If you think Republicans have learned a lesson from their “defeat” over the shutdown and debt-ceiling hostage-taking, then you’re not paying attention to what they’re saying to each other online, on the radio and elsewhere. Here is a quick look around right-wing online media today.
There is a lot of talk that the “adults” in the GOP have learned the lesson hat the shutdown and threat to take the country into default was a mistake. But the Republican “base” — the people who vote in Republican primaries — mocks these people as “the Republican establishment.” The Republican base is taking away a very different lesson. The base thinks the shutdown and threatening default was the right thing to do; remember that 18 Senate and 144 House Republicans voted to do keep the shutdown going and default on the debt. They think the mistake was not holding out until the country was killed off so they could start over from the ashes. Polls confirm that the base remains on the shutdown/default side, the numbers show that Senator Ted Cruz is overwhelmingly their hero. Democracy Corps today shows how he is “mainstream in the Republican base.”
To get a real reading that goes beyond the right’s online media, spend a few minutes perusing the comments. (Or listen to callers to their radio programs.) As I wrote the other day, these people really, really, really “don’t want to live in a country that has Social Security, Medicare, Obamacare, the minimum wage, Food Stamps, immigration, public schools, infant nutrition programs and the rest of the things government does to make our lives better. And they don’t want anyone else to live in a country that has those things, either.”
These people are fired up now and promising to “take out” the incumbents they call “RINOs” and “surrender monkeys” in the primaries because they voted to end the shutdown, and Republican members in Congress know this. This means these incumbents will be even more afraid of facing a Tea Party primary opponent, and this will pressure them to go along with another shutdown/default scenario.
A Sampling Of Online Right-Wing Media
Republican Sen. Ted Cruz received an eight-minute standing ovation upon his return to Texas this past weekend, despite an extended, hostile campaign from Democrats and the mainstream media to portray him as a dangerous extremist.
… Cruz registered a 74 percent favorability rating against an 8 percent unfavorability rating among Tea Party Republicans, and a 56 percent favorability rating among non-Tea Party Republicans, according to a Pew Research Center poll released last week. These numbers inspired The Daily Beast to declare that “The Ted Cruz Armageddon is Coming.”
The shutdown/debt limit imbroglio wasn’t a defeat. Defeats leave the losers feeling defeated. But the designated losers, the conservative base of the GOP – which, more accurately, now is the GOP – is more eager and excited than it has been in a long time.
Why? Someone fought. Finally.
[. . .] The problem – in the eyes of the establishment – is that the newly conservative GOP base, energized and activated by Obama’s radicalism, actually wants to shrink the government.
We’re serious. That’s the problem.
[. . .] The GOP establishment was hoping this “defeat” would put us in our place, demoralize us and – above all – shut us up. Nope. Not happening. We’re not beaten, broken or even worried.
The agreement that was reached will keep the federal government open until January 15th and the debt ceiling will have to be dealt with again at some point in February or March. Toss in the fact that sequestration goes into effect in January and — voila! — the stage has been set for yet another showdown.
Tea Party supporters are supposed to be disheartened by how the great shutdown saga turned out. …
[. . .] But hey, let’s applaud the return of hundreds of thousands of expensive federal employees, many of whom we didn’t notice were missing.
[. . .] All of this vindicates the critique of kamikaze Big Government that brought the Tea Party together in the first place. We’re being told we have to accept all sorts of things we never voted for.
… The shutdown didn’t bring the reforms we were hoping for, but at least people did stand up this time. It wasn’t just a bunch of empty talk and promises to put up a bit of resistance during the next budget battle, or maybe the one after that, or perhaps a few elections from now. There is a significant element of the current political class that was willing to stick to their guns, make some difficult votes, take some heat, and stand by their principles even after failing to get what they wanted. It’s too bad there aren’t more of them… but maybe there could be. It takes a lot of hard work, organization, spirit, and time to generate a political class willing to vote against its own collective interests, by reducing its power. That sounds more like a challenge than cause for despair.
The Beltway GOP had best step back and take a hard look at the nation they are supposed to defend.
Those who think that the current deal to temporarily fund the government and open the door to yet even more government borrowing amounts to some kind of defeat for Tea Party Republicans need to think again.
Update – another: GOP ‘Surrender Caucus’ hits Sunday shows to criticize Cruz
A Sampling Of The Comments
It is never fair to present a sampling of comments, so I suggest you visit a few conservative sites and see for yourself. There are few f any people saying the madness has to end. Mostly you will find comments from extremely radical people saying that they need to get rid of “moderate” and “liberal” Republicans like Mitch McConnell (!) who “surrendered” by opening the government and not defaulting on the debt. They want to double-down with shutdowns and threats to default. Anyway here are a few sample comments from the above posts.
“All of the lashing out at Ted Cruz has come from non-conservatives. Ted Cruz has fearlessly represented the People who elected him, and thanks to him we now know who the anti-conservatives in the Republican Party are. The conservative base is more fired up than ever. The establishment has been put on notice. We are watching. 2014 will be a reckoning.”
“Mr. Cruz has been an inspiring leader who’s actions have, as you stated, revved up the conservative base and will have a huge effect on the future of the GOP. The primaries next year will result in an unprecedented level of turnover, and the mid-term elections will see the return of the conservative turnout that has been missing for years.”
“We use the term Establishment to describe the Rinos in the leadership of our Party. And at election time, we are entreated by the Karl Roves, who feed off the trough of these Rinos, to elect them!
Well, if the physical base of the Republican Party is preserved (through being forced to vote in Rinos), but not the fire of the true patriots, then what has been accomplished? Establishment Republicans can only be counted on to preserve their position and power in congress but not fight to preserve the foundations of our nation. It is cowardice and self interest at best. At worst, it is a complicit betrayal of our Founders and our freedom.”
“And therein lies the treachery of the Republican Establishment. Only true conservatives like Cruz and Lee have the vision, passion, fearlessness and discernment to expose this fatal double shuffle of Boehner et al and reverse the tide of their betrayal of our Founding premises of government.”
“You can add a host of other surrender monkeys as well, like McConnell, Graham, Boehner, Cantor, etc. They all need to be primaried, and removed. Here is the website of McConnell’s conservative primary opponent: www.mattbevin.com”
“… the Tea Party and the Conservative wing of the Repubs must gain the high ground and let the Rinos and moderates get on board or join the Demorats. All the people that I know are dam tired of the push to give instate tuition and health care to the anchors of illegal aliens (the illegals can be identified and must be deported) because every dollar spent on an illegal is a dollar that could be used for a legal American. The constant lib rant about the Tea party and conservatives will hopefully come back to bite them if the Repubs start learning how to work together and explain in detail the items that are breaking down America by the Librat philosophy.”
“The nation is a vast sea of red with small enclaves of blue. By and large, these enclaves are seriously troubled big cities with concentrations of the almost 50% who pay no income taxes.”
“I can only hope the poop hits the fan before the 2014 elections. Hate to wish bad times for my country, but they’re coming either way–we need the reality of our debt to smack us sooner, rather than later. My father (a WWII veteran) always said, “we’re not retreating, we’re advancing to the rear.”