Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas was a guest on “This Week” on ABC on December 29, 2013, according to ABC News. He placed the blame for the government shutdown squarely on the shoulder of President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. This may come as odd to people who blame Cruz and other tea party congressmen and senators for the shutdown, but it is worth exploring.
While Obama was standing fast against Cruz’s efforts to defund Obamacare, he had to have been aware of the vast problems the signup website was experiencing in the run up to the October 1, 2013 rollout. Given that it might have been prudent to take the opportunity of Cruz’s efforts to at least negotiate a delay of the health care reform law to give time for its various problems to be fixed. But by declaring “no surrender” over the controversy, the Obama administration set itself up for the situation it now finds itself in, with poll numbers in free fall over the disastrous advent of Obamacare.
Thus Cruz might have a point. If Obama and Reid had proven to be more flexible, the government shutdown would not have occurred. But the two seemed to think that a repeat of 1995 was at hand, when another Democratic president used a government shutdown to gain political advantage over congressional Republicans. For a time Obama had succeeded, but the Obamacare troubles have evaporated and even reversed that advantage. The advantage, in fact, had redounded to Cruz and his allies.