...and it is of this blame I now write.
Let me talk football. That’s right, football. Just be patient if you’re not a fan—this really pertains.
You see, I’m a Green Bay Packer fan, which means I won’t enjoy this season very much. Oh well, there’s always next year. Living in Colorado, however, I get to see everyone having a great time. Before the season began, I told my Bronco-loving friends that if they beat Baltimore in Week 1, their team would roll to a 19-0 record culminating in an easy Super Bowl victory. I told them Peyton Manning would easily
win the MVP Award and break all scoring records.
Why did I say this? That’s simple: Their offensive line is just too strong—the best I’ve seen in decades—and their receivers are first rate. Pardon my football geekery, but this means there is no way to stop the Broncos. You can send 4 passrushers and watch Manning gaze for hours into an exhausted secondary that can’t cover great receivers forever. Or, you can send 6 passrushers and watch Manning throw to wide open targets happily racing across sparse backfields. Or, you can send 5, and enjoy a mixture of both miseries.
The conclusion? When facing this offense, it doesn’t matter what you do.
For a football junkie like me, this is boring viewing. It’s like watching Tiger Woods or Roger Federer in their primes, or the Chicago Bulls during Jordan’s reign. I mean, why watch at all? Game over.
Well, if you have a sick fascination with suffering (perhaps you enjoy daytime TV), then there’s a GREAT reason to watch the Broncos: You want to see the opposing sideline! Each week, they’ll start out unified,
but by the 3rd quarter, they’re throwing helmets and screaming at each other. This guy blew a coverage. That guy failed to seal the end against an outside run. Another guy blitzed too early, leaving Manning to toss a simple pass into his vacated zone (again, bear with me, non-football fans). When you have to play perfect just to compete, you can’t compete—and this inevitably leads to a sideline Blame Fest. Viewing these outbursts, I almost expect Jerry Springer’s henchmen to pull apart two women who slept with each
other’s boyfriend! It’s sad to watch, but strangely fascinating.
And now, back to politics.
The current budget battle over defunding Obamacare is a losing war against an unstoppable juggernaut.
Don’t get me wrong—I’m a “Defund It Now!” proponent, and Ted Cruz is my hero. But while those on our
sideline engage in a “Pro-Ted versus Anti-Ted” Blame Fest, they’re all missing the real question of blame: Who brought us to this point?
The answer is “All of us.” You heard me. All of us are to blame. You see that juggernaut on the opposite sideline? Unlike the Broncos, our unbeatable foe was built by us—and the sooner we face our mistakes, the sooner we’ll turn this game around. And make no mistake, we can turn this game around.
Allow me to assign blame for a few mistakes leading to our current misery. Here’s my Blame Fest:
1. The Establishment – By repeatedly marginalizing the Tea Party’s influence, some in GOP leadership have succeeded in deflating their base, thus providing Obama a red carpet for his White House return. Another disastrous “Establishment” move is backing serial compromisers like John McCain, when
better leaders were available in their primaries.
2. The Tea Party – My beloved movement has become more focused on division than winning. It really has. Over the past couple election cycles, very winnable seats were sacrificed by the Tea Party’s insistence upon running horrendous candidates (O’Donnell in Delaware, Maes in Colorado, Angle in Nevada, Miller in Alaska, etc.). These weren’t bad people, but they were bad candidates for their races (O’Donnell, for instance, would play well in western states).
Folks, if we deny Republicans in Washington the numbers they need to fight Obama, then we’ll become a bunch of beaten players yelling at each other during every loss. We must win elections—I repeat, WE MUST WIN ELECTIONS—to govern. And we can’t win by running candidates who don’t match the settings in which they are running.
Right now, no strategy will workbecause the Democrats hold too much power—and that problem has been made worse by both the Establishment and the Tea Party.
3. The Selfish Doomed Candidates – I’m speaking of candidates whose campaigns imploded because of scandals or disastrous comments. Think Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock, and Dan Maes. Why wouldn’t they step aside when their campaigns were melting down? Why? In God’s holy name, WHY????
I’ll tell you why: Because they were arrogant enough to convince themselves they still had a chance. Or worse yet, they just wanted the limelight a little bit longer. Whatever. The bottom line is, you can’t win when your players put their own interests ahead of the team. Thanks to the terrible selfishness of these doomed candidates, we lost even more seats and positions from which we could oppose Obamacare. They dug our hole even deeper.
4. John Roberts – This is the quintessential villain in all this. My goodness, this judge actually re-wrote the Obama team’s arguments for them after the fact in order to rescue them. Justice Kennedy—no friend to the Right—tore Roberts apart when penning his dissenting opinion.
I remember how some people told me the Roberts decision would help Mitt Romney. I stated emphatically that it would hurt Romney by granting legitimacy to Obama’s signature legislation. This is exactly what happened, as the polls swung Obama’s way. What a disaster.
I’m sometimes asked if there is one person in American leadership whom I detest more than Obama. I reply, “Yes! John Roberts!” In my view, there is no excuse for this awful human being. I really mean that. Rather than wasting our time attacking each other over “Defund” versus “Delay,” we should turn our wrath upon the man who truly deserves it—John Roberts. When I think of the week following his indefensible decision—a week in which I only managed a few fitful hours of sleep—I can only mutter one phrase about John Roberts: “He’s a monster.”
5. George Bush – Bush gave us John Roberts. Enough said.
So, what about the current blame fest going on in the Republican Party? Some blame Ted Cruz. Some blame John Boehner. Some blame Mitch McConnell. Everyone seems to have a current scapegoat, but none of these people actually put us in this position.
Folks, it’s time to blame ourselves for allowing these leaders to have so little power on The Hill. Rather than uniting to win, we divide to lose. Whether “Establishment” or “Tea Party,” we would rather seize power on the Titanic than build a winning movement and message that sails to victory.
We’re getting what we deserve. But this can change! The steps are simple:
1. Stop the “Pro-Cruz versus Anti-Cruz” Blame Fest! None of these people caused this problem, and no strategy is going to work right now.
2. Quit blaming Romney for Obama’s re-election. Yes, he struggled in a debate, but like those hopeless defenses facing the Broncos, Romney would have had to be perfect to win. Fact is, no matter who won our primary, masses of Republicans would have stayed home out of protest. We’re not too conservative or too moderate, people--we’re too divided.
3. On that note, unite! Rather than focus on differences, let’s focus on the central vision uniting us all—Individual Liberty. Or, in my words, “Choice.” Which groups do I love on the Right? ALL OF
THEM. And once we all adopt this mindset, we can turn our guns on the Left and win.
People, we’re on the losing sideline…for now. The other team is too strong. But this can change in 2014 if we realign our message around Individual Liberty. Fighting Control with Choice, we can inspire voters to recapture the lost freedoms they’ve forgotten. We can win them over.
But no one is inspired by our quarreling, circular firing squad. We must stop the Blame Fest.