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Cruz Control Runs Government Adrift

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For years we’ve heard about the media being biased toward the left, but what we are seeing now is different: The media is being biased toward being non-biased (except for Fox News, which is taking its own right-leaning point of view even farther right). CNN, MSNBC, and other left-leaning or centrist sources are all talking about the current government shutdown as if it is the result of errors and arrogance on both sides.

cc licensed, credit to Gage Skidmore

cc licensed, credit to Gage Skidmore

This is patently false.

One side of the debate, or let me clarify, the tantrum – the Republican side – lost in every way possible, and now they are turning the lights off for the entire country until they get their way. The GOP ran in the 2012 elections on a number of platform points, but their main one was the destruction of Obamacare. This was a bullet point for every candidate from the top down on the right and the far-right. So when they found themselves not only not in the White House, but lower in number in both houses of Congress, you would think they would recognize the opinion of the voting public. Nope, not in the least.

They claimed fraud (leading to the continued and illogical push for extreme voter-ID laws), they claimed people were dependent on and addicted to government handouts, and one of the most ridiculous claims was voter intimidation by folks like the New Black Panther party.

Instead of looking at their loss as a teaching moment, they dug even deeper into the fever swamp for more and more dangerous ideas to try to get their way. They took Obamacare to the Supreme Court to have it ruled unconstitutional. That failed as well (we can debate the finer points of how it failed, but essentially it did.) So this landmark law from the Democrats passed the House and Senate originally, was a winning platform for the 2012 election and was found valid by the Supreme Court.

Time to give in? The GOP says no. Now their goal is to defund the health care law entirely and they are shutting the government down to do so. You might notice I used the name of Senator Ted Cruz in the title and that’s because he is the spotlight of this suicidal campaign from the far right. The Tea Party golden child is grandstanding his way not to greatness but to political infamy by leading this charge. He attempted to back-pedal his way out of it after the House made its first move, but his own followers and other fanatical folks in the House screamed out furious Twitter howls at him and the entire GOP Senate caucus.

This led Cruz to conceive of his incredibly useless and theatrical 21-hour speech on the floor of the Senate. He had to win back those folks who felt he had thrown in the towel without a fight, and win them back he did. Make no mistake about it, without Ted Cruz there would be no one on the right stupid enough and powerful enough to cross the red line of a government shutdown. Even Rand Paul would have backed down before that happened (no matter his current support for Cruz). Senator Mike Lee may be another loud voice in this fight, but he is easily second fiddle to Cruz and wouldn’t have the gravitas to hold this all together.

With that all being said, you can see how this was not a two-party shutdown in any way. This was and continues to be a one-party fiasco led by temperamental, childish power brokers who are looking out for one thing and one thing only: the name on that cushy seat in their office. As for Cruz, he recently apologized to WWII veterans for using a historic instance of their suffering as a comparison tool in a recent Senate floor rant. Well maybe he should apologize to the whole country now for using all of our suffering to further his own political fortunes.

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About Luke Goldstein

A writer, movie junkie and political nerd. Basically anything that tells a good story is enthralling to me.
  • bliffle

    Good article.

  • bliffle

    This rule-or-ruin tactic by the radical right threatens to bring the nation down by holding the nation ransom while angry politicians throw temper tantrums.

    • http://www.themotleystew.com/ The Motley Stew

      Absolutely true. Governing by crisis, as much as it is a talking point
      line right now, still accurately describes the GOP strategy for getting
      the concessions they want. It’s a terrible way to govern and an even
      more terrible way to prove your party is capable of leading.

  • Dr Joseph S Maresca

    Obamacare needs to stand or fall on its own! The Supreme Court affirmed the tax penalty part of the legislation. This tax penalty will be hugely unpopular when the public has to pay fines. Personally, I’d rather see an excess consumption tax to pay for the Obamacare, as well as the review board appointments being made internal to the HHS. Many people still favor the single payor plan because of the shear simplicity of that system and the prospect of cutting out middlemen. Others have suggested that the Congress be governed by the Obamacare. That way, any impracticalities in the way the system operates will be corrected sooner.

  • bliffle

    If the socialists had a minority party that threatened USA security and stability with a stunt like this, the rightists would have them up on charges of treason.