Daniel Doherty

Evidently the Maverick dislikes Ted Cruz. Intensely:

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has been ruffling feathers since his arrival in Washington this year. Including some on his own side of the aisle. In fact, according to a new profile in GQ magazine, the Texas senator has earned the intense dislike of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)

“He f***ing hates Cruz,” an adviser to Sen. McCain told GQ’s Jason Zengerle. “He’s just offended by his style.”

But it appears that the contentious relationship cuts both ways. Cruz has his own words for the senior Arizona senator.

“I don’t know a conservative who didn’t feel embarrassed voting in 2006 or 2008,” Cruz said. “I think the Republican Party lost its way. We didn’t stand for the principles we’re supposed to believe in.”

The feeling could be mutual, of course, although I can’t imagine Senator Cruz (or any of his staffers, for that matter) using such colorful language when describing their fellow Republicans or those with whom they disagree. Time and again, Cruz has acknowledged publicly that while many in Washington (especially the GOP establishment) loathe his “style,” he will “not reciprocate” or resort to ad hominem attacks. He wants to elevate the level of discourse in Washington -- and make every debate about policy and substance. And from what I can tell, that’s exactly what he’s doing.

Speaking of which, on Monday, Senator Cruz published an op-ed over at Real Clear Politics sketching out his strategy for winning the looming Obamacare funding/CR battle. Here’s his basic plan:

As a result, on Friday, House Republicans passed a bill that fully funds government without funding Obamacare, even picking up a couple of Democrat votes.

Now, it’s the Senate’s turn.

If Senate Republicans stay strong and hold true to their previous commitments to defund Obamacare, we will force Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to make a choice: keep the government open, or shut it down in the name of funding a glitch-riddled health care takeover that is killing jobs, wages, and health care benefits all across the nation.

The next step is critical. Senate Republicans should demand a 60-vote threshold for any effort that would add Obamacare funding back into the House bill. This is the battle line: Senate Republicans must stop Reid from rejecting the House bill and adding Obamacare funding with merely 51 votes.

The House bill must be protected.

If implemented, Obamacare will change our entire health care system, impacting the lives of every single American. Securing 60 votes is not too much to ask. Our nation is bitterly divided because there is far too little consensus on major political matters. We need more unity to help heal our country. Sixty votes would help move toward that.

He continued:

Whether or not Senate Republicans defeat cloture, the question will be whether Harry Reid will demand a government shutdown to force Obamacare on every American. We should not shut down the government, and I hope Reid and President Obama do not do so.

Regardless, the House should stand its ground, and if Reid kills this Continuing Resolution then the House should pass smaller CRs one at a time, starting with the military. Dare Reid to keep voting to shut down the government.

Once Senate Republicans unite, red-state Senate Democrats will be next. And that is how we win -- by continuing to mobilize the American people to hold every elected official accountable.

“Defunders,” if you will, have long argued that the costs of funding Obamacare are so high and the implementation process so dysfunctional that the delay tactic is nothing more than a temporary fix. Defunding the law, however, grants every American an exemption right away. Predictably, though, the Obama administration has single-handedly (and illegally) granted members of Congress, their staffs, political appointees, and the privileged few a “special exemption.” At the same time, Washington lawmakers choosing to enroll in the Obamacare exchanges on their own will receive generous taxpayer subsidies to cover the costs. This, Cruz reasons, is profoundly unfair. Why will the political class get off scot-free (including many members of Congress who wrote, lobbied and passed the damn thing) when ordinary Americans will not?

Guy recently pointed out that Cruz’s crusade for defunding Obamacare is “quixotic” and has a minimal chance of success -- save for forcing Red State Democrats to take some tough line votes ahead of the 2014 midterm elections. But what’s clear, however, is that if we undergo another government shutdown (regardless of whose fault it is) one party in particular will bear the brunt of the blame. And I promise you, it won’t be the Democrats. Obamacare should be a winning issue for Republicans, no? Let’s hope Cruz et al. know what they’re doing.


Daniel Doherty

Daniel Doherty is Townhall's Deputy News Editor. Follow him on Twitter @danpdoherty.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography