It’s not often you see Republicans calling each other out (though it’s happening more and more as the internal “civil war” within the Republican party continues to grow), but that’s exactly what happened when word leaked out that some Republicans were trying to recruit “red state Democrats” to their fight to defund the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”).
Texas Senator Ted Cruz and his fellow tea party radicals are now trying to recruit Democratic senators in “red states” to help them pass the bill the House sent to the Senate, which would fund the government while defunding Obamacare.
One such Democrat they targeted was Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu. Apparently, Cruz has taken to veiled threats against Democrats in predominately red states by insinuating that their jobs might be at risk if they continue to support Obamacare. He seems to be using this as a tactic to try to leverage some Democratic support for his push to defund the law.
A push which even if the Senate passed it, President Obama has vowed to veto the bill. And don’t start with the whole, “Congress can override a veto” thing—it’s not happening. It takes 2/3 of both the House and Senate to override a veto and you’re not going to get that.
It’s a futile effort by Cruz and the tea party to continue to threaten the lives of Americans by pushing for a government shutdown if their attempts at blackmail fail. And it has prompted a few Republicans in Congress to call out this radical behavior.
One such senator who’s had enough of it is Tom Coburn from Oklahoma. You might remember him as the gentleman who initially said that budget cuts needed to be made to offset spending before he would support disaster relief for the Moore, Oklahoma tornado victims. I only bring this up to show that he isn’t exactly what one would call a “moderate” Republican.
Well, he took a jab at these members of Congress who continue to push to defund Obamacare by threatening a government shutdown:
“And the political reality, you know, tactics and strategies ought to be based on what the real world is, and we do not have the political power to do this. And so we’re not–we are not about to shut the government down over the fact that we cannot, only controlling one House of Congress, tell the president that we’re not going to fund any portion of this, because we can’t do that.”
And while he could have phrased things a little more eloquently, the fact is that he’s right. Under no circumstance does this “defund Obamacare” strategy make any sense. The whole strategy isn’t based on reality.
So while Cruz and those Republicans who support this asinine idea will continue to campaign across the country to gain support, continually repeating the talking point of, “It’s what the American people want,” simply remind them that if that was the case—Mitt Romney would be president right now.
The American people did speak last November. They re-elected President Obama and gave more power to Democrats in both the House and the Senate.
A political and real world reality that Ted Cruz and many Republicans seem in complete and utter denial about.