Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Cruz must defend rule of law

Ted Cruz fighting against Obamacare is interesting theatre for many reasons.  First, the complex nature of Senate rules is a marvel in and of themselves.  Second, the ultimate insider club of the Senate that trumps outsider politics every time is a blessing to this nation overall.  The way the Senators act as though they're really fighting, but somehow always work it out.  It's sort of like an old fashioned television show.  But most important is that Ted Cruz represents millions of Americans who voted for the losing vision in 2012.  Just as many Democratic Senators who fought against the Iraq war in 2006 represented millions of Americans who voted for the losing vision in 2004.  In a democracy, the most important task is for the losing side to accept it. Peacefully.  So those pundits and winning partisans who really want Ted Cruz and the Tea Party to go away, are really wishing that peaceful dissent goes away.  The problem is the alternative is worse.

I believe Cruz and the Tea Party are playing a dangerous game by manipulating their supporters' emotions too much.  I sense that the Republican takeover of Congress in 2010, and Republicans keeping the house in 2012, along with all the venom that has been spewed, has actually calmed enough Republican nerves that the leaders can just move on.  The base has accepted defeat.  Peacefully.  But here comes these "true believers" accusing most Republicans of surrender, rather than accepting defeat, and they're sparking up hope among the dead-enders.  They are inspiring calls to do radical maneuvers, still peaceful, that have never been done.  They are all theoretically sound in the abstract, but not practical.  If the Republicans actually won and defunded Obamacare it would ruin our political system.  Because no side would ever accept defeat. There would always be someone willing to carry the torch against all odds.  Take the last major policy debate: the Iraq War. There were radical Democrats who wanted to simply not fund the war.  To force George Bush to bring the troops home.  But even Democrats against the war realized that elections matter.  The President is the President.  The solution was to fund the war, and elect a new President.  Ironically, they won the public debate so well that by the time Obama took office, President Bush had a withdrawal plan in place.  But we need war without bloodshed. That is our system.  Which means ultimately the losing side has to lose.  They have to agree to defend the rule of law.  A law they are against.  As long as Cruz and his type agree to defend the rule of law, this is all good for our nation.

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