After Cruz Has Said His Piece . . .

danceswithvowels: I think Cruz is fighting the last possible battle. After this, we’re likely done. Unless you get a veto-overriding Congress, your next shot at repeal will be to win the Senate and Whitehouse, which will be after Obamacare’s been in place for 3 years, minimum. And if you think there would be screaming about a govt shutdown now, how much steely spine will be needed for “taking away poor people’s health insurance” by shutting down the exchanges in a repeal? Not to mention, you can’t legislatively undo years of damage.

Help me out — I’m ready to grasp whatever straws you’ve got handy … · 19 minutes ago

Unlike Troy and many others, I think that there is a point to Ted Cruz’ grandstanding and to what the House Republicans did when they sent up a budget that does not include funding for Obamacare. Obamacare is about to go into effect; and, as one Democratic Senator acknowledged not all that long ago, it really is going to be a train-wreck.

Corporations are going to drop their healthcare coverage. Insurance costs are going to soar. People who are working full-time will soon discover that they have part-time jobs. This has already begun, and the unions are screaming bloody murder. The Longshoreman have walked out of the AFL-CIO. All hell is going to break loose.

What the hearties in the House are doing — and what Ted Cruz is doing — is signaling to the discontented that there really is another way. They can vote Republican in 2014; and, if they do so big time, there will be a correction of course.

The leadership of the Republican Party hates this. Like Jeb Bush in early 2009, they want “to get beyond Reagan.” They want to surrender on immigration; they have designed a Republican healthcare bill that is little more than Romneycare writ large; and they desperately want to make nice with the Democrats. They do not really want a change of course. They merely want to take their turn as managers of the administrative entitlements state. They want to take advantage of discontent without having to commit themselves to a reduction in the size and scope of the government.

If they hate Ted Cruz — if behind the scenes they are feeding the media attacks on him — it is because he is threatening to throw a monkey wrench into the works. They hated the Tea Party. Initially, in 2009, they tried to dismiss it and get on with the process of surrendering to the Democrats on the healthcare question; and then, in August 2009, all hell broke loose in the town meetings, and Charles Grassley and the rest of them found that they had to back off. The Republican tide of 2010 kept them cornered, but the Tea Party folks did not have a plausible candidate to run for the nomination in 2012 and the whole thing subsided. Now the regulars are once again fully in charge — and along comes this maniac Cruz who threatens to revive the fervor of the Tea Party and force the Republicans to move in the direction of smaller government.

  1. Illiniguy

    As I said in Clark’s post below, if Cruz fails, we should just stand idly by and watch the whole thing collapse. By trying to delay it, we’d probably end up perpetuating it.

  2. RedRules

    We cannot let this new entitlement settle into place, no matter what. Cruz is fighting the good fight here. It’s a weird fight, but this is what we get for continually electing the same people into government! There are so many principled Conservatives out there that actually respect the original meaning of the Constitution, but they can’t be heard, and therefore voted into office. 

  3. Standfast
    Paul A. Rahe

    Now the regulars are once again fully in charge — and along comes this maniac Cruz who threatens to revive the fervor of the Tea Party and force the Republicans to move in the direction of smaller government. · · 12 minutes ago

    Finally, someone who sees it the way I do.   I was really disheartened when I read Thomas Sowell’s piece that defunding was nothing more than a distraction.  Thanks, once again, for your insight.

    If the Republicans submarine Cruz, then I think it is time for a third party.  It may cost several election cycles, but I think it would be worth it in the long run.   There isn’t, after all, much different between Statism and Statism Lite.

    I am sick of Copperhead Republicans.

  4. Spin

    I don’t understand what we are meant to do.  “Let’s not have this fight right now”, we are told.  But then tomorrow we’ll be told the Republicans are spineless and won’t stand up to the Democrats.  Someone takes a stand and they are vilified.

    Here’s what I know:  the Democrats lied to get this legislation through.  They lied about who Bush was.  Then they lied to make it seem like McCain was the same as Bush.  Then they lied about who Obama was.  Then they lied about what the Affordable Care Act was.  They bribed legislators  to get them to vote for it.  They bribed unions to get them to drive support for Democrats among their members.  So, basically, they cheated.  But no one has the stones to say they cheated.  Except for a few who now stand up and say “Enough!”  I’ve just about had it.  I really don’t know what to do.  I’m so frustrated I could slap someone.  But I don’t know who to slap.  

  5. BrentB67

    Amen. A voice of reason in a semi progressive wilderness.

  6. rico
    Paul A. Rahe

    What the hearties in the House are doing — and what Ted Cruz is doing — is signaling to the discontented that there really is another way. They can vote Republican in 2014; and, if they do so big time, there will be a correction of course.

    I firmly believe that this is what Senator Cruz is thinking. I am surprised by the adamacy from many on the right that his stand is somehow harmful to Republicans (as opposed to the Republican establishment). The venom seems far too great for this disagreement to be merely a disagreement over tactics.

  7. Diogenes

    Seems like we have 2 kinds of Republicans in Washington today–those who look upon getting to Washington as the ultimate goal and those who see getting there as merely as step on the road to real change. 

    I’m sick of supporting wimpy Republicans just to see them surrender at the drop of a hat.  Have some guts, for cryin’ out loud!  You might lose a few battles, but people will remember that you actually put up a fight.  Try it–you might just be surprised.

  8. Brian

    Very much agree with you Paul.  Also, I think the Republicans are being typically bad at politics and not controlling or influencing optics.  Cruz is doing several things at once:  He is standing out as a leader to the public, he is making it clear who OWNS obamacare and who is against it (very key), and he is fighting the important fight against the old replublican guard who, you rightly noted earlier, would do nothing to shrink government, regulations, or the tax code if given complete power.

  9. Byron Horatio

    If we’re doomed to go down in flames as a country as I believe, then lets at least put on a good show before the end and stand up to the Caesars like Cato, doomed to die for liberty. I applaud Cruz.

  10. WI Con

    Prof. Rahe, so very heartening to have someone of your stature and influence speak up for us. As I watch this unfold, I’m more convinced that the GOP Establishment were well aware of the IRS targeting of Tea Party Groups was known and nothing was done because they thought Romney & Co. Would win and signal an end to Tea Party/Grass Roots tactics. Note that though this started in 2009, Congressional inquiries only started after Romney’s loss (‘need to throw the Rubes some red meat. Looks like we’ll need them in2014′). If they force immigration on us in it’s current, flawed form, that’s it for me.

  11. Matthew Gilley

    At least someone on here doesn’t regard me as a buck toothed jerk!

  12. mask

    Preach it brother!

  13. Hartmann von Aue
    Byron Horatio: If we’re doomed to go down in flames as a country as I believe, then lets at least put on a good show before the end and stand up to the Caesars like Cato, doomed to die for liberty. I applaud Cruz. · 14 minutes ago

    This “stunt” has made it clear to me that I voted for the right man. It also made me determined to burn Jeb Bush and Karl Rove in effigy if the don’t shut their festering gobs and soon.

  14. Larry3435

    Let’s be clear about something.  There is no such thing as “defunding” Obamacare.  They only thing in Obamacare that requires “funding” is the subsidies.  That also happens to be the only aspect of the law that is actually popular on a stand-alone basis.

    It seems to me that everyone who is supporting Cruz is doing so based on the belief that he will fail (which, I admit, is correct).  If Cruz actually succeeded, somehow, almost all of Obamacare would continue in force – the taxes, the mandates, all the stuff that doesn’t require “funding.”

    I think Cruz is throwing Obama a lifeline.  If Obama had the brains God gave a gnat, he would recognize that Obamacare is going to be an epic fail, and would take this opportunity to accept a “defunding” deal that would permit him to blame Republicans for the failure.  Meanwhile, Obamacare would continue to be the law, and Democrats would offer a stand-alone bill to provide subsidies to poor people, which would be overwhelmingly popular and would undo the so-called defunding.

    If you oppose Obamacare, be grateful that Cruz has no hope here.

  15. Plato

    There’s an Obamacare case headed to SCOTUS.

    Maybe John Roberts is ready to hit the reset button?

  16. DrewInWisconsin
    Paul A. Rahe

    . . . but the Tea Party folks did not have a plausible candidate to run for the nomination in 2012 and the whole thing subsided.

    That’s one way of looking at it. Another way of looking at it is that post 2010 mid-terms, the Obama regime used the IRS to hamstring the tea party movement.

    And I’ve often wondered if there were Republicans applauding the IRS’s efforts, too.

    I’m betting there were.

    (EDIT: Looks like WI Con came to the same conclusions above.)

  17. Joseph Eagar

    “Signal to the discontented” that Republicans can fix this mess if we win the Senate in 2014?  That promise might come back to bite us.

    Our party is in no position to enact any meaningful health reform so soon.  Simply repealing the law won’t work, not after a year of implementation.  We’d have to enact real reforms of our own.

    We’re not ready for those reforms.  2016 is a much better possibility.  The public elected Obama twice; they can suffer through three years of ACA implementation.  That will give us the time we need, and it will also build up public support for Republican reforms.

  18. Joseph Eagar
    Brian: Very much agree with you Paul.  Also, I think the Republicans are being typically bad at politics and not controlling or influencing optics.  Cruz is doing several things at once:  He is standing out as a leader to the public, he is making it clear who OWNS obamacare and who is against it (very key), and he is fighting the important fight against the old replublican guard who, you rightly noted earlier, would do nothing to shrink government, regulations, or the tax code if given complete power. · 1 hour ago

    Edited 1 hour ago

    Optics?  Do you really believe that anyone outside our base is going to be impressed by Cruz?

  19. DrewInWisconsin
    Joseph Eagar: 

    The public elected Obama twice; they can suffer through three years of ACA implementation. 

    How badly should we suffer? Should my hours be cut? Should I lose my job? How high should my premiums go?

    In short, what amount of suffering is enough for you?

    Because this isn’t hypothetical suffering. This is real suffering by real Americans. These are real job losses. These are real premium hikes. I’m a real person trying to make ends meet and support my family, and I’m feeling like there isn’t anyone on my side at all.

    This idea that we should just suffer for three years until 2016 when a hypothetical Republican Senate with a hypothetical Republican administration will hypothetically overturn Obamacare (pinky-promise!)?

    That’s a lot of wishcasting.

  20. Koolee

    The fight has to start somewhere. I am tired of the Lady Gaga (go-along get-along) Republican Leadership and Establishment. Obamacare is an abomination but the gaga Republicans are so afraid of being criticized by the big bad press for the big bad government shutdown. They have totally misread the 2010 elections, which was in large part about Obamacare; dissed the Tea Party; gave us Romney of Romneycare; and got their tails whupped by a damaged President.

    Now, they are again making excuses about fighting Obamacare. The fight has to begin somewhere.

    Ted Cruz is Ronald Reagan; so is Mike Lee in that same mould. They are political heroes. The gaga Republicans are a disgrace for their treachery. They have got to go–McConnell, Boehner, and their minions.