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Opening Arguments

Wacko birds, unite!

Old guy who blew it when "it's his turn" got around to him is pretty upset with the young snots who refuse to wait in line. Watch out, old men (yeah, yeah, I know I'm one of 'em), the future is headed right for you and if you don't get out of the way it will run right over you:

Make no mistake about it: the on-going “extended speech” by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has absolutely nothing to do with defunding the Affordable Care Act—or even delaying it for one goddamn day.

As the long list of Senate Republicans who declined to back a full-blown, fill-your-hands-you-son-of-a-bitch filibuster over Obamacare could tell you, it’s a done deal that the president’s consistently unpopular health-care law is going forward even if the government shuts down. Come next week, the enrollment period is going to start, and come January 1, 2014, the plan will kick into gear despite every reason to believe it will be a clusterfudge of epic proportions.

So what exactly was Cruz doing up there, hogging the limelight on C-SPAN’s low-wattage webstream for a couple of hours, if he wasn’t serious about stopping Obamacare? He was playing his part in a pretty goddamned brilliant strategy to win the future not for himself but for the Republican Party.

Cruz and his fellow Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) are the best-known of the gaggle of legislators that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) denounced as “wacko birds” earlier this year. “It’s always the wacko birds on right and left that get the media megaphone,” sputtered McCain in the wake of Paul’s immensely popular and influential filibuster, which called much-needed attention to the Obama administration’s glib attitude toward civil liberties and executive branch overreach.

The wacko bird caucus overlaps pretty well with the Tea Party. Besides Cruz and Paul, it includes such characters as Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Reps. Justin Amash (R-MI) and Thomas Massie (R-KY). Despite meaningful differences among them, they all support cutting federal spending and taxes, and reducing regulations on business and other economic activities. Unlike many members of the GOP, they are critical of the national surveillance state and, at least in the cases of Paul and Amash, are principled non-interventionists who are quick to question the Pentagon budget.

At a time when a record high 60 percent of all Americans agree the federal government has “too much power,” the wacko birds are flying pretty high, especially when they attack their own party for its utter malfeasance during the Bush years. There’s every reason to believe that the future belongs to the wacko birds and their general, transpartisan message that government is too big and too powerful.
Wacko bird = standing on principle. If the Republican Party doesn't finally figure out what it stands for, it might as well just get out of the way for those who are at least trying to oppose the Democrats' Big Government agenda. Hey, maybe we should own the epithet. Let's start pushing for creation of the Wacko Bird Party.
Cruz wasn't trying to stop Obamacare any more than Wendy Davis was trying to stop late-term-abortion bans with her filibuster before the Texas legislature. Both were staking out their philosophical territory and letting it be known they would always defend it, no matter what. So principled Democrats will be looking at Davis' political potential and Republicans should sure as hell be looking at Cruz's and Paul's. The Dodo Birds whining about Cruz pushing the GOP into a "political cul-de-sac" (including the normally level-headed Charles Krauthammer) are just playing the same old Washington power game that led to abominations like Obamacare in the first place.