Ted Cruz, the Tea Party, and the Future of the GOP
While 21 hours seems like a long time, it apparently isn’t enough for Senator Ted Cruz to explain an alternative to “Obamacare”. It appears that Cruz has given himself enough publicity to possibly run in the presidential race in 2016. This was not an actual filibuster so it will not change the course of the vote.
Since this was not a genuine filibuster, Cruz was able to talk about virtually anything that he chose. Duck Dynasty, Dr. Seuss, and even a Star Wars Darth Vader impression weren’t strong enough topics to stop the Affordable Care Act.
With yet another threat of a government shutdown, America has been forced to watch our leadership do nothing. This do nothing congress certainly must realize that citizens on both sides of the political spectrum want a change. Rather than wasting money on pretend filibusters, gridlock, and efforts to repeal the ACA 42 times, our representatives must take on a realistic approach to solving this problem of child bickering.
In a recent Gallup poll, Tea Party support has dropped to only 22%. The antics of the Tea Party have caused a split between themselves and individuals who claim to be Republicans. This number is at a near record low, showing that there actually is a division growing among the GOP.
Compromise is not a word Tea Party candidates are familiar with using which is why less Republicans support them. This division could possibly cost the GOP the presidential election because of the constant push by the Tea Party to go further right politically.
The crisis for the GOP is going to be Tea Party candidates taking elections from Republican candidates. The Tea Party seems to actually be too conservative and this is causing the gap between the two sects of the GOP to widen. Republicans are forced to go so far to the right that they leave little resemblance to their party and appear be extremists.
Ted Cruz made some poor choices of comparison during his speech, one involved the Nazis. “If we go to the 1940s, Nazi Germany – look, we saw it in Britain. Neville Chamberlain told the British people: Accept the Nazis. Yes, they will dominate the continent of Europe, but that is not our problem. Let’s appease them. Why? Because it can’t be done. We cannot possibly stand against them.”
This man and his supporters honestly would rather have you die than use “Obamacare”. In a recent news segment, Krystal Ball of MSNBC revealed how the original individual mandate was created in opposition to a single payer system. A few years later this same plan was used by Mitt Romney in Massachusetts before becoming the ACA with minor differences.
A recent CBS News poll showed that 80% of Americans do not think that threatening a government shut down is an acceptable way to negotiate. We elect these representatives into office and they aren’t doing their jobs, plain and simple. If Ted Cruz and his fellow Tea Party supporters were truly against “Obamacare” and wanted the nation to follow their lead, then they should defund their own healthcare.
Opposing the president has become more important than serving the people for many government officials. Somehow it is patriotic to stand against “Obamacare” but offer no real alternative for Cruz. Principle has become more important than compromise in American politics and this will likely cause the GOP to lose in the upcoming elections.
America doesn’t forget, they will remember that the Tea Party led the way toward government gridlock and the rest of the Republicans quickly followed suit. Republicans could wake up and realize that they are not the party that they should be. They are more worried about elections and competition among Tea Party candidates than they are accomplishing anything beneficial.
Knowing that they have tried 42 times and failed to repeal the ACA, Republicans continue to allow the extreme right dominate their political party. Ted Cruz is basically letting the rest of us know that the Tea Party is ready to literally shut down the government so that a new healthcare plan that will guarantee coverage for all Americans will not be allowed to begin. Think about the audacity of a person who feels that they should lead the charge in preventing uninsured citizens from obtaining coverage that could potentially save their life.
As a nation, we must join together and acknowledge that destructive behavior doesn’t allow us to move forward. There is clearly one party which has made it obvious that it is their way or the highway. The Republicans have been slowly distancing themselves recently from the far right Tea Party candidates and they need to be more upfront with this process. If the GOP cannot figure out the direction they want their party to move, then they are dooming themselves once again in 2016. Children stomp their feet and embarrass those around them when they don’t get what they want. It is time for Republicans to stand up and essentially tell the Tea Party, “no, you can’t have that box of cereal now put it back.”