For starters, it is anything but a foregone conclusion that Republicans will reclaim the Senate in 2014. And even if they do, they will not be able to take care of Obamacare, in any way, shape, or form, until at least two years after that, for as long as Obama is president, Republicans’ chances of defunding, much less repealing, Obamacare will be no greater than they are now.
In fact, they will be even worse.
By 2016, Obamacare will have been fully in effect for nearly two years. As anyone so much as remotely familiar with the trajectory of Big Government programs—and there is no bigger Big Government program than Obamacare—knows all too well, once a program begins to fall over a land, it is there to stay.
Translation: Cruz’s detractors’ “tactic” is far weaker than that which he has employed.
Fourth, for as hard as they are at work trying to depict him as a crass opportunist, even Cruz’s opponents know that his campaign to defund Obamacare and his 21 hour filibuster were beyond mere symbolism. After all, that Republicans unanimously vote, and vote repeatedly, against Obamacare proves beyond a doubt that they know as well as anyone all about symbolism. But not only did very few Republicans refuse to stand alongside Cruz; they made a point of denouncing him, of ridiculing him, and doing so in such Democratic-friendly venues as CNN and MSNBC.
Why? It should be clear that they recognized that unlike any other mere act of symbolism, Cruz’s stance against Obamacare required courage, for it comes at a cost.
Cruz upped the ante.
Finally, if it is juvenile, naïve, self-defeating, etc. to try to fight for an end that is not likely to come to pass, as the anti-Cruz forces now insist, then I suppose they would have to agree that those of their base who, say, voted for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan last year were juvenile, naïve, and or self-defeating. Most polls taken during the election season consistently indicated that Romney had little chance of prevailing over Obama. As it turned out, they were accurate.
While many conservatives did indeed refrain from voting for Romney, according to this logic, all of them should have.
For that matter, if, as polls suggest now, Hillary Clinton is likely to have a lock on the presidency in 2016, maybe none of us should even bother voting for her GOP rival—who ever this may be.
Jack Kerwick received his doctoral degree in philosophy from Temple University. His area of specialization is ethics and political philosophy. He is a professor of philosophy at several colleges and universities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Jack blogs at Beliefnet.com: At the Intersection of Faith & Culture. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or friend him on facebook. You can also follow him on twitter.