You could almost (emphasis on ‘amost’) feel sorry for Senator Ted Cruz. Having failed miserably in an attempt to marshall his fellow Republicans in an effort to defund the Affordable Healthcare Act known as Obamacare, the junior senator from Texas staged a last-ditch attempt on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning to rally the troops with a marathon speech on the Senate floor, including topics ranging from the impact of the new law to Dr. Seuss.
The speech was designed to exhibit defiance on behalf of Cruz and his handful of Tea Party cronies. But ironically, it only confirmed that his kamikaze-like endeavor has failed.
It also demonstrated the schizophrenic behavior of Cruz over the bill: he vocally supported a House measure that would continue government funding at the current level and defund Obamacare, but then urged Republican senators to block the same bill over what he knew to be the inevitable outcome: that Majority Leader Harry Reid would strip the bill of the language calling for the defunding of Obamacare.
Earlier this week, Fox News host Chris Wallace revealed that he had been sent opposition research on Cruz by “senior Republicans” furious with his behavior over the attempted defunding of Obamacare. However, any pretense of anonymity was dropped last night as Minority Leader Mitch McConnel (R-KY) was quoted as saying:
“We’d all be hard-pressed to explain why we were opposed to a bill we were in favor of. And invoking cloture that defunds ObamaCare, doesn’t raise taxes, and respects the Budget Control Act strikes me as a no-brainer.”
Senator John McCain (R-AZ) admitted it would be “a cold day in Arizona” when Obamacare was defunded.
Cruz has seen the latest polling. Even Fox News has been quoting it imploring senior Republicans and conservative opinion-makers to drop this pathological obsession with defunding Obamacare, since every opinion poll shows that any shutdown of federal services will be blamed squarely on the GOP. But then, when was the last time reality trumped ideology for these guys?
The bedtime reading of ‘Green Eggs and Ham’, however, was not the most noteworthy moment of the evening. That came when one of Cruz’s few allies, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, claimed that all the Tea Party and reactionary Republicans were asking for was “a dialogue” over Obamacare. He went on to ask, “How do we get the dialogue unless somebody’s willing to stand up and say enough is enough?”
I will offer a simple thought process and I trust the readers will tell me if I have phrased it right: Is it not revoltingly hypocritical of Senator Paul to claim that the GOP has somehow been forced into this extreme action over Obamacare, when they are the ones who are in effect holding a legislative gun to the nation’s head and threatening to force a complete government shutdown unless they get their way and the bill is repealed?
If anyone is going to stand up and say “enough is enough,” I can assure the senators from Texas and Kentucky that it is going to be President Obama on behalf of all decent Americans who will not tolerate being spoken to in this tone of voice for much longer.