In the long term, what will the shutdown theater’s effect be on the political scene?

The shutdown is over — the Republicans caved because no one was willing to face the risk that Obama would jettison the Constitution and allow the United States government to default. I think it’s a bit more nuanced then a total collapse, though, and I think it may still effect future change.

Those who have hung around the Bookworm Room for a long time know that I believe that it was to George Bush’s advantage that the media portrayed him as a loose cannon cowboy.  I don’t think this was a true characterization, but it certainly kept the world’s bad actors nervous.

It’s a little different with Obama.  He’s repeatedly proven that he has nothing but disdain for the Constitution and the free market.  Because we’re trying to predict his future conduct based upon his past actions, people weren’t being unreasonable in fearing that he would cheerfully invite in world-wide economic disaster.

The Left is now celebrating:  Obama won.  The Tea Party was shown to be the party of stupid killjoy spoilsports who tried to undo the law (never mind, please, that what they did was entirely Constitutional).  It’s over.  Close the book.

But I don’t think so….

Here’s what I think (or maybe just what I hope).  In about two weeks, Americans will have completely forgotten the shutdown, as they’ve forgotten almost all of the past shutdowns, except maybe for the clash between Clinton and Gingrich.  That had some high drama and good television, so it resonated a bit.  The other shutdowns, though, are down the memory hole.

There are a few things people will remember, though.  They’ll remember that the president went after the military and spitefully denied Americans access to their own outdoor treasures.  They’ll remember that the Obamacare exchanges had a disastrous debut, with stone-age technology and staggeringly high socialist wealth redistribution.  And they’ll remember that the Republicans tried everything they could to derail or delay Obamacare.  When it comes to the fight against Obamacare, the Republicans now have a record to run on.

What Republicans can and should say in 2014 and again in 2016 is “We tried, but it was an impossible task.  The only thing that can work is if we take the Senate in 2014, and then get the White House in 2016 while still holding onto Congress.  We are your last chance.”

And if that “last chance” shtick doesn’t work, it still makes for funny Fawlty TV:

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  • Ymarsakar

    Some Republicans have a record. Many of us will always remember the quislings, though, that took the “deal”.

  • Cover1

    This was just another bump in the road. However, the Republican party is far from dead. Now, after the noise dies down, people will continue to focus on the problems with Obamacare. Republicans everywhere need to speak out & remind people who was behind this monstrosity. It’s Obama’s baby. He’s responsible for it. He wants it to fail, but Republicans need to remind people that if the Feds can’t get this to work, they’ll screw up single payer even worse. We must push for a return to the budget process and to do away with baseline budgeting. Also, if we can, we must stick with the sequester cuts. They are law & the democrats agreed to them. So, we must hold the line there if we are serious about reducing the cost & size of the Federal government. We have to remind the country that getting the Federal government back under control is paramount to each person’s individual freedom. 

  • Libby

    I think you’re right that those who were paying attention will remember Obama’s petty and vindictive behavior.  They’ll also remember how quick so many of the Republicans were to denounce one of their own (Cruz) and a big part of their base: conservatives (referred to as the Tea Party, except that there is no official Tea Party). However, the over-the-top insults hurled by the Democrats and the MSM’s ridiculously biased reporting were par for the course.

  • Cover1

    After making my comment, I found this article on National Review’s website:
    It basically states what I believe can happen with Obamacare.
    As the horror of that new Federal program unfolds, Republicans must hit it hard. Ridicule it, target it, freeze it! Tie it to Obama and his Democrat myrmidons as a prime example of their incompetence. Pull out all the happy talk quotes made by Obama & Pelosi and remind folks about what they said. Take a page from the Democrat playbook and laugh at them. Rub their faces in the mess, but offer private sector-oriented solutions to solve its crises.  

  • jj

    I hope you’re right, but my experience is the average American can’t remember what he had for breakfast.

  • Jose

    I watched John McCain bemoaning the damage to the Republican party tonight.  How pathetic. To her credit, Greta Van Susteren gave him a good grilling.
    I’m about at the point where I think a default would be to our ultimate benefit. 

  • Robert Arvanitis

    Complete, utter, inexcusable, innumerate idiocy. Without any further borrowings, cutting the credit card, we still take in 18% of GDP in tax revenues each year. Interest costs on what we’ve ALREADY borrowed is just 3% all in.That means we have SIX TIMES the money we need to pay our mortgage.
    There is NO need to run up the debt further.  Pay all our interest costs. Pay for the 40% of of government that is actually functional (even though it’s not necessary).  And still get to do about half of the “redistribution” so beloved of the left.
    That’s right.  All we need to do is slow down the growth of redistribution.  Only a clueless liberal can complain about that.  Of course, all the clueless liberals will complain, but the right answer is to ignore them.
    To repeat, it is a sign of mental defect to utter the word “default.”  All the idiots may now self-identify.

  • raymondjelli

    I think people learned that under machine politics,government is not what we do together it is what we do together until the little people fail to pony up.  That is a huge message that has wide application.  It is time to stop calling the opposition to the Democrats and the play acting Republicans the Tea Party.  It allows the Dems to paint their opposition as old white people wanting to return to a past where they were in charge. 
    We know that is not true.  These people want to restore a time when it was worthwhile to be a citizen.  We have real tyrants to fight now.  We can only imagine what an administration that gives the Occupiers full reign and spits at its veterans could morph into if they gave those same Occupiers uniforms and civil authority.  We could have a more benign, Americanized version of the SS. 
    We no longer have to make the analogy of the Tea Party rebels versus the British. We now have real identifiable foes arming themselves through economic centralization.  The opposition to this effort have a real cause, are looking to save the future and not glorify the past. We need better names and make it clear that the shutdown was not an isolated incident.  It is just the beginning of a real force for change.