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.

There are 52 comments.

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  1. Illiniguy Member

    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.

    • #1
    • September 25, 2013, at 3:09 AM PDT
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  2. RedRules Inactive

    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. 

    • #2
    • September 25, 2013, at 3:13 AM PDT
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  3. Standfast Inactive
    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.

    • #3
    • September 25, 2013, at 3:36 AM PDT
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  4. Spin Coolidge

    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.

    • #4
    • September 25, 2013, at 3:58 AM PDT
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  5. BrentB67 Inactive

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

    • #5
    • September 25, 2013, at 4:02 AM PDT
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  6. rico Inactive
    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.

    • #6
    • September 25, 2013, at 4:36 AM PDT
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  7. Diogenes Inactive

    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.

    • #7
    • September 25, 2013, at 4:42 AM PDT
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  8. Brian Inactive

    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.

    • #8
    • September 25, 2013, at 5:08 AM PDT
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  9. Brad B. Inactive

    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.

    • #9
    • September 25, 2013, at 5:09 AM PDT
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  10. WI Con Member

    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.

    • #10
    • September 25, 2013, at 5:16 AM PDT
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  11. Matthew Gilley Inactive

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

    • #11
    • September 25, 2013, at 5:17 AM PDT
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  12. mask Inactive

    Preach it brother!

    • #12
    • September 25, 2013, at 5:33 AM PDT
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  13. Hartmann von Aue Member
    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.

    • #13
    • September 25, 2013, at 5:36 AM PDT
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  14. Larry3435 Member

    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.

    • #14
    • September 25, 2013, at 5:56 AM PDT
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  15. Plato's Retweet Inactive

    There’s an Obamacare case headed to SCOTUS.

    Maybe John Roberts is ready to hit the reset button?

    • #15
    • September 25, 2013, at 6:08 AM PDT
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  16. DrewInWisconsin, Thought Leader Member
    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.)

    • #16
    • September 25, 2013, at 6:09 AM PDT
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  17. Joseph Eagar Member

    “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.

    • #17
    • September 25, 2013, at 6:12 AM PDT
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  18. Joseph Eagar Member
    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?

    • #18
    • September 25, 2013, at 6:16 AM PDT
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  19. DrewInWisconsin, Thought Leader Member
    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.

    • #19
    • September 25, 2013, at 6:23 AM PDT
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  20. Koolie Inactive

    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.

    • #20
    • September 25, 2013, at 6:27 AM PDT
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  21. Scarlet Pimpernel Member

    Not sure that’s all quite fair. Many of them are simply pols afraid of risk.

    But some are probably exactly as you describe. They live in a world in which everyone reads the NY Times daily. That shapes their ideas of right and wrong, etc.

    There’s also this bit, regarding immigration reform:

    “Also curiously, the Republican enthusiasm for increased immigration also was not so much about voting in the end, even with “converted” Latinos. Instead, these legislators seemingly believed that they could weaken the restraining and frustrating straightjacket devised by the Founding Fathers and abetted by American norms. In that idealized “new” United States, political uncertainty, demanding constituents, difficult elections, and accountability in general would “go away” after tinkering with the People, who have given lawmakers their privileges but who, like a Sword of Damocles, can also “unfairly” take them away.”

    P.S. Professor Rahe: Have you changed your mind about Paul Ryan?

    • #21
    • September 25, 2013, at 6:28 AM PDT
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  22. Scarlet Pimpernel Member

    On the other hand, as I noted in the earlier discussion, would it have been wiser to push for reforms, such as allowing for high deductible plans, the interstate purchase of health insurance, and perhaps repealing the mandate/ changing the tax for not having insurance to $1.

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    • September 25, 2013, at 6:32 AM PDT
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  23. michael kelley Inactive

    i apologize, mea culpa. i am humble, i am small. i don’t do great things and the world will not mourn my passing.

    this condition does not disturb me.

    but anyone who thinks that the line being drawn by Cruz is ridiculous or party suicidal or self serving is living on Mars or in a lonely outpost of Long Island.

    this is a fight. a fight in a bar at 2 in the morning or a fight out in the open.

    after the way they rammed this through (remember?), after Benghazi, after the IRS targeting, after the revelations about the NSA surveillance, after the incompetence exhibited in the Syrian chemical weapon thing, after Solyndra and the pork generated by these guys from Chicago, does anyone who maintains possession of their faculties doubt that this is a fight?

    and in a fight, that you sometimes have to bite an ear off even though you still lose the fight because an ear bitten by a defeated opponent instills the appropriate fear and respect in the “victor?”

    on second thought, let’s go with John McCain. let’s roll over and imitate a fish.

    Leave Cruz on as you go to sleep.

    • #23
    • September 25, 2013, at 6:33 AM PDT
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  24. Scarlet Pimpernel Member
    Koolee: Ted Cruz is Ronald Reagan.

    Or is he Goldwater?

    • #24
    • September 25, 2013, at 6:35 AM PDT
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  25. Joseph Eagar Member
    DrewInWisconsin

    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.

    And what, exactly, are we supposed to do? No one knows what will happen if we simply repeal ObamaCare without replacing it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if health inflation (temporarily) accelerated. It would be administrative chaos; not only would all those regulations have to be reversed, but the laws passed by cooperative state legislatures would have to be rewritten.

    The technical challenges of a straight repeal would be enormous, to say the least.

    That leaves us with enacting real market-based reforms, but our party isn’t really ready for that—not after we attacked the center-right bits of ObamaCare in our Supreme Court challenge last year. By 2016, the short-term politics will (hopefully) have worked itself out, and the GOP will be in a position to offer meaningful reforms to the country.

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    • September 25, 2013, at 6:45 AM PDT
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  26. Joseph Eagar Member

    Don’t get me wrong. If Republicans had won the White House in 2012, I think we would have had no trouble repealing and replacing ObamaCare. But we didn’t win, and defeat has exacerbated our internal problems.

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    • September 25, 2013, at 6:47 AM PDT
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  27. Kofola Inactive

    I agree, Professor Rahe. Cruz must certainly be aware that he’s not going to have the means to repeal Obamacare right now. His actions now are about drawing a line in the sand, to make the politicians commit to whether they support or oppose Obamacare and be held accountable. The Republic moderates want to lay low, obfuscate with vague ‘strategies’ of winning back the government by sitting on their hands, while claiming to oppose the bill to keep themselves electorally viable with the base, only to quietly see it normalize. The GOP had a chance to repeal Obamacare by winning in the elections last year, and the party chose to take the issue off the table my nominating Romney.

    Cruz is making the squishes take a side and be held accountable, and they don’t like it.

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    • September 25, 2013, at 6:58 AM PDT
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  28. DrewInWisconsin, Thought Leader Member

    Don’t believe the media lie that the Republicans have no alternative to Obamacare. There have always been alternatives proposed. But the media likes to pretend they don’t exist.

    The most recent is HR 2300, proposed by Rep. Tom Price of Georgia. It’s called the “Empowering Patients First” act.

    The basics of the bill are these:

    • It extends tax deductions for health insurance to those who buy as individuals, thus eliminating the perverse incentive that favored employer-purchased insurance.
    • It gives patients true portability by making them the owners of their insurance – not their employers.
    • It gives doctors the real power to make treatment decisions, not insurance companies or the government.
    • It reforms medical liability laws and thus saves money by reducing the practice of defensive medicine.

    There are alternatives to replace Obamacare. The media doesn’t want you to know about them.

    • #28
    • September 25, 2013, at 7:01 AM PDT
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  29. Kofola Inactive
    Joseph Eagar
    Chris O.
    Chris O.
    Joseph Eagar

    Social Security almost went broke in the early 80s, and people accepted the fix. If a program gets in bad enough straits, it has to be fixed. · 2 minutes ago

    Okay, put it this way: is it an easier fight now or when Democrats can tell 35 million people that the GOP wants to take away all health care for seniors, reproductive rights for young women, etc, etc. The scare tactics are already part of the defunding discussion. It will be ten times worse in three years. · 0 minutes ago

    And speaking of Social Security, I’m convinced I will receive no benefits under the program and yet I continue to pay into it. I’ve accepted an impossible status quo. · 12 minutes ago

    That’s because the checks are still being sent out. If we were mere weeks from that not happening, things would be different. · 9 hours ago

    Well, and because the government coerces your participation. I know I’d certainly opt out if I could.

    • #29
    • September 25, 2013, at 7:02 AM PDT
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  30. danceswithvowels Inactive

    Thanks, Paul, for the Main Feed quote — Quite a surprise!

    I suspect there are many threads in Sen. Cruz’s Defund It effort and his actions in the Senate, from purely technical parliamentary maneuvering, to bringing public attention to the fact that Congress is blowing past the last station on the Trainwreck Express, to getting in the Establishments’ faces, to drawing attention to himself. He’s certainly showing a willingness to take heat.

    I understand the criticism that he’s bringing bad publicity to the GOP, and “acting stupidly.” But is he filibustering his own bill? “That’s a clown question, bro.” He’s filibustering Reid’s obvious step of attaching an amendment to restore the funding. It’s a maneuver, made difficult by the defections by McConnell, et al.

    It may not work. In which case, the bill goes to conference, I suppose. We can only hope the House members show some of the grit the honorable Senator has. With the unpopularity of Kafkacare, perhaps at least a 1-year delay can be attained, for a start. Some think that would be enough to provoke rethinking the whole thing. I believe letting it take hold will be extremely damaging.

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    • September 25, 2013, at 7:03 AM PDT
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