Yes, yes, yes, let us concede up front that the GOP will always get blamed for a government shutdown.
Yes, yes, yes, let us concede that, in fact, polling for the GOP declined after the 2013 shutdown. But, we must caveat, some of their decline was from Republicans who decided their side had caved and were unhappy.
Now let us also concede this: many Republicans were hysterically outraged that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) had cost the GOP the Senate and they could potentially lose the House because of the shut down.
And finally let us concede that this did not happen.
In fact, this is the second shut down where the GOP got blamed and saw no catastrophe at the ballot box. Again, after the shutdown the Clinton years, the GOP picked up Senate seats.
Every horror story every talking head within the GOP Establishment trotted out to scare congressmen and senators into caving turned out to be crap.
And there was a wave in 2014. In fact, it is a wave of such magnitude it is pretty hard to claim that if only the Congress had not shut down the wave would have been larger.
Now, let us be clear on the parameters of the debate moving forward. I am not suggesting the GOP just say “to heck with it” and shut down the government. What I am suggesting is that the GOP pass everything except Obamacare funding and funding for any immigration actions the President wants to take.
And he will most certainly balk at all that.
But the voters did not elect the GOP to do any part of their own agenda. Hell, the GOP ran on absolutely nothing other than “we are not Obama” and “we will defund Obamacare.” Post-election polling shows most Americans want the GOP to set the course for the country. That’s not because the GOP’s image is suddenly rebuilt, but because people are finally tired of Obama and the Democrats.
Contrary to Karl Rove from over the weekend, the GOP did not rebuild their image over the past ten months from a government shutdown. The GOP did absolutely nothing but run on “we are not Obama.” If that is the image they rebuilt, then they need to not be Obama and need to not fund Obama’s agenda.
So set the course. Defund Obamacare and block amnesty. Obama can defy the will of the people and refuse to work with Congress. Sure, the GOP may get blamed. But so what?
And that is key here — so what. They got blamed last time and the public rewarded them with the biggest election wave in modern American political history from the local level to the federal level.
Block Obama. Let him show himself again to be the petulant man-child Americans have started recognizing. And this time, when he shuts down the government, keep it shut till you have your way and then hold public hearings to show how Obama selectively shut things down to hurt the voters intentionally.
At the end of the day, there is no other choice. Either the President will cave to a Congress just elected to stop him or the GOP will cave to a President no one likes.