First, the W.W. II vets forcing their way into their Memorial is a big moment of defying the left’s attempt to stage manage and manipulate the impasse.
The absurd, absolutist rhetoric from the president –“I shouldn’t have to offer anything”– and Harry “anarchists!” Reid as well as a parade of over-caffinated House lefties is not turning anyone their way and is helping Republicans coalesce around the Constitutional principle that the House is a partner with the Senate and the president in legislating and will not be dictated to. Compromise and negotiated settlement of political differences is in the American political DNA.
Now the Commander-in-Chief has cancelled intercollegiate sports at the service academies rather than deeming the employees necessary to their conduct as essential to the education and del-being of our military’s future officers.
This is the sort of repulsive manipulation of the military by the Democrats that will be remembered for years. These young men and women will be in uniform and in harm’s way very very soon, but the president is denying hem their senior season and their biggest games because he wants to score points. He isn’t scoring any points, but people will remember and settle this score for years to come. Like Jimmy Carter’s Olympic boycott, the bitterness lives on a long, long time when politicians interfere with the hard work and dreams of young athletes. Every athlete everywhere “gets” this, and very, very few of them will blame the GOP. The president is canceling the games. And the House GOP should indeed send a bill making it clear that this overreach is owned by the president.
So the GOP’s agenda for the rest of this week (and maybe until the debt limit deadline of October 17) is pretty simple: Stand pat on the shutdown, don’t panic because of media hype or a few snap polls, make their case on the mandate and the special deal for Congress in particular, and on Obamacare in general—and figure out how to play their hand on the debt limit.
He might have added: And message, message, message about the cruelty and rank partisanship of the president and Harry Reid.
Last week I addressed the Sports and Fitness Industry Association on effective communication on issues vital to their industry. Before my dinner speech there was a panel of senior execs from the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the US Olympic Committee.
The exec from the National Hockey League spent a few minutes talking about the invention of “the Winter Classic” had really helped their game by creating an “event” that attracted new eyes to an old game, expanding the potential fan base dramatically every year for a days of intense interest because of the uniqueness of the event. Creating such moments are the crowning achievements of the best marketers in the world.
Largely because of the example and drive of Ted Cruz and Mike Lee with assists from Marco Rubio and Rand Paul, the GOP is well positioned to message this moment, a event from the world of politics which typically only gets such moments on election night and in presidential debates and key speeches at the conventions. The president and Harry Reid actually created the event, willed it into being by refusing to negotiate much less compromise, as the Beltway GOP was intensely afraid of the consequences of a shut-down because of flawed memories about the Newt years and fear about inadequate unity and communication skills of its House members.
It turns out that the hapless communicators have Ds behind their names and that the GOP is holding together. Turns out the key events involve trying to screw the Greatest Generation out of seeing their memorial and screwing young warriors out of their games. The bizarre extremist rhetoric is coming from Harry Reid, not the face you want of your party ion its best day and certainly not when the 2014 election cycle is opening.
Lots of MSMers are heavily invested in the counter-narrative they predicted would come to pass, so don’t expect them to acknowledge what every one is seeing. The GOP is winning this argument, because it is a hugely important one and the table was set by Ted cruz last week and the House Caucus is hanging together.