U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) said nearly as much in a CNN interview late last week, describing the just-ended House Republican-driven shutdown of the federal government in an attempt to derail the implementation of Obamacare as “a dumb idea.”
He was right, as events have abundantly proven.
Yes, Obamacare is on the path to costing millions of Americans their current health insurance and causing many of them to see their full-time jobs scaled back to 30-hour-a-week part-time jobs, all part of President Obama’s pledge to transform America.
And yes, Obama’s rhetoric about how Republicans are “hostage-takers” and “terrorists” was disgraceful — but par for the course for this president.
The tea party Republicans led by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz were fighting the good fight in trying to stop ObamaCare’s implementation. But they were fighting with their hearts and not their heads. He and they chose a tactic that was sure to blow up in their faces, and quickly did — just as this newspaper warned in this space several weeks ago.
As predicted, most of the media and the public blamed the Republicans — not Obama — for the government shutdown. It was a repeat of what happened during the Gingrich-Clinton era government shutdown, for which there was plenty of blame to go around but which the media and most of the public blamed on House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
The end result this time was an agreement that gave Obama everything he wanted and left the Republicans with nothing. Typically in such situations the “winning” party throws a few bones to the losers, but Cruz and the tea partiers got nary a crumb.
Cruz might have increased his chances of winning the GOP presidential nomination three years hence, but the shutdown has hurt his party, strengthened Obama and liberalism in general, and reenergized Democrats as they head toward next year’s critical congressional elections.
Think about it: A month ago Obama was reeling from the onslaught of criticism he earned from all quarters for his bone-headed plan to go to war with Syria. His poll standings were at or near an all-time low.
Today, he’s riding high and about to unleash new efforts to flog the country to the left. And Cruz and the tea party have no one but themselves to blame.