Wall Street Journal’s Latest Shot At Obamacare Defunders Is Aimed At Cruz, Lee

AP

The conservative editorial page of The Wall Street Journal continued its criticism of the quixotic strategy to defund Obamacare on Tuesday with a takedown of the movement’s two most vocal leaders.

Comparing the effort to a “charge into the fixed bayonets,” the Journal’s editorial writers said they hope Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT) own the ensuing fallout, which in this case could be a government shutdown.

The Journal also called out Cruz for urging House Republicans to “hold firm,” the type of sentiment that has done anything but endear the junior senator from Texas to his counterparts in the lower chamber.

From the Journal:

When Mr. Cruz demands that House Republicans “hold firm,” he means they should keep trying to defund ObamaCare even if it results in a shutdown that President Obama will blame on Republicans. It’s nice of him to volunteer House Republicans for duty. The supposedly intrepid General Cruz can view the battle from the comfort of HQ while the enlisted troops take any casualties.

The Lee-Cruz strategy, to the extent it’s about more than fund-raising lists or getting face time on cable TV, seems to be that if the House holds “firm” amid a shutdown, then the public will eventually blame Mr. Obama and the Democrats, who will then fold and defund ObamaCare. Or, short of that, Democrats might agree to delay the health-care law for another year past its launch date on October 1.

Miracles happen, but it would rank as one for the ages if Mr. Obama agreed to defund his signature Presidential achievement. A year’s delay would also be a victory, but Mr. Obama knows that punting the law past the 2014 election is risky if Republicans regain a Senate majority.

The Journal published a pair of rebukes against the defunders last week. First, there was an editorial aimed at the “backbenchers” in the House who ultmately helped pass a continuing resolution on Friday that provides funding to the government but defunds Obamacare. That piece was followed by a column by Republican strategist Karl Rove who called the defunding strategy “self-defeating” to the GOP.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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