Bill Kristol has about had it with Ted Cruz.
In a radio conversation Thursday morning, the Weekly Standard founder and multi-platform pundit made sure to establish a base coat of respect, even admiration for the energetic and courageous conservatism of Texas’ freshman Senator.
But he grows weary of what he perceives as attacks from the Defund Obamacare chorus that anyone preferring another path must be an unfit warrior in the battle against the fraudulently-named Affordable Care Act.
The community distancing from the Defund movement contains people I have long respected, from Bill Bennett to Charles Krauthammer to Texas’ other Senator, John Cornyn.
All point to the near certainty that the defund effort will fail on the Senate floor, and succeed only in marginalizing the Republican party with another government shutdown PR disaster.
They have a point. And it’s probably not helpful to refer to them as members of a “surrender caucus.”
But rather than quibble over the word choices of Cruz, Utah Senator Mike Lee and others rallying around them, I prefer to examine why I will stand with the defund effort until it breathes its last.
Massive tyranny requires bold response. Obamacare is not just another big-government bad idea that can be whittled and trifled with by detail guys like John Boehner and Mitch McConnell. It is a scourge of epic proportions, the most stunning hijacking of our economy and our liberties in modern times.
Parsing the poisonous pages of the Affordable Care Act gives the impression that this is just another in a series of noble pushbacks that Republicans will mount in the Obama era.
It is no such thing. It is an attack that necessitates a reply that reflects our outrage.
We all know it passed, and that it is “the law of the land.” Well, here’s another matter of law-- Congress holds the purse strings, even to measures that have passed. If they can legally turn off the money spigot to fend off this nightmare, that is as legitimate an exercise of public will as its hasty, ramshackle passage in March 2010.
Now to the skeptics’ points:
“It cannot succeed.” Perhaps not, but it will succeed in doing two things-- galvanizing the passions of a dispirited GOP base that is sick of tepid party leadership that has ushered us into our current mess as surely as liberal Democrats have done.