So the House has now passed a bill that defunds Obamacare. The president is miffed, and certain Republican establishment honchos are apoplectic.
These realists of the right say that this quixotic business has got to stop because “you can’t govern from one half of one third of government.” If all you have is the House, then you can’t be expected to do anything until you win the Senate, and the White House. Once you have done that, then you will be in position to do all the swell things that the Republicans wouldn’t do the last time they had the White House and Senate.
Now it quite true that you can’t govern with one half of one third of our government. That is very true. But I don’t want them to govern. I want them to stop governing. I want them to make the fussers quit governing. We have been governed quite enough, thanks. We are being governed into the poorhouse. We are being governed into the ground, with governed here being used as a synonym with pounded.
True. You can’t govern if all you have is the House. But you can paint yourself blue and throw tea in the harbor. That works sometimes.
But you see, if the government has to shut down, then the Republicans will get blamed! Do you hear me? Blamed! Tongues will cluck, and fingers will wag.
Blamed for what? Blamed for doing what they said they would do if they got elected? And if the argument is that they need to avoid being blamed so that they can capture the Senate, and the White House, so that they can come up with innovative reasons at that future time for not doing anything then either, then perhaps the real issue is how stupid you think we are.I do not mind at all when my guys lose. I do mind them losing when they still have bullets left. I don’t mind when my team loses a hard fought game. I do mind if they all walk off the field in the third quarter, and are taking showers while the Left kicks field goals.
The real reason that elite members of the Washington Republican establishment are furious with Ted Cruz and the others who are forcing this showdown is that they will have to vote. They will have to go on the record. Say that Cruz and his friends filibuster — that will mean in order to win the cloture vote, shutting these renegades down, Harry Reid will have to get some Republican votes. Those votes will be out in public and everything.
So this means that, if it is a losing battle, x number of valiant Republicans did everything they could to stop Obamacare — which is looking to be an F-5 disaster — and y number of quislings will have to vote to shut down the filibuster. So . . . the F-5 disaster . . . brought to you by y Republican senators.
Oh, and John Roberts. Don’t forget that gentleman. One of the reasons we have to have the Senate and the White House is so that we can appoint stalwart conservatives like John Roberts to the Court who, when given a chance to whack Obamacare dead, will decline to do so, handing down a convoluted decision worthy of the Red Queen in Alice. That is why taking the Senate and White House is so crucial — we need to make sure that men like John Roberts can stay on the DC cocktail party circuit — which really ought to be considered the 13th circuit, now that I come to think of it.
(Okay, I admit that I have a case of the cutes here, and that Thomas and Scalia have been major dudes, and they were put on the court by actual Republicans. Fully acknowledged, and I doff my cap in appreciation to everyone involved, but this will not prevent me from heading back into cute mode.)
Another argument that is being made is that Obamacare is coming apart all by itself, and so we should just let it. I happen to think this is true, but if you had a vote and really thought that was true, wouldn’t you want to be on the record beforehand, fighting the doomed beast?
Obamacare was designed to fail, but it was designed to fail slowly so that our next generation of solons would have the opportunity to “reform it” into a single payer system. The problem is that it is failing too quickly, coming apart before the launch date. That being the case, the anger about this move by those who profess to be opposed to Obamacare is inexplicable.
The mission is admittedly audacious. And so I understand the nervousness of real conservatives like Jonah Goldberg. It is quite possible, he might be thinking, that some yahoo will botch the mission and our latter case will be worse than the former. But I also think I understand the anger of instinctive statists like John McCain, who don’t want the people to have the authority to say to the overweening state, “we don’t want it. Take it back.”
The way you will be able to tell the difference will be that if the audacious effort is somehow successful (e.g. Ted Cruz pulls out some parliamentary move nobody has used for a hundred years, and lo, astonishment descends upon Harry), the reactions from earlier critics will be quite different. Observers like Goldberg will be grateful that they were wrong, and will say so. The others will still be angry because somebody put a hole in the side of their precious establishment.