The usually laudable writings of Daniel Henninger, writing at the Wall Street Journal, are seriously off base today. The title of the article, Let Obamacare Collapse, pretty much states the meat of his argument.
The political justification, as we have so often heard from establishment Republicans, is that opposing Obamacare as Cruz has done will hurt Republicans. Let all the difficulties come to pass, let them fully blossom, as it were, and Republicans are positioned for political benefit, thereby avoiding the epithet of being obstructionists. “Come 2017,” Henninger states, “they (Republicans) can repeal the ruins”
More like preside over the ruins.
Cruz’s actions, to extend debate on a House funding government/ defunding Obamacare bill, are usually associated with opponents of a bill. But they were necessitated by the arcane rules of the Senate and the hegemony of Senate majority leader Harry Reid. Cruz successfully extended the limelight of a good House bill that would otherwise go through Reid’s machinations becoming an Obamacare funding bill. Reid’s processing of it will not allow anything good to happen and his pro-Obamacare version will be set forth under rules that disallow Cruz or anyone to “extend debate” later.
Cruz had previously served to cajole the weak-hitter House Republican leadership to do the right thing and issue a solid defunding bill. This week he sought to do all that he could in the Senate to change or delay implementation of Obamacare at the only time we could.
His efforts served to focus on the fight and associate Republicans with the fight to end it decisively. Much of the base and most of the independents who opposes Obamacare do not trust the current Republican leadership. It also serves to enhance such decisive tactics given what is at stake. Conservatives should applaud it and I believe most are.
Cruz’s actions also served to expose Republicans in the Senate who are content with cheap talk or carrying the water for Democrats in order to appear bi-partisan. If his actions enhance real mover’s and shakers at the expense of worn out or complacent “leadership” then I am all for it.
That Obamacare will financially collapse of its own weight is politically irrelevant because during the time frame of those proposing that Republicans essentially sit on the sidelines, people will become dependent and a health care system will be ruined. Nothing will exist to replace it, probably by design. Once people are dependent on the government the fix is inevitably more government.
Never underestimate the political susceptibility of voters to Democrat promises to “fix” their own created health care debacle with promises of more “free” health care. Many major government programs are insolvent, cumbersome and generally unpopular. That has not ended any of them in the face of vested interests and scare mongering or grand promises by Democrats.
Regarding the fear of being blamed that motivates establishment Republican “leadership” — Republicans will be blamed no matter what by the liberal media and Democrats. That is not a worthy argument against Cruz’s actions. We think Cruz’s actions will enure to enhance the image of Republicans as serious about stopping Obamacare, in spite of the current Republican leadership kicking and screaming to the contrary, constantly echoing Democrat talking points.
Republicans have alternatives to beneficially fix a troubled but superior health care delivery system. Obamacare is a disaster. It is not responsible to ever sit on the sidelines and let the private US health care system be destroyed on a presumption of political gain later. History is to the contrary. More government will be demanded if people have become dependent on government dictated systems.
Henninger’s article, consistent with the WSJ editorial policy, has generated a lot of response, typical of a national publication. We have scanned the responses and they seem overwhelming in support of Cruz’s actions, or at least in opposition to Henninger’s reasoning. We recommend reading into those comments as well for wide ranging insight.