October 17, 2013
The Tea Party Republicans have lost their game of brinkmanship in spite of driving the US to the precipice of a new financial crisis. The hardline Republican tactics had left them empty-handed with respect to their attempts to repeal or defund the Affordable Care Act whilst the polls showed that voters overwhelmingly blamed the Republican party for the crisis.
Nothing remained of the Republican party's multiple demands for spending cuts, tax reform and environmental concessions after shutting down the federal government for 15 days, costing $24 billion in economic losses, and bringing the nation to the brink of an unprecedented default.
Instead the Republican speaker of the House, John Boehner, had to rely on the minority Democrats to reach the 217 votes he needed – plus 87 Republicans--even though the can has only been kicked down the roads. Under the deal, the debt ceiling raise will only last until 7 February next year. The government will reopen, but will only be funded through until 15 January next year – so we could see a repeat of all of this extortion and brinkmanship in three months.
The Tea Party Republicans and their backers--eg., the Koch brothers, Heritage Action etc ----continue to argue that it is Washington and mainstream Republicans who are dysfunctional, not them. They are even more angry than before. Their threat is that if you’re a Republican politician, watch out, because when primary time comes, there will be blood. They will be threatening a grass-roots war against any weak-kneed Republican who doesn’t vote their chosen way. They are trying to remake the Republican Party in their image.
The Tea Party Republicans view any attempt to blame them for the shutdown, and not the president, as media bias in concentrate. This shutdown proved them right in their eyes, and they’ll carry that knowledge into the budget battle. They stood up and fought the right fight. They reckon they will win if Republicans don't compromise their values—if they stay the course.
The Republican base thinks they are losing politically and losing control of the country.Their starting reaction is “worried,” “discouraged,” “scared,” and “concerned” about the direction of the country. They feel a little powerless to change course,and the Republican Party is failing to stop him. So they shut government down.