For those who had any doubts about what Ted Cruz did and didn't learn about the recent hot mess of the government shutdown and the too-close-for-comfort flirtation with defaulting on our debts, this interview with Jon Karl that just took place on This Week with George Stephanopoulos should answer any questions you may have had.
Ted Cruz: It was a terrible deal. The Washington establishment sold the American people down the river. It provided no relief to the millions of people who are hurting because of Obamacare. But it is worth also focusing on what did happen because a lot, I think, was accomplished in the last couple of months. Number one, the public debate over the harms that Obamacare has inflicted elevated the public debate, and that is critically important.Well that was certainly a joy to transcribe. It gave me the opportunity to get intimate with the frightening mindset of Ted Cruz. With his Delusions of Grandeur and rabid appetite for the complete dismantling of our Democratic process, it is clear that he not only does not care that he and his recalcitrant teabaggers brought our country and the world economy to the brink of disaster but are hellbent on a repeat performance come January.
Jon Karl: People hated this shutdown. They hated this impasse and this was seen as the "Ted Cruz shutdown." You more than any single individual were seen as the one who triggered this crisis to begin with.
Cruz: Jon, I agree that a lot of DC politicians tried to call it that, and a lot of the media did to.
Karl: We're talking about public opinion nationally.
Cruz: Look, let me be very clear. I said throughout this, we shouldn't have a shutdown. I don't want a shut down. I repeatedly voted to open the government.
Karl: But there wouldn't have been a shutdown if you hadn't have gone with the strategy of saying we're not even going to fund the government for six weeks unless we can defund Obamacare.
Cruz: And you know what Jon, there never would have been a shutdown if Harry Reid and President Obama hadn't said "we will not compromise, we will not negotiate. Shut the government down."
Karl: How much do your colleagues just despise you right now on the floor? I mean I hear some really strong language from your own fellow Republicans senators.
Clip of John McCain: I think it's obvious that we are now seeing the end of this agonizing odyssey. It's one of the more shameful chapters that I have seen.
Karl: You made some enemies in this battle.
Cruz: Listen, there’s an old saying that ‘Politics, it ain’t beanbag.’ And, you know, I’m not serving in office because I desperately needed 99 new friends in the US Senate, Given the choice between being reviled in Washington, DC, and appreciated in Texas, or reviled in Texas and appreciated in Washington, I would take the former 100 out of 100 times.
Karl: You did a radio interview where you compared Senate Republicans to an airforce going over and bombing their own troops. Bombing conservatives. Bombing House conservatives.
Clip of Cruz: And when you've got half the Senate Republican Caucus firing their canons at House Republicans it sabotages the effort.
Cruz: The reason that this deal, the lousy deal was reached is because unfortunately Senate Republicans made the choice not to support House Republicans.
Karl: You're saying more than that though. You're saying that not only did they not support House conservatives but that they attacked House conservatives.
Cruz: Well, I think that was unfortunate. I think it was unfortunate that you saw multiple members of the Senate Republicans going on television attacking House conservatives, attacking the efforts to defund Obamacare. Saying it cannot win, it's a fool's errand. We will lose. This must fail. That is a recipe for losing the fight and it's a shame. We didn't win this battle, but I am encouraged that we have demonstrated when the American people stand up, the House of Representatives will listen, and I hope in time the Senate will listen also.
Karl: What next? We have another deadline. Government funding runs out on January 15th. Will you rule out pushing to the brink of another shutdown by saying you would block funding the government unless Obamacare is defunded? Will you do that again?
Cruz: I would do anything and I will continue to do anything I can to stop the train wreck that is Obamacare. What I intend to do is continue standing with the American people to work to stop Obamacare because it isn't working, it is costing people's jobs and it's taking away their healthcare.
The bald face lie that he did not want a shutdown and the gall of placing blame for it on the President and the Senate Majority Leader is as transparent as his silly insistence that, if only the Senate Republicans had supported him, the teabagger temper tantrum would have ultimately blown up Obama's signature achievement and that the President would have gladly signed it away himself to prostrate himself before the power of the 20%.
The way he sees it, any moment now people in towns and cities across America will be walking out their front doors and on to Washington, pitchforks in hand, to oust not only the President and the Democrats, but the Republicans who are as every bit to blame for turning our country into a Marxo-fascist commie hell pit.
Never mind that his actions have led to an all time low opinion of all Republicans and that his more sensible colleagues realize the electability jam he has provided going into the 2014 elections. In his mind, he is both a savior and martyr to the true patriots of America. He speaks of his popularity in Texas. That may well be true for the mind-numbingly vapid Texan Republican base, but for those Republicans who haven't completely lost their mind or desire to see our government function, he is about as popular as a hemorrhoid.
The question is, what will these more earthbound Republicans do with the teabag monster they have created? Is there enough sense in the party to disenfranchise them, or is too late for that? Will they capitulate to and embrace what by all rights should be an ideology that hangs off the very fringe of the body politic, or will more realistic heads prevail? I have no stomach to see this all play out again in the new year, but the tearing in two of a party I have long despised is a sight to behold.