Mark Davis

Call them Tea Partiers, grassroots activists, liberty-lovers, whatever you please. But the wishful-thinking narrative of the dominant media culture-- that this deal will quiet the loudest voices against Obamacare and spiraling debt-- will be disproven quickly.

One of the great attributes of true conservative warriors is that they are not hounded into submission by adversity, they are prompted to regroup- and reload.

6. Ted Cruz is damaged goods.

You’ll hear this from more squishy Republicans than Democrats. The Dems are split-- some fear him, some just chuckle derisively. But find me a Republican speaking ill of Ted Cruz and I’ll find you someone personally threatened by his ascent.

Some are threatened with their very careers, others simply jostled from their comfortable perches of moderation and pragmatism.

Cruz rocks a boat that desperately needs rocking. Not every Republican needs to match his intensity, but they would do well to stop condemning it.

7. The defund effort was a waste of time.

Cruz, Lee and others who drove the defund train have been asked incessantly-- do you regret that strategy? Didn’t it hurt you and the party?

The hero status of such unwavering souls is going up, not down. If they were needed before this unholy Reid-McConnell alliance was struck, they are surely needed now, to carry the voices of those who know this deal is bad and will not tolerate another like it.

8. America was inflamed about the government slowdown.

Shutting a few government doors did not win majority support on Main Street. But that is a far cry from the shrieks of distaste heard daily in the mainstream media.

No family was safe from TV cameras if any reporter sniffed a moment of uncertainty that the cell phone bill would be paid. And when real stories arose of important services denied to righteously aggrieved citizens, there was no balancing story to offer the view that this short shared sacrifice was for a larger goal that would accrue to the good of all.

But even with a full court media press designed to make us hate every second of the shutdown and its infernal onscreen ticking clocks. most Americans reacted with a yawn as they went about their uninterrupted business.

9. It is too late for primary challenges to some of the offenders who enabled this useless deal.

Deadlines are deadlines, and they are approaching fast in many states. But do not underestimate the enthusiasm and money that will be shown a worthy candidate stepping in to take out an obstructionist RINO, even on short notice.

This is not a guarantee of success in those challenges-- sometimes you get Ted Cruz, sometimes you get Christine O’Donnell (I say that with love).

But a win is not the only measure of success. A Tea Party primary opponent can be just the elixir for a lazy incumbent unwilling to meet the new higher bar for conservative passion.

I can almost literally feel the wheels turning inside the heads of those wondering whether to challenge Senator X or Congressman Y from the right.

I would say do it. Worst case, an entrenched establishment incumbent hears the language of genuine conservatism and maybe learns to speak it.

10. Next year’s budget and debt ceiling battles are just going to end the same way.

Not necessarily. We may or may not have another government shutdown. But the ranks of courageous Republicans will have been swelled by shows of support in word and in contributory deed.

We will have dispensed with this month’s silliness that real conservatism has been benched. Its blood will flow strongly, and so will campaign dollars, toward those men and women willing to actually fight an agenda that threatens our nation in multiple ways.

Republicans slow to appreciate those passions will get a burst of clarity that could make 2014 a year of more bold colors and fewer dull pastels.