The threat of being stripped of committee assignments, losing party support for re-election or being blamed in the polls for the shutdown has little effect on the likes of Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah and their allies in the House.
“We are getting zero fiscal discipline,” a frustrated Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin said when explaining why he voted against the budget deal despite hailing from a state that voted for President Obama twice.
There is also a misunderstanding in the mainstream media about what really motivated these boat-rockers. It wasn’t about actually stopping Democrats from taking the Affordable Care Act across the goal line, nor was it about raising the debt ceiling before Mr. Obama and the Democrats offered any significant spending cuts.
Rather, it was about showing that there were Republicans in Congress who understood that standing and fighting was itself the goal — the endgame that disparaging critics on the left, right and center said was glaringly absent from Mr. Cruz’s crusade.