Did Ted Cruz and Mike Lee learn a lesson from the shutdown?

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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Want proof the defund strategy failed? You can tell people are learning a lesson when they actually change their behavior.

Immediately after the government reopened, Sen. Ted Cruz was defiant. But since then, it has been interesting to observe how Cruz and Sen. Mike Lee — the leaders of the defund strategy — have acted in the aftermath of the shutdown.

Speaking at the Heritage Foundation this week, Lee delivered a speech that might as well have been written by yours truly: “If our generation of conservatives wants to enjoy our own defining triumph, our own 1980 — we are going to have to deserve it,” he said. “That means sharpening more pencils than knives.”

“…frustration is not a platform,” he continued. “Anger is not an agenda. And outrage, as a habit, is not even conservative.”

Who does he think he is …Edmund Burke?

Meanwhile, Politico reports that “Ted Cruz is privately making it clear he won’t engage in the Senate Conservatives Fund’s hardball tactics to defeat his colleagues in their primary races.”

Cruz has been outspokenly hostile to his Republican colleagues, so this strikes me as a pretty big deal.

Talk, of course, is cheap. Here’s hoping Lee’s rhetoric is a harbinger of things to come.

Note: Matt Lewis’ wife formerly worked as a consultant for Ted Cruz.