Now the rebels plan to push President Obama and Democrats hard on their refusal to negotiate the basic issues of funding the government and raising its debt limit. They believe that as days go by, Obama’s my-way-or-the-highway approach won’t play well with the public, particularly independents who are undecided about who to blame for the shutdown.

Then they plan to hit the president and Democrats on their refusal even to consider measures to fund specific parts of the government. The rebels have been doing that already, but now they plan to push in a very targeted way.

At the beginning of the shutdown, House Republicans proposed a bill to fund the nation’s active-duty military, as well as civilian Defense Department employees and some contractors. It passed the House unanimously. Then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made an exception to his vow not to consider partial spending measures, and the “Pay Our Military Act” passed unanimously in the Senate, too. Obama signed it into law immediately…

Obama and Reid aren’t really the targets. The GOP rebels want to focus on red-state Democrats, particularly those up for re-election in 2014, and make the shutdown a question of support for veterans. (It’s a tactic that certainly wasn’t hurt by the Park Service’s ham-handed attempts to close down the World War II and Vietnam War memorials on the National Mall.) Cruz’s Growth and Freedom Fund PAC has created a new website,, that urges people to tell Senate Democrats that “legislation to fully fund the Department of Veterans Affairs…needs their support.”