Rep. Marlin Stutzman thinks this whole hostage-taking thing is going really well.
The government shutdown was something of a public debut for the strategy of far-right members of the House working with far-right senators like Ted Cruz to block bills that could pass both chambers, rather than continuing the old-timey strategy of working within their own chambers to figure things out that can actually become law. You could say it didn't go super well for them, what with the cratering poll numbers and the government eventually reopening without Obamacare having been defunded, but the thing about the Cruz Caucus is that they don't care. They think it's too bad John Boehner didn't let them shoot the hostages they'd taken, but they're
planning to continue
with the basic strategy:
In interviews, several House members who speak to Lee, Cruz and other senators such as Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on a regular basis, described the conservative faction’s double-barreled philosophy: Use their influence in the House majority to steer leadership toward conservative goals like defunding Obamacare in spending bills while right-wing all-stars like Cruz use the Senate floor as a national press platform.
“We feel like we can be more effective that way. They’ve got bigger bullhorns [in the Senate] where they can drive the message across the country through the media,” said Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.). “And in the House, we’ve got the majority. I think it makes a good team at the end of the day.”
If what you want to do is infuriate your party's leadership, kill the Republican brand, and hurt the country, it's a great
team. But with a crucial midterm election coming up, it has what used to pass for conservative Republicans freaking out
"If we don't find common ground and stand on the same side of the line, we're going to have a very ugly and rough couple of years," said Sara Taylor Fagen, who directed political affairs in President George W. Bush's White House.
The teabaggers are definitely not looking for common ground, short of everyone else coming to their ground and kneeling before them on it. So three cheers for Republicans having a very ugly and rough couple of years. Problem is, the extremists still have the power to make it ugly and rough for the rest of us, unless others in their party decide to protect the Republican brand by reining them in.
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