Call me Pollyannaish or insincere, but I am not depressed about the so-called "caving" of the GOP -- for a host of reasons.
To put this in perspective, let me confess that I did feel totally dejected after Obama's re-election in 2012. How could he possibly have won, I wondered, given the obvious failure of his policies and the wholesale repudiation of his agenda in the 2010 congressional elections?
I was also very disheartened when the Supreme Court, via alleged constitutionalist Chief Justice John Roberts, judicially rewrote Obamacare in order to uphold the unconstitutional monstrosity. Obamacare represented not only one of many policy setbacks under Obama but also the ever-acquisitive government's consumption of another one-sixth of the formerly capitalist and robust American economy.
Demographic trends and an ever-expanding and increasingly entrenched dependency class are ominous signs for Republicans. Add to these the growing reluctance of Republicans to stand for and articulate their winning principles (as opposed to liberal lite) and there's plenty of fodder for the default pessimists among us -- and more than enough to give the rest of us pause, as well.
But something has happened since the Supreme Court donated its imprimatur to the Absolutely Unaffordable Inferior Care Act. Grass-roots conservatives have not folded their tents, and a number of conservative officeholders have emerged to communicate conservative principles in bold colors and not pale pastels. They have assumed a leadership position in the Republican Party to fill the current void and articulated the conservative policy alternative with striking clarity and with no apologies. And they have not backed down in the face of harsh personal criticism from certain establishment officeholders and pundits.
I was always confident that like-minded patriots had not yet thrown in the towel and hopeful that even those in office would fight back. But I was gratified to witness this phenomenon so soon after Obama won re-election.
Though it may be easy to slam Congress from the right, I think we overlook the fact that our side has held Obama's feet to the fire and had remarkable success in preventing the further legislative advancement of his agenda. Granted, Obama continues to march forward through abuse of his executive and administrative powers, but Congress has slowed him down measurably on the legislative side.
But what really re-stoked my sense of optimism was when Sen. Rand Paul took to the Senate floor and conducted a quasi-filibuster against aspects of Obama's lawless foreign policy and domestic agenda. Cynics panned Paul's move as populist grandstanding, but it was anything but. He rose to put the statists on notice that conservatives are not about to roll over while they continue to fundamentally transform this nation into something we can't recognize and something incompatible with the nation's founding. Though not prevailing legislatively in that exercise, Paul showed Americans that there are conservative politicians still willing to fight for them and for America. This was inspiring and invigorating.
Then Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee ratcheted it up a notch, going to the Senate to call Obama out on his destructive agenda and promising to do everything they can to defund and derail Obamacare. Cruz's 20-plus-hour floor speech was a seminar in the eloquent communication of conservative principles.
I do not believe they made irresponsible promises; they didn't guarantee they are going to stop Obamacare in the short term. They promised, though, that they will fight it tooth and nail and that if the party would get behind them in this effort, they might be able to help galvanize national opposition to the implementation of the law and make headway toward stopping it.
I can't be too disappointed that they didn't ultimately prevail, because I didn't have unrealistic expectations that we would stop the monster in this first round. I was hoping a miracle could occur, but I never expected it to in the short term.
But I did believe that by making a strong conservative case -- finally -- Cruz et al. were helping to alert the nation to the potentially striking differences in the parties and their agendas and that there were officeholders in positions of leadership who would fight to the figurative death for us. Just as my brother, Rush, gave millions of conservatives hope through his radio show by validating the legitimacy of their beliefs, Cruz, Paul and Lee let us know that we have people in office fighting for us, as well.
I reject the conventional wisdom that Cruz and his warriors hurt our cause by increasing the likelihood of our defeat in 2014. To the contrary, they enhanced our cause by energizing the base and fighting. And they laid serious gloves on Obama; his approval rating has never been lower. They also gave him an opportunity, which he fully embraced, to demonstrate his mean-spiritedness, his pettiness and his dishonesty for all to see.
The shutdown was not the disaster he promised any more than sequestration has been; he was hyper-partisan and gratuitously punitive during the ordeal; and his egregious misrepresentations about Obamacare were manifesting themselves throughout.
Now, having laid this important foundation, the GOP must quit the infighting and come together with mutual respect among the factions and turn its rhetorical weapons on Obama in unison, highlighting the ongoing disaster that is Obamacare and singling out Obama for his fiscal recklessness, pointing out that though these temporary government shutdowns are no picnic, we are headed inexorably toward a full-blown fiscal catastrophe if the Obama big-government juggernaut is not derailed.
Now that's a winning message. So let's fight on.
David Limbaugh, brother of radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, is an expert in law and politics and author of new book Crimes Against Liberty, the definitive chronicle of Barack Obama's devastating term in office so far.