If John Boehner was the leader of America in 1776,we’d all be singing “God Save the Queen” to this day.
After a 16-day standoff with Obama,Boehner and the rest of the House leadership capitulated without so much as a fig leaf to allow them any cover. The white flag now proudly flies on Capitol Hill.
Immediately after the vote to end the government shutdown,I spoke with Congressman Steve Stockman from Texas. He was deeply disturbed by the way his colleagues in the U.S. Senate handled the situation. Stockman voted no,and he rightly observed that Republicans who voted for the continuing resolution (CR) were doing more than endorsing Obamacare:They were endorsing the entire Obama agenda.
He said that the CR was like giving Barack Obama a blank check to do whatever he wants.
The most disturbing news came from Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell:“One of my favorite old Kentucky sayings is there’s no education in the second kick of a mule. The first kick of a mule was when we shut the government down in the mid-1990s and the second kick was over the last 16 days. There is no education in the second kick of a mule. There will not be a government shutdown. I think we have fully now acquainted our new members with what a losing strategy that is.”
Let me go ahead and translate that for you:McConnell has preemptively surrendered future battles over Obamacare,spending cuts or any real reform to the political dysfunction in Washington,D.C. Barack Obama has won. Without even controlling Congress,he’s controlling all of the policy decisions on Capitol Hill.
I now realize that the GOP is not only weak,it’s tactically stupid. Why even begin fighting Obama if you didn’t have any desire to win? If Republicans just intended to lose,they should’ve never fought in the first place.
The sad result of this surrender is that spending,which had finally started to turn down,will once again begin to increase. Deficits will likely begin to rise faster again. Any hope of restricting the massive regulations that are smothering businesses has vanished.
The Biggest Loser
So who are the winners and losers of the government shutdown? The single biggest loser is John Boehner,followed closely by the Republican Party. By standing up to Obama for 16 days,they created excitement among Tea Party activists. The coalition of people in favor of balancing the budget and ending the spending madness in Washington were actually beginning to believe Boehner was honest. But then he did a 180 and gave Obama everything he wanted.
Now everyone is mad at Boehner. The liberals that didn’t want a shutdown are mad at him. The conservatives that wanted to hold out until he achieved some small victory are mad at him. At least half of his caucus would likely vote to oust him,but they’re so leaderless that there’s no one to replace him. So the Boehner era slouches onward.
The next set of losers is the feeble Republican caucus in the U.S. Senate. Their leader,Mitch McConnell,was so out-to-lunch during this 16 day standoff that he may have trouble holding his own Senate seat in Kentucky’s Republican primary later this year. Even if he wins,I’d be surprised to see him re-elected.
McConnell has become what he once detested. Way back in 1984,he ran for Senate against an entrenched incumbent,Walter Huddleston. The campaign featured ads making fun of Huddleston for becoming a creature of Washington,D.C. But after nearly 30 years as a U.S. Senator,McConnell has become the quintessential D.C. insider.
The clear winners are big government,Harry Reid and Barack Obama. Their no-negotiation strategy worked,so look for it to continue. Why negotiate with quislings anyway?
Reid and Obama got everything and then a cherry on top,and they currently rule Washington with an iron fist. Expect the size and scope of our federal government to keep on growing.
The only possible winner on the right is freshman senator Ted Cruz of Texas. He garnered a national following during his talking filibuster against Obamacare. He’s now seen by serious opponents of government overspending as the only man with the courage to take on the entrenched Washington elites.
The final loser is the economy – and the American people who’ve suffered through nearly six years of economic malaise. The only growth sector these days is the federal government. Unfortunately,that’s not a recipe for success.
Your eyes on the Hill,Floyd G. Brown
This commentary originally appeared at CapitalHillDaily.com and is re-published her with permission
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