Politics
Sens. Cruz and Lee depart the Senate floor. Reuters. Sens. Cruz and Lee depart the Senate floor. Reuters.  

BEDFORD: One month after the shutdown ended, Lee and Cruz are sitting pretty

Photo of Christopher Bedford
Christopher Bedford
Managing Editor

It’s Nov. 16, 2013, and the partial government shutdown ended one month ago today.

In those four weeks, and the two prior, everything conservatives said would happen has happened. What’s more, the Democrats’ united stand against them has turned into a retreat — and is primed to become a rout — as they amend Obamacare’s disastrous rollout, President Barack Obama apologizes for his failures, and electorally vulnerable Democrats break ranks and flee.

Hell, even the polls that D.C.’s Republican pundits shrieked, wept and clawed over show the Grand Old Party has bounced back while the Democrats have fallen behind. Because, in the end, real people simply weren’t affected by the shutdown, so they won’t vote on it — a distinction Obamacare does not share.

It’s clear now that the whole shutdown thing could have been avoided if Mr. Obama had been willing to bend on his signature health-care law — something reality has since forced him to do, and something he will likely have to continue to do — instead of accusing the Republicans of being “terrorists” who are holding the country captive.

And rather than crashing, as the president predicted, the private sector survived just fine without government. Obama’s specific prediction — “I mean whatever effect Obamacare might have on the economy is far less than even a few days of government shutdown” — turned out to be precisely wrong. (VIDEO: It’s been two weeks and still no apocalypse, you guys)

Finally, the events of the last month have shown that Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee were correct to make a final stand against the law, and it’s really the president and his policies that are terrorizing the country. (RELATED: How Cruz, Lee and Paul shut down Obama’s agenda)

Because since Obamacare has come into effect, millions have seen their health-care plans cancelled; enrollment numbers have lagged 80 percent behind the White House’s predictions; every facet of the sign-up process has failed to deliver; and some of the very “navigators” who are supposed to make all that easier have been exposed as criminals.

And for the two weeks that preceded this debacle, the story is one of Republicans fighting with everything they had to save the country from what they saw coming.

True, there’s no doubt that the shutdown fight did not go the way Messrs. Lee and Cruz had hoped, and they took a beating in the polls. True, there was little chance the fight could have gone any other way. They were outgunned and outnumbered. But they set the stage for the coming fight by drawing bold lines.

If there was any remaining doubt in the American electorate that what was to come was anybody’s fault but the Democrats — or that conservatives hadn’t done all they could to stop it — those doubts were wiped away. Besides, people remember the Alamo — not the Siege of Béxar.