But what really re-stoked my sense of optimism was when Sen. Rand Paul took to the Senate floor and conducted a quasi-filibuster against aspects of Obama's lawless foreign policy and domestic agenda. Cynics panned Paul's move as populist grandstanding, but it was anything but. He rose to put the statists on notice that conservatives are not about to roll over while they continue to fundamentally transform this nation into something we can't recognize and something incompatible with the nation's founding. Though not prevailing legislatively in that exercise, Paul showed Americans that there are conservative politicians still willing to fight for them and for America. This was inspiring and invigorating.
Then Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee ratcheted it up a notch, going to the Senate to call Obama out on his destructive agenda and promising to do everything they can to defund and derail Obamacare. Cruz's 20-plus-hour floor speech was a seminar in the eloquent communication of conservative principles.
I do not believe they made irresponsible promises; they didn't guarantee they are going to stop Obamacare in the short term. They promised, though, that they will fight it tooth and nail and that if the party would get behind them in this effort, they might be able to help galvanize national opposition to the implementation of the law and make headway toward stopping it.
I can't be too disappointed that they didn't ultimately prevail, because I didn't have unrealistic expectations that we would stop the monster in this first round. I was hoping a miracle could occur, but I never expected it to in the short term.
But I did believe that by making a strong conservative case -- finally -- Cruz et al. were helping to alert the nation to the potentially striking differences in the parties and their agendas and that there were officeholders in positions of leadership who would fight to the figurative death for us. Just as my brother, Rush, gave millions of conservatives hope through his radio show by validating the legitimacy of their beliefs, Cruz, Paul and Lee let us know that we have people in office fighting for us, as well.
I reject the conventional wisdom that Cruz and his warriors hurt our cause by increasing the likelihood of our defeat in 2014. To the contrary, they enhanced our cause by energizing the base and fighting. And they laid serious gloves on Obama; his approval rating has never been lower. They also gave him an opportunity, which he fully embraced, to demonstrate his mean-spiritedness, his pettiness and his dishonesty for all to see.
The shutdown was not the disaster he promised any more than sequestration has been; he was hyper-partisan and gratuitously punitive during the ordeal; and his egregious misrepresentations about Obamacare were manifesting themselves throughout.
Now, having laid this important foundation, the GOP must quit the infighting and come together with mutual respect among the factions and turn its rhetorical weapons on Obama in unison, highlighting the ongoing disaster that is Obamacare and singling out Obama for his fiscal recklessness, pointing out that though these temporary government shutdowns are no picnic, we are headed inexorably toward a full-blown fiscal catastrophe if the Obama big-government juggernaut is not derailed.
Now that's a winning message. So let's fight on.