It’s a familiar ritual in Washington every time a party loses a battle or a candidate loses an election. Only this time, it could lead to something more serious: A split in the Republican Party.
The most severe recriminations are aimed at the Tea Party. Why did they take on a fight they were certain to lose? And without any endgame or exit strategy? Don’t they understand how politics works?
Here’s the answer: No.
Or rather, they do understand how politics works — and they reject it. The United States has a Constitution that divides power. The only way anything gets done is through deal-making and compromise. It’s been that way for 225 years. (See the movie Lincoln for a good example).
The Tea Party doesn’t play by those rules. To them, compromise means selling out. They won’t make deals. It’s got to be either victory or defeat. In this case, it was defeat.
But it was a glorious defeat, and they are proud of it. It was their Alamo. “We’re going to start this all over again,” Representative John Fleming (R-La.) told the New York Times. Representative Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) said to the Washington Post, “We are waiting around for another battle over Obamacare.” After all, six weeks after the Alamo disaster, the Texas army routed the Mexicans at the Battle of San Jacinto. Their battle cry: “Remember the Alamo.”