The sound and feel of passion like that will energize millions of conservative voters weary of season after season of caves and compromises. It should also earn the respect of moderates and independents who may be ambivalent about Obamacare but surely appreciate the rare spectacle of politicians showing some spine.
As for charges of obstructionism, the public needs a history lesson. Rarely have we soared so high as when we have stood in opposition to bad things. We stopped slavery. We stopped Hitler. We stopped Saddam’s rape of Kuwait.
Now we must stop the prospect of government robbing us of free market health care decisions. The time will come for suggestions on how to reform insurance and manage safety nets for the truly needy. Before we begin to stripe that field, we must slay the beast of Obamacare. At last it seems we have warriors willing to do so.
But now we get to the familiar Republican habit of exploding differences of strategy and nuance into bitter grudges.
As a fan of the Cruz approach, I winced when he lobbed charges of “surrender” at those who sought a more measured, line-by-line dismantling of the Affordable Care Act.
Conversely, it is unsettling (and, quite frankly, stupid) for the more pragmatic Republicans to blast Cruz and his nervier colleagues as “out of touch with reality.”
Everyone knows Senate passage of a continuing resolution without Obamacare funding is the longest of shots. But here’s some “reality” for everyone: there is singular value in standing for something when the odds are against you. Against a longtime norm of leaders leaning in the direction of prevailing winds, such courage is downright remarkable.
Every Republican in the House and Senate should vote for the immediate defunding of Obamacare, period. If fate dictates this strategy should fall short at this moment, the party should dust itself off, warm with the glow of having cast the right vote.
Then it will be time for the next phase of Republican unity-- the pivot from sledgehammer to scalpel as the party dives into the tangled mess of this poisonous legislation and dismantles it brick by brick.
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