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Who, Aside From Obama, Was the Biggest Winner of 2013?

Boehner Cruz McConnell
How can we say President Obama was both the biggest loser AND biggest winner of 2013 you ask?


When the big votes in Congress came, the establishment Republican leadership caved-in and Obama and his radical liberal allies on Capitol Hill won the vote to grow the government, and the spending, deficit and debt that goes with an ever-expanding entitlement state.

So, does that mean that conservatives who stood fast and fought for limited government constitutional principles were the biggest losers?

Not necessarily. 

If you look at history, the causes of conservatism and conservative governance have often advanced in the aftermath of Republican defeats.

Such defeats energize the grassroots, help clear-out deadwood and bring forward new conservative leadership, and voters quickly look for change (and vote for it if it is actually offered) after they get a taste of liberal over reach, as they did in 1994 and 2010.

So, please tell us what you think by voting in our biggest winner of 2013 poll.

Did conservatives win by losing in 2013, or were the fights over funding ObamaCare, spending and the debt ceiling the devastating losses the media and establishment Republicans say they were.

Here, in no special order, is our list of nominees for “the biggest winner, aside from Obama, of 2013:

Speaker of the House John Boehner: Speaker Boehner has become notorious for walking away from the conservative voters who gave him a Republican majority in 2010, and made him Speaker, in favor of Big Government and growing spending, the deficit and debt.  Boehner’s most notable legislative achievements in the First Session of the 113th Congress were all achieved by losing a substantial number of the members of his own House Republican Conference. Under Boehner, the notion that the Republican’s legislative agenda should require the support of “the majority of the majority” has been turned on its head. However, Washington’s inside elite still consider Boehner to be the victor in the ongoing war between the Republican establishment and limited government constitutional conservatives.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz and the Tea Party: As the government shutdown over the defunding of ObamaCare was ending due to the cave-in of House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell the establishment media branded the leading proponent of the defund ObamaCare strategy, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, as the loser of the fight. When poll numbers came out showing that Capitol Hill Republicans were at new lows the establishment media blamed Cruz and once again claimed that Cruz had lost. However, the millions of grassroots conservative voters who expressed their opposition to ObamaCare and wanted the government shut down until ObamaCare was defunded begged to differ. Cruz almost singlehandedly re-energized the Tea Party movement and became the model for a new crop of boat-rocking limited government constitutional candidates who are bent on challenging the Republican establishment and finishing the work the Tea Party started in 2009 and 2010.

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida: The “Gang of Eight” amnesty for illegal aliens passed the Senate and likely would pass the House if the Republican leadership has its way. By that standard, Senator Marco Rubio is a big winner. However, our non-scientific CHQ Republican presidential primary straw poll charted the precipitous fall of Rubio’s presidential aspirations. In the weeks leading up to his announcement that he was joining the “Gang of Eight” and backing a bill to grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens living in the United States, Rubio was at the top of the list of 2016 Republican presidential aspirants. When he announced he was supporting amnesty he immediately dropped out of the top five, and when the details of the Gang of Eight bill became known, such as its multi-million dollar slush fund for hard left organizations, like La Raza, weeks began to pass before Rubio even garnered one vote.  Does this mean Rubio lost or won when his amnesty bill passed the Senate?   

Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell: Establishment Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is the architect of two of the biggest establishment “victories” on spending: the Budget Control Act of 2011 and the November 2012 deal to end the government shutdown over ObamaCare and the budget. We think McConnell’s deal-making and compromising have diluted the Republican brand to the point that, rather than being the Party of less government and fiscal responsibility, the GOP’s Capitol Hill brand is now that of the Party of caving-in and protecting incumbents. However, he keeps winning the votes, despite the opposition of a principled few in his own Senate Republican Conference. 

New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie: Governor Christie’s re-election in strongly Democratic New Jersey has made him the new darling of Washington’s establishment Republican insiders. And on paper, Christie’s victory over a Democratic candidate that was all but abandoned by her own Party looks pretty remarkable. The problem for those establishment Republicans who are all ready to jump on the “Christie for President” bandwagon is that New Jersey is, at best, an outlier in Republican politics. Christie’s victory was achieved by opposing or giving up on conservative principles in the same form of “bipartisanship” that liberals always get when establishment Republicans win – government and the entitlement state grow at a slightly slower pace. Governor Christie’s 61% tally in the 2013 election was indeed a remarkable victory, but when he  signed the New Jersey legislation to grant in-state tuition to illegal aliens he made himself a pretty hard sell in those states that comprise the majority of the Republican electoral map.

Karl Rove and the Republican Establishment: In any logical universe Karl Rove would have been all but finished as a political strategist after the disastrous results he achieved in 2012 – but donors keep giving and Rove and his allies keep evolving their strategies to preserve the power of Big Government establishment Republicans. Despite the drumbeat of principled opposition from the limited government constitutional conservative grassroots the national Republican Party, and its infrastructure and war chest, remain firmly in the hands of a small group of elite Washington insiders. For surviving his disastrous defeats in 2012, and continuing to remain the go-to political guru of the Republican establishment Rove must rank as one of the big winners of 2013.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan: Like his patron, Speaker John Boehner, Ryan has voted “YES” and been on the winning side of all of the big budget battles of the past two years. Instead of using the prestige he gained as the 2012 vice presidential nominee to advance the conservative agenda Ryan has made it clear that he is casting his lot with the Republican establishment. In negotiating the growth of spending, deficit and debt in the Ryan – Murray budget deal, and in his embrace of amnesty for illegal aliens, Paul Ryan, like Marco Rubio, has seen his stock with conservatives fall precipitously. However, Ryan looks to gain the Chairmanship of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee and remain one of the most visible establishment Republicans on Capitol Hill.

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