Let’s start with a reminder: Defunding Obamacare won’t stop Obamacare.
For President Obama’s signature legislative achievement to go away, both houses of Congress must pass a bill… that he agrees to sign. Or the president will have to refuse to enforce the law completely, using a tactic like the waivers for all 50 states that Mitt Romney promised during the campaign.
In short, to stop Obamacare, you need Obama’s help. And that’s never going to happen.
Ted Cruz (R-TX) — with some help from Mike Lee (R-UT) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) — has been lying to the GOP base for months, saying that a grassroots “tsunami” could convince Republican leaders to shut down the government or default on our debt for so long that the president will give in and abandon the law that now bears his name… a law he likely considers the greatest accomplishment of his presidency.
Cruz hasn’t triggered a tidal wave. His repeal effort is far less popular than Obamacare — but it’s extremely popular with the one group that matters most to House Republicans: primary voters.
Thus this suicide pact has become one hell of a fundraising scheme.
The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein describes the GOP’s predicament in two sentences: “It would be a disaster for the party to shut down the government over Obamacare. But it’s good for every individual Republican politician to support shutting down the government over Obamacare.”
That’s why House Republicans — with less than two weeks to go before a potential government shutdown — are embracing Cruz’s tactics completely.
House GOP leaving meeting say plan is CR w permanent defunding of Obamacare, “backup plan” of one-year Obamacare delay in debt limit deal
— daveweigel (@daveweigel) September 18, 2013
Well, not every individual Republican is pretending to buy into Cruz’s plot. Some rational Republicans — or the “surrender caucus,” as Cruz calls them — see that the plan is doomed and are saying so. Here are five Republicans who are calling BS on Ted Cruz’s very profitable “Defund Obamacare” gambit.
Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr.com