Ted Cruz: Voice of Reason?


Sen. Ted Cruz appears to have made House Republicans quite angry by puncturing their delusions with a tiny little dose of reality. By merely mentioning the undeniable fact that the Senate is not going to let any bill that defunds Obamacare pass, he has them throwing themselves on the ground in a tantrum:

Cruz, a tea party favorite, is one of the most vocal proponents of defunding the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s health care reform law. He’s spent months championing the cause. But on Wednesday, as House Republican leaders unveiled their latest plan for sinking Obamacare — tying a measure to defund the law to a must-pass resolution that keeps the government running — Cruz thanked House Republicans for their fight, and said they’re on their own.

“[Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid will no doubt try to strip the defund language from the continuing resolution, and right now he likely has the votes to do so,” Cruz said in a statement. “At that point, House Republicans must stand firm, hold their ground, and continue to listen to the American people.”

Aides to top Republicans in the House, where GOP leadership has already been struggling to keep the party together on the measure, were beside themselves. And once granted anonymity, they didn’t mince their words.

“We haven’t even taken up the bill and Ted Cruz is admitting defeat?” fumed one senior GOP aide. “Some people came here to govern and make things better for their constituents. Ted Cruz came here to throw bombs and fundraise off of attacks on fellow Republicans. He’s a joke, plain and simple.”

And there’s more:

“Cruz officially jumped the shark this week,” said one GOP operative allied with House leadership, who, like others, requested anonymity to speak critically about fellow Republicans. “He’s doing for the House Leaders what they couldn’t do for themselves. House rank-and-file members are uniting with Boehner, Cantor over Ted Cruz’s idiotic position.”

The retreat by Cruz has led to public questioning from House Republicans about his motives and political acumen, not to mention joking speculation that he may be part of a vast and devious liberal conspiracy to undermine conservatives.

“Cruz is the leader of a secret cabal of leftists that are seeking control of the conservative movement,” quipped one senior House Republican leadership source. “Their aim is to force the party to take on suicidal missions to destroy the movement from within.”

Notice what’s missing from all of those angry comments? Even the slightest discussion of whether he’s right or not. And he’s obviously right. But the Tea Party wing of the the House Republicans simply does not care. Liberals don’t need a secret cabal to take over the conservative movement and send them on suicide missions, they’ve got conservatives who are not just willing to do that but demanding it. And the mere suggestion that they consider reality at all in their plans makes one a traitor.

Comments

  1. John Pieret says

    Oh, good! Does that mean that Cruz is the next “reasonably” electable Republican presidential candidate to be “Chris Christie-ized” by the Teabaggers? At this rate the Republicans will be running Michele Bachmann against Hillary, with the resultant … cough … Hillarity.

  2. Artor says

    This is exciting! Who would have thought, just five years ago, that the Republican Party would implode so spectacularly? I’m almost looking forward to the next election cycle to see just how badly they do.

  3. raven says

    1. I haven’t noticed any popular hatred for Obamacare.

    In fact, since the Tea Party/GOP voters tend to be poor, uneducated, and stupid, they are likely to be heavy users of it. There are some reports of that already.

    2. If Obamacare is successful, they are going to have some explaining to do.

    It remains to be seen whether their poor, uneducated, and stupid voters will even notice though.

  4. raven says

    To state the obvious, the Tea Party is trying to do with extortion and destruction, what they couldn’t do with elections and democracy.

    Reverse Obamacare.

    Obama has won two elections for president, the measure passed the congress and is law. They control the house but not the senate.

    It’s been quite clear for a while that they don’t want to live in a democracy. They want to rule no matter what.

  5. says

    I wouldn’t say he was the voice of reason, exactly. More that he’s pragmatic enough to recognize that it’s a doomed cause, but politically naive enough to say it out loud. It’s ok for the old guard to say things like that, but if you’re an up-and-comer, it’s suicide.

  6. blf says

    If Obamacare is successful, they are going to have some explaining to do.

    Presumably the usual solution will be used: The memory hole.

    More probably, because there will be glitches and uneven implementation and foot-dragging and so on, the nutters and thug party will up the volume and continue to insist the only “solution” is to abandon it, rather than tweak what needs tweaking, forbid what perhaps should be forbidden, and leave alone the parts that do work. As long as, of course, in each case their pockets and their backers / puppetmasters benefit.

  7. says

    Cruz, a tea party favorite, is one of the most vocal proponents of defunding the Affordable Care Act…

    “At that point, House Republicans must stand firm, hold their ground, and continue to listen to the American people.”

    “…less than a quarter of all Americans wants Congress to kill the law…Fewer than half of all Republicans and Republican leaners (43 percent) want elected officials who oppose the law to do what they can to make it fail…” (emphasis mine, via the Week
     

    “Liberals don’t need a secret cabal to take over the conservative movement and send them on suicide missions, they’ve got conservatives who are not just willing to do that but demanding it.”

    They are heroes. They’re brave enough to burn it all down if they can’t get everything what they want. It’s called “democracy”, Ed. Look it up.
     

    “And the mere suggestion that they consider reality at all in their plans makes one a traitor.”

    Oh, come on! Their plans are complicated enough already, with whispered fears multiplied by shouted dogwhistles and spittle-flecked, Bircheresque tirades against imaginary foes.

  8. Randomfactor says

    1. I haven’t noticed any popular hatred for Obamacare.

    I have. I live in Bakersfield, and there are a LOT of ignorant people here. The other day I read a lament about how useless and deadly Obamacare was, coupled with the wish that there was some way that people who really needed affordable insurance could have a way to get it.

    I wish I was kidding.

  9. says

    The Tea Party is the tantrum in the room. All it knows how to do is make noise and break things. And when it can’t break something, it screams and wails louder. Fortunately for parents, but unfortunately for those who care about good government, exhaustion stops the shrieking of a 2-year-old much more quickly than it stops the Tea Party.

  10. garnetstar says

    I gather that a lot of the House anger at Cruz is is massive hypocrisy and unwillingness to walk the walk. He’s been leaning on House members very hard, pushing them towards the defunding vote, refusing to support them or appear for them in their re-election campaigns, and running ads saying they’re cowards in their own districts. Exerting ruthless pressure, in fact.

    And now, when they’ve caved and he’ll have to stand up in the Senate and take a stand and speak for something and vote for it (he apparently rarely shows up for the final vote on anything), he weasels out.

    Way to win friends and influence people!

  11. says

    My aunt is really conservative, and she also has diabetes. She lost access to her medication months ago, and has gone on a couple Facebook rants about how it’s Obamacare making her meds suddenly unaffordable. In fact, it seems like it’s mainly because of some laws passed by the Walker administration to make the act as ineffective as possible in Wisconsin that’s the source of her trouble.

  12. raven says

    My aunt is really conservative, and she also has diabetes. She lost access to her medication months ago, and has gone on a couple Facebook rants about how it’s Obamacare making her meds suddenly unaffordable.

    1. Which is impossible. Obmacare doesn’t even start until the beginning of 2014.

    2. I assume she has type 2. With type 1, she would be dead by now. I do hope she finds some way to get her medication though. Metformin is the usual starter medication for type 2, it’s generic, and generally cheap.

    Walmart has a 30 day supply for $4.00 a month or $40 a year, as well as several other diabetes medications at that price..

  13. caseloweraz says

    “We haven’t even taken up the bill and Ted Cruz is admitting defeat?” fumed one senior GOP aide.

    No he’s not, you fool. He’s saying…

    Oh, wait. Yes, you’re exactly right. Cruz has given up on defunding “Obamacare” and he wants the rest of you to do the same. That’s because he’s really a liberal in GOP clothing. Good thing you saw through his deception.

    “Please continue with the petty bickering; it is most fascinating.”

  14. Al Dente says

    Unfortunately the Teabaggers will continue to be elected because moderate Republicans don’t usually vote in primaries, letting the far right fringe select the candidates for general elections.

    Whenever someone tells the Teabaggers something pragmatic, like Cruz did, the Teabaggers whine and cry and carry on like the spoiled brats they are. Rationality is not a Teabagger attribute.

  15. says

    Cruz is not a voice of reason. As @10:gametstar says, he’s found himself backed into a corner after months of goading the House into doing everything they can to oppose Obamacare.

    The most amusing thing about this nonsense is that Cruz was supposed to be the Tea Party’s great white hope — a smart, intelligent, articulate social conservative who was a viable choice for the Presidency. Well, he may be intelligent and articulate, but he’s been anything but smart since he arrived in Washington. Indeed, when it comes to 2016, he has been completely outsmarted by Rand Paul thus far, who has managed to steer the course between Tea Party outrage and Senate comity far better than both Cruz and Marco Rubio (not that I believe that Paul can win either).

  16. Hercules Grytpype-Thynne says

    @caseloweraz

    Actually that’s “Could you please continue the petty bickering? I find it most intriguing.” You’re mixing up your Star Treks.

  17. says

    1. Which is impossible. Obmacare doesn’t even start until the beginning of 2014.

    Oh, I know. I’ve tried telling her that.

    2. I assume she has type 2. With type 1, she would be dead by now. I do hope she finds some way to get her medication though. Metformin is the usual starter medication for type 2, it’s generic, and generally cheap.

    Walmart has a 30 day supply for $4.00 a month or $40 a year, as well as several other diabetes medications at that price.

    Yeah, about half my dad’s siblings have type II and my grandpa died from it. The other half have heart disease. My dad’s probably the only one who has neither, though he does have high cholesterol. Not sure what’s up with her claim that she has to pay, like, $600 before she could get her insulin back at the beginning of the year and then $175 for test strips. She recently said that they’re now asking her for another $450. Apparently she picks up the medicine from Wal*Mart, though she’s actually on Medicare. It’s impossible to get her to understand that the ACA is supposed to make her medicine… well… affordable and that it hasn’t gone into effect yet. She pretty much buys into every conservative conspiracy theory that crosses the web, though.

  18. says

    I don’t think that’s possible. Even outside of this issue, he’s pissed off more people in the Senate (both sides) in the last nine months than many do in a lifetime in Washington. As I said, he’s just not that smart.

  19. caseloweraz says

    Al Dente: Whenever someone tells the Teabaggers something pragmatic, like Cruz did, the Teabaggers whine and cry and carry on like the spoiled brats they are. Rationality is not a Teabagger attribute.

    As one of them does here, in response to Bill O’Reilly’s admonition that they cannot defund Obamacare and are hurting their own cause by persisting.

    (h/t: Greg Laden)

    http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2013/09/21/pigs-fly-bill-oreilly-making-sense-more-or-less/

  20. raven says

    @20

    Insulin is for severe type 2.

    70% insulin price increase in less than a year ($425 to $720 a …
    www. tudiabetes. org/…/70-insulin-price-increase-in-less-than-a-year-425-…‎
    Aug 28, 2012 – … price had gone up again. In November of 2011, the wholesale cost per 20 ml bottle was $425. The price has gone up every couple of months.
    www. mendosa. com/insulin_cost.htm‎

    At that time the wholesale cost was about $24, Campbell remembers. “So it has gone up more than the others, and part of that is because of demand.”.

    U.S. Insulin Prices Rise as Sanofi, Novo Nordisk Await Rivals …
    www. businessweek. com/…/u-dot-s-dot-insulin-prices-rise-as-sanofi-novo…‎

    Pharmacies unwilling to take loss on insulin for Medicare patients …
    journalstar. com/…insulin…/article_185a4e3a-4873-505a-a40d-245550b…‎

    Jun 28, 2013 – Medicare has not raised its payment for insulin under Part B since … at 95 percent of the average, wholesale price in effect on Oct. 1, 2003.

    Not sure what is going on with your aunt’s insulin. She might not know either.

    It looks like the companies that make it have raised their prices recently. It this is it, blame capitalism and Medicare.

  21. raven says

    LincolnJstar:
    Pharmacies unwilling to take loss on insulin for Medicare patients
    June 28, 2013 4:00 am • By NANCY HICKS / Lincoln Journal Star

    Lee Carr of Wymore has had increasing difficulty finding a pharmacy willing to supply his insulin on a long-term basis because it is a money-losing proposition for any business. The insulin he needs for his insulin pump is defined by Medicare as a medical supply. Medicare would pay at a higher rate if he were receiving his insulin through shots, which are considered a prescription.

    Lee Carr is an unwilling participant in a federal rule nightmare.

    For about nine months, Carr has had increasing difficulty finding a pharmacy willing to supply his insulin on a long-term basis because he is a money-losing proposition for any business. And he’s not the only one facing the bureaucratic problem.

    Carr gets his insulin through Medicare Part B, a program that pays less for insulin than the drug costs the pharmacy, according to Joni Cover, executive vice president of the Nebraska Pharmacists Association.

    And he’s worried that eventually no pharmacy in the region will be willing to lose money every month.

    Well, there you go.

    Insulin can be paid for under Part B or Part D. Under Part B, it is less than the wholesale cost and everyone is having trouble paying for it that way.

    It is a problem for sure, but it has nothing to do with Obamacare.

  22. Michael Heath says

    Al Dente writes:

    Unfortunately the Teabaggers will continue to be elected because moderate Republicans don’t usually vote in primaries, letting the far right fringe select the candidates for general elections.

    I don’t observe any moderate Republicans anymore. I used to be one but left the party in 2008 when Sarah Palin was nominated. Instead I see conservatives who don’t give a fuck (e.g., Mitt Romney types) and the Tea Partiers.

  23. carlie says

    I don’t observe any moderate Republicans anymore. I used to be one but left the party in 2008 when Sarah Palin was nominated.

    My spouse is also a moderate Republican, who has just kind of… pretended that politics hasn’t existed at all for the last few years, at least at the national level. He just can’t bring himself to look at it.

  24. thephilosophicalprimate says

    Ted Cruz has committed thoughtcrime according to der Kommisars of the Tea Party. If he’s not careful, he might become an unperson.

    Really, it’s amazing how perfectly Orwellian Tea Party era Republican politics is. I’ve never seen quite so much doublethink, thoughtcrime, “We have always been at war with…” historical revisionism, and so on. It’s horrifying and hilarious at the same time.

  25. eric says

    “Cruz is the leader of a secret cabal of leftists that are seeking control of the conservative movement,”

    Love it. Just love it.

    There’s actually a grain of truth to this paranoia. I have no doubt that many of the vocally right-wing congresscritters are secret pragmatists who care far more about staying in office than they do about parts of the conservative platform. And I don’t doubt they are indeed trying to control the GOP in order to increase it’s representation in both the House and Senate in the next election.

    The crazy comes in seeing such realpolitik actors as a ‘cabal’ of leftists.

  26. greg1466 says

    “At that point, House Republicans must stand firm, hold their ground, and continue to listen to ignore the American people.”

    Some people came here to govern and make things better for their constituents. And then there’s the Tea Party.

    There, fixed them for you.

  27. shouldbeworking says

    I can’t wait until the *really loony* members of the rethuglican party blames Canada for the death of the party.

    You’re welcome, no charge. What are neighbours for?

  28. exdrone says

    Voting to defund Obamacare is now a regular ritual affirmation, like a pledge of allegiance or opening prayer. It’s a participatorial recitation that has no observable outcome except to facilitate group forming and norming in Congress.

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