Americans won when President Obama signed a stop-gap spending bill that prevented a shutdown of the federal government. However, a few parties lost in the process.
First, the House Republicans who voted against the bill demonstrated that they are strong on form but short on substance. Did they really believe that a defunding of the Planned Parenthood Federation would put an end to that organization providing abortions? No, It wouldn’t have. Had those House Republicans gotten their way, theirs would have been a pyrrhic victory.
Second, Senator Ted Cruz found himself powerless to prevent the spending bill to be voted on in the Senate. Here is an excerpt from the Politico story “How McConnell outfoxed Ted Cruz“.
Then on Monday, Republicans shut down Cruz’s effort to force a procedural vote he dubbed a referendum on McConnell’s leadership. Democrats even joined in, blocking his efforts to speak beyond the hour allotted to him. A fellow GOP senator could have donated time to Cruz to allow him to speak, but GOP sources said there was little support for that idea. Cruz even said into a hot mic as he struggled for more air time that he wasn’t aware the fix was in. “When I stood up, I didn’t know I was under a time limit,” Cruz said to Democratic and GOP floor staff late Monday. By Tuesday, Cruz was still barred from again taking the floor, under the Senate’s byzantine rules, and was similarly prevented from offering another procedural motion to table McConnell’s clean spending bill. . .
. . . On Tuesday, the blackout continued, even though Cruz had beckoned voters to watch his attempt to again force a vote to disrupt the spending bill. But he couldn’t make this move without some agreement from his colleagues, and they were unwilling to give it to him.
Senator Cruz’s inability to get what he wanted is self-inflicted, as Senator Rand Paul describes in a call to the Kilmeade & Friends radio show.
Ted has chosen to make this really personal and chosen to call people dishonest in leadership and call them names which really goes against the decorum and also against the rules of the senate, and as a consequence he can’t get anything done legislatively. He is pretty much done for and stifled and it’s really because of personal relationships, or lack of personal relationships, and it is a problem. I approach things a little different, I am still just as hardcore in saying what we are doing is wrong , I just chose not to call people liars on the Senate floor and it’s just a matter of different perspectives on how best to get to the end result.
In a commentary for Real Clear Politics, Mark Salter, former chief of staff to Senator McCain, describes just how much Senator Cruz is disliked by other Senators.
I worked on Capitol Hill for the better part of two decades. There might have been other occasions when a senator couldn’t get a colleague to “second” his amendment, but I can’t recall any. It’s also unusual for senators not to agree to give a member who has exhausted his allotted speaking time a few more minutes to finish his remarks. Then again, I can’t recall any senator who was as nearly universally loathed by his colleagues as Cruz.
Third, it wasn’t just some Republicans who lost when the government shutdown was averted. Anti-GOP zealots also lost. The latter were hoping to use a government shutdown as a means to tear down the GOP in general. The latter are so filled with hate that they would welcome a government shutdown if it would result in others being vilified.
Yes, Virginia, such rabid hatred exists at both ends of the political spectrum.
Anyway, the stop-gap spending bill expires after December 11th. So, the pyrrhic House Republicans, the deflated Ted Cruz and the rabid GOP-haters have another opportunity to get what they want. Maybe Santa can gift-wrap it for them in time for Christmas. Then again, Santa might respond by giving them lumps of coal.