Today’s “capitulation” (no doubt the operative Tea Party term) by Speaker John Boehner on putatively ending the shutdown invites the question: Who is more brilliant, Senator Ted “over the top” Cruz or Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform? Is it a Deep South Senator who grandstands or the movement leader who grasps the big picture?
The choice is easy. It’s Grover who’s turned out to be the cooler head. It’s Grover who doesn’t deploy useless analogies or blame WSJ polls that tell the politically inconvenient truths. It’s Grover who knows that it’s tactless to call others RINOS. It’s Grover who masters the art of what is possible. It’s Grover who wasn’t schooled in hard-ball politics.
From Betsy Woodruff’s” dispatch at NRO:
Grover Norquist isn’t happy with the Defunders. The Americans for Tax Reform president told reporters today that they have a lot of apologies to make and bridges to re-build…
Norquist adds that the defund effort has hurt its proponents’ goals.
“They hurt the conservative movement, they hurt people’s health care, they hurt the country’s economic situation and they hurt the Republican party,” he says. “And a lot of congressmen and senators are not going to win because we spent three months chasing our own tail – or at least, parts of the conservative movement spent three months chasing their own tail.”
Yep that’s Ted Cruz with his tail between his legs saying he won’t block the bipartisan senate measure. (Way to go Tea Party — keep chasing Cruz’s tail!)
As Grover notes in his very wise American Spectator piece, it’s exceptionally wise to keep one’s eye on securing the sequester over the long term (where actual cuts are taking place) rather than fighting a clean Continuing Resolution.
It’s about two kidneys and a liver.
Some outside groups have demanded that GOP congressmen publicly commit to vote against any CR that does not defund Obamacare. Instead of insisting that the individual mandate in Obamacare be delayed or overturned, they threaten a closure of the federal government, oddly insisting that conservatives abandon the flexibility of fighting on the CR or the debt ceiling.
Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) has introduced legislation to delay all of Obamacare for one year. This takes advantage of the narrative already conceded by Obama that he is granting piecemeal waivers and delays to his friends in big business, the insurance companies, and labor unions. Already 13 Democrats in the House have voted to give big businesses a delay while also voting against a delay for individuals. How many Democrat senators up for election in 2014 want to follow them?
With a straight face the president could sign a bill delaying much of Obamacare, just as he agreed, without shame, to the sequester in 2011. He has set the precedent. His Senate worries about an Obamacare “train wreck” before the 2014 election. But delay is not humiliation or permanent surrender. We must keep in mind that Obama is as committed to statism as we are to liberty. He may give up a kidney, but he is unlikely to hand over his liver.
Maybe Obama won’t sign a delay for the ACA or won’t modify the individual mandate or eliminate the med device tax. But Grover really knows what is in play.