In a recent Washington Examiner column, Byron York discussed dissension in Senate Republican ranks, centered on a series of maneuvers proposed by Senator Ted Cruz (R, TX) to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R, KY) that, with Republican unity, would force a Senate vote on the House-passed CR that would fund the government into mid-December while withholding funds from Obamacare. This, just incidentally, would put Democratic Senators in 2014’s vulnerable states on record as actively supporting a law that the majority of Americans—including the majority of these Senators’ bosses—do not like and do not want.
Buried in that article was this:
…one [Republican] aide opposed to the defunding maneuver. “They [Senate Republicans] will have just filibustered their own bill and shut down the government. They will be solely responsible for shutting down the government.”
No. The Democrats and President Barack Obama will be responsible for shutting down the government. They’re the ones blocking a bill that funds it, or vetoing a bill that funds it. But the aide—and the Republican Senators who agree with him—cannot see that, much less make the argument over shutdown responsibility.
That’s what happens when Republicans cede the terms of the argument. They willingly accept the Democrat framing of the discussion: “No, we don’t want to shut down the government” instead of making the more accurate argument: “The Democrats, President Obama, want to shut down the government—they’re against the bill that would fund it.” That’s what happens to men who are spring-loaded to surrender rather than fight an inconvenient fight.
Obama is winning: the Republican Party is destroying itself before his eyes.