Cruz carnival

Twenty-plus hours of filibustering by Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas went for naught Wednesday — unless his goal was not really to block spending of Obamacare but to shine the spotlight on himself and burnish his credentials with the most right-wing elements of his party who do not serve in Congress.

On Wednesday, after Cruz stopped talking, the Senate quickly took the first procedural vote to move forward the legislation Cruz had been filibustering — the House continuing budget resolution that includes a provision to defund Obamacare. It will rapidly be amended to reinstate funding for the health care program, then be sent back to the House.

Cruz, during his overnight tirade against Obamacare, managed to take shots at just about everybody: the president, Democrats, Republicans in the Senate who failed to join him, which was nearly all of them, and the media. Earlier, he angered even tea party members of the House by suggesting they weren’t working hard enough to kill Obamacare.

But, if Cruz’s real goal was just to score points with the far-right base for his expected run for president in 2016, he probably achieved that goal. He just didn’t accomplish much of anything else.


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Kudos to the Daily Sentinel for chronicling the on-going “debate” over “ObamaCare” by publishing competing editorials (“Cruz carnivals”) and letters (Glenn Menard’s “GOP should concentrate on 2014 to end Obamacare”, and Tom Howe’s “Nation’s debt is like a cancer that we ignore”).

Unfortunately, even if Menard genuinely believes that NRA-member Harry Reid is a “socialist” and that ObamaCare is a “nightmare” (albeit not even fully implemented), his opinions are colored by blind acceptance of familiarly false Republican “talking points”.

For example, when the Cleveland Clinic – touted by President Obama as exemplifying quality health care delivery—recently announced that it would lay-off employees and cut its budget by $330 million, Fox Noise falsely blamed those cuts on “ObamaCare” (even though they were actually precipitated by Ohio’s refusal to accept Medicaid expansion funds – prompting a petition drive to overturn that Republican decision by referendum).

Likewise, families currently unable to obtain any health insurance at any cost will soon be paying “infinitely more” (than zero) for coverage, but the average family will actually pay less (not more) for comparably comprehensive coverage than was initially projected.

Small businesses aren’t hiring because Republicans refuse to support fiscal policies that would stimulate employment and thus consumer demand.  The 40-hour work week was decimated by the near-Depression, but involuntary part-time work is falling not rising.

Rather than wait to say “I told you so” if ObamaCare “trainwrecks”, Republicans most realistically fear that it will succeed—thoroughly discrediting them by the 2014 election.

Meanwhile, Howe seems totally unaware that the Senate has passed budget resolutions, but Senate Republicans are filibustering the appointment of a conference committee to resolve differences between the Senate’s responsible and the House’s fatuous versions.

Thus, as “Cruz carnival” cleverly suggests, the most dangerously metastasizing “cancer” is “Tea Party”/Republican refusal to responsibly govern.

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