- - Tuesday, September 24, 2013



I consider myself an unapologetic Tea Party Patriot.

I brush my teeth with red, white and blue toothpaste. I have the entire line of Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Mike Lee Super Hero action figures. I will start buying Wheaties again when they put Sarah Palin on the box. And I have always been strongly in favor of shutting down the federal government as long as it takes for these clowns to slash the size of government down to what we can afford. And then tack on another 10-month shutdown for the EPA just to give them a little taste of their own medicine.

But here is where I have to get off the crazy train. This bamboozling head fake of a parliamentary charade led by Mr. Cruz and company that they say will somehow defund Obamacare by not actually defunding Obamacare is just plain nuts.

Now don’t get me wrong. I have always deeply admired the Texas Republican and what he stands for. I still do. And I share his stated goal of killing Obamacare before it destroys this great country. But his “plan” that will unfold this week on the Senate floor is nothing more than a parliamentary pratfall.

If you have any doubt about it, then consider this: Mr. Cruz begged House Republicans to defund Obamacare. They did as he requested and — for the umpteenth time — went on record overwhelmingly rejecting Obamacare and sent the bill over to the Senate.

So what does Mr. Cruz do when that bill reaches the Senate? Rally his troops to vote for it and declare victory? Vote for it quietly and go home?

Nope. Mr. Cruz is actually taking the bill he begged House Republicans to draft and pass that defunds Obamacare and he is filibustering it. That’s right, he is mounting the barricades to kill the very legislation he asked for.

This sure isn’t how they do things back in Texas. Sounds more like something folks in Washington would think up.

The reason so many of us admire Mr. Cruz is that he is a serious man. He makes honest arguments. He is a devoted constitutionalist. Congress needs more people like him.

But this game of kamikaze checkers he is playing on the Senate floor is doomed for failure. If he does not know this, then he is not the astute constitutionalist we thought he was. If he does know this, then he is not being the honest man we thought he was.

Look, take to the barricades and demand that Obamacare be repealed as House Republicans have done dozens of times. Raise tons of money for the effort to undo Obamacare. Even bask in the klieg lights with defiant dissent. We will leap to our feet and cheer every time you punch Obamacare in the nose.

But don’t grandstand and peddle false promises that somehow this insane nonstrategy is going to somehow stop Obamacare.

For too long, Americans have been misled and betrayed by false prophets. Washington seems to specialize in them. The Republican Party establishment still has not been forgiven for decades of their decadent spending.

And for too long, we have gathered up our pitch forks and spewed our bile all over the floor. All to no avail.

The only way to undo Obamacare is at the polls. Those in the Senate who voted for it must be punished and replaced with new senators who will approve long-standing House legislation to kill it. Then a new president must be elected to sign that legislation. Anything else is just talk.

Mr. Cruz himself, as he so often does, had a very fine observation about Washington when he began his marathon talkfest Tuesday afternoon.

“It’s all wrestling matches where it’s all rigged,” he said. “The outcome is predetermined and it’s all for show.”

Yes, indeed, Mr. Cruz. Indeed.

Charles Hurt can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @charleshurt.

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