The Lawyer, the Polemicist & the Network Political Director on the Cruz Hail Mary

Cutting through the fog of emotion posing as analysis, the last two days have brought us several articles that provide much-needed light and clarity to the discussion of the Tea Party and the Ted Cruz strategy.

Here are my favorites:

The lawyer

A former federal prosecutor, Andrew C. McCarthy is a contributing editor at National Review and a columnist for Pajamas Media.

In considering the Republican retreat that ended the partial government shutdown, funded Obamacare, and unconditionally extended more credit on Uncle Sam’s tapped-out credit card, my friend Jonah Goldberg argues that we should be more understanding of Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell’s predicament. Politics, Jonah aptly observes, is the art of the possible, and McConnell had “no good options” when he led the GOP cave-in to all of President Obama’s demands — a decision that, McConnell insists, was not in any way influenced by the tidy $3 billion earmark thrown in for one of his pet Kentucky boondoggles.

I agree that we must be realistic about what was achievable in the Obamacare battle. What I don’t get, though, is why our sympathetic cast of mind must be from the GOP-establishment perspective alone. Aren’t we also obliged to be realistic about the options available to the Republicans who took seriously their campaign promises to do everything within their power — which includes their constitutional power of the purse — to stop Obamacare? | Read More »

The polemicist

John Hayward’s writing has appeared at Hot Air, Human Events, the Daily Caller, Breitbart News, and the New York Post. This article appeared in RedState.

John Hayward Human Events headshotTea Party supporters are supposed to be disheartened by how the great shutdown saga turned out.  We’re back where we started, following an expense of political capital that achieved nothing, with polls showing damage to the Republican “brand.”  Worse, the balance of power in our representative government has permanently shifted toward the executive branch.  The legislature is now virtually powerless.  Raising the debt ceiling is | Read More »

The network political director

John Dickerson is CBS Political Director and Political Correspondent.

At his Thursday press conference, President Obama declared, “There are no winners”—just before he proceeded to act like a man who had just won. The morning after the budget crisis ended, the president’s remarks were extensive and clear about who was to blame for the 16-day standoff that cost the economy roughly $24 billion,by one estimate.* The president outlined all that had been sacrificed—from slowed economic growth and higher deficits to America’s damaged credibility in the world. He suggested his opponents were too witless to avoid being cowed by bloggers and talk radio, and had risked the very American experiment our predecessors spent two centuries building. The public, which had overwhelmingly blamed Republicans, no doubt knew who he was talking about and who to blame. If it wasn’t clear, the president had a piece of advice for those Republicans: Rather than trying to “break” the government because they disagreed with him, they should “go out there and win an election.”

Well, that should settle them down. | Read More »

Don’t overlook the bonus video

Personally, I think this nails it.

And then there’s my take

(Which would’ve been much better if I’d read the other guys first.)

Who Won Who Lost Who Cares?


Former Bush administration official and current Commentary contributor Peter Wehner wrote a thoughtful post on Commentary ( “The Tea Party Mindset“) I think is worth reading, though I part company with him at the end. I wrote a response to it here.


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