Republicans in both the House and Senate have delivered unto the Tea Party a victory for which they have clamored, and that is legislation repealing Obamacare. One would think that they would be dancing in the streets, as for a long time, their response to the "but the Democrats hold the White House, numbers don't lie, the President will veto it and we'll be right back where we started" with the strategically inept "So what. We want to see that those RINOS are fighting for us. Make him veto a hundred bills." And so that's what they did, with Speaker Ryan delivering the House yesterday. Are they happy with getting exactly what they asked for.
No, of course.
What we NOW hear from the Tea Party (in the House--the "Freedom Caucus") and its adherents are cries akin to the Lost Cause rhetoric of the South--the "we shoulda" school of politics which states that this legislation is bogus, and that the GOP leadership should have taken the President to the brink on shutting down the government. This is silly, of course. While I believe the degree to which Republicans have suffered as a result of past shutdowns is way overblown (I'm not sure the 2014 shutdown hurt much at all), there is no question in my mind that shutting down the government HELPS the President. He tends to look concerned and in charge and responsible, while the Republicans look like reactionaries and swivel eyed loons. Don't get me wrong; there's a part of me that emotionally would have liked to see the government shut down for a couple of weeks in order to make a point. But anyone who believes that such a tactic would ultimately have led to victory on the issues is mistaken. What Ryan and McConnell have done here is a reasonable needle-threading, one that makes every member of both chambers render their support for or objection to Obamacare in an important vote as the 2016 elections approach. They did not burn their ships on the beach, but that's not what responsible Generals do.