Beating his chest in the post-government shutdown debacle, Sen. Ted Cruz told “Politics Confidential” that the House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) got the GOP a “lousy” deal when the shutdown ended Oct. 16. “The deal we got . . . was a lousy deal,” said Cruz, referring to the fact that Cruz and the Tea Party didn’t get any concessions on Obamacare. “The Washington establishment sold the American people down the river. It provided no relief for the millions of people were hurting because of Obamacare,” Cruz insisted in the same twisted message delivered by his Tea Party friends, like Rep. Steven King (R-Iowa). Cruz frequently speaks for the “American people” but he’s actually speaks only for his right wing constituency that hates Obamacare. Cruz likes to rip the March 21, 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act but he and the Tea Party have offered no replacements.
When Boehner finally put a new Senate resolution to open the government and raise the debt-ceiling to a full House vote, it passed overwhelmingly, despite Cruz’s attempts to default the U.S. government. To Cruz and the Tea Party there’s nothing more distasteful than spending tax dollars on government entitlements. Named after the Dec. 16, 1773 Boston Tea Party, where colonists dumped Earl Grey Tea in the Boston Harbor protesting the 1773 Tea Act, allowing England’s King George to tax the colonies without representation, the Tea Party is anything but patriotic. They seek to slash taxes—and government revenue—to the point the U.S. government has no money to pay for entitlements like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and, of course, Obamacare. Cruz talks of Obamacare hurting his constituents when the program has only recently opened for business Oct. 1.
Cruz and the Tea Party want to bully a battered Republican Party, where the last two moderate GOP candidates, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)  and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney , picked Tea Party favorites former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as their running mates. Neither McCain nor Romney admitted the colossal blunder of picking right wing extremists as their running mates. What McCain and Romney have in common is that the Tea Party sunk their presidential campaigns. If you listen to Cruz and Tea Party fanatics they’d have you believe the GOP lost in 2008 and 2012 because their candidates were not conservative enough. New polling by the liberal Public Policy Polling shows that 49-61 congressional districts are up for grabs in the 2014 election because the voters blame GOP for the government shutdown and near default.
Cruz blames Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for striking a bad deal to end the budget and default impasse. “The reason this deal—the lousy deal—was reached . . . is because unfortunately Senate Republicans made the choice not to support the House Republicans,” insisted Cruz, showing his wacky ideas. Cruz knows that Boehner tossed he and the Tea Party under the bus because they were insane enough to default the government over Obamacare. Boehner could have refused to put the Senate bill up for a full House vote. When it did come up for a full House vote, Cruz has no explanation for why so many Republicans betrayed the Tea Party and crossed over to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling. Boehner understood how default would damage the U.S. economy.
Like Sarah Palin after the 2008 GOP election, Cruz’s brand has started to tarnish. When the bulk of the GOP that voted to reopen the government Oct. 16 get that the Tea Party has made Republicans unelectable in national office, Cruz will fall quickly into disrepute. “What I intend to do is continue stand with the American people to work to stop Obamacare, because it isn’t working, it’s costing people jobs, and it’s taking away their health care,” Cruz said. Cruz speaks only for his narrow Texas constituency that put him in office. He won’t admit that it’s premature to judge Obamacare since its rollout on Oct. 1. Whatever glitches remain in the system, they’re bound to improve over time. If the insurance industry continues to gouge consumers, it’s up to Congress to penalize the industry for taking advantage. If the GOP loses the House in 2014, Cruz and the Tea Party will be vanquished.
While Cruz likes to blame the government shutdown on Democrats, the public sees thing differently by wide margins. “There would never have been a shutdown if Harry Reid and President Obama hadn’t said ‘we will not compromise, we will not negotiate,’ shut the government down,” said Cruz, not admitting that he and the Tea Party didn’t get their demand of delaying or shutting down Obamacare. Boehner could have called for a vote at anytime but allowed Cruz to run his mouth for two weeks. When push-came-to-shove on the government default, Boehner did the right thing. Cruz would have defaulted the U.S. government. He calls the Senate deal bad because he didn’t get his way. If Cruz and the Tea Party’s fanaticism stay fresh in the public’s mind, the Senate should strengthen its Democratic majority and Republicans will more than likely lose the House.
About the Author
John M. Curtis writes politically neutral commentary analyzing spin in national and global news. He’s editor of OnlineColumnist.com and author of Dodging The Bullet and Operation Charisma.