The following lenghty quote by Rush Limbaugh was published in the Huff Post today:
“I was trying to think if ever in my life, I could remember any major political party being so irrelevant. I have never seen it. I have never seen a major political party simply occupy placeholders, as the Republican party has been doing. There has not been any serious opposition…against what’s happening in this country. The Republicans have done everything they can to try to make everyone like them and what they’ve ended up doing is creating one of the greatest political disasters I’ve ever seen in my lifetime…I was pondering if I could ever remember…a time when a political party just made a decision not to exist, for all intents and purposes.”
Rush is not only a master of hyperbole, he apparently has also developed a mastery at ignoring any facts that get in the way of his opinions.
The GOP tried every available tactic to get their way; to get Obamacare defunded or, at least delayed. They tried to hold the hard line, they tried (over 40 times) to compromise, they spent weeks trying to raise the publics ire against Obamacare and, yes Rush is right, “they have done everything they can to try to make everyone like them;” apparently, according to the self designated Grand Poobah of Conservatism, getting the public to like them was a bad strategy.
Actually, opposing Obamacare at that point, at that time, against the obvious odds was a WORSE strategy!
The problem was not that the GOP leaders did not try, the problem was they DID try; they tried to negotiate with a ‘brick wall.’ They were just plain outvoted from the beginning. President Obama has a lock on the Democratic vote and, this being his “signature legislation, there was NO WAY he was going to allow it to fail or allow his minions to falter. How could they NOT have realized that?
President Obama HAS the “bully pulpit” and he knows how to use it. He is devious and he cares about NOTHING more than he cares about Obamacare; the people who were affected by the government shutdown: (he may blame the Republicans for the shutdown but it was HIS shutdown not theirs); the government employees who, as far as he was concerned could starve and loose their homes, caused him no loss of sleep; the aging veterans who wanted nothing more than to walk up to a wall and read the names of fallen friends could have, as far as he was concerned, laid down and died outside of his barracades.
The GOP did not even have an overwealming majority of public sentement on their side, in the polling where their case won, the win was no more than marginal.
One other problem the GOP had is hardliners on the Right. They thought that they could march in and overturn a piece of existing legislation when they don’t own the Senate or the Whitehouse or the main stream media or even an overwealming majority of citizen opinions. If this were a war, that strategy would have left them all dead.
Even though the GOP was absolutely right that, in the end, Obamacare will be a disaster for the country on many different levels the Tea Partiers and the other right-wing ideologues never confronted the fact that that they had picked the wrong fight on the wrong battlefield against the wrong opponents. Their strident battle against Obamacare weakened their more important battle that should have been solely focused on government spending and the size of government.
I’m not a politician but it makes sense to me that they should have gone, at some point, to the President and said ‘OK, we aren’t going to oppose you on Obamacare if . . .’ and then they should have presented some budgetary options that would at least have stood a chance.
It’s a life lesson that everyone knows but many are too bullheaded to believe: Being right is not important when you are outnumbered and outflanked. Pick another day to be right!