RICHMOND

Now that the fractious children in Washington have temporarily stopped their squabbling, it is time to take a breath and reassess.

All the intelligent observers believe that the Republican Party has damaged itself in its attempt to frighten President Barack Obama into backing down on his health plan. Obamacare is now one of the laws of the land going through the steps of making itself viable in reality rather than conjecture. This has been one of Obama's greatest personal achievements and anybody who thought he might fold in this confrontation wasn't thinking clearly.

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Many major Republicans, notably Sen. John McCain, also thought their party came out badly in the confrontation and said so. Both Democrats and Republicans blamed the tea party members for this defeat and many articles were written stating or sometimes asking, whether this marked the end of this splinter of the Republican Party.

However, anybody who has read the statements of tea party members, especially the leading figures, were puzzled to find that it wasn't a defeat, it was victory all round and wait till next time.

Defiant to the end, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas continued spouting his rubbish just before the House voted to keep the government going for at least a few more weeks. The man is relentless in his attacks on a program that will possibly better the lives of millions of people who have no health insurance now.


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It will take months, possibly a few years, before the kinks are worked out, people signed up, and we can see what works, what doesn't, and how much it is going to cost. Medicare is somehow getting by and Obamacare just might follow its example.

Next to Cruz, we have a woman who has reached the status of an Old Reliable, Sarah Palin. She led the small contingent who somehow considered themselves part of the "Million Vet March on the Memorials," because the government had shut down, among other parks, the memorial dedicated to the veterans of World War II. The park rangers had been furloughed as a result of the Republican shutdown.

Sarah said: "Our vets have proven that they are not timid, so we will not be timid in calling out any who would use our military, our vets, as pawns in a political game." That's a perfect example of irony.

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But one of the bigger stars of the show was a man named Michael Ashmore of Hooks, Texas. He marched with the group from the memorial to the White House where he waved a Confederate flag to show his defiance of our black president. An even bigger star was a man named Larry Klayman, founder of the reactionary Freedom Watch, who said the following, and I kid you not: "...call upon all of you to wage a second American nonviolent revolution, to use civil disobedience, and to demand that this president leave town, to get up, to put the Quran down, to get up off his knees, and to figuratively come out with his hands up."

Oh, by the way, Sen. Ted Cruz trailed along with this group.

Milton Bass is a regular Eagle
contributor.