Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Turning Friends into Enemies Ted Cruz Throws Red Meat to the Brain- Dead Right

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Turning Friends into Enemies Ted Cruz Throws Red Meat to the Brain- Dead Right

Article excerpt

All eyes in the Senate Tuesday were on Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, which, I suppose, was the point of the exercise.

Sen. Cruz took the floor at 2:42 p.m. and held it for 21 hours and 19 minutes. He spoke, eloquently, about why Obamacare should be defunded -- in an effort to keep the Senate from taking up a House bill that defunds Obamacare.

This wasn't as nutty as it sounds. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid planned to bring the House bill -- whose primary purpose is to keep the government funded through December -- to the floor under a rule which would give each side just 30 hours of debate. Then Democrats, who control the Senate, 54-46, would strip the Obamacare provision from it.

Sen. Cruz could speak against the rule for as long as his vocal cords held out. Then the Senate took up the reconciliation bill just as Sen. Reid had scheduled. But only if you think its purpose was to stop Obama- care could Sen. Cruz's filibuster be considered a failure.

"Never interfere with an enemy while he is destroying himself."

That maxim is derived from what Napoleon told his marshals at the battle of Austerlitz when they asked why he didn't react to a foolish enemy maneuver. A variant, attributed to Woodrow Wilson, is "never murder a man who is committing suicide."

Obamacare officially begins Tuesday. The administration is wholly unprepared. Panic is spreading throughout the land. Seniors are frightened. Young people are turned off. Labor unions have buyers' remorse. Government employees want nothing to do with it.

If Congress doesn't pass a bill to fund it before the new fiscal year starts Oct. 1, the government may spend only as much as it takes in in taxes. Because we have such a big deficit, this means spending must be slashed.

Republicans should shut down the government to defund Obama- care, say Sen. Cruz and a handful of confederates.

But most Obamacare spending is in the form of entitlements, which can be changed only if Congress passes a new law, which isn't going to happen as long as Democrats control the Senate.

And though Americans dislike Obamacare, big majorities oppose shutting down the government to defund it, three polls last week made clear. …

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