Sen. Judd Gregg (ex-R-NH): Opinion: The GOP is adrift, floundering:
After roughly a week of the government shutdown, most of the negative fallout is landing on the heads of the Republicans, as many of us predicted it would. It is appropriate to assess the causes of this less-than-optimal management of the issues from the standpoint of conservatives and those who actually would like our government to be more fiscally responsible. A small group of Republican legislators led by the junior senator from Texas, decided to take as hostages government operations and the raising of the debt ceiling. The price of release was to be the death of ObamaCare. This approach never had a snowball’s chance in Texas of succeeding, since two-thirds of the government--the Senate and the presidency--are controlled by people who are totally invested in instituting ObamaCare. But this salient fact did not appear to be in the script these Republicans were acting out.
This oversight might, just possibly, be related to the significant amount of money raised by these folks for PACs they controlled. Meanwhile, the liberal elements of the media were more than happy to use the actions of a few to caricature the entire Republican Party as dysfunctional and chaotic. Next came a game-plan that assumed the opening of the government could be done piecemeal…. There was a parallel course of attack being pursued by the posse. It was not directed at ObamaCare or its authors in the Democratic Party but rather at all Republicans who questioned the logic of the ordained. Using the funds that were pouring into their PACs, the folks who had settled on the strategy of trying to kill ObamaCare through closing the government and potentially defaulting on the debt turned their fire on fellow Republican members of Congress… any… who pointed out the inherent defects of the strategy…. Divide and conquer as an approach has never actually been executed in this manner. This is more of a shout-and-disrupt approach…. What a tactical fiasco… especially those who really do want to change ObamaCare and address our debt issues rather than just raise money and control the microphone….
People who have no interest in governing cannot be allowed to be the dominant voices in a major party. Any such party must by definition be inclusive, within the basic bounds of its ideology. If it is to succeed, the majority of the American people must see it as serious and constructive. The Republican Party is not in that place today. It had better get there soon if it plans to be an effective force for fiscal responsibility, rather than just a gathering place for gadflies, PAC funders and base-narrowers.