People for the American Way have noticed something. In an email sent out yesterday, they observed that “It looks as though there has been some sort of bloodless coup in the House and Boehner is just Speaker in name only.”
Yeah. What’s up with that? Who died and made Ted Cruz Speaker of the House? PFAW says, “Someone really needs to press Speaker of the House John Boehner about why House Republicans are taking their marching orders from a Texas Senator.”
It’s not a secret that Boehner is about as much of a non-entity as you can get in a Speaker but this is ridiculous. Who is Ted Cruz to be giving orders? And why does anybody listen let alone line up enthusiastically to jump off the cliff with him?
“It’s like the lemming caucus,” said Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA).
Republicans shouldn’t be eager to follow. They should be embarrassed. Instead, they have become starry-eyed fanboys of a Cuban dictator wannabe and the United States their future banana republic.
The American people deserve better than this; they deserve to know why Boehner has abrogated his responsibilities as Speaker of the House, and why, if he wasn’t prepared to shoulder the responsibilities of his job, he laid the mantle on Ted Cruz?
Boehner could be a hero. Not only to moderate Republicans but to independents and even Democrats if he would just grow a pair and stand up to Cruz’s demagoguery. “Enough is enough!” he could say, and pound his little gavel with his orange hand as he fights back tears.
Because, after all, enough is enough.
There is a small glimmer of hope this morning. There are a few House Republicans who feel, as Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) said Wednesday. “Though it might be a political loss for us … this is an untenable situation.” And Rep. Scott Rigell (R-VA) tweeted Tuesday that “We fought the good fight.” He also recognized that it was a lost fight.
These House members want Boehner to allow a simple vote on a funding bill, the clean resolution, or CR.
Cruz’s response to Politico was, “It seems that there is nothing the media likes to cover more than disagreements among Republicans, and apparently some senators are content to fuel those stories with anonymous quotes.”
But if Cruz, having led his fanboy lemmings to a dead end, is hiding from reality, why is Boehner being such a spineless weenie? Where is his self respect?
Well, he’s packed that thought carefully away ever since he realized he didn’t have any. Truth is, by jumping into bed with the corporations and sleeping with dirty money, Republicans have created – or allowed to be created – a monster. By stirring up and playing to the extremist tea party fringe of their party, they have shut out the moderates and closed their ears to establishment Republicans. They have labeled everyone outside that very small tent as enemies.
Now that Sarah Palin has become a shrill background noise on Fox News and Michele Bachmann is prison-bound, Ted Cruz has stepped up to the populist demagogue’s podium and as PFAW say, he’s done so with a doomsday cultist’s zest.
For years Republicans have been falling over each other to cater to the extremists and this is the result. Ted Cruz, not John Boehner, is the architect of the current shutdown. Boehner is just the guy who has declined to do anything about it. There is not a spine to be found among House Republicans, nor a pair of cojones.
And Ted Cruz, now that he has orchestrated a government shutdown, is warning that the government shutdown HE created is opening the US up to attack by terrorists. And of course, he presents it all as Obama’s fault:
“I don’t believe President Obama should be playing politics with this,” he said. “He shouldn’t be refusing to negotiate or compromise.”
No attempt or desire to actually negotiate has been evinced by Cruz and his fanboys, of course. For Cruz, “negotiate” means “unconditional surrender.”
Big surprise President Obama refuses to “negotiate” on those terms when the law in question is the law of the land and ruled constitutional by the highest court in the land.
Elected officials have responsibilities to the voters. The voters clearly want Obamacare and they clearly do NOT want a government shutdown. But extremists are unhappy that we have a black president and they vowed on Day One of Obama’s administration that they would hinder him in every way possible.
This is the inevitable result of that vow. It might be too much to hope that Boehner will grow a pair and avert catastrophe, but that some Republicans seem to have found their spines shows that they are not all closed off from our shared reality.
The American people are suffering now. If Boehner doesn’t take his gavel back, the GOP will get its in 2014.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.