The Republican Party has historically been known for driving a hard bargain, especially since the Gingrich-led takeover in 1994. Personality tests show that conservatives are more prone to standing for principles, and less into compromise and deal-making than liberals, and this is how the negotiations between the Democratic and Republican Party tend to shake out.
But what happens when the Republican Party gets Republican Partied? We’re finding out in real time. There are senators who are comparably conservative to Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) on a policy level, but no one in the Republican Party is as conservative as Cruz in the political sense. Cruz, emboldened by the super conservative young guns in the House, who passed a bill to avert a government shutdown and defund Obamacare, is digging in his heels in the Senate, much to the chagrin of fellow members of the Republican Party.
Republican Party leadership sees the need to negotiate with Democrats and President Obama, who view the House bill as a nonstarter. Senate Democrats will attempt to amend the House bill to strip out the part about defunding Obamacare, but Cruz is doing everything he can to stand in the way.
"I believe we should stand our ground," Cruz told Fox News Sunday. That’s been the veritable motto of the Republican Party for decades, but Cruz is part of a new breed of Republicans that never stops standing their ground, even when they have managed to create a strong negotiating position. In short Cruz is to the Republican Party what the Republican Party is to the Democrats.
How does this all end? Cruz isn’t concerned with that. He wants to stand for his principles (namely the principle of being anti-Obamacare) and see what happens. That makes it all the more likely we are headed for a government shutdown, for which the Republican Party will likely be blamed. In reality it’s not the whole party that’s sending us toward shutdown. It’s the wing of the GOP that’s giving the Republican Party the Republican Party treatment.