Believe It or Not, the GOP Is Winning The whole policy discussion is still being held on their terms By Kevin Spak, Newser Staff Posted Oct 21, 2013 1:47 PM CDT 181 comments Comments In this Oct. 16, 2013, file photo Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, talks to reporters on Capitol Hill. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File) (Newser) – Republicans may look like they're cleaning egg off their face right now. "House Republicans have suffered a huge tactical defeat of their own devising," writes George Packer at the New Yorker. "But in a larger sense, the Republicans are winning, and have been for the past three years, if not the past 30." Yes, their poll numbers are down, and they're "resorting to increasingly anti-majoritarian means—gerrymandering, filibuster abuse, voter suppression," and so forth—to get their way. But the policy discussion is still taking place on their terms. Say what you will about Ted Cruz, "but lately he's been on the offensive far more than the White House has." Even now, Washington remains fixated on cutting spending, not boosting growth. The sequester cuts remain in place, crippling law enforcement, regulators, and certain health care services. "It would be naïve to think that intransigent Republicans don't regard these consequences of their actions with indifference, if not outright pleasure." They believe government is the problem, and "have been doing everything they possibly can to make it true." Click for Packer's full column.