Tea Party Drags GOP To Defeat And Business Execs Become Wary

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Has Cruz been only temporarily tamed?

[Publisher's Commentary]

The fallout from the suicidal Tea Party Republicans' charge at Obamacare includes the decisive victory by Cory Booker over Steve Lonegan in New Jersey's U.S. Senate race and now The Wall Street Journal reports that business executives are re-examining relations with the party.

One top executive told The Journal that business's relationship with the GOP "is going to need a retooling."

Booker's victory, winning 55% of the vote mirrors the recent  NBC/Wall Street Journal's poll which found that 53% of Americans blamed the Republican party for the government shutdown.

The Tea Party Republicans, and this includes senators Cruz and failed candidate Lonegan, have now been clearly identified as extremists who put their myopic interests ahead of the well-being of the country.

The federal government was shut down for 16 days and the nation was heading towards defaulting on some debt obligations had the debt ceiling not been suspended.

Both Cruz,  Lonegan, and hundreds of Republican lawmakers  supported this reckless onslaught against the well-being of average Americans.

Yesterday after his defeat in New Jersey, a still-clueless Lonegan said: "Unfortunately, and for whatever reason, the message that we delivered together with so much energy and so much passion did not win the day."

Booker, on the other hand, correctly observed: "Here in New Jersey, more than 1 million people rejected cynicism and came out on a Wednesday, not in November but in the middle of October."

Given the national disaster created by Tea Party Republicans, Lonegan's probably damaged his prospects by inviting two notorious and divisive politic figures Sarah Palin and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky to campaign on his behalf.

As The Wall Street Journal reports today: "Many voters Wednesday said they supported Mr. Booker out of concern that Mr. Lonegan would cause more gridlock. Mr. Lonegan supported House Republicans whose push to defund President Barack Obama's national health-care law received blame for pushing the nation to the brink of a debt default."

In a separate story, "Business Voices Frustration With GOP," The Journal reports that business executives also blame Tea Party Republicans for the debacle and that there could be consequences for the Republican party.

Business leaders said they would support moderate Republicans against Tea Party candidates.

"Many business executives say they were dismayed that some Republicans didn't heed their warnings that closing the government and risking default would hurt the U.S. economy," reports The Wall Street Journal.

Elsewhere The Journal reports: "The episode has prompted top business lobby groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, to consider taking sides in Republican primaries next year in hopes of replacing tea-party conservatives with more business-friendly pragmatists."

Bruce Josten, a top lobbyist for The Chamber of Commerce is said to have told Members of Congress who supported a government shutdown that it was "just plain stupid."

Mark Thierer, chairman and CEO of Catamaran Corp., a major pharmacy-benefit manager, is quoted by The Journal saying: "I am not going to give up on the Republican Party—I am going to encourage moderation."

On the other hand, reports The Journal, FreedomWorks, which supports Tea-party candidates, had urged lawmakers to vote "no."

Yesterday's agreement provides temporary relief only until the new year.

Did the GOP learn anything from the Cruz-inspired debacle and will there be a more mature approach to negotiations for longer term solutions going into the new year?

That's a question that only the GOP can answer. The Party's performance does not inspire confidence.

Voters will also remember, judging by the outcome yesterday of New Jersey's U.S. Senate race.



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