In an interview with David Gregory this morning, Senator Ted Cruz cited numerous examples why his legislative strategy based around straw men reeks of badger excrement of the most pungent variety.
Lying about his “agree on a political issue or I’ll sweat spinal fluid to withhold already-agreed-upon funding because of arcane laws” strategy being based on popular opinion — dismissing a poll cited by Gregory that the majority of Americans don’t want to appeal Obamacare — Cruz failed to disprove that his position wasn’t one borne of cynicism.
He argued that Democrats are the ones refusing to compromise because Republicans want to repeal the law entirely, and said if Harry Reid doesn’t agree to a yearlong postponement he’ll be telling the American people to “go jump in a lake.”
Cruz also claimed that Congress should repeal a law that it itself is exempt from – a point debunked by the staunchly right wing National Review Online.
Meanwhile, Gregory pointed out that Obamacare has been “passed, adjudicated, and tested” and said that Cruz isn’t “moving anything.”
Cruz countered that “the best way to get health insurance is to get a job,” and claimed Obamacare was stifling small business growth and economic expansion.
These claims that have been proven false. The rate of uninsured Americans barely changed during the Dubya bubble years, and small businesses owners – the smallest of whom are exempt from the law – have said that consumer demand is the biggest driving factor behind hiring decisions, with Obamacare barely registering in their planning. Meanwhile, the law hasn’t had any negative impact on economic growth or overall jobs numbers (Gregory brought up neither of these points in response).
Cruz further undermined the justification for his obstinate brinkmanship by citing concerns about the law raised by Teamsters Union president James P. Hoffa, repeating an argument he brought up during his 21 hour floor speech that drew a rebuke from the labor leader.
He defied himself, in response to a question about which legislative leader he admired the most, by praising Phil Gramm for his 1993 opposition to healthcare reform under President Clinton – a position justified by the fact that “Hillarycare” had not been passed yet.
Cruz was at his finest proving himself hollow, however, by drawing comparisons between his debt ceiling position and public opposition to the White House’s desire to intervene in Syria: Support for Cruz’s position, measured at 19 percent by CNBC on September 23, is less popular than direct military intervention in Syria, which is supported by 30 percent of Americans according to a poll released September 18 by the German Marshall Fund of the United States.
But Cruz’s clear distaste for anything remotely resembling intelligent argument or good faith negotiation (Republicans first cited fiscal responsibility as a reason to oppose debt ceiling increases) has been rewarded by Republican voters: Public Policy Polling revealed on Friday that Cruz is, thus far, most likely to win the 2016 GOP Presidential Primary.