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U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) gestures as he speaks to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, March 16, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
You created him, GOP leadership. Now you've got to live with him.
Two tea party senators are making life hell for House Speaker John Boehner over a strategy for defunding Obamacare that is pretty much doomed to fail in the Senate, deepening the chaos and division in the GOP. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT) have been busy whipping up opposition in the House to Boehner's complicated, not-really-a-defunding defunding scheme, insisting that it's government shutdown or nothing.

But they can't get their own Senate colleagues behind the effort, stuck at just 14 senators willing to play along, and a number of conservative senators, like Tom Coburn, openly ridiculing them for a strategy that "isn’t based on facts."

The Senate’s discord is spilling over to the House, where Republican leaders thought they could satisfy both camps by forcing the Senate to take two separate votes: one on a continuing resolution that would keep the government running into December and another on defunding Obamacare.

But opposition to that plan fueled by Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah caused a rebellion among House conservatives, delaying a vote on the House measure.

“They’re screwing us,” fumed a House GOP aide who had hoped that giving Senate Republicans yet another opportunity to unanimously oppose Obamacare would be enough to satisfy two of the most prominent Senate conservatives.

Gee, who could have imagined that turning the party over to the extreme far right would make the extreme far right think that they were in control of the party?

Problem is, they are in control of the party, which Boehner freely admits, even while he bitches about it. They are in a position to shut down the government, and they think they can do it with impunity. The only option for Boehner is to cut the teabaggers loose, let go of the Obamacare obsession, and start working with Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats on a budget plan that can actually pass both the House and Senate and keep the government running.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 08:55 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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