Senator Ted Cruz: The Pied Piper of Government Shutdown

Categories: Politics

ted cruz.jpg
For the first time since the Clinton-Gingrich budget wars of 1995-96, hundreds of thousands of federal workers may soon be furloughed without pay, while others will be asked to work for free. The U.S. House of Representatives sent a bill to the U.S. Senate that would temporarily fund the government on the condition that the health care law be delayed for a year. The House knows well the Senate will strip this provision from the bill.

Unless some last-minute compromise is reached, the government is unfunded after midnight Monday.

The path forward isn't clear, because this fight isn't like the one that came before. The Senate's minority leader is facing a stiff Tea Party primary challenge. The House's unruly conservative caucus has weakened the majority leader's control.

Senator Ted Cruz, in his quest to destroy the health care law or, failing that, to shut down government, is the standard bearer for the Tea Party and the defund-Obamacare campaign. Last week, he spoke for 21 hours against a bill that contained everything he wanted. It wasn't a filibuster. Per Senate procedural rules, he wasn't actually stopping the body from deliberating on anything. Yet the empty talkathon won him both fearful allies and critics. Senator Bob Corker, a Republican from Tennessee, accused him of naked attention seeking. Senator John Burr, the Republican from North Carolina, said Cruz's plan to shut down the government was "the dumbest idea I've ever heard." The list of fellow Republicans he's alienated goes on.

Yet Tom Cole, House GOP deputy whip, also credited Cruz, if credit for a shutdown is what the senator wants, saying he "played a lot of role in where we are now." And Representative John Culberson, a Houston Republican who grotesquely channeled Flight 93 passenger Todd Beamer when he shouted "Let's roll!" before the vote, said Cruz performed "a huge service for the nation."

It's tough to discern how much of Cruz's rhetoric is theater, and how much of it he actually believes. But on Sunday's Meet the Press, he said he'd been studying the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World War II, the Cold War and President John F. Kennedy's call to action for a lunar landing. They were not so different, Cruz said, from his quest to defund the health care law.

"At every stage, there were voices of conventional wisdom who say, 'This can't be done.' And at every stage the American people rose to the occasion," he said.

Cruz so fervently believes in the righteousness of this cause that he doesn't think the country will hold his side accountable for a government shutdown. But fellow Republicans like Representative John Boehner must remember what happened 17 years ago. The public didn't take too kindly to games of brinksmanship, even though the economy was then experiencing the longest period of peacetime expansion ever. The GOP nonetheless paid dearly in the following elections.

Today, they're betting on shutdown again, even as wages are stagnant and the echoes of the subprime mortgage crisis still reverberate. But Cruz expects a different result as he leads his party off of a cliff.


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87 comments
Catbird
Catbird

We LOVE Senator Cruz! He's doing the best he can to save the Republic and the Bill of Rights and that is GREAT for Texas!

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

If only we could rid ourselves of Republicans.

Like Illinois.  A state without a single Republican in elected office.

Some interesting data on the 'state' of Illinois...  There are more people on welfare in Illinois than there are people working. Chicago pays the highest wages to teachers than anywhere else in the U.S. averaging $110,000/year. Their pensions average 80-90% of their income. Body count: In the last six months, 292 killed (murdered) in Chicago.   221 killed in Iraq; AND Chicago has one of the strictest gun laws in the entire US. 

Of course, they're all blaming each other. · Can't blame Republicans; there aren't any! · 

Chicago school system rated one of the worst in the country.  Can't blame Republicans; there aren't any!  

State pension fund $78 Billion in debt, worst in country.  Can't blame Republicans; there aren't any! 

Cook County (Chicago) sales tax 10.25% highest in country. Can't blame Republicans; there aren't any! 

This is the political culture that Obama comes from in Illinois. And he is going to 'fix' Washington politics for us?  

George Ryan is no longer Governor, he is in the prison.  

He was replaced by Rob Blagojevich who is that's right, also in the prison.  

And Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. resigned a couple of weeks ago, because he is fighting to not be sent to...that's right, prison.

scamsANDflams
scamsANDflams

Simple solution to rid the govt of these crooks and treasonous assholes..simply vote against the incumbent every single time in every single election....by order of natural selection the evil bastards will get out of politics and into some other line of work were they can steal with impugnity.

scamsANDflams
scamsANDflams

I'd bet dollars to donuts that sen. cruz and pastor jeffress have spent a night cavorting in bondage gear at the eagle.

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

Cruz is Sen. Joe McCarthy in short pants.

observist
observist topcommenter

Here are some relevant survey results:  72% of voters oppose shutting down the government to block implementation of Obamacare, including 44% of Republicans.  

Too bad the non-nihilist Republican congressmen are not as concerned about representing their constituents as they are about getting "primaried" by anonymously-funded extremists..  Thanks Citizens United!!!!!!

http://www.quinnipiac.edu/institutes-and-centers/polling-institute/national/release-detail?ReleaseID=1958

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

I bet it's the T-baggies that are jamming the healthcare.gov website this morning. 

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

For the people in government, rather than the people who pester it, Washington is an early-rising, hard-working city. It is a popular delusion that the government wastes vast amounts of money through inefficiency and sloth. Enormous effort and elaborate planning are required to waste this much money. - P. J. O’Rourke (b. 1947), U.S. journalist. Parliament of Whores, “The Winners Go to Washington, D.C.” (1991)

ruddski
ruddski

Remember kids, today it's choose or get fined.

ryan762
ryan762

"Senator Ted Cruz, in his quest to destroy the healthcare law..."

 Shouldn't that say 'Senator Ted Cruz, in his quest to force the government into raising taxes... ('defunding" Obamacare, would mostly be repealing the tax credits. And ending tax credits is a tax increase. We Republicans used to be so against tax increases that we were willing to fight against changing the depreciation schedule for corporate jets. Now we're willing to throw the economy into a potential tailspin and shut down the government and possibly default on our debt if we don't get some tax increases passed immediately).

ruddski
ruddski

People who filibuster for lost causes should at least have great tits.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

The National Debt has continued to increase an average of $1.86 billion per day since September 30, 2012.

As the year 2011 began on Jan. 1, the oldest members of the Baby Boom generation celebrated their 65th birthday. In fact, on that day, and for every day for the next 19 years, 10,000 baby boomers will reach age 65."  - http://www.pewresearch.org/daily-number/baby-boomers-retire/

It's every man for himself now . . . 

It really doesn't matter at this late date what those morons do, or fail to do.  But one thing they are NOT going to do is shut themselves down.  All they got left is arguing about who takes the fall.  And that will be all the generations behind the Yuppies, since the claim on their labor is now so great, it stops them from working in the first place.

Call me crazy but the Yups will not be anointed our greatest generation.

James_the_P3
James_the_P3

I don't understand the logic of Mr. Hargrove's analysis in his penultimate paragraph when he states, "[t]he GOP paid dearly in the [1996] elections" "even though the economy was then experiencing the longest period of peacetime expansion ever."  Wouldn't one expect the incumbent president's party to do well when the economy is "experiencing the largest period of peacetime expansion ever"?  

The fact that the president's party in fact lost two seats in that election seems to me to indicate that the opposition part was not, in truth, punished too harshly.

Regardless--2013 isn't 1995.  Obama is not Clinton.  [Insert faceless Republican non-leader here] is not Gingrich.  2014 isn't a presidential election year.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

On a positive note, Pete Gallego introduced a bill to declare Congress non-essential employees so they won't get paid during a shutdown. Not all the Texas delegation is batshit crazy.

Storm_71
Storm_71

So the Rangers are still playing tonight right?

rpb1205
rpb1205

Cruz is an ASS.........

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@holmantx

wtf?

Current House Members 98th General Assembly
Democrats: 71 Republicans: 47

Current Senate Members 98th General Assembly
Democrats: 40 Republicans: 19

http://www.ilga.gov/

George Ryan was Governor, and he did go to prison. and he's a Republican.

what a dufus you are, cut and paste a bunch of crap.

good grief.

roo_ster
roo_ster

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz Yes, it must be the wreckers and counter-revolutionaries!

Obama and Obamacare need more cook time, because their muffins aren't done.

ColonelHapablap
ColonelHapablap

@bvckvs The funny part is that Obama is currently negotiating with both the Iranians and Al Qaeda, but refuses to talk to Republicans.  Commiecrats are so silly.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@bvckvs The Baggies have always been about anarchy and destroying the American government.  Now, they have a Canadian pus-bag to lead the way.

ruddski
ruddski

Maybe Obama should learn the art of negotiation

kduble
kduble

@holmantx As is usually the case for those paying attention, the Republicans plans would make the deficit worse. Two examples: They'd end the tax on medical devices. Also, the CBO says repealing the ACA would actually increase the deficit.

roo_ster
roo_ster

@James_the_P3 Give Mr Hargrove a break.  He is quaffing the Dem kool-aid as fast as he can and sometimes grotesque logical fallacies will creep their way into his wrtings.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@Storm_71 

shhh! don't give cruz any ideas, he may introduce a bill saying no baseball until ACA is defunded...

Daniel
Daniel

@rpb1205 He is, but Boehner is a craven, spineless weasel. That part of the narrative is getting buried.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@ColonelHapablap 

Obama is curently negotiating with...Al Qaeda

really? can you show how that statement is true?

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@ruddski 

Obama is a father, he knows to not negotiate with children.

observist
observist topcommenter

@ruddski   He did - he learned it from Dick Cheney: "We don't negotiate with terrorists"

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@ruddski 

It should have been shut down years ago.  Or make 'em go part time like the Texas lege.  That way they could not have done so much damage.

And of course, the only part they are going to shut down is the part that torments us.

And it is a laffer that the Democrats are somehow more fiscally responsible in the first place.

The fiscal democrats left the building when LBJ refused to run after Vietnam.  The McGovernites (New Left Radicals) took over their party and loaded us up faster than the neoconservatives did.

It was a team effort to get us where we are today.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@kduble @holmantx 

It doesn't matter any more.  It's not the Republican's fault.  It's not the Dem's fault.

It's our fault.  We've borrowed so much money for so long it is not possible to pay it back through an income tax (or any other confiscatory scheme).  

You are just re-arranging the deck chairs.

observist
observist topcommenter

@Daniel @rpb1205  Yes, but it's possible to feel sympathy for even a craven spineless weasel when it's being trampled by asses.

observist
observist topcommenter

Actually no, just the nihilist right fringe Republicans, which unfortunately is about half the party at this point. Long term single party rule is almost always a bad thing, and there is a money-grows-on-trees fringe of the Democrats that needs to kept in check.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@mavdog

Bu-Bu-BUT!

It gave you morons something to do for fifteen minutes like I have to put up with from your side however, the premise remains:

"If only we could rid ourselves of Republicans"

which no doubt you would agree . . . (ha!)

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@observist 

but I read it on the internet so it must be true!

btw Chicago's sales tax isn't 10.25%, it's 9.25%...

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@holmantx 

in 2010 the US was involved in 2 wars, Iraq and Afganistan.

gee, wonder if those conflicts cost the DoD any money?

$527 Billion is too high a figure IMO.

putz.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@mavdog @holmantx @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz 

2010 - $689 Billion (historical)

2014 - $527 Billion request by DoD

a 24% decrease.

Stick with military budget only or you will cut your own throat.  Don't include DOE and overseas security contributions unrelated to the military, since that is what you want to cut (further).

jerk.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@holmantx @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz 

what a load of crap. the US hasn't had a 600 ship navy since 1973. The size has been fairly static over the last decade, and is a few ships more today then when Obama took office.

You cry about government spending and then call the Defense budget "gutted" at a reported $628 Billion.

that's funny. sad in a way as you're clearly not credible, but at the same time funny.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz @holmantx 

Defense has already been gutted.  We dropped from a 600 ship Navy to a 200 ship Navy and have been riffing the force since Obama became Prez.  

So just don't use them.  They'll have to make up in body count what we've been spending in high tech.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@ryan762 @holmantx 

Too little too late.  We now owe $17 Trillion we recognize and $100 Trillion we don't in unfunded entitlements and it is growing exponentially. And the Yuppies which caused this (by borrowing instead of collecting it in tax as we go) are coming out of their income years and are becoming net consumers of entitlements.  That bulge is huge.  If you read the President's report to the nation this year, we have added to the public debt, without exception, since 1960.  Your first assumption is a a myth.  

And that's what I am asserting.  In order to just stem the increase in borrowing, taxation will have to increase dramatically but to pay off the existing debt wall now rolling toward us all, the generations behind the Yups will have to toil additional hours every day to the extent they won't since it usurps the basic premise - I will not labor if I do not get to keep the results of that labor.

Those under 50 did not cause this financial disaster hence, they will not pay for it.  It will materially degrade their quality of life to support those who caused it.

And this is what is sustaining the recession.


ryan762
ryan762

@holmantx If we raised taxes to the same level of GDP they were at in 2000, when we had a balanced budget before the Republicans decided they'd rather add trillions in debt than be responsible stewards of government, we would have a balanced budget within a year or so (if not sooner).

Do you believe that the House would go along with such a tax increase if it were proposed (I know they're all for raising taxes if it means people can't use tax credits to buy health insurance, but we used to be against general tax increases).

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