Earlier today, Republican Senator Ted Cruz infuriated his House colleagues, as Huffington Post put it, “by conceding that the party’s efforts to repeal Obamacare aren’t going anywhere in the Senate—and leaving the House to keep fighting over it anyway.” But you’d never know that from his lengthy interview with Sean Hannity a little later. In fact, Cruz likened himself to Winston Churchill in vowing to fight the Affordable Care Act “on the beaches… on the streets… at every step.” He was curiously vague, however, about what specific efforts he'll make in the Senate.
The Huffington Post noted that House Republican leaders had been planning to pass a continuing budget resolution that included an amendment to defund Obamacare and “hand it off to Cruz” and his fellow Tea Party senators, Mike Lee and Marco Rubio, “to stage a dramatic fight over the issue, even if it can’t pass.”
But while the three senators praised Boehner, “none vowed to use every tool possible to carry on the fight in the Senate, such as the use of a filibuster.”
Aides to top Republicans in the House, where GOP leadership has already been struggling to keep the party together on the measure, were beside themselves. And once granted anonymity, they didn’t mince their words.
“We haven’t even taken up the bill and Ted Cruz is admitting defeat?” fumed one senior GOP aide. “Some people came here to govern and make things better for their constituents. Ted Cruz came here to throw bombs and fundraise off of attacks on fellow Republicans. He’s a joke, plain and simple.”
Another aide said Cruz's comment "exposes how [Senate conservatives] have deliberately misled their constituents and the grassroots for eight weeks. This isn't leadership, it's hypocrisy."
But to listen to Cruz and fellow Tea Party senator, Mike Lee, on Hannity tonight, you’d think they had just scored a major victory in the fight to defund the legislation.
“The American people are coming together and they’re standing together and they’re saying, ‘Please, defund this law,’” Lee said, with a straight face.
Not quite. The truth is that while Americans don’t approve of Obamacare, they don’t want it defunded, either. But either Hannity and Cruz didn’t know the truth (unlikely) or they preferred to let the falsehood stand.
Meanwhile, Lee went on to say, “I want to applaud House Speaker John Boehner, who did the courageous thing today and stood with the American people. We now need to stand with him and with the people and defund this law,” Lee said.
So, were Cruz and Lee trying to atone for having ticked off their party? Getting a little Republican Rehab courtesy of Hannity? We’ll never know because the donnybrook was never mentioned in the first place.
“Today’s announcement (that the House resolution would be tied to defunding Obamacare) is a big, big deal,” Cruz gushed. “A few weeks ago, …every graybeard in Washington said there’s no chance of this going forward. And today is a victory for House conservatives… and today is a victory for Speaker Boehner. …I commend House leadership for listening to the American people.” Big of him, eh?
Cruz seemed to forget that earlier in the day he had said that Harry Reid would likely try and succeed in stripping the defunding from the House’s continuing budget resolution. Cruz now told the Hannity viewers, “I look forward to working with Mike to fight in the Senate to support this decision for us to succeed in defunding Obamacare.”
Hannity, however, had his priorities. There seems to be nothing more important to him than undermining a law that was passed by Congress, signed by the president and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. After all, multimillionaire Hannity can purchase any health insurance he wants (and probably has it provided for him by Fox News, anyway) and Cruz and Lee already have a nice health insurance package via the federal government they salivate over sabotaging. Why should they worry about the rest of us who struggle for decent coverage and care?
“I have never wanted a shutdown, never called for a shutdown. I want to avoid a shutdown,” Lee said disingenuously. Meaning, of course, “I don’t want a shutdown so long as you forget the democratically enacted legislation and do things my way.” He even made the ludicrous claim that the law had been “unconstitutionally rewritten by the Supreme Court.” He said, “Ted and I and others are willing to fund even programs that we don’t like as a compromise gesture.” Big of him, too, eh?‘
In another fit of amnesia and/or revisionist rehab, Cruz said, “Now, I can guarantee you one thing. Mike and I are gonna fight with every breath in our body.” That’s when Cruz pulled out the Winston Churchill reference. “As Churchill said, we will fight on the beaches, we will fight on the streets, we will fight at every step to stop the biggest job killer in America,” Cruz said valiantly.
I never heard the word “filibuster.”
However, Cruz did say, “Harry Reid needs to listen to the American people just like John Boehner did.”
Which prompted me to contact Reid and let him know I want him to stand up to Cruz’s self-serving extremism. You can contact Reid via his webmail at http://www.reid.senate.gov/contact/.
Cruz photo, above, via Gage Skidmore.
Aw… c’mon. Don’t begrudge Slanthead his total medical coverage. He needs it! With the daily diet of Big Macs, supersize fries and 64oz Cokes — he crows about this almost daily — that he stuff into his own mouth, as well as his two kids, the Hannity family will have major expenses in the near future.
Even the generic Metformin for three patients is not cheap!
Off topic but now that Tom Delay’s conviction has been overturned does this mean we won’t be hearing the term “activist judges” from the right and instead hear this was decided by constitutional scholars?
I don’t know if there is really such a thing as Reincarnation but for those who do believe they can make a strong argument that the soul of Senator Joseph McCarthy is now occupying the body of Cruz. They both have the same sleepy eyes and look almost identical.
If Cruz Missile runs for president in 2016 we will do everything in our power to see that he loses.
We’ve prepared our sign, “Defund Cruz Missile”
I know. Its incredible that a man who rerides and denegrates union at every opportunity, a la O’Reilly, is actually a card carrying union member. Is he not a Communist by his own definition. The hypocrisy is amazing. Like listening to Tantaros and Gutfeld. They never “for full disclosure” mention they are members when they knock them incessantly. Do their viewers know they are in a union or do they just ignore the inconvenient facts?.
I have a feeling Hannity also enjoys additional coverage from Fox News as part of his contract with them. So I tend to doubt that he’s scrimping and saving to pay for those doctor and dentist checkups for himself or his family.