You can trust National Public Radio to take the statist side in a shutdown. It happened again on The Diane Rehm Show on Monday, where “objective” reporters took turns slashing at “reality”-deprived Tea Party conservatives. Washington Post reporter Lori Montgomery said “the Obamacare push was a giant mistake.”
She even announced that “Obamacare madness” can be blamed for the shutdown:
LORI MONTGOMERY: I hate to bring this up because I know it's nothing that any of us wants, but I do fear a little bit that the 17th is not necessarily the deadline. Because it is so difficult for Boehner to pull that lever on the nuclear option?...Because -- you know, they probably could have done it weeks ago, but after all of this, you know, Obamacare madness, his troops have sort of lined up behind it. So it becomes very difficult for them to now back away from this claim that they've made that this is the moment to (word?) Obamacare.
They agreed Ted Cruz was “beyond reason" in this fight:
DIANE REHM: Lori Montgomery, you've had Ted Cruz continuing to speak about Obamacare. You know, and it's sort of beyond reason to think that he would continue to come back to this when the country seems to be moving in another direction.
MONTGOMERY: Yeah, it seems completely beyond reason, and it is to the consternation of his Republican colleagues, who, at this point, you know, even his fellow senator from Texas, John Cornyn, who is the number two Republican in the Senate, is saying, come on, guys. This is not going to work. The danger now, though, seems to me, is that Democrats have so much leverage.
Time’s Washington Bureau Chief Michael Scherer said the Republicans have been hit in the head by a brick, but think it’s a bunny:
SCHERER: I think it's certainly true that there are significant portions of especially the Republican Party that are not acknowledging the reality of this situation. I mean, you had Ted Cruz on Friday at the Value Voter Summit saying, Democrats are backed up against the wall on Obamacare. We're winning this fight. You heard similar things on Sunday. It's just not true. And it can be true for his audience.
And I think -- you know, this is something, as a trend in politics, we've seen now over several cycles the -- you know, you've had several senate races in which Tea Party Republicans have argued that the way to get elected to the senate in Delaware and Nevada and Alaska is to nominate in a primary a far right Tea Party person. And there's a good chance that Republicans would actually now be in control of the Senate had that not happened. I mean, the theory was wrong. Reality stepped in and corrected them.
And that's the trick here in politics, that, increasingly, politicians are not talking to the whole country. They're talking to a very small segment of the country. And that segment of the country can believe this to be true. But, you know, if you call a brick a bunny rabbit, when it hits you in the head, it's still going to be a brick. And you're seeing that right now in the polls for Republicans.
Montgomery added later that Sen. Tom Coburn "used to be the far right wing, and he finds himself now, like, arguing against what the far right wing wants to do."
Rehm even read as plausible an e-mail where somehow the moderates were William F. Buckley and the Tea Party was the John Birch Society:
REHM: Here's another email. "If history can repeat itself, perhaps there's something positive coming from this crisis. In the last '50s and early '60s the ultra-right wing John Birch Society was controlling the Republican Party. A young William F. Buckley took them on successfully, returned the party to the mainstream," Janet.
JANET HOOK. WALL STREET JOURNAL: Suggesting that maybe this crisis might undermine the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party, well, there is this really big structural political situation though that's going to be very hard to change, no matter how discredited the establishment may feel that the Tea Party wing has been.
The House is very, very gerrymandered so that there're all of these Tea Party Republicans who are getting nothing but positive feedback for this message. So it's hard to see how this really jolts the system within the Republican Party in the short run.