Remember the government shutdown crisis?
You already barely do? Neither does anyone else. And if you
barely remember it now, by Christmas you won’t remember it
at all. That’s because there was no real crisis to begin with, and
secondly, because even if it had been as serious as some
politicians claimed it was, the public always moves on.
There will, of course, be another debt ceiling crisis soon
enough (because ALL the politicians kicked that issue only a
few weeks down the road), but the Republicans have (hopefully)
finally figured out they have neither the votes to change Obama
administration policy nor the communication skills (yet) to
exploit the high risk policies of the Democrats to promote
Obamacare, expanding federal entitlements, and federal deficit
So what is to be done?
If you’re a liberal and a Democrat, you want to pray (although so
many liberals are secular and perhaps no longer actually pray) that
the conservatives and the Republicans don’t figure out how to
deal with the situation until it’s too late (after the 2014 mid-term
elections, that is).
I am not so sure that such prayers or hopes by Democrats won’t
If you’re a conservative and Republican, it’s time to roll up your
sleeves and do the very hard work of preparing a national
campaign for 2014, acquire new communication skills, and go
to the voters with an alternative plan for the nation.
I am becoming increasingly skeptical that the opposition party
is capable of this, but I think it is quite possible nontheless
because of a number of reasons.
First, Obamacare (as I and so many others have predicted since
BEFORE it became law) is failing, and failing badly. Even the
Obama administration recognizes this, and is desperately attempting
to fix it. The U.S. house has consistently done its best to halt
Obamacare, but until the GOP takes control of the U.S. senate in
2014, and the White House in 2016, it will remain on the books.
Senator Ted Cruz and his cohorts have tried to stop it with political
guerrilla warfare, but that backfired. If Republicans try to revive
this strategy in the new year, they will only help their liberal
opponents prolong an unworkable law.
Second, there are smart voices on the conservative side who, if
the party pays attention to them, can enable the GOP to present
a credible and clear alternative to the social welfare ideology of
the liberal Democrats. These include, among others, Governor
Chris Christie of New Jersey, Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin,
former Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana and his successor
Governor Mike Pence, Governor John Kasich and Senator Eric
Portman, both of Ohio, former Governor Jeb Bush of Florida,
former Governor Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania, and former Speaker
Newt Gingrich. There is actually quite a bit of talent on the
conservative side, including other members of Congress,
governors and public policy experts. No one of them has all the
answers, but taken together, a new alternative can be fashioned.
Third, a whole range of economic and foreign policies of the
current administration is failing. The voters are developing
Obama fatigue earlier than expected. Opinions are one thing,
and there are legitimate ones on all sides, but, as has been
pointed out so many, many times, there is only one set of
Rolling up one’s sleeves thus involves self-discipline (a more
effective opposition to Obamacare, etc.), integrating good and
shrewd political advice and ideas, and a bit of patience --- all
of this combined with the hard labor of going out to voters
and making a good case.
Mr. Cruz and his associates, however well-intentioned, wanted
to prevail on the cheap, i.e. with a few speeches, filibusters
and melodramatic events. Filled with a sense of being right,
they have confused sincerity with self-importance. It doesn’t
work that way in our republic.
The way it works is that one side goes to the country and
persuades a majority of voters that its cause is right.
That’s why democratic capitalism and the United States
are so “messy” in the short term, and so enduring in the
Copyright (c) 2013 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.