The charade that Ted Cruz described played out exactly that way: A handful of GOP Senators voted against cloture. The rest voted for it with the united Democrats, which meant that Harry Reid would strip the Obamacare defund effort. Which he did. And then, the full Senate would vote for the funding bill and the vote split on party lines.
Willfully obtuse writers claimed that the only reason Ted Cruz and his band of defund zealots pushed forward with their strategy was to make the old-guard GOP look bad. Nope. Sorry. Those folks do that to themselves. This vote just highlighted how most GOP-ers in the Senate feel that all efforts are futile (or worse, how they feel that Obamacare is a good thing). To the extent that the old timers have a strategy, it seems to be to keep a low profile, make no waves, and wait til the midterms when they recapture a majority and then …what? Barack Obama will still be president and surely veto any legislation that undoes his “signature achievement”. Why fight then? Isn’t it still hopeless?
Ted Cruz doesn’t believe defeat is inevitable. However, he knows that undoing Obamacare funding isn’t likely, especially given that his own party won’t support the idea. And for those wondering, the grassroots Republicans are not ignorant rubes stirred up by an ideologue. They actually understand what Cruz is up to: Ted Cruz and Mike Lee want to make sure everyone in every corner of the country know that it was the Democrats not the Republicans who came up with this abhorrent, evil legislation that is on its way to ruin the lives of countless Americans. They also want to go down fighting. Doing nothing guarantees an outcome.
Cruz, Lee and the rest know this: the press won’t highlight the evils of Obamacare, but they will cover a dramatic action in the Senate and House about Obamacare.
If the GOP leadership weren’t so busy trying to realign their put out noses, they’d see what Cruz and Lee were doing and be glad. They’d also see the sentiment of the American people and feel empathy for them by expressing their outrage at how the people are being mistreated by this law.
As it stands, Obamacare is going forward.
What will the House do? It is hoped that they’ll shift tactics and ask for a year-long delay. The Senate leadership is unlikely to embrace that either, but it’s another chance to point out the Democrats hypocrisy. The only ones who will survive, better off after Obamacare are the rich and powerful.
In the past, the Senate Republicans took turns triangulating with the Democrats to work against the planks of their own party. The conservative wing now has enough power to not allow that to happen and the GOP better get used to it. The old ways won’t work anymore. The Gang of 14 is a thing of the past.
Americans by a large margin feel that the government is too big. As they get to know Obamacare, they hate it. The GOP would be wise to not look like they’re helping the people who created this hated legislation. The best way to do that is up for discussion.
Doing nothing? Well, that’s not really worked, has it? If the Republicans want to regain power, acting scared and running to the Democrats for cover won’t help them.