Children possess an innate knack for learning to avoid harm, like a toddler venturing a curious hand onto a hot stove top . Sure, bawling and wailing ensue, but a light has been clicked on inside that tiny brain: don’t touch the stove top .
But along the way some of those toddlers shed caution and grow into Republicans who wander aimlessly around Washington with both hands heavily bandaged. Given the recent and significant election victories one would think the GOP would fastidiously shrink away from any flame resembling the 2013 government closure, yet here they are thrusting both hands into a searing Homeland Security shutdown.
Republicans, no doubt, do have moral propriety on their side: Obama and his functionaries constitute a pernicious cabal intent on harming America through what they deem “progress”. But working against Republicans are Democrats as underhanded as Nurse Ratched and a national media as cordial to the GOP as Sweeney Todd to Londoners. With large swaths of the American electorate going uninformed and casting ballots based on gossip, Tweets, and comedy shows, and anticipating the story arising from defunding DHS will focus on the shutdown itself vice Obama’s instigating behavior, the resultant media firestorm will incinerate many of the bridges Republicans built last November.
The stark reality is that Republicans can’t afford to gamble on short-term, hard-hitting political victories. Its leadership needs to set a course to wrest the White House away from the Democrats so the American Dream can be rekindled. Rather than continually casting itself into the mold carved out by Democrats and lapdog journalists, Republicans need to highlight how it has become the party of liberty and prosperity while the opposing party stands only for domineering government and stagnation.
But America seems sadly destined to hear a lot of bawling and wailing from a toddler who didn’t learn the first several times.