Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Cruz/Boehner Timetables Out of Whack

The Speaker is being treated like just another illegal by the now-ubiquitous Texan. If John Boehner can’t keep Ted Cruz’s hands off his caucus, members will be pushed across the border of sanity and Boehner will be out of a job next year.

Cruz himself has a different timetable. Secure in a Senate seat for six years, he can aim his efforts at 2016, which have already borne fruit in early polling of GOP zealots.

Boehner, weirdly tan as ever, is not visibly blanching at the prospect, but his two-year struggle to straddle the Tea Party and sane GOP horses riding off in different directions has been upset by an interloper from the other House.

“The Republican Party right now,” says New York Magazine, “most closely resembles a Weatherman gathering from about 1969, with various factions debating the feasibility of immediate Communist revolution versus building a working-class movement as a prelude to smashing the state...

“The agenda has largely been driven by the ‘Defund Obamacare’ faction, led by Ted Cruz, which proposes to shut down the federal government until such time as President Obama agrees to abolish his health-care plan, which would of course be never.”

The irony is that his own chamber has rebuffed Cruz with a vote in which 23 Republicans joined all the Democrat by opting for reality, a commodity in short supply in the House of Representatives.

As Boehner’s buffoons respond with a ransom note demanding a one-year delay in funding Obamacare, the standoff continues. Even after this skirmish is resolved, the unprecedented crisis of American self-governing will go on.

“We’ve had enough of the disunity in our party,” Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Boehner’s Iago and panting-to-be successor, tells colleagues. “The headlines are Republicans fighting Republicans.”

As usual, Cantor has it wrong. What we are seeing is Republicans fighting over two centuries of American history. They had better take a second look at that span as they try to extricate themselves from the conflicts in the Cruz-Boehner timetables.

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