For once you have someone who is actually taking a stand, actually trying to do something, and actually taking a risk doing it.
It will be interesting to see if it works.
As for me, I am fed up with doing things to win elections. If we aren’t going to use the power we have to do anything, why have the power at all? The House is the one place we have a majority. If we can’t use that majority to fight to prevent a fundamental transformation of the relationship between the government and the individual, what’s the point?
Before you watch the clip, a little background to understand why Cruz is talking about filibustering the bill to defund ObamaCare that he encouraged House Republicans to pass, and that they did pass on Friday. The long and short of it is this: GOP Senators can’t filibuster a Harry Reid amendment to that bill to add funding for ObamaCare. The only way to prevent funding for ObamaCare to be rammed down our throats, procedurally, is to filibuster this bill. It sounds weird, but procedurally it’s the only option they have.
With that understood, watch the clip:
Cruz is very well spoken here. He’s trying to create a grassroots uprising. After all, people — Democrats and Republicans both — are starting to see how ObamaCare is adversely affecting them. I have heard lower income people who appear to be Democrats talk about how their hours were cut back to 24 hours a week because of ObamaCare. I have seen people I know are Democrats talk about how they are losing their insurance from ObamaCare. This is a disaster, and people are starting to see the reality. Cruz hopes to capitalize on this realization.
As you can see from the clip, some House Republicans are getting annoyed at Cruz for taking a stand, because taking a stand is uncomfortable to them. They’d rather do a one-year delay of ObamaCare, because they are weak and too worried about standing up. They’re mad at Cruz for acknowledging electoral reality in the Senate, and publicly saying that, eventually, it’s going to come back to the House. Well, guess what, Peter King? He’s right. Fundamentally, you guys are going to have to stop getting upset at Cruz for telling the truth. Maybe it means the political heat is on you — but the House is where we have the majority, and that’s where the heat is going to be.
By offering to filibuster a bill using the only mechanism available, Cruz is sticking his neck out as far as possible — without lying and pretending as though a Senate win is likely.
SOMEWHAT RELATED POINT: A fella named Allan Brauer had some fun the other day telling Cruz aide Amanda Carpenter that he hoped her children would die because of Cruz’s opposition to ObamaCare:
But Allan Brauer, communications chair of the Democratic Party of Sacramento County, took his criticism to another level, writing a shocking threat aimed at [Cruz aid Amanda Carpenter's] two children.
“May your children all die from debilitating, painful and incurable diseases,” he tweeted from his account, which he says does not represent the view of the organization he works for.
His comment sparked outrage, but he continued to defend his stance in the hours after posting the message, complaining that he was “being attacked on Twitter for wishing one of Ted Cruz’s pubic lice to experience the pain her boss is inflicting on Americans.”
This is the type of “argument” we are used to seeing from Brett Kimberlin supporters — like Neal Rauhauser, who wished for Dick Cheney to be shot and Republicans hung in the streets; or Bill Schmalfeldt, who fantasized about the murder of myself and Ken White; or Matt Osborne, who wrote a lengthy and detailed fantasy about the torture of Rush Limbaugh; or Occupy Rebellion, who routinely told enemies that their wives should be raped and their children harmed. (I discovered Osborne’s torture fantasy post today; read it yourself to see just how demented this man is.) Each of these people uses their opponents’ political positions as an excuse to go around suggesting that it would be appropriate for various atrocities to happen to these opponents and their families. I have been on the other side of many of these inappropriate suggestions, with my livelihood and my family the subject of creepy suggestions. I feel Amanda Carpenter’s pain.
But increasingly I see people approve of this type of rhetoric, even when uttered by people with more influence than trolls with fewer than 20 followers.
(This sort of rhetoric probably occurs on both sides, but — perhaps because I am a conservative and read conservative-leaning sites — I see it more from the left. The right is not immune, though, from Internet obsessives who make violent threats, try to destroy people personally, and engage in other immoral behavior that they somehow rationalize to themselves and their readers. But mostly I see it coming from the left.)
It is a disturbing trend to see such rhetoric coming from so-called “respectable” people, as opposed to Internet narcissists and obsessives who sit around the house all day nursing their grudges.
That said, Brauer is an Internet buddy of torture fantasist Matt Osborne, so maybe we shouldn’t be too surprised. And maybe he ain’t all that respectable.
What he is, now, is out of a job. As Ken White explained recently, the First Amendment protects us from government squelching our speech because of our viewpoint — but speech has consequences, and ought to. Maybe Brauer saw his fellow travelers like Osborne and Rauhauser engaging in such rhetoric and getting away with it, but forgot that, unlike them, he had an actual life and something to lose.
To bring this full circle, Ted Cruz has a lot to lose with this gambit, but if it works, we all have a lot to gain. I wish Cruz luck, and I applaud his remarkable political courage.
It’s truly nice to see someone with actual principles in politics, isn’t it?