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With Sen. Ted Cruz fighting Obamacare this week “until he can’t stand,” it is a timely occasion to remember which Republicans have been working with Democrats to knock Sen. Cruz down.
Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI)
The second-term former MTV star complained on Friday that he and his friends in the House had “kept a lid on our anger” at Sen. Cruz, explaining, “we were the punching bag and bullied by some of these Senate conservatives.”
From the outside, it looks like Duffy is the one harassing conservatives in the Senate.
Rep. Peter King (R-NY)
Rep. King, a declared 2016 presidential candidate, is an example for those who make the case that liberal Democrats are better than liberals masquerading as Republicans. Speaking on Friday, King had little to say on the topic of Obamacare. He did, however, say that he was going to “start ignoring” Sen. Cruz, that Cruz was a “fraud” and “bad for the party.”
If opposition to Obamacare is bad for the party, what is the point to having an opposition party?
Rep. Tim Griffin (R-AR)
In a message on Twitter September 18, Rep. Griffin took a shot at conservatives in the Senate, saying, “so far Sen Rs are good at getting Facebook likes, and townhalls, not much else,” and urging them to “do something.”
Of course, getting “likes” and Twitter followers are more than Rep. Griffin has been able to accomplish. Where Sen. Cruz has more than 130,000 followers on Twitter, Griffin has 9,500 – 93 percent fewer than Cruz. Considering Duffy’s fellow MTV stars exceed 9,500 likes every time they post a picture of one of their meals, Griffin may want to reassess whether he is good for anything.
Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN)
Sen. Corker also took to Twitter September 19 in an attack on Sen. Cruz’s academic credentials. “I didn’t go to Harvard or Princeton,” Corker wrote, “but I can count — the defunding box canyon is a tactic that will fail and weaken our position.”
Even if Corker finds Cruz unbearable because of his academic credentials, he could instead attack Obama for going to Columbia and Harvard. What is Corker trying to accomplish by attacking a fellow Republican?
Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX)
House Rules Committee Chair Pete Sessions has repeatedly refused to oppose Obamacare. When 127 members of the House signed a letter in July 2012 asking that Speaker Boehner not support appropriations bills funding Obamacare, Sessions declined to sign. When 80 members recently signed another letter calling on Boehner to defund Obamacare, Sessions again declined to sign.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) & Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX)
Sens. Cornyn & McConnell receive equal credit for working together to obstruct Senate conservatives. McConnell announced on Tuesday that he would not stand with Senate conservatives – or the 53% of Americans who want Obamacare defunded – when it was time to vote. He said he would vote to allow Democrats to pass the budget they wanted to pass. It also made news on September 23 that he and Sen. Cornyn were working in tandem to win more Republican votes in favor of passing Obamacare. One senior congressional staffer observed, “Nobody is fighting harder to make sure Obamacare is funded than Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn.”
In fairness, Cornyn signed a letter opposing Obamacare earlier this year. But after pressure from Sen. McConnell’s office, Cornyn withdrew his signature. Cornyn cannot take the heat that comes from supporting limited government.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)
Sen. McCain has been performing his standard role as President Obama’s spokesman in the Senate, stating that those who want to defund Obamacare are “not rational.” That escalated to a new high last week when one McCain staffer told the media that the Senator, in fact, “f***ing hates Cruz.”
Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC)
Though she was elected on promises to repeal Obamacare, Rep. Ellmers apparently changed her mind after getting elected. Cracking under the pressure of calls to follow through on her campaign promise, she lashed out at the conservative movement more broadly, referring to the Heritage Foundation & FreedomWorks as “hypocrites” for targeting Republicans who vote poorly on critical issues.
Speaker John Boehner (R-OH)
“The fight over here has been won. The House has voted over 40 times to change Obamacare, to repeal it. It’s time for the Senate to have this fight,” Speaker Boehner said after the House’s passage of legislation defunding Obamacare. Boehner failed to mention that twenty percent of those changes were “improvements” to Obamacare meant to help the President that were ultimately passed by Senate Democrats and signed into law.
Little wonder that 50% of Republican voters in Boehner’s district would like to see him face a primary challenger. His legacy will be one of having helped Democrats more than he helped Republicans.