Ted Cruz Gives Up Trying To Defund Obamacare

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The stage of failure Ted Cruz has been building for himself over the last month is finally complete. On Wednesday, Cruz gave up on his plan to defund Obamacare and told the House GOP they're on their own.

Just as House Republicans are tying a must-pass government function resolution to revoking Obamacare funding, Ted Cruz is backing away.

“[Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid will no doubt try to strip the defund language from the continuing resolution, and right now he likely has the votes to do so,” Cruz said in a statement. “At that point, House Republicans must stand firm, hold their ground, and continue to listen to the American people,” Cruz said in a statement written on a towel.

Wow. A few weeks ago, Cruz said his effort was “likely to pass”. Well Teddy, good job figuring out blinding reality a month later. Senate Democrats and President Obama aren't going to sign on to defeat their major achievement of the last eight years? Golly gee.

House Republicans are pissed.

Read more below the jump.”We haven't even taken up the bill and Ted Cruz is admitting defeat?” one senior GOP aide “fumed” to The Huffington Post. “Some people came here to govern and make things better for their constituents. Ted Cruz came here to throw bombs and fundraise off of attacks on fellow Republicans. He's a joke, plain and simple.”

He'd be a funnier joke if he weren't also our senator until January of 2019. Check out this tweet from CNN's Dana Bash:

The damage Ted Cruz did over the past month wasn't to Obamacare. It was to himself. Cruz is now, arguably, the most reviled Republican in America. What Cruz has done is passed the hot potato of failure on this to House Republicans.

The Washington Post's Sean Sullivan makes some prescient points:

Of course, even if Cruz is blamed for failing to defund Obamacare, he's not likely to suffer much damage to his image in the eyes of his most loyal supporters. If anything, they'll laud him and his allies for taking up the fight in the first place.

But the limits of their power would be exposed, they would no longer be able blame House Republican leaders for failing to act, and the issue on which they have fought tooth and nail would have just suffered a tangible setback on their watch.

So, what is it that Cruz has succeeded at? He hasn't gotten any legislation passed, and he hasn't stopped any bad legislation (unless you're in the less than 10 percent of Americans who think universal gun purchase background checks are bad). He certainly hasn't succeeded at working with his colleagues or at bringing Republicans into his brand of rightism. He's also hurt Republicans' chances to get the kind of majority to even get such legislation out of Congress. You know what Independents aren't into? Ideological drives toward a shut down government.

Cruz has succeeded at being what we Texans could see he was going to be: an stubborn stick in the mud who embarrasses us every single day. This month, the man said we “a hundred more like Jesse Helms” – the vicious, internationally famous racist Jesse Helms. This week, as his defunding effort fails, he has succeeded again in that peculiar, fail-heavy way Ted Cruz is so adept at.


About Author

Ben Sherman

Ben Sherman has been a BOR staff writer since 2011. A graduate of the University of Texas, Ben has worked on campaigns, in political consulting, and has written for other news outlets like Think Progress. Ben considers campaign finance reform the fundamental challenge of our time because it distorts almost every other issue in American politics.

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