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The trigger was Cruz's statement today that the firebrands in the Senate simply don't have the votes to force the matter. So it will come down to the House to push the ship of state onto the glorious sandbar of shutdown.
"(Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid will no doubt try to strip the defund language from the continuing resolution, and right now he likely has the votes to do so," Cruz said in the statement.
"At that point, House Republicans must stand firm, hold their ground, and continue to listen to the American people. President Obama has already granted Obamacare exemptions to big corporations and Members of Congress; he should not threaten to shut down the government just to deny those same exemptions to hard-working American families."
This is simple math that everyone knows. But in a sign of the kind of magical thinking now animating many Washington Republicans, top House folks now seem to feel Cruz is abandoning the fight that he did so much to provoke.
Again from CNN ...
The reaction from House Republicans and senior GOP leadership aides to Cruz's latest statement on the matter was swift and angry, both about Cruz's lack of confidence in a vote and his urging of the House to "stand firm."
"They said nothing is impossible if you fight hard enough, and the minute the House announces the vote, they give up the fight? It's crazy," one senior GOP leadership aide told CNN.
"They should walk the walk," the aide said, predicting it would backfire on the conservative senators.
Another senior GOP leadership aide took a shot at Cruz declining to say whether he would filibuster the bill, telling CNN, "It is disappointing to see that Wendy Davis has more balls than Ted Cruz," in reference to the state senate Democrat who filibustered an abortion bill in the Texas legislature over the summer.
That first quote really brought home for me where we are. But he said nothing is impossible if you fight hard enough! I mean, it's like 'Hey, you said unicorns could be real if you believed hard enough!' All summer Cruz has been pumping his supporters up on the idea that the country is hungry for a government shutdown to kill Obamacare and if everyone is committed enough President Obama might agree to defund his signature piece of legislation.
So he's created this monster he can't control. Only he was the monster the last crew created. I can't keep up.
But as the Bible says, the Popcorn shall passeth.