Yesterday’s “protests” of the “Obama administration” “closing down” veterans’ memorials is not only causing a bull market in air quotes, but reflects a level of conservative cynicism that is truly breathtaking in its depth. I mean, seriously: Ted Cruz and Mike Lee (with strong support from Sarah Palin) force House Republicans to make operation of the federal government contingent on “defunding” Obamacare. Then on Cruz’s advice they start passing resolutions selectively appropriating money for the most popular federal government operations, with the ultimate goal being funding everything but Obamacare. Democrats refuse to go along with this charade for tens, hundreds, thousands of reasons. So now the Tea Leaders exploit World War II vets by hijacking angst over closed memorials, and staging an incredibly phony protest against the “Barrycades” protecting memorials in the absence of paid guards. And there in the front ranks are Cruz, Lee and Palin, none of whom are veterans.

This ranks down there with Palin’s “death panels” stunt as an example of an insanely extended lie. As someone once famously said to Cruz’s spiritual and political ancestor and uncanny doppelganger, Joe McCarthy: “Have you no sense of decency… at long last?”

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.