Senate remains in the control of Democrats (and conservative candidates keep losing in *Red* States). The House will remain Republican (remember that’s something different than “Conservative”) for the foreseeable future, but that has more to do with gerrymandering than actual voter turnout (again Democratic candidates won the “popular” vote tally when it came to Congressional elections).

    The marches you mention are not unlike Cruz’s “filibuster” — pure political theatre that will ultimately have little substantive effect. The Republicans/Conservatives are going to lose on this one, and on the Debt Ceiling increase. The only question is what few concessions — if any — they will eak out, and how will those concessions compare to the damage that they are going to do to their reputation and the Country’s credit rating in the process.




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  37. merl says:

    @Grumpy: Let’s wait and see, I predict huge crowd of maybe a dozen truckers at your stupid ass rally.




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  38. merl says:

    @Grumpy: And then you woke up to see your grandson crying like your granddaughter, right?




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  39. Todd says:

    @Grumpy:@Todd:

    The proof is in the number of Bikers who showed up, and the number of truckers who will..

    Hmmm, based on the latest census, there are almost 310 million people in the United States. Even if we’re generous and stipulate that there were anywhere close to 1 million bikers riding into DC, I’m not sure how that proves your case. I’m not a math whiz, but last I checked, .3% of the population is not normally considered a “majority” (or even representative of one).




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  40. James Pearce says:

    @Grumpy:

    Obama was hard pressed to get a million supporters to his second inaugural..

    Who cares about the inaugural?

    65,455,010 people voted for Obama’s re-election in 2012, which is –again– five million more than who voted for his challenger. (Who seems to have accepted his defeat quite graciously, thank you.)

    As for this:

    getting a million truckers to DC to support Our Constitution

    That’s 100% pure unadulterated BS.

    If you “support our Constitution” then you have to accept on some level:

    * Election results
    * Legislation passed by Congress, signed by the president, and upheld by the Supreme Court

    If you can’t do that, then you’re not arguing for a Constitutional approach at all.




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  41. Rafer Janders says:

    @Grumpy:

    But getting a million truckers to DC to support Our Constitution- and condemn the antics of the political class, piece of cake..

    Um, there are only about 1.5 million professional truckers total in this country. If two-thirds of all the commercial drivers in the US had actually driven to DC, the nation’s entire economy would have ground to a halt as goods stopped being delivered and, I’m sure, someone would have noticed that.




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  42. Grumpy says:

    @Matt Bernius: @Matt Bernius:

    Depends on who you believe– the media who wanted to play down the event, the politicians who wanted to ignore it.. Or the pictures of the event.. When you look at the pictures, remember it was impossible for all the bikers to congregate in one one place at one time

    It’s kind of telling that people who who tried watching the event via the DC Trfic camera’s on the internet saw the same two minutes of taped looped over and over all day.. Funny how the same bus, cars and pedestrians can cross the same intersection every two minutes for 8 hours..




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  43. Mr. Replica says:

    The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear was said to have almost 300k people. A televised, commercialized, celebrity stacked occasion. So, if a million bikers/truckers and whomever else eclipsed something like that…that’s pretty shocking.




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  44. James in Silverdale, WA says:

    @James Pearce:

    1,001 times, this:

    “If you “support our Constitution” then you have to accept on some level:

    * Election results
    * Legislation passed by Congress, signed by the president, and upheld by the Supreme Court

    If you can’t do that, then you’re not arguing for a Constitutional approach at all.”




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  45. James Pearce says:

    @Grumpy:

    It’s kind of telling that people who who tried watching the event via the DC Trfic camera’s on the internet saw the same two minutes of taped looped over and over all day..

    Oh…my…..God…..

    DC Traffic’s in on it too?




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  46. Matt Bernius says:

    @Grumpy:

    Depends on who you believe[…]

    … is the worst response possible when trying to make a factual argument.

    Again, I’ve yet to hear you actually address the substantive issue — if the country is secretly Conservative, why are Conservatives so bad at winning elections (often even in Red States)?

    But this get’s to the bigger problem with the Conservative Media complex at the moment… it’s based on belief as opposed to fact. And the people you put your faith into have a vested interest in telling you what you want to hear versus the truth of the situation. If they start to tell you hard truths, you might stop listening/buying books/supporting advertisers (see Dick Morris as perhaps the best example of this).

    Hannity, Limbaugh, ect have been telling you all week that there is a real possibility to stop Obamacare at this moment. The truth is — and even folks like Rand Paul admit it — there’s no chance of this happening.

    These were the same people who promised you that Romney would win the 2012 election, and that McCain would win in 2008. These were the same people who told you to believe *them* versus the factual data in front of you.

    Conservatism as practiced in the Conservative Media Complex is a *religion* masquerading as a political philosophy. And the sad part is that while it remains that, the only thing that is going to happen is you are going to continue “losing” while convincing yourself that you are part of the secret majority.

    BTW, it seems to me that the worst part of believing the secret majority thing is that it requires you to also accept that — if its true — you are a part of the most pathetically ineffectual majority ever. Obamacare is going to happen. The Senate is going to stay in the control of Democrats through at least 2016. Hell, you’re (Conservatives versus Republicans) going to remain a minority in the house (note that the Speaker is hardly what anyone would call a “Conservative”). And there’s a good chance that, even if a Republican wins the White House, he’s not going to be a Real Conservative. Your chief priests will remind you that there are too many Bureaucratic Republicans in office versus Real Conservative and that the Country is continuing to be destroyed.

    That’s really gotta be a blow to the ego — to be the majority but never actually get what you want and can’t seem to ever accomplish anything of worth.




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  47. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    How do you talk with your lips vacuum welded to Treacher’s ass?




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  48. Grumpy says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    You might want to read my post a little closer, that one hasn’t happened yet.. and BTW, the Teamsters are a bit POed at Obama at the moment.. They plan on parking.. and Canadian truckers have agreed to join in on the strike.. BTW truckinfo.net says 3.5 Million drivers..




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  49. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    : @James Pearce: If you “support our Constitution” then you have to accept on some level:

    * Election results
    * Legislation passed by Congress, signed by the president, and upheld by the Supreme Court

    If you can’t do that, then you’re not arguing for a Constitutional approach at all.

    Oh, absolutely. But let’s run with those thoughts just a little more, shall we?

    Election results gave the GOP control of the House.

    Pretty much everyone accepts that ObamaCare is the law of the land, passed by Congress, signed by the president, and upheld by the Supreme Court. Those that didn’t would be doing things like arguing for ObamaCare Nullification and just ignoring the law.

    Instead, opponents are recognizing that no law is ever permanent and immutable. There are quite a few ways of stopping or overturning a law. And this is one of them.

    By your argument, Plessy v. Ferguson and “separate but equal” was the law as passed by Congress, signed by the president, and upheld by the Supreme Court.

    The Constitution says that all revenue bills MUST start in the House, and that’s what the GOP holds. So suck it up.

    “Compromise” used to mean that both sides give a little to get what they want. To Obama, it means “you compromise what you believe and give me all I want.” Just what is the GOP being offered in return for their conceding?




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  50. anjin-san says:

    @ Grumpy

    The number for the biker protest was in the thousands. Part of the problem we are having in this country right now is that roughly 27% of the population believes pretty much anything they are told. It’s hard for us to conduct our business when a quarter of our population has outsourced it’s thinking.




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  51. Long Time Listener says:

    Last I checked, Plessy was overturned by Brown. By the Supreme Court, acting within its powers as laid out by Marbury v. Madison.

    Last election, GOP maintained control of the House… but in that same election, the Democratic Party maintained control of the Senate…and the White House. Same election. I know… I was there….

    Who knows what the GOP might be offered…. We might have found out, had the Senate and House taken their budgets (the one that was started in the house, and the one voted on by the Senate) to Conference and hammered out their differences. That’s how I seem to remember this whole ‘governance’ thing working. Happy to be proven wrong, of course….




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  52. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    You know, I’m starting to reconsider something. It really is bad to keep pushing for a change in existing law when everyone knows that it has no chance in hell of actually passing. Just let the laws stand as they are.

    So, now that we’ve settled that, why don’t we try yet again to pass a “sensible” gun-control law?




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  53. Grumpy says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    Did you happen to notice how well Ron Paul played to younger voters when he talked about Freedom and the Constitution instead of Capitalism? The ovations he got from younger military people when he told them the responsibility to take America to war belonged to Congress, and legally couldn’t happen on a presidential whim..

    The GOP as we know it today will probably go the way of the Whigs,, It only took a group of really mad radicals meeting up in Wisconsin in 1854 to put Lincoln in office in 1860.. the Whigs disappeared shortly thereafter..

    LOL- JFK would have had J Edgar investigate most of today’s big name liberals with an eye on putting them in jail.. He was a liberal for the period, but not the flaming liberal you guys would like to pretend he was.. Old Harry Truman would have tried to have most of Obama’s staff and all his mentors hung as subversives.

    Under Obama, the United States has dropped to the number 17 rank for economic freedom- We were once the standard by which others were measured.. We lost that under Bush the First- the decline continued through the Clinton years, we were down around #10 when Obama took over…




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  54. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Long Time Listener: You’re making my point for me. Plessy was the law of the land, but some people wouldn’t accept it. They fought it… and won.

    Yes, in the last election, Obama was re-elected and the Dems held the Senate. Does that somehow invalidate the House elections? And I don’t recall any president EVER getting a blank check for winning re-election. It sure as hell didn’t mean that in 2004.

    I repeat: Obama’s offer to the GOP so far has been “give me a blank check on the debt and everything I want, and in return I might stop saying mean things about you.” Such a compelling offer, I dunno how the GOP can resist.

    And that doesn’t even take into account the well-established fact that all of Obama’s promises come with expiration dates…




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  55. Rafer Janders says:

    @Grumpy:

    BTW truckinfo.net says 3.5 Million drivers..

    See, this is just another example of how you don’t understand numbers. There are only about 140 million working adults in the US total, so you seem to think that fully 2% of all American workers — one out of every 50 people with jobs — are long-haul truck drivers? That’s insane.




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  56. Grewgills says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    You’ve blown your cover. Never go full retard.




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  57. ASK says:

    I think it’s cute that the photo attached to this posting frames Cruz in a niche, like a saint statue in a church.




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  58. Grewgills says:

    @Grumpy:
    The vast traffic camera conspiracy.




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  59. Grewgills says:

    @Grumpy:

    Did you happen to notice how well Ron Paul played to younger voters when…

    Did you happen to notice how well Ron Paul played to voters when it came time to vote?




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  60. Matt Bernius says:

    @Grumpy:

    Did you happen to notice how well Ron Paul played to younger voters when he talked about Freedom and the Constitution instead of Capitalism? The ovations he got from younger military people when he told them the responsibility to take America to war belonged to Congress, and legally couldn’t happen on a presidential whim..

    And remind me where Ron Paul’s presidential candidacy went…

    All of your arguments are based on perception rather than results. If your view was as predominant as you claim, Ron Paul should have *easily* won both the Republican nomination and the Presidency.

    Under Obama, the United States has dropped to the number 17 rank for economic freedom- We were once the standard by which others were measured.. We lost that under Bush the First- the decline continued through the Clinton years, we were down around #10 when Obama took over…

    First, I am shocked to discover that our ranking would be falling in a measure constructed by a hard-line libertarian conservative economic institute while the government has been administered by Center-Left and a Center-Right presidents. But the bigger question you should be asking yourself is how did the silent Conservative Majority let this happen (again you’re the one who keeps suggesting that the country is really Conservative)?

    You keep avoiding this question.

    Again, if everyone is receptive to the Conservative/Libertarian message why can’t Conservatives consistently get elected?

    Why is it the best you can do is organize political theatre and then get your asses handed to you when it actually matters — in state-wide and national elections?

    Why can’t the secret majority ever win?




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  61. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    @Long Time Listener: You’re making my point for me. Plessy was the law of the land, but some people wouldn’t accept it. They fought it… and won.

    Republicans are blocking implementation of ACA and at the same time they’re saying this is proof that ACA is a failure. Plainly, Republicans are unfit to govern.




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  62. john personna says:

    The 2012 presidential election was the referendum on Obamacare, and Obama won.

    The Conservative answer to that is “yeah but we picked Romney as our candidate so it doesn’t count.”

    This is not exactly an argument of adults.




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  63. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    Why is it the best you can do is organize political theatre and then get your asses handed to you when it actually matters — in state-wide and national elections?

    Why can’t the secret majority ever win?

    Matt, they keep using the Karl Rove Math.




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  64. john personna says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I repeat: Obama’s offer to the GOP so far has been “give me a blank check on the debt and everything I want, and in return I might stop saying mean things about you.” Such a compelling offer, I dunno how the GOP can resist.

    High School Civics Fail.

    Every time, shutdown extremists forget that Congress passed the budget, and no it was not everything Obama asked for.




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  65. Steve V says:

    @john personna: The talk radio line for a few years now has been that compromise equals capitulation. And, you can’t compromise the Constitution, which only conservatives understand. There’s no reasoning with them.




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  66. James Pearce says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Election results gave the GOP control of the House.

    Indeed, and what the GOP is finding out is that there are practical limits on what can be accomplished when you control only half of one of the three branches of government.

    Pretty much everyone accepts that ObamaCare is the law of the land, passed by Congress, signed by the president, and upheld by the Supreme Court.

    Not true.

    If it were, then Ted Cruz and company would not be trying to force a government shutdown based on the law’s supposed illegitimacy.

    Instead, opponents are recognizing that no law is ever permanent and immutable.

    More BS.

    Opponents are demanding they get their way, despite losing the election and losing this particular fight at every step of the process.

    I support amending and fixing the various problems associated with Obamacare. The GOP does not. They think they can close their eyes, plug their ears, hum loudly, and the whole thing will just disappear in a wisp of smoke.

    Just what is the GOP being offered in return for their conceding?

    If a “Second Place” ribbon doesn’t do the trick, try a cup of warm milk and a hot water bottle.




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  67. anjin-san says:

    President Reagan raised the debt ceiling the more times than any other President since 1960. He raised it 18 times, for a 67% increase.

    And Republicans were fine with that. Just as they were fine with record deficits under Bush.




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  68. Moosebreath says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    “Obama’s offer to the GOP so far has been “give me a blank check on the debt and everything I want, and in return I might stop saying mean things about you.””

    Complete and utter horsesh!t, even by your standards (which goes pretty far). Giving Obama everything he wants would look something like this list, which Ozark Hillbilly posted in another thread:

    “1) Single payer health care.

    2) Carbon tax.

    3) Path to citizenship.

    4) End sequestration.

    5) End Bush tax cuts above $259K.

    6) Wall Street tax.

    7) Nancy Pelosi made Speaker.”

    How many of these items are on the table in the discussions to continue to fund the government and to raise the debt ceiling? On the other hand, an equivalent Republican list of their wet dreams is precisely what they are talking about to not default on debt which Congress already authorized.




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  69. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “Man, it sure does suck when the proles actually think they get a say in how things get done, doesn’t it?”

    Would that be prole Ted Cruz, who as a student at Harvard Law refused to talk to anyone who came from the “lesser Ivies” like Penn because they weren’t good enough for him?

    It amazes me to see that you never stop searching for new ways to prove yourself a complete loser — and finding them.




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  70. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “. Keeping the brown man down, like with George Zimmerman.”

    Would that be your hero Zimmerman, last seen beating the crap out of his wife and threatening her with a gun?




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  71. anjin-san says:

    @ wr

    You must have missed the comment where Jenos tried to walk back his one sided bromance with George Zimmermann.




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  72. JohnMcC says:

    @Matt Bernius: “While things are bad now, the real question is what will happen when Cruz and company are unable to deliver on what they promise….”

    Exactly.

    There is the “I have a list of 205 communists in the State Dept”. And there is the “stab in the back”.

    Worked before.




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  73. Dean says:

    Ted Cruz has done more to push forward the causes of Democrats than President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi combined.

    The Democrats would be best served by sitting back, doing nothing and watching Cruz crush Republican ideals right before everyone’s eyes.




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  74. Corey Mondello says:

    Soulless pond scum more like it, I take that back, pond scum is a living, breathing, life, while Conservatives and Conservative Christians are just examples of evil!




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