Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Speaker John Boehner’s valiant efforts to defund or delay Obamacare — even using the federal government funding resolution as leverage — will no doubt fail. They don’t have the votes to make it happen — and they don’t have the White House.

Further, as Newt Gingrich once learned, more people will blame the Republicans for the shutdown than the Democrats. Sen. Harry Reid, D- Nev., and the president must publicly show great concern over the shutdown but are privately loving the spectacle — watching the Republicans kill themselves politically in front of the entire world.

What Sen. Lee is doing virtually assures that Republicans will not be taken seriously in the next election. And, ironically, that assures that Obamacare will be with us forever. Sen. Lee is no doubt a very smart guy. But his actions show he is not politically skilled. Instead of leveraging the government shutdown to alter Obamacare, the plan should be to build support and respect for Republican ideas on an alternative plan — one that can get Republicans elected next election. As a lifelong Republican myself, I certainly don’t think we need any more Democrats in Washington — but it is quite clear that we do need different Republicans.

James Ferrin