In the wake of the defeat in the 2012 Presidential race, Republicans were despondent over the lack of Conservative leadership on the national stage. Who were the political leaders for liberty-loving Americans?
While Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, and Jeb Bush have disappointed the base by playing the appeasement game with topics like immigration reform and ObamaCare, Senators Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and Rand Paul have answered the call with courageous and principled stands.
Most recently, Cruz and Lee have been pushing their plan to defund ObamaCare before enrollment starts on October 1. Their online petition has now collected a staggering 1.1 million signatures, while garnering the support of 14 Senators and about 100 Representatives.
Critics condemn Cruz and Lee as “grandstanders” with presidential ambitions. But conservatives need leaders in public office who have the charisma, the smarts, and the political savvy to drive the political narrative and ultimately stand up and promote the principles that they hold most precious.
The problem is that the establishment Republicans—the moderates, the defeatists, and the appeasers—undermine these men almost every chance they get. Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, as well as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, have repeatedly and publicly opposed the efforts of Cruz and Lee to defund ObamaCare, claiming that all Republicans need is to win the Senate in 2014 as well as the Presidency in 2016, and then repeal ObamaCare.
However, these victories are not guaranteed. Furthermore, the probability of repealing a law once millions of Americans are enrolled in its programs will be nigh impossible. No entitlement has ever been repealed in America. Stopping the law before it starts seems the most principled and logical choice, yet the establishment Republicans are too cowardly, politically motivated, and small-minded to pursue that route.
Sixty percent of Americans oppose the law, yet only a handful of conservative lawmakers appear willing to take a stand.
The Establishment seems convinced that Cruz’s plan, (a resolution to fund the entire government except ObamaCare), would ultimately shut down the government, and Republicans would get blamed. This defeatist attitude assumes that President Obama would never capitulate in the face of a government shutdown, and yet the GOP would rather give up on its principles than risk a political headache.
The “Defund ObamaCare” website also lists the contact information for the Republican Senators. It will take 41 of them standing in unison to force a filibuster of the continuing resolution, but they won’t do it without the grassroots rising up and forcing them to do so.
Follow Garrett Humbertson on Twitter @G_Humbertson.