On CNN’s State of the Union which aired on Sunday morning with guest host Gloria Borger, Sen. John McCain and Sen. Ted Cruz continued to debate and disagree over things like the future of the Republican Party, the future of Obamacare, and the possibility of another government shutdown.
As McCain, who has is now looked upon by many in his party as an “establishment Republican” or “RINO” (Republican In Name Only), was interviewed by Borger, Cruz, who has become somewhat of an arriviste in the Republican Party via the Tea Party, was interviewed separately by CNN’s Dana Bash, as the two segments juxtaposed each other.
One of the most intriguing questions posed by Borger to McCain was about the possibility of another shutdown at the hands of political testosterone fueled Tea Party members like Cruz, but McCain shrugged off the possibility with a less than confident confidence.
“We (Republicans) did this (a government shutdown) back in 95 (1995). I’ve seen this movie before. It was another many years before we tried it again. And ah, I am, I am very confident the American people will not stand for another repetition of this disaster.”
Now even though McCain sounded like another shutdown is not likely, his premise that the American people’s disgust at the ham-fistedness of the shutdown will be enough to discourage someone like a Cruz from instigating another shutdown is less than assuring to say the least, especially if the true motive of the shutdown was not necessarily to defund Obamacare, which McCain called a “fool’s errand,” but to logjam the Obama administration, which in turn logjams the country—something that seemed to have little or no effect on the Tea Party's agenda.
So if you consider that comment by McCain, he is literally admitting ownership of the shutdown via Republican/Tea Party hands, which makes other mainstream, conservative blames on President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and the Democrats look like hogwash based talking points conjured up by the highly paid spin masters.
Now considering that when Bash asked McCain if he thought that Cruz was being “cynical” about his quest to defund Obamacare by shutting down the government, he doubled-down on his Republican, tactical criticisms.
“I think that Ted Cruz was elected on a commitment to the people of Texas that he would do everything in his power. I respect that. I just knew that it could not succeed.”
“As I’ve said, it’s not an academic exercise. This has harmed the lives of millions of people and thousands of people in my state that I represent. I have an obligation to them to try to prevent that from happening.”
So whether McCain meant to place the brunt of the shutdown blame on Republicans and Tea Party members or not, that is exactly what he did. What he said is very important, as he admitted that he was forced to weigh his political commitments to the people of his state against the nationalized, political gamesmanship of the Tea Party.
In the interview than ran against the McCain interview with Borger, Bash talked to Cruz about these same issues, and one of the most intriguing questions that she asked Cruz was also about the possibility of another shutdown problem.
Bash asked Cruz:
“Are you planning on doing this (another government shutdown) again on January 15th, when the current bill that was just passed to reopen the government, when it finishes?”
“There will be time enough to talk about specific strategies, specific tactics. What I can tell you is that I think we need to keep as the top priority, providing meaningful relief for all of the millions of people that are hurt from Obamacare.”
Bash responded to Cruz and said:
“But you’re very deliberately not ruling it out!”
Cruz then said:
“There are a lot of politicians in Washington that want to put Obamacare behind us. Say okay, fine, no more. No more discussing Obamacare.”
“And you know what, the American people are not satisfied with that.”
So it appears that another government shutdown over Obamacare is clearly not out of the question within the political reality of Cruz and his version of the American people that he insists are still demanding that he and other Tea Party members do whatever it takes to stop Obamacare.
As Republican Party operative Pat Buchanan recently stated in a column on a conservative website, it would be better for Republicans to destroy the country to stop Obamacare from destroying the country by giving the president what he wants.
But who would such an action honestly be better for—the politics of the people or the politics of the Republicans and the Tea Party?
In other words, will the idea that if you cannot legislate it, then annihilate it become the new, GOP, political, tool of the future, and the answer to that question seems to be quite possibly.