I’m pretty sure Sen. Ted Cruz, the tea party flavor of the month, never thought it would go this far when he demanded a government shut down if Obamacare wasn’t defunded.
Cruz probably hoped he could ride the right wing media gravy train long enough to become a household name in the run up to his presidential bid in 2016, then jump off the locomotive just before it plummeted off the fiscal cliff.
Cruz got the recognition he wanted, alright, but he should have been careful what he wished for.
The cliff is just up yonder ’round the bend and the Texas “whacko-bird” (John McCain’s words, not mine) is still at the controls of this crazy train. If it indeed crashes - and it looks for all the world like that’s going to happen next Tuesday - Republicans will have a lot of ’splainin’ to do come the midterm elections.
I love all the tea party chatter about Cruz and his pals, Sen. Mike Lee and Sen. Rand Paul, being some kind of patriotic heroes, standing up for principle and doing what the Founding Fathers would do.
This is utter nonsense. The Founders compromised, found common ground, gave a little to get a little, and sought agreeable disagreement. Above all, they respected the rule of law and Obamacare is, undeniably, the law of the land.
Barack Obama campaigned on healthcare reform in 2008 and it was a major reason why he was elected president. Obamacare was passed by the House and Senate, signed into law by the president, upheld by the Supreme Court, and re-litigated in the 2012 election during which Mitt Romney staked his candidacy on repealing Obama’s signature legislation – and lost.
Cruz abhors this Constitutional process. He wants to circumvent it, not because he thinks it will be bad for the country. On the contrary; as his buddy Mike Lee told Rush Limbaugh, the reason to kill Obamacare is “because people will like it.”
So Cruz and crew are frantically working on behalf of the health insurance industry, which stands to lose if Americans win because they like Obamacare.
This also explains why Gov. Nathan Deal has failed to implement Medicaid expansion and set up a state-run health insurance exchange in which insurers would be forced to compete for the business of Georgia’s two million uninsured.
A government shutdown will prove a pyrrhic victory for Cruz and the tea party. As in 1995-1996, his party, including those Republicans who think Cruz is nuts, will be blasted by voters for letting it happen and the GOP will pay for it at the polls a year from now.
When the government re-starts operations after a week or so and Obamacare is funded despite all of Cruz’s machinations, he’ll finally be relegated to the GOP’s back bench where he belongs.