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: