Congressman Ed Royce, (R-Fullerton) stuck to his guns and voted “No” on a measure to temporarily raise the debt ceiling and fund the federal government this week. House Speaker John Boehner acknowledged that Republicans had lost, but said they had “fought the good fight.” Unlike many of his fellow Republicans, who joined Democrats in voting to end the government shutdown, Mr. Royce stayed true to his course, refusing to abandon his position that cutting off funds to the federal government was better than delivering health care to poor people.
And why should he? Ed Royce knows what the National Rifle Association knows. When faced with a seemingly insurmountable wall of public opinion against your position, don’t compromise. Instead, double down! Hold on to your position for dear life and run with it as long as you possibly can, even if it looks like you’re running straight toward a cliff. It worked for the NRA. Even after school children were slaughtered in their classrooms, the NRA defeated measures to control dangerous weapons by threatening lawmakers with primary challenges in the next election cycle.
Ed Royce, who received an “A” rating from the NRA, surely noticed that giving in to reasonable public sentiment was not the way to victory in the end. His funders, real estate, financial services, defense, and petroleum industries, know that he’s a better bet for them than anyone likely to challenge him (that would be no one). They will surely congratulate him for not giving in to the defeatist thinking that seduced some of his party to restore government funding to, among others, those who regulate their businesses.