I almost feel sorry for the guy. Senator Coburn, as he himself said this morning on Morning Joe, received the highest conservative rating in the United States Senate as recently as 2012. In other words, he's no RINO. And yet because he was leery and ultimately unsupportive of the movement to defund Obamacare, many of his constituents are confused and angry with him. The reason, he said, is because some members of the Republican caucus are being “intellectually dishonest” and misleading. The exchange begins around the 5:15 mark (via MSNBC):
“I’m getting all sorts of e-mails from people that supported me because they’ve been totally misled about what’s possible…I’d love to get rid of Obamacare. But I don’t see a path forward to doing that until the president is out of office.”
The reason Cruz’s imaginary mission to defund Obamacare was never going to work was because Republicans simply didn’t have the votes. Period. As George F. Will wrote yesterday, “Arithmetic, not moral failings, makes Republicans unable to overturn Obama’s vetoes.” I suspect Coburn agrees one hundred percent with this assessment. Still, Cruz’s faux-filibuster or speech or whatever the hell you call it did at least some good for the cause, Coburn said. How? Well, it allowed for Republicans to speak directly to the American people about why Obamacare isn’t working -- and remind them why it must eventually be repealed. After all, Obamacare is bad for small business, bad for seniors, and of course, bad for young people -- all subjects covered in detail during Cruz’s marathon speaking event. Remember, Obamacare cannot function without healthy young Americans bearing the preponderance of the costs. Hence why the Obama administration is spending millions of dollars trying to convince young Americans to enroll in the exchanges. But at the same time, Obamacare is also making it more difficult for them to get jobs. This is creating, as Ted Cruz said during his talk-a-thon, another “lost generation.” Sad.
Repeal therefore is the ultimate goal -- but that’s probably not possible, at least as Coburn sees it, until we elect a new president.