“We fought the good fight. We just didn’t win,” was Speaker John A. Boehner’s take. He told his House colleagues after the ceiling-raising deal was approved that they could hold their heads high, go back home, take a rest break and give thought to how they could do a better job of working together as a team. Now that’s a great idea.
Teamwork was starting to fall apart, evidenced among other things by Pennsylvania GOP Rep. Charlie Dent’s push to halt the fight for concessions from the Democrats. He said a bill funding the government should have been passed weeks ago. After the deal was made to fund the government through Jan. 15 and hike the debt limit through Feb. 7, he could say, “I told you so,” and he did.
In the end, about all the Republicans had to show for their fight was their record low standings in opinion polls and editorial page opinions. Liberal editors from coast to coast had a field day excoriating those dastardly Republicans and the “terrorist” tea party for holding them “hostage.”
New York Times: “The Republican Party slunk away on Wednesday from its failed, ruinous strategy to get its way through the use of havoc. Hours away from an inevitable market crash, it approved a deal that could have been achieved months ago had a few more lawmakers set aside their animus. ... The health care reform law will not be defunded or delayed. No taxes will be cut, and the deal calls for no new cuts to federal spending or limits to social welfare programs. The only things Republicans achieved were billions of dollars in damage to the economy, harm to the nation’s reputation and a rock-bottom public approval rating.”
The Washington Post blasted Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who led the fight to defund Obamacare: “As many of his GOP colleagues foresaw, what Mr. Cruz billed as a principled stand for freedom and against welfare-statism was actually the political equivalent of a toddler’s tantrum. ...”
The Chicago Tribune broadened the target: “Say what you will about conservative Republicans’ congressional tantrum of the past few weeks. It’s all true. The GOP hard-liners look foolish for embarking on a crusade against the Affordable Care Act they couldn’t win.” But the Tribune found a silver lining: “Official Washington’s focus now is on our national debt.”
Los Angeles Times: “House Republicans should consider themselves lucky to have wound up empty-handed after triggering a 16-day government shutdown. ... The question for lawmakers now is whether they learned the obvious lesson from the latest manufactured crisis: It’s impossible to govern from the extreme.”
But just wait until the next two rounds in January and February.