The call it “Danth’s Law,” aka “Parker’s Law,” aka “Lenski’s Law.” This, one of the lesser-known of Internet Laws behind Godwin’s (reductio ad Hitlerum), Poe’s (emoticons) and Skitt’s (The Law of Prescriptivist Retaliation), states that “If you have to insist that you’ve won an internet argument, you’ve probably lost badly.”
It appears Republicans haven’t heard that one.
Almost since the shutdown started and Republican poll numbers began nose-diving, Teabaggers have been insisting that this entire debacle has been an unmitigated victory for all things to the right of Harry Reid. Granted, most of their fellow Republicans don’t see it the same way — most who aren’t utterly delusional and sure to get re-elected on the basis of being frothing radicals see the shutdown as an unmitigated failure. John McCain said this:
“This has been one of the most shameful chapters I’ve seen here. We’re in a hole. We have to dig out.”
But Teabaggers can’t declare outright defeat by dint of being simply outmatched; they know that their base worships power, and admitting to a total FAIL would undermine any pretense of their own. No great shock then that, in front of 600 Republicans at a fundraiser in Des Moines, Ted Cruz said this:
“One of the things we accomplished in the fight over Obamacare is we elevated the national debate over what a disaster, what a train wreck, how much Obamacare is hurting millions of Americans across this country.”
Just to clarify, by “elevate,” Ted means that they raised it past the point of “debate” and into the realm of extortion with quite tangible and nationwide consequences for non-compliance. He later told reporters that:
“There will be plenty of time the coming months to talk about specific tactics and strategies. What I think is critical is we keep the focus on Obamacare, we keep the focus on the fact that this bill isn’t working.”
Despite the fact that the freshman Cruz still apparently hasn’t learned the difference between a “bill” and a “law,” at least he’s in pretty good company. Our own 2016 Skeletorian candidate for president (Ann) Coultergeist said
“They accomplished a lot … and it was brilliant how they played it.”
So, that’s the GOP’s grand accomplishment according to Ted Cruz. Drawing attention to the evils of Obamacare…which clearly didn’t exist before the shutdown. However, even that statement of “victory” by Ted Cruz’s definition is a bit misleading …Cruz’s victory (as it existed in his mind) wasn’t drawing attention to the Affordable Care Act…it was (just as he said) KEEPING attention on it.
The fact that his “declaration of victory” came at a fundraiser is no coincidence; this particular jihad has proven a massive cash cow for Cruz, who’s been whipping his anti-ACA fundraising unicorn under the million-dollar rainbow for years. Cruz practically gets a royalty payment every time someone says “Obamacare.”
So, in a sense, he’s right. This shutdown may have been a humiliating failure for Republicans specifically, and Americans in general — but it was a huge win for him. And that’s the part that matters.