George Will: "We Are Now Talking On Republican Terms" After "So-Called Defeat"

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CHRIS WALLACE: All right, I want to talk about one other thing and that is Republicans. Because one of the most striking aspects of this is how badly it seems to me, the Republican leadership judged their own membership, particularly in the House, how determined House Republicans, the Tea Party faction was to have this fight and continue this fight. Not to have this -- to show thing, all right, we'll defund ObamaCare and then when it's get lifted, we'll drop it. George, your sense of whether you think the leaders, McConnell and Boehner, can and will push back harder on their members this next time around?

GEORGE WILL: I think they will. I'm struck by how much the members have misjudged their leaders. The fact is they have extraordinary leverage. We are now talking entirely in Republican terms, in Republican vocabulary after this so-called defeat. No taxes, how much is the spending going to be cut? The federal workforce is being cut, discretionary domestic spending is being cut and this is all because of the much reviled Mitch McConnell getting basically on his own, the sequester two years ago.

WALLACE: Your thoughts?

BRIT HUME: And this is also better for Republicans on another level. The problem -- one of the problem with the Republican posture in this shutdown is not just that they got blame with the shutdown, which people as I've shown in the past, did not like, and it's also that the Republicans were not really for anything. They were against ObamaCare. That's what they were. No they did not. It is not clear that they devised one. This is a more positive development for entitlement reform. It may be retainable. And that puts them in a better light.

WALLACE: And we got less than a minute left. George, I mean the question is, Republicans can just say, you know what -- just like Obama did with the Bush tax cuts, we're going to expire at the end -- in beginning of the year, fine. No deal. We'll just let the law play out. We'll sequester cuts and cut spending $21 billion, done to what -- 967. And will fund you for that at this year. Do you think the Republican members in the House and the Senate are willing to go with that and forego this battle over ObamaCare and as a way to shut down the government?

WILL: I think they will because again, it is playing out entirely on their priorities, at their terms and in their vocabulary. So I think they are delighted to avoid another frontal charge against the entrenched forces of ObamaCare.

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