With very little time remaining until the U.S. government technically goes into default on its debt, Senate Republicans and Democrats struggle to reach a short-term solution that would end the partial government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling. Of course, both parties say they are fighting for the American people, yet the American people are the biggest losers no matter the outcome of this latest skirmish.
How ridiculous was it that Texas Senator Ted Cruz decided to lead an
effort to defund the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, in exchange
for keeping the government open and raising the debt ceiling. Senator
Cruz knew full well that the Senate would not take the matter up, and
the president would not go along with overturning his signature
achievement. Even leading Republicans in both houses acknowledge it
was the wrong strategy.
Now, in the height of hypocrisy, Senator Cruz joined his close
friend, Utah Senator Mike Lee, and several Republicans Sunday to protest
the government closing of the World War II Memorial in Washington. A
small crowd gathered at the barriers chanted, "Tear down these walls."
Senator Cruz said that the Obama administration was using veterans as
pawns. What phony outrage! Cruz and Lee are the architects of the
A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows
that 53 percent of the public blames Republicans, while 31 percent
blame President Barack Obama. The poll shows that Republicans are
getting more blame this year than they did when the government last
shutdown in 1995-96. And the poll shows Cruz with a 14 percent
favorable, 28 percent unfavorable rating. Surprisingly, the poll shows
that while the government debate has gone on, Obamacare has gotten more
popular, although it is still under water overall.
Utah's Senator Mike Lee has been a loyal and ardent supporter of his
close friend Ted Cruz. He has received warm praise from his colleague
for being a great leader and public servant. Lee even helped fill in
during Cruz's fake filibuster on the Senate floor last month. But even
Lee should be privately asking himself, what hath Cruz wrought?
Senator Lee's favorable/unfavorable rating has taken a big hit according to a Brigham University poll
released last week. A majority of the respondents now view Lee
unfavorably, a twenty point swing since June. And a poll from Utah's
Deseret News revealed that most of the state's voters don't believe that
interrupting government functions to stop Obamacare is a good idea.
A recent report estimates that the shutdown is hurting Utah 14th
worst when compared to the other states and the District of Columbia.
In fact, the report, by WalletHub,
found, "States won by the Republican Party in the 2012 presidential
election could be hit disproportionately hard by a prolonged government
shutdown, as 15 such Red States ranked in the top 25 in the study's
overall 'at-risk' rankings."
So it is no wonder Lee is losing support. Kirk Jowers, head of the
University of Utah's Hinckley Institute of Politics, told Time Magazine,
"Utahans expect effectiveness and efficiency and results out of their
government, not ideological tantrums." But Washington has devolved into
nothing but ideological tantrums and trust in government is at an
From its very inception the Tea Party's goal has been to blow the
federal government up. Close the place down. Default on the debt.
Whatever it takes to get federal deficits under control, including
"starving the beast." Tea Party Congressmen are all from gerrymandered
districts that are 100% safe. They do not have to worry about what is
best for America, and most Americans. Meanwhile, the House leadership
fears the Tea Party.
Only in Washington would the very people who caused the government
shutdown, and possibly a catastrophic government default, demonstrate
against the shutdown. Confused? Well there is no better practitioner
of perception deception than Senator Ted Cruz.
One citizen at the WWII Memorial perhaps spoke for most Americans,
"This is ridiculous. This is not just and fair. It's just not fair."