Kudos to Joe Scarborough this morning for calling out his fellow co-anchor. On Morning Joe today, Mika Brzezinski said that Senator Ted Cruz and all the other conservatives in Congress who want to defund Obamacare “don’t love the country” -- a breathtaking statement for anyone to make, let alone a network anchor. After all, every federal lawmaker in Washington takes a public oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Yet when given the opportunity to “clarify” her remarks, Ms. Brzezinski punted.
“Are you saying they don’t love the country,” Scarborough asked her incredulously.
“Are you saying they do?” she replied. “We disagree.”
The point Scarborough makes here is the correct one. Although most progressives, many of whom blindly support this president and his policies despite their monumental costs and harmful effects on the economy, Cruz’s campaign to defund Obamacare is not rooted in anti-Americanism. Nor does he want to defund Obamacare because he hates President Obama. He wants to defund the law (along with a plurality of Americans, by the way) because it’s killing jobs and it’s not working. This is precisely why the president is unilaterally delaying provisions of the law himself. What’s more, many of the promises President Obama made when pitching his health care law to the American public in 2010 have been broken. Question: How many Americans are losing their doctors or health insurance plans? How many Americans are finding out their premiums are on the rise? And yet despite all the projected added costs, some 30 million Americans will still be uninsured under Obamacare when it takes full effect. So one would hope that, at the very least, progressives could understand where Cruz and his small but committed band of supporters are coming from.
Still, most Democrats and many Republicans are opposed to Cruz’s quixotic strategy -- for understandable reasons. They note correctly that it’s an impractical solution to the woes of Obamacare. Why? Because the president will never sign a CR into law that defunds his own signature legislative achievement. Period. Why would he? But does that also mean that the junior Senator from Texas is somehow guilty of anti-Americanism? C’mon.
For what it’s worth, I’ve never once written that progressives who want to (say) “fundamentally transform America” hate their country. Surely I disagree with their worldview, but do I think they want the republic to fall? Of course not. The same is true of Ted Cruz. Democrats and Republicans might not like his tactics, but his heart is most assuredly in the right place. And anyone who’s ever heard him speak would know that to be true.