Look at the radical things that extremist bomb-thrower Ted Cruz has planned, according to Sebastian Payne and Robert Costa of The Washington Post:
Cruz ... would like the Senate to be as aggressive in trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act as the House, which has voted more than 50 times to get rid of the law.Wow! That's orders of magnitude more radical than what the responsible, mainstream Mitch McConnell will try to do, according to Brett LoGiurato of Business Insider -- isn't it?
Republicans should "pursue every means possible to repeal Obamacare," Cruz said, including forcing a vote through parliamentary procedures that would get around a possible filibuster by Democrats. If that leads to a veto by Obama, Cruz said, Republicans should then vote on provisions of the health law "one at a time."
... while there will likely be a full vote in the Senate to repeal the entire healthcare law, aides said, the overall GOP strategy will likely be to chip away at parts of the law in bills that could make it to the president's desk.So Cruz is going to start by going for total repeal, with death by a thousand cuts as a fallback position, while McConnell et al. are going to do ... um, pretty much the same thing.
Oh, but Payne and Costa say Cruz is going to put the administration on trial:
In an interview ... Cruz made it clear he would push hard for a Republican-led Senate to be as conservative and confrontational as the Republican-led House.That's really different from what LoGiurato says McConnell & Co. will do:
Piggybacking on what House leaders have done, Cruz said the first order of business should be a series of hearings on President Obama, "looking at the abuse of power, the executive abuse, the regulatory abuse, the lawlessness that sadly has pervaded this administration."
In general, Senate Republicans will look to follow the House GOP Obamacare playbook of the past four years. They plan to use their subpoena powers to full effect and hold more oversight hearings on the healthcare law.LoGiurato adds that the Senate will try to block any U.S. agreement with Iran, will raise holy hell if and when Obama acts unilaterally on immigration, and will simply end the approval of Obama judges. Yes, that's what's going to be done by the Republican good guys, the ones who aren't Ted Cruz.
Some of the issues those potential hearings will focus on include money Republicans claim has been wasted on state insurance exchanges that ended up converting to the federal marketplace, the security of HealthCare.gov and state-exchange websites, and the process for verifying people's incomes to receive subsidies for health insurance.
"Being in the minority, we don't have the ability to call a hearing and to get the witnesses that we'd want," the GOP Finance Committee aide said. But should the GOP take the Senate, he added, "I think oversight of Obamacare would be something you'd see a lot more of."
See how it works? The Post writes up Cruz as a radical obstructionist, but the rest of the Republicans in the Senate aren't very different from him. Yet somehow the rest of them get a reputation as potential conciliators and dealmakers, while he gets the blame for all the obstructionism -- or, in his crowd, the credit.
Two years from now, when Republican obstructionism has reached new heights, much of it not the work of Ted Cruz, we'll still be hearing about how Mitch McConnell and the rest of the Republican delegation are ready to work with Hillary Clinton if she's elected president. It won't be true, but the political insiders will never learn.