What If They Gave a Shutdown and No One Cared?

Kurt Schlichter

10/21/2013 12:01:00 AM - Kurt Schlichter

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.

Sure, we didn’t win the repeal of Obamacare. The only people talking about actually repealing Obamacare as a direct result of the tactical moves of recent weeks were the doddering dinosaurs and their media accomplices trying to put out the notion that Ted Cruz and his band of merry marauders had suckered us numbskull conservatives with promises of total victory right here and right now.

Being very familiar with the Constitution, we realize that it’s kind of difficult to pass a law when we only hold the House. We’re clear on that. We were always clear on that. What Ted Cruz did – and what the go-along, get-along gang of Republican stegosauruses hate – is that he fought. He fought. There’s a huge value to drawing a line, to taking a stand, to rallying the troops.

Real leaders – which the GOP establishment lacks – know that. We’ve had two presidential elections in a row with a demoralized base. That’s bad. Just ask Presidents McCain and Romney.

This whole thing really had little to do with Obama and the Democrats and, in the short term, even with Obamacare. This was really about the war between the growing conservative majority in the GOP and the dying GOP establishment minority. It’s a war that must be fought, and which we should welcome. And it’s a war we conservatives will win.

The party has changed from the bottom up in the last decade. Those at the top of the pyramid are finally realizing that they and the base below are out of synch. The GOP establishment was very, very happy to support the pre-Obama consensus that government would grow and that the Republicans would campaign against it at home then let it expand unhindered in D.C. 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. And with the unblinking eye of the social media upon them, they can’t fake it anymore.

So those establishment guys are going away. Now, the real fight is out in the provinces, far from the Beltway, where we’re building a farm team of future conservative leaders. And they are all conservative. Where are the moderates flooding into the party? Where are the squishes energized by the chance to go to D.C. and submit to their liberal overlords? That’s not the upcoming generation of conservative leaders. The McCains, the Grahams, the Corkers . . . they are over. Done. Finished.

McCain will retire instead of being humiliated in a primary. Graham may – may – slip through this primary, but we’ll get him in 2020. And if I knew anything about Bob Corker other than that he likes to trash real conservatives I’d be able to predict when the people of whatever state that empty suit purports to represent will toss his useless rear end out.

Sure, the Democrat media will still welcome these legacy Republicans to their studios to trash conservative Republicans like Ted Cruz who actually excite and ignite the base. After all, the GOP establishment shares a common interest with the liberal establishment in trying to stamp out these insurgents. They both want to preserve the status quo that people like you and I and Ted Cruz want to detonate.

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.

Sure, there are some folks determined to depart the GOP forever. That’s a terrible idea. This is our party. Why should we leave? Here’s a better idea – focus on taking over your local party apparatus. If you really want to send the GOP establishment a message, send them an eviction notice.

Has this harmed the GOP’s chances in 2014? Not even close. Perhaps it’s anecdotal, but it seems to be a pretty common anecdote – outside the Beltway, no one cares. The shutdown, the debt ceiling – it’s not even on normal peoples’ radar except for as part of what those normal people who don’t live and breathe politics regard as the general background noise of governmental dysfunction. I’ve heard literally no normal folks talk about the “crisis.” Not one or two or three but zero. None. Anecdotal, perhaps, but anecdotes can tell you a lot. So can social media sites like Twitter – the #shutdown hashtag disappeared long ago, replaced by topics of real interest like #WhyBieberRules and #AddTheWordBananaToAMovieTitle.

Sure, there are polls asking peoples’ opinions, and many seem willing to offer one. It doesn’t mean they care. People can offer an opinion on anything if asked – despite not being a virgin and having a life, I could probably tell you which is my favorite Star Trek movie if asked. It doesn’t mean I care. I don’t. And just because some portion of Americans say that Republicans are more to blame than Democrats for the irrelevant shutdown doesn’t mean that it really matters to them either.

In 2014, the fact that their insurer is dumping their health insurance plan and making them pay twice as much for a crummier one – now that will get their attention. They will have an opinion on that, plus they will be plenty interested in who is responsible for it. And does anyone want to guess who is responsible for ensuring that the Scarlet “O” of Obamacare is tattooed right onto the forehead of every Democrat running in 2014? Three guesses, and if your first two are John and Lindsey you are wrong, wrong, wrong.

This wasn’t a defeat. Sure, the Democrats will cluck about it, and their media serfs will repeat the Journolist talking points du jour, but it doesn’t matter. They won nothing except the chance to allow Obamacare to fail even more spectacularly.

Congratulations, President Pyrrhus. A couple more “wins” like this one and we’ll be on our way to fundamentally changing America back.