Shutting Down The Circus

I don’t know how many of you recall the Disney animated film “Dumbo,” but there is a scene that I think is really fitting. Dumbo, the little elephant with the big ears, is written into a brand new act that involves all the grown elephants balancing on a ball (how that ball held their weight, I’ll never know). Dumbo’s job was to launch himself to the top and be the crown of this pyramid of elephants. However, Dumbo tripped and knocked the whole thing over, causing the big top to come crashing down. Dumbo was shunned by the other elephants for bringing shame upon them.

It’s a great metaphor for how the Republican Leadership talked about and treated Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Ted Cruz93%Senate Republican AverageSee Full Scorecard93% during and after the government shutdown.

But, while the big top did come crashing down, it wasn’t on the Republicans. To quote Byron York

But look at what happened. The shutdown so deeply damaged GOP prospects that Republicans exceeded expectations in 2014, winning control of the Senate in spectacular fashion and making unexpected gains in the House. The shutdown was so terrible that some of those headstrong House Republicans who voted to defund Obamcare last year — Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR)Heritage ActionScorecardRep. Tom Cotton82%House Republican AverageSee Full Scorecard82%, Rep. Steve Daines (R-MT)Heritage ActionScorecardRep. Steve Daines59%House Republican AverageSee Full Scorecard59%, Shelley Moore Capito — are now headed to the U.S. Senate. (Cassidy too, if he wins.)

Often times, I feel York is another of those “Establishment” writers, but in this case, he has a great point. The size and scope of the shutdown in 2013 was big for a Congress only half-controlled by the GOP. After a massive sweep, a smaller, more targeted shutdown of the federal offices that would directly implement Obama’s immigration proposal (you know, the one that has no legal grounds whatsoever). In my attempts to (probably naively) read a deeper, more strategic meaning into Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Mitch McConnell68%Senate Republican AverageSee Full Scorecard68%‘s “There will be no government shutdown,” statement, …read more    

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