Looking back at the shutdown showdown and the intraparty rift it exposed among Republicans, Rich Lowry and Ramesh Ponnuru make the case for political prudence. They call their essay “Against despair.”
In taking issue with Senators Cruz and Lee on the shutdown showdown, Lowry and Ponnuru take the high road. I think that the essay makes some elementary and obvious points well. The essay is worth reading and I commend it to your attention.
In my view, the editors of National Review have special standing to take issue with Senator Cruz and his supporters in the shutdown showdown. As Lowry and Ponnuru recall, National Review supported Senator Cruz when he was a relative unknown facing off against an established party figure for endorsement as the party’s nominee to succeed Kay Bailey Hutchison. The editors of NR put Cruz on the cover of the magazine and named him “the next great conservative hope” (above). Politico rightly characterized the NR cover as “a priceless gift in a competitive GOP primary.”
In an abusive response, Erick Erickson takes issue with Lowry and Ponnuru. Erickson’s response illustrates one of the phenomena that Lowry and Ponnuru decry in Cruz’s leadership. Erickson makes some good points, but I don’t think his response reflects well on him. He doesn’t make much of an argument. (Datechguy makes the case for Cruz without the personal abuse.) Erickson’s response nevertheless provides a useful counterpoint to Lowry and Ponnuru for readers seeking to think through the strategy of the conservative movement and the tactics calculated to move us in the direction of limited government.