This is going to be a rough, shoot from the hip post about culture, politics and communication. You might want to duck. I've been caught up the past couple of days with the effort to Defund Obamacare. Sen. Ted Cruz gave a 21 hour and 19 minute speech from the floor of the Senate in an effort to draw attention to the GOPs efforts to defund Obamacare. It was a bold move and it is doesn't appear like Sen Cruz is done fighting. He has communicated that he is willing to filibuster a vote later in the week regarding the same issue.
The interesting part of the story is the pushback that Sen. Cruz is getting from his fellow Republican Senators. The contingency opposing Sen. Cruz is afraid that Republicans will be accused of shutting down the government. They argue that Republicans will be vulnerable to getting a public black eye from the Democrats leading to defeat at the poles in 2014. Sen. Cruz believes that every effort must be made to shipwreck Obamacare before it is implemented on October 1st. His opponents are willing to allow Obamacare to be funded with the hope that they will regain a majority in the Senate after the 2014 election. (Mind you, Obama will still be in office for two more years and would have veto power.)
This has been an extremely interested story to watch unfold. Sen. Cruz is making a very bold move that escalates the conflict. Those who don't agree with Sen. Cruz are hopping to appease Democrats and beat them at the polls next year.
Here is what I think...
Most of the current Senate Republicans that are opposing Sen. Cruz don't have good ideas on how to lead from the position of a minority. Republicans lost in 2012 and are acting like losers. Sen. Cruz is not willing to fit into that mold.
Thus far I have not seen unified leadership from the Republican senators now in office. Unfortunately this type of weak leadership has been the trend among Republicans for the past decade. Somehow Republicans have managed to act like losers even when they had the majority.
One of the greatest failures of the Republican party is communication. They whine and cry about how the mainstream media does not give them a fair shake or does not accurately portray Obama's failed policies. But these same Senators are unwilling to learn new communication techniques. Their thinking is along the lines of "Oh well, we can't get the mainstream media to treat us fair and square so we are just going to act like losers." From what I can tell these same Republican Senators plan to act like losers until 2014 with the hope that Democrats will loose at the polls.
In other words the Republicans are hoping to win in the future on the failure of Democrats. What kind of strategy is that? Who ever wants to win a game because your opponent played poorly? That is not the type a leadership I want to vote for.
I believe this is the time to recognize that the old rules of communication that in large part hinged off of the mainstream media have changed. There are a wealth of new methods to communicate available to these Senators.
A few minutes ago I jumped on Facebook and saw a link to a Jon Stewart piece being shared by three or four different friends. Mind you, Jon Stewart is a big liberal who mocks God, but he was able to create a video clip that connected with my conservative Christian friends and excited them enough to repost the video. This is a perfect example of how to communicate a point to a large demographic of culture. Republicans (and Christians) could learn a lot from these types of viral videos.
Sen. Cruz has manage to create a 24 hour narrative within the media. His bold initiative has given Republicans an opportunity to communicate some very important truths about Obamacare. This window of opportunity will remain open the rest of the week and into the weekend talk shows if Republicans take a strong stand. Unfortunately it looks like Sen. McCain and Sen. McConnell are going to to put on an exhibition on how to be losers.