Yesterday Fox's Chris Wallace said he received opposition research about Senator Cruz from other Republicans, which if true (and there is no reason to doubt him) is both unprecedented and very sad. Don't expect Wallace to reveal the source of the opposition research as Sarah Palin has requested, he is a reporter not an activist.
Even stranger has been the words of Long Island Congressman Peter King who has been blasting Cruz at every opportunity even though he voted in favor of the house bill (Rep. Scott Rigell of Virginia was the lone Republican to break ranks with his caucus by voting against it).
Rep. Peter King (N-NY) believes Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is a fraud, and he hopes Friday’s house vote defund “Obamacare” and keep the government running will expose the Senator as such. King added that he hopes Cruz will “no longer have any influence in the Republican Party.” Cruz is backed by the Tea Party and spent much of the summer asking for support in his plan to defund the Affordable Care Act.Sorry Congressman, you cannot have it both ways, if you objected to the strategy you should have voted no on the house bill. In fact all of the GOP Reps except for Rep Rigell has no right to criticize what they just voted in favor of--that's the Washington people hate, "I supported it before I bashed it."
The Democrats are also going crazy saying the GOP wants to close down the government and that Obama won the election because of Obamacare (a falsehood). They forget that local elections have consequences also and many of the congressman who voted for the House legislation were elected to stop Obamacare.
There has been much nonsense regarding this effort allow me to correct some of the misinformation:
- Is the GOP Just trying to "mess" with the President? No! Every recent poll, every recent poll as well as most polls since the bill was passed reflects the voters opposition to this oppressive legislation.
- Is the GOP trying to "shut down the government." No! The media keeps repeating the progressive/Democratic party line about shutting down the government. The house bill funds every other part of government except for Obamacare. If this leads to a government shut down it won't be because of the House bill. GOP leadership in both houses has said they don not want to shut down the government. Right now it is the President who is refusing to negotiate.
- Will the House bill pass the Senate? Will I wake up to find Kate Upton next to me running her fingers through my brand new head of hair? (NO!) The question is not whether or not the Senate will pass the bill---the GOP doesn't have enough votes and there is no way in Hell, even the most vulnerable Democrats will vote to kill their leaders signature legislation. But that's not really the point.
There will also be a fight over raising the debt ceiling about which this President refuses to negotiate despite the fact that when he was in the Senate he fought against increasing the debt ceiling as a way to de-fund the Iraq war.
The GOP is looking for different concessions to approve a debt ceiling, including locking in the sequester saving, simplifying the tax code and delaying the implementation of Obamacare.
Here also the scare tactics are much worse than reality. Most importantly even with a refusal to increase the debt ceiling the US will not default on its commitments. There is plenty of revenues to pay the interests on all of our loans, salaries for the military and our entitlement obligations. Unless of course our President uses a debt ceiling halt to make a statement as he did with the sequester. What is also true is discretionary spending will come to a halt.
The Democrats also argue that last time there was a fight about the debt ceiling the credit of the US was downgraded--which is almost true. The credit was downgraded after the debt ceiling battle was over and it was downgraded because not enough was done to close the budget gap. In other words Moody's though the GOP should have held out for steeper cuts.
The bottom line is on both of these issues the GOP is doing the right thing and explaining itself poorly. They have no intention of shutting down the government, they are listening to the request of the American voters (not just the far right as the media and establishment pundits will tell you) but the majority of Americans want Obamacare gone.
The mainstream media is doing its progressive best by calling the house vote and any senate action a vote to shut down the government instead of what it really is; a vote to show solidarity with the American people.
In the end there will be a budget deal and the debt ceiling will go up, Obamacare will be funded and not delayed and both sides will make concessions. But the GOP in both houses would have shown that unlike the Democrats they listen to the public and served up Obamacare as the key issue in the 2014 midterms. Voters will understand that if they want that bill gone, as a first step they will have to get a GOP majority in the senate.