So the Republican that all of the every day Republicans love to hate, Ted Cruz, is being bashed again. He actually made some Republicans go on the record about the debt ceiling by forcing a cloture vote rather than just allowing them to hide behind the fact they’re not in the majority.
Failed Presidential candidate John McCain tweeted out a screed written the by the Wall Street Journal editorial board whining that Cruz’s move put the potential for a Senate majority at risk. Such a declaration is utter nonsense and the editors at the Wall Street Journal should know better. We’ve come to expect such foolishness from John McCain.
One would be led to think the debt ceiling vote is something the GOP leadership just didn’t want to be bothered with. A CNN story comparing the Netflix series ‘House of Cards’ to the actual government had this to say about Ted Cruz and that vote:
Cruz, a thorn in the side of mainstream Republicans and beloved by Democrats because of his watch-out-for-No. 1 mentality that burns his partymates, gained no friends last week with his latest stunt: blocking the debt ceiling bill that most of the rest of his party just wanted to put behind them.
Really? They just wanted to put it behind them? CNN and GOP leaders seem to have a short memory. Let’s go back to December, 2013. Just after Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell agreed to a budget deal that did away with the sequester cuts (one of the biggest victories the GOP had over President Obama even though it happened by accident) , we heard a lot of talk about how Republicans were going to use the debt ceiling as their way of getting what they wanted. Take a look:
“Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said that he “can’t imagine” that the debt ceiling increase will be a “clean” one — meaning that it will have no conditions attached to it.
Mitch McConnell Foreshadows Another Debt Ceiling Fight In 2014
Paul Ryan was echoing those sentiments:
Paul Ryan: Stay tuned for GOP debt ceiling demands
Paul Ryan Threatens Debt Ceiling Fight
It was not Ted Cruz making threats in December about picking a fight on the debt ceiling. And it sure doesn’t seem like it to me they were talking about just “putting it behind them” back in December.
This is the kind of thing conservatives have witnessed since 1994. That was the “Republican Revolution” and the GOP was going to “transform” Washington DC. Republicans and former President Clinton often take credit for a budget surplus in the late 1990′s, owing it to their fiscal restraint. In reality, they kept spending. It was the dot.com bubble that brought in a temporary surplus.
When President Bush came into office, we were once told again of the wonders of smaller, more fiscally responsible government. In 2002, Republicans took control of both chambers of Congress and had the Presidency.
This lasted 4 years from 2003 to 2006. What was the biggest legislative accomplishment during that time?
The expansion of government through Medicare Part D.
There’s no business in rehashing TARP, the AIG bailout and auto bailouts. Granted, the Democrats were central in helping those monstrosities get passed as well.
As we fast forward to 2013, the big subject is still Obamacare. Drew over at Ace of Spades wrote a piece where he discusses the GOP slide on Obamacare:
It’s this lack of a stark competing vision from the Democrats that forces the GOP to constantly focus on “tactics”.
Look at how the GOP is responding to ObamaCare. They have gone from “repeal” to “replace” to “repair“. There is simply no one on the GOP side that is saying, this is not something the federal government should be doing.
He’s right. And it is for this reason that groups hated by consultants, campaign managers and professional politicos have flourished. The Senate Conservatives Fund, Heritage Action and Freedomworks are not responsible for primary challenges to entrenched Republican officeholders. It’s absolutely absurd to blame them.
All of those organizations would wither on vine if Republicans did one simple thing: Keep their promises.
When Republicans talk big and make bold promises, they’re making withdrawals with conservatives who make up the base of the party. When people vote, they only expect those politicians to make some deposits. When they fail to do so despite the rhetoric (such as that on the debt ceiling), those same voters get upset it’s fair for them to do so.
People can prattle on, mocking the small enclave of people who go around shouting, “RINO!” or “true conservatives!” but the reality is, conservatives have been fed promise after promise by Republican leadership, only to be like Lucy with the football at the end, yanking the ball away and laughing while the Charlie Brown conservatives land on their back.
When those same conservatives react by writing checks to Freedomworks instead of Lucy, some Republicans laughingly talk about “purity for profit” groups as if they’re at fault the next President is going to take over with the country in debt for $21 trillion.
This didn’t happen overnight. It’s been a long time coming.
And its the fault of the GOP leadership. Nobody else.