Stabbed In The Back


So far Republicans picking through the rubble of the shutdown debacle have identified two main culprits for their defeat: the media and moderates within their ranks.

The second of those is the richest because the lesson learned for these Republicans isn’t that they overreached, it’s that they didn’t go far enough. A lack of ideological purity and true commitment to the cause is what sank Republicans. If they had only held together tighter, then Obama and the Democrats would have blinked. It’s an echo of post-election analysis in 2008 and 2012. If only John McCain and Mitt Romney had been more conservative, the White House would have gone Republican, too.

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David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.