Sunday, August 25, 2013

Ted Cruz Plays Hardball on Defunding Obamacare

(Photo by Gage Skidmore)
Rafael Eduardo "Ted" Cruz, junior United States Senator from Texas, is the darling of the Tea Party Movement and is one of the leading Republicans proposing the defunding of Obamacare.

Although Cruz was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada of a Cuban father and Irish-Italian American mother and is a citizen of Canada, little is mentioned about this part of his background. No Birthier Movement on Ted Cruz...he punches all the right buttons for the right wing G. O. P. faithful. He's a gun rights supporter, stands against additional background checks at gun shows, and voted against the Manchin-Toomey Amendment insuring that the legislation never got the sixty votes needed for cloture.

Although he took his senate seat in 2013, Cruz intends to be heard and some suspect he has his eyes on the Republican Presidential nomination in 2016. He challenged Chuck Hagel's nomination for Defense Secretary, blocked Senate Budget negotiations because of concerns over a debt ceiling hike and fought with FL Senator Marco Rubio over a bi-partisian immigration bill. Each of these actions gained him legion of fans within the right wing of the G.O.P.

Senators Cruz and Rubio both support defunding Obamacare as a condition of moving forward to fund the government. He calls his opponents the "surrender caucus", calling them "scared" to wage a fight. Cruz relishes intro-party warfare, pushing for party purity and advocates pulling the Republican Party further to the right. If the government is shut down due to lack of funding, the G.O.P. establishment believes the party will take the lion's share of blame and that such a move would be disastrous for the Republican Party.

Many people believe that Cruz's positions are not about principles or party, but rather about boosting his own brand and a possible future presidential bid. Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham, along with party staple Karl Rove don't support Cruz's  position on defunding Obamacare. Mike Lee (R-UT) has the support of 12 other Senators against Cruz's "defund Obamacare push".

It'll be interesting to see how the struggle will play out and, if a government shutdown occurs based on G.O.P. strategies such as defunding Obamacare, if the American people will penalize Republicans at the polls.

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