A riveting day has dawned. House Speaker John Boehner, long criticized for inconsistent conservative passion, is actually allowing members to vote on a budget bill that ties continued government operations to a defunding of Obamacare.
This would be the strategy Ted Cruz and his allies have been offering for weeks, earning them harsh criticism from Democrats and timid Republicans alike.
The House, run by Republicans, will pass the measure. The Senate, run by Democrats, will not. No matter what those votes might be, a presidential veto pen stands ready to kill the whole idea of a bill that funds the government past October 1 with the glaring omission of Obamacare.
So why even try this? Won’t it freak people out? Won’t the media hate us? Won’t some voters call us obstructionists?
Yes, yes and yes. So let’s do it.
After decades of inconsistent conservative leadership, there are finally people in office with the guts to take bold stands unseen since Reagan-- maybe unseen since Goldwater.
After endless years of half-measures and middling efforts, unapologetically muscular conservatism is going to cause some alarm. It will startle Democrats, who have long enjoyed rolling a Republican party that’s been there to be had, and it will positively terrify establishment Republicans, who see that their conservative batting averages are suddenly insufficient.
As for the media, I could not possibly care less what they think. Are we really going to plot strategy so as not to draw fire from liberal network anchors and faux conservative pundits currying favor at Georgetown parties?
Shrinking from what conservatism requires because we fear negative media reaction is like guiding foreign policy to avoid making terrorists mad. In both cases, guess what? They already hate us. We should do the right thing and let the chips fall where they may.
While we can, and should, tell the media where to take a walk, we do actually have to care about voters. But again, operating from a foundation of fear is completely wrong.
Rather than lose sleep over what independents will think of a government shutdown, let us march forward with votes in both congressional chambers, telling President Obama, every Democrat and every voter that Obamacare is an unprecedented scourge that requires the strongest negative response.