It would not be remotely unusual for a foreigner who was forced to leave their birth nation and relocate to America to have contempt for this nation, its government, or its people regardless of which country they were born in. In fact, it is not even unusual for foreigners who emigrate to America for whatever reason to hold the country in such contempt that they would go to extreme lengths to make it comport with what their worldview dictates is Utopia. For one man, those extreme lengths included attaining political office to tear apart the government simply because in its current form, it goes contrary to his ideological bent.
Republicans have been on an anti-government tear since Americans elected an African American as President; not necessarily because they hate the government, but because they cannot control the direction of the country. Oh, it is true there is a relatively large contingent of Republicans who would love nothing more than to see this government reduced to a size they could drown in a bathtub,but they are intelligent enough to keep their machinations limited to starving the government into bankruptcy under the guise of fiscal conservatism. Most Republicans refuse to countenance government they cannot control and it has been the driving force behind their crusade to obstruct governance for nearly six years including shutting it down to achieve their goals.
Ted Cruz hates America’s government nearly as much as the illegal immigrant’s son and former-Canadian hates America and its people; of this there is little doubt. In fact, there is very little that Ted Cruz even likes about this country, including the United States Constitution, that he would burn to the ground in a hot second if he were able. Cruz’s vision for America is a nation controlled by an evangelical version of ISIS made up of a supreme council of corporate-Christians; there would be no representatives of the people. In fact, last month Texas Ted said, openly and without hesitation, that following the Constitution and allowing the Senate to operate normally “subverts the will of the people and weakens government accountability.”
It is highly likely that after evangelical Senator Ted Cruz successfully seized control of the House majority from Speaker John Boehner and directed Republicans to shut down the government last October, he figured shutting down the Senate “he continues to oppose” for a couple of months would be an easy task. Last month teabagger Cruz tried to force Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to cancel the Senate because “it weakens accountability and subverts the will of the American people” if their elected representatives dared to work after November 4, Election Day.
Cruz circulated a letter among Republican Senators for support to demand that Reid not schedule a legislative session after November 3rd because as Cruz’s spokesperson said, “We continue to oppose it.” Cruz’s draft letter said, “We should commit to completing the Senate’s business by November 3, 2014,” and “all pledge to not convene the Senate on or between November 4, 2014, and January 2, 2015.” Cruz’s letter ignored Republican and Democratic leaders’ prior agreement to pass a stopgap measure to fund the government until December 11, that even the House passed to ensure some business would be finished during the lame duck session.
One of Cruz’s teabagger cohorts, Senator Mike Lee (TB-UT), agreed that the idea of the Senate using December to act on “stalled legislation” was an abomination and like Cruz, he “continues to oppose it.” Since their Republican colleagues panned the “shut down the Senate” ploy, Cruz and Lee changed the demand’s language and threatened to obstruct any Senate business if the lame duck session proceeded against their will. Although their effort to enlist Republican support to close the Senate for two months or obstruct any business officially failed, there is no doubt Republicans will block anything the President supports.
When Sen. Mike Lee was the only senator to sign on to his letter, Cruz slightly changed the demand that Reid cancel the Senate for two months and warned him Democrats would face a variety of overwhelming procedural hurdles to make sure nothing was accomplished that did not originate with Ted Cruz. Even after changing the demand for a Senate shutdown to a monumental obstruction threat, most Senate Republicans did not sign on to Cruz’s demand to stop Senate business.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had already laid out the lame-duck session agenda nearly two months ago and is not about to let important government business go unattended. The agenda includes an omnibus spending bill, a package of tax extenders, the annual Defense Department authorization, and the Marketplace Fairness Act; a bipartisan measure that gives states the right to collect tax from online retailers. Other important business was Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin’s announcement that the Foreign Relations Committee would hold hearings on a resolution authorizing military strikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria with an aim of holding a floor vote in December. A hearing and vote Cruz already pledged to obstruct with a variety of procedural hurdles because he was unable to shut down the Senate for two months.
Cruz does not want anything passed in the lame duck session, particularly if it includes even a penny of government spending. In fact, he is anxious to fulfill Mitch McConnell’s pledge to “eviscerate the federal government, all of it” and Cruz’s first target is Social Security and Medicare. Cruz considers Social Security “a giant Ponzi scheme” and besides raising the retirement age to 70 and slashing retirees’ benefits, he lusts to hand the Trust’s trillions-of-dollars in reserves to Wall Street in a privatization scam.
This is the second time in less than a year that Ted Cruz has displayed his twisted mindset that if he cannot control the government, he will not allow it to function. In fact, Mitch McConnell has embraced Cruz’s no-governance ideology and threatened to defund the government if Republicans win control of the Senate and President Obama does not join their crusade to decimate Social Security, the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, food stamps, and Medicaid; among many, many other social programs.
Ted Cruz is not unique in his attempt to bring the government to a screeching halt if his agenda is not enacted, because for the past five-and-a-half years Republicans have blocked and obstructed governance as a matter of course. Where Cruz is “special,” is that he has no qualms literally shutting the government down and in lieu of that action, actually attempted to shut down the United States Senate for two months. That he claimed allowing the Senate to function according to the U.S. Constitution “subverts the will of the American people” and “weakens government accountability” informs his twisted belief that anything out of his purview is inherently subversive and wrong. It is dangerously close to an evil dictator’s worldview, and yet, it is part-and-parcel of Republican policy since Americans elected an African American man as their President nearly six years ago.