Providing political cover for the other party is just a professional courtesy practiced by the professional politicians in today's Congress. There is endless calculation about who will say what, who will be given a pass from voting the party line, who will sponsor new legislation, who gets gerrymandered, etc.
It's possible that Obama is the scheming snake he is accused of being, and it's possible that he's simply an idiot, but it's also possible that he's playing a well-scripted game of political optimization.
Recently Harry Reid referred to Cruz as a "schoolyard bully" for refusing to pay sufficient respect to Senate practices and superiors like ... Harry Reid. Is it possible that Cruz has the strength and wisdom to buck Congressional for more than his freshman year, and make a big stink while doing it?