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Old 09-25-2013, 03:54 AM  
|Zach| |Zach| is offline
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The Double Absurdity of Ted Cruz's 'Filibuster'

Why the senator's last stand against Obamacare just doesn't make sense.

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/...buster/279959/

Who says Republicans and Democrats can't agree on anything? These days, they are largely united in their loathing for Ted Cruz, the pugnacious Republican freshman senator from Texas. On Tuesday afternoon, Cruz took the floor of the Senate and vowed to speak as long as he could stand. (His colleague Mike Lee has already taken a turn at the podium.)

For procedural reasons, Cruz's remarks, however long, do not constitute a true filibuster; the vote to move forward with government-funding legislation is scheduled to begin after noon on Wednesday and will go forward regardless. Twitter quickly dubbed his stand a "fauxlibuster" or -- perfect for its invocation of vacuous, feel-good nonsense-speech -- a "Ted Talk." Invoking the Nazis, the Soviet Union, and the Little Engine That Could, Cruz styled himself the lone crusader for right against a formidably equipped enemy.

Nearly to a one, Republicans want to get rid of Obamacare. But most also worry Cruz's defund crusade will lead to a government shutdown that hurts the GOP politically. Leaving aside the policy or even the political advisability of Cruz's undertaking, though, there are a couple of basic logical problems with what he's trying to do, as the conservative writer David Freddoso pointed out on the Conservative Intelligence Briefing website on Sunday.

1. He's trying to block the same bill he says he wants to pass. Cruz and his fellow defunders pushed the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to pass a bill funding the federal government but stopping funding for health-care-reform implementation. The House obeyed and passed the bill on Friday. But now that the Senate is considering the bill, Cruz wants to prevent it from being voted on. "If you’re really interested in putting pressure on Democrats to heed their constituents and vote to defund Obamacare, then you make them take the very vote that Cruz is trying to prevent from happening," Freddoso writes.

2. Shutting down the government wouldn't stop Obamacare. On Fox News on Friday, Cruz proposed passing piecemeal funding bills for "different pieces of the government," such as the military, implying Congress could fund other government functions while omitting Obamacare. But that's wrong -- the money for Obamacare isn't at stake in the continuing resolution currently under consideration. It's "mandatory" spending, akin to Medicare and Social Security, and would require action by Congress to revoke. "I’m convinced that most conservatives who have bought into [Cruz's] strategy have been misled to believe we can hold off Obamacare for a while with a government shutdown," Freddoso writes. "Obamacare is already funded, and that won’t change if this bill gets stalled by a filibuster. During the shutdown, the Marines don’t get paid, but Obamacare gets funded."

Conservatives can cheer Cruz for grabbing the nation's attention and giving an impassioned, high-profile speech. But, Freddoso argues, they shouldn't pretend this is a practical step toward stalling legislation they hate. As he wrote in another post: "This plan is right out of Alice in Wonderland. You need to prevent a vote on defunding Obamacare in order to defund Obamacare." Good luck with that, Senator.
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Old 09-25-2013, 03:09 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by Dave Lane View Post
The beauty is that this will end up tearing apart the GOP. Be interesting to see what replaces it.
Haha, good luck with that, Zach.
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Old 09-25-2013, 03:24 PM   #77
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They are fighting because they're afraid it will succeed. .

But if they're afraid it will succeed, why is Bill Clinton asking the GOP to help it so it can succeed?
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Old 09-25-2013, 03:31 PM   #78
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Cruz is a grandstanding douche nozzle. I'll be running away now.

The beauty is that this will end up tearing apart the GOP. Be interesting to see what replaces it.
It's pretty clear what is going to replace it... Cruz, Paul, Rubio, Lee, Amash, etc. We're watching the changing of the guard right before our eyes, and the old guard unsuccessfully trying to make it stop.

Go to any grass roots Republican website (such as RedState.com) and read what they have to say. They love what Cruz is doing, and hate what the old guys are saying in response.
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Old 09-25-2013, 03:37 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by Taco John View Post
It's pretty clear what is going to replace it... Cruz, Paul, Rubio, Lee, Amash, etc. We're watching the changing of the guard right before our eyes, and the old guard unsuccessfully trying to make it stop.

Go to any grass roots Republican website (such as RedState.com) and read what they have to say. They love what Cruz is doing, and hate what the old guys are saying in response.
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Old 09-25-2013, 03:41 PM   #80
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Senate votes 100-0 to move ahead on debate over Obamacare

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WASHINGTON — The Senate easily overcame Wednesday’s first hurdle to a fizzling GOP strategy to strip funding for President Obama’s healthcare law in exchange for keeping the government running.

Top Republicans are now for a new — more modest — way to chip away at the Affordable Care Act.

Time is not on their side after Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) monopolized the floor in his lonely filibuster-like campaign. Money for routine government operations is set to run out Oct. 1, unless Congress acts.

The rare 100-0 vote to end this first round of debate showed how eager senators were to move the bill forward.

Republicans realize that because they are in the minority in the chamber, Democrats will eventually be able to eliminate the Obamacare provision to protect the president’s signature law. Republican leaders want Cruz to wrap up his time in the limelight so the Senate can dispatch the legislation back to the House in time to give Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) ample opportunity to attach new amendments that might have a better chance at eventually ending the healthcare law.

“My own view is it would be to the advantage of our colleagues in the House, who are in the majority, to shorten the process,” said Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who has distanced himself from Cruz’s strategy. “If the House doesn't get what we send over there until Monday, they're in a pretty tough spot.”

Republicans in the House and Senate believe a do-over in the House could have better results, if they attach a healthcare provision that would be difficult for Democrats to oppose — such as a repeal of the new tax on medical device manufacturers that some Democrats dislike, or a delay of the individual mandate that all Americans carry health insurance in 2014.

After Republican senators convened for back-to-back closed-door strategy sessions earlier this week, many, if not most, embraced the emerging plan. “It seems to some of us the sooner you get it over to the House, the sooner they can address it,” said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)

Cruz initially showed little interest in yielding, promising to use every procedural tool necessary to stop what others in his party viewed as inevitable.

But after finishing is 21-hour talkathon late Wednesday morning, Cruz suggested speeding up the next key vote to Friday , rather than Saturday as scheduled. That vote is viewed as the Republicans’ last chance to stop the bill before the Democrats gut the health provision.

Cruz said he wanted to make sure Americans were tuned in to watch it. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) initially declined the offer, but conversations are expected to continue.

Under Senate rules, the chamber will now spend 30 hours in debate before the next vote, Thursday morning, to proceed to the legislation. Final passage, without the healthcare provision, would not come until Sunday evening — with hours to go before a possible shutdown.
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Old 09-25-2013, 03:44 PM   #81
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Like every single other product or service out there: price vs quality. We get to choose. We cannot have both since that doesn't exist in reality. The interesting thing about the NH case is that Anthem noted when they cut back on access: "The consumer has told us they prefer lower prices".

If that's true, that's fine. If Cosmo or Zach or Obama were arguing that we need to restrict the growth in costs so we could apply the savings to growing the economy....I would buy that argument. Just as I would if they said the opposite - we need to spend more to take better care of people/insure more. But when they say we can do both, that's insane.
I'm with you on this. The Republicans are doing an absolutely shitty job at picking their battles. That's what bothers me about the recent shift to an extremist conservative ideology. In the business world, you don't win battles by stubborn stonewalling. You win battles by picking your battles, and then attacking those battles. If you don't pick your battles, then you look like a contrarian. That's what the Republicans look like today. The fight against Obamacare doesn't look like a principled fight, it looks like they are just rubber stamping to oppose Obama. At this point, if Obama said "I will forfeit my entire salary", the GOP would still oppose it. That's the reputation they are building.

If the GOP advised a repeal of Obamacare in exchange for flexing on something else, that's compromise. Right now, they are asking for unreasonable, unwinnable demands. They are posturing in a battle they can't win.

You're right, nobody is thinking about what damage this is doing to the Republican brand. While it's energizing a niche of their base, it is absolutely devastating their appeal to moderates and independents. A government shutdown is going to be celebrated as a victory among the base, but create huge long-term damage to moderates.
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Old 09-25-2013, 03:57 PM   #82
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I'm with you on this. The Republicans are doing an absolutely shitty job at picking their battles. That's what bothers me about the recent shift to an extremist conservative ideology. In the business world, you don't win battles by stubborn stonewalling. You win battles by picking your battles, and then attacking those battles. If you don't pick your battles, then you look like a contrarian. That's what the Republicans look like today. The fight against Obamacare doesn't look like a principled fight, it looks like they are just rubber stamping to oppose Obama. At this point, if Obama said "I will forfeit my entire salary", the GOP would still oppose it. That's the reputation they are building.

If the GOP advised a repeal of Obamacare in exchange for flexing on something else, that's compromise. Right now, they are asking for unreasonable, unwinnable demands. They are posturing in a battle they can't win.

You're right, nobody is thinking about what damage this is doing to the Republican brand. While it's energizing a niche of their base, it is absolutely devastating their appeal to moderates and independents. A government shutdown is going to be celebrated as a victory among the base, but create huge long-term damage to moderates.
This article notes my agreement with this post.

What Tea Party Voters Don't Understand

Quote:
Tea Party voters are a pretty self-assured lot. They're 100 percent certain that if they stand by conservative principles (as they define them), scorning any compromises, a minority can rule the world.

They're also pretty good at discerning apostates. They're the keepers of the one true conservative faith. Anyone who deviates a hair from their prescribed policies -- or even expresses qualms about their political tactics -- is a traitor and a squish, which covers all but a few Republicans in Washington.


Those exceptional few are the only politicians they listen to, as they generally prefer the advice of talk radio hosts who don’t have a responsibility to govern, only to make money for themselves and their advertisers. Even the pols they respect have to be watched closely for signs of incipient complicity in the disgrace of incrementally fixing what’s wrong with government rather than burning the whole thing down and starting over.

That’s how Sen. Ted Cruz found himself in hot water with his Tea Party supporters. For weeks he had demanded House Republicans stand fast and pass legislation to fund the government only if it denied funding for Obamacare. When his like-minded lawmakers in the House forced their leadership to send the Senate a bill that would effectively kill the 2010 law, Cruz congratulated them on having the courage of their convictions. Then he promptly explained that they couldn’t expect much help from him. He’s just one guy. Harry Reid runs the Senate, and there are too few non-squishes in the Senate Republican caucus to stop Reid from doing his worst.

Predictably, Cruz’s supporters, not to mention House Republicans, were dismayed by his newfound practicality and they let him know it. So, quick as you please, he went back to doing the thing he does best, telling the Tea Party exactly what it wants to hear. According to Cruz, all that’s required to rid the country of this “terrible law” is for Senate Republicans to filibuster the very bill that Republicans in the House passed.

Obamacare might be a lousy law, but it is a law. It was passed by both houses of Congress, and signed by a president. And this president, having been comfortably re-elected last year, remains in office, veto pen at the ready. The law was found to be constitutional by the Supreme Court, which has a conservative chief justice and four other conservative jurists.

Repealing it will require more than a determined minority. It will take a Republican majority in both houses of Congress, and almost certainly a Republican president. The Democrats who now control the Senate certainly won’t pass the House bill. They’ll strip all Obamacare-related provisions from it. If Senate Republicans successfully filibuster the bill, Harry Reid will let the whole thing die and the government will shut down.

It probably won’t come to that because those perfidious Republican squishes won’t let it.

Why? Because, dear bravehearts, you don’t have the numbers to prevail. You’re a minority. You’re a minority in Congress and you’re a minority in the country. A majority of Americans might tell pollsters they don’t like Obamacare, but guess what? They like the idea of shutting down government even less, as every recent survey has shown. And they’ll blame Republicans for it -- and make them pay for it.

You’ll give a needed boost to the president’s flagging popularity and diminish the Republican brand, which really can’t take much more diminishing. And you’ll delay the day when you might conceivably have the numbers to repeal Obamacare because you’ll have made it a lot harder to elect a Senate majority in 2014. But you’ll have stood by your conservative principles even to the point of sacrificing the prospects for their success.

So go ahead and follow Sarah Palin. Let’s put the Senate on Cruz control. Let’s shame those squishes to the firing line. Filibuster the bill. Let Harry Reid pull it off the Senate floor. Shut down the government. I think you’ll find the Democrats you expected to yield to the persuasive power of your kamikaze tactics are only too happy to test your resolve.

The damage a shutdown would do to the country would be less cataclysmic for the economy than refusing to raise the debt ceiling. And when you see how the country reacts to your shutdown, you might have less of an appetite for holding the debt ceiling hostage as well. You might even get an inkling that governing requires, well, governing, as best you can in a politically divided government and country, seeking advantageous compromises, picking your battles carefully, measuring your strength accurately to advance your ideals a few accomplishments at a time.

And don’t worry about Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin and the handful of your fellow elected officials who tell you only what you want to hear. They’ll be fine. Your intransigence is good for their business. But you might discover, as you see how seriously your tactics have set back your progress, that it’s they, and not the Republican establishment, who’ve been playing you for suckers all along.


Read more: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/art...#ixzz2fwaoA9AN
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Old 09-25-2013, 04:19 PM   #83
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You seem to be laboring under the idea that I am hung up on what you think about me and have ever done anything ever with you in mind.
Excellent. Since it doesn't matter to you I might as well be honest and let you know that I think you have gone from a somewhat entertaining poster to a vile arrogant douchebag over the last few years. It's a bit confusing to me since you have absolutely nothing to actually be arrogant about. Lacking in both brains and looks you seem to compensate with completely unjustified self love. Last time I checked it wasn't a point of pride to be a fat, effeminate, no talent soccer groupie.
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Old 09-25-2013, 04:27 PM   #84
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Excellent. Since it doesn't matter to you I might as well be honest and let you know that I think you have gone from a somewhat entertaining poster to a vile arrogant douchebag over the last few years. It's a bit confusing to me since you have absolutely nothing to actually be arrogant about. Lacking in both brains and looks you seem to compensate with completely unjustified self love. Last time I checked it wasn't a point of pride to be a fat, effeminate, no talent soccer groupie.
i'll have you know that z is not effeminate...

as to the rest, ah well...
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Old 09-25-2013, 04:30 PM   #85
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Excellent. Since it doesn't matter to you I might as well be honest and let you know that I think you have gone from a somewhat entertaining poster to a vile arrogant douchebag over the last few years. It's a bit confusing to me since you have absolutely nothing to actually be arrogant about. Lacking in both brains and looks you seem to compensate with completely unjustified self love. Last time I checked it wasn't a point of pride to be a fat, effeminate, no talent soccer groupie.


Did somebody hack into the emperors account?


In other words, being fat and stupid is no way to go around living, Zach.
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Old 09-25-2013, 04:48 PM   #86
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But if they're afraid it will succeed, why is Bill Clinton asking the GOP to help it so it can succeed?
What you have said makes no sense. How does what Bill Clinton is doing make a statement on Republican motives? Even the President has said the bill can be made better and has asked the Republicans for input to do so. Of course Bill Clinton would want the Republicans to give up their attempts and work to make the law better. Your comment does nothing to refute what I have said.
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Old 09-25-2013, 04:49 PM   #87
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I think this is the context that people are missing in this recent theatre:

The last 24 hours wasn't Ted Cruz vs. Democrats. Not at all really. The last 24 hours was about Ted Cruz (and the new school republicans) vs. John McCain, Mitch McConnell, and everyone else in the old school. This is just an extension of the Republican civil war.

Ted Cruz, whether people have the savvy to understand this or not, just fired across Mitch Mconnell's bows, and the entire Republican establishment. If you get a chance, watch the exchange that he had during primetime during the speech with Dick Durbin. He laid out the whole strategy there. Or better yet, just check the first post of this thread - which pretty well nailed everything that happened this week before it even happened.

This whole thing is about the senate fight in 2014 and the new guard letting the old guard know "we have the floor now - stand down."
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Old 09-25-2013, 05:11 PM   #88
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What you have said makes no sense. How does what Bill Clinton is doing make a statement on Republican motives? Even the President has said the bill can be made better and has asked the Republicans for input to do so. Of course Bill Clinton would want the Republicans to give up their attempts and work to make the law better. Your comment does nothing to refute what I have said.
What the Raiders fan has said is true, our customs are different. What Bill Clinton has said is unimportant, and we do not hear his words.
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Old 09-25-2013, 05:58 PM   #89
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Excellent. Since it doesn't matter to you I might as well be honest and let you know that I think you have gone from a somewhat entertaining poster to a vile arrogant douchebag over the last few years. It's a bit confusing to me since you have absolutely nothing to actually be arrogant about. Lacking in both brains and looks you seem to compensate with completely unjustified self love. Last time I checked it wasn't a point of pride to be a fat, effeminate, no talent soccer groupie.


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Old 09-25-2013, 06:40 PM   #90
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Excellent. Since it doesn't matter to you I might as well be honest and let you know that I think you have gone from a somewhat entertaining poster to a vile arrogant douchebag over the last few years. It's a bit confusing to me since you have absolutely nothing to actually be arrogant about. Lacking in both brains and looks you seem to compensate with completely unjustified self love. Last time I checked it wasn't a point of pride to be a fat, effeminate, no talent soccer groupie.
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Posts: 23,999
RNR is obviously part of the inner Circle.RNR is obviously part of the inner Circle.RNR is obviously part of the inner Circle.RNR is obviously part of the inner Circle.RNR is obviously part of the inner Circle.RNR is obviously part of the inner Circle.RNR is obviously part of the inner Circle.RNR is obviously part of the inner Circle.RNR is obviously part of the inner Circle.RNR is obviously part of the inner Circle.RNR is obviously part of the inner Circle.
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