In Washington these days, in order to get anything done, you have to go along to get along, roll a few logs, scratch a few backs, and trade a few horses. But then, in order to get anything worthwhile done, you have to make everybody who matters angry. This is precisely what Ted Cruz has done.
There will be many inside the Beltway who will now insist that we must not learn the obvious lesson of these last few weeks. Washington is crammed full of people who need to learn something, and their entire livelihood and way of life depend upon them not learning it.This is why they are so slow on the uptake. They are not deficient when it comes to native intelligence. They are not lacking wit; they are lacking in motivation. We pay them trillions to stay unmotivated, and so we get what we pay for.
So step back and look at the events of the last month or so. Instigated by Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, the House Republicans linked the continued funding of the government to their proposed defunding of Obamacare, about which more in a minute. That effort repulsed, the House came back with a proposal linking the continued funding of the government to a delay of the individual mandate for Obamacare. The resulting impasse shut the government down for an interminable number of days, stretching into weeks. Having taken a highly visible stand, the Republicans then said uncle and agreed to kick the can down the road so we could do the whole thing over again in a few months.
Shutting the government down for the sake of a delay in Obamacare was represented as unconscionable. Delay Obamacare? Why, that was a lunatic notion, crazy talk, a scheme put forth by parliamentary madmen, a proposal picked up from the hate vibes emanating from talk radio, the heated vaporing of screed scribblers, not to mention the megalomaniacal brain child of the gentleman from Texas.
Ah, what a difference a week makes! It turns out that all the lunacy, crazy talk, heated scribbling, ad infinitum was actually going on wherever the programmers for healthcare.gov were gathering to work on their very expensive magic.
And Moses spake, and swarms of bad code came slithering up out of the Nile, and filled up every computer in Egypt, and every mobile device. And Pharaoh hardened his heart, and summoned techies from the Valley of the Silicon to his court, and commanded each of them, saying, “Thou shalt fix it! No one is more frustrated than I am at these glitches. Millions of glitches, and I would have them be gone.” And the techies sweated over their cauldrons all night, but all they could make was more bad code, which, when they approached unto the Pharaoh’s court in the morning, was all eaten for breakfast by the the bigger, badder code that Moses had made.
But the website debacle is just the beginning of sorrows. The web portal that everybody is having such a time trying to get through is actually preventing people from seeing the real problems. It is as though a honeymooning couple in Transylvania had their car break down near a castle on a dark, foreboding hill, and the sky was filled with the occasional fluttering bat, and off in the distance you could see the flash of approaching lightning. They make their way up to the castle door, but then, due to various circumstances that need not detain us here, they are utterly unable to get through the door, or get anybody to answer it. So they walked down the road a quarter mile and stayed at the Best Western.
When people actually get through the door, that’s when the real Obamascare will start happening to us. That’s when the American public, dressed in a filmy gown, will make her way tremulously through the hallways of endless medical exchanges, with the guttering candle of vanishing liberty held aloft in her right hand. So to speak.
And when she and her hubby make it outside, to make a mad dash for the road, that’s when it will start raining frogs, and dead cats, and trebled health care costs. But pay no attention to those who object to this kind of precipitation. A bunch of nuts.
So, anyway, back to Ted Cruz. He was harangued by all the Respectable Voices just a matter of days ago for taking a quixotic stand against that which was settled, inevitable, necessary, not to be denied or delayed, and which anybody who was not a certified nut job knew full well. And yet now, here we are, hours later, and Respectable Voices are now allowing that delaying Obamasnare might be the most responsible thing for us, ahem, to do. The only challenge will be doing this without lending credibility to Cruz, which (I am afraid) will be impossible now.
That man is standing in the middle of the credibility pond, which we thought had dried up years ago, clean up to his neck.