It’s fine to argue Ted Cruz and Mike Lee’s attempt to defund Obamacare in the Senate will lose. A debate can be had on whether spectacularly losing this one fight improves Republicans’ chances at winning the war. (I think it does.)
But what of the “disagreement on tactics,” a phrase Sen. John Cornyn coined when confronted with his Texas colleague’s bold plan to defund Obamacare? There’s a “disagreement on tactics,” all right. Cruz and Lee have a tactic. Cornyn & Co. don’t.
Ostensibly there are two tactics: defund (Cruz and Lee) and delay (Cornyn and McConnell). The Republicans’ leverage for achieving either goal is a government shutdown. Democrats are as virulently opposed to delaying Obamacare as they are to defunding it, unless it’s their president doing the delaying. Since the two tactics have an equal chance of success, defund is a no-brainer. Delay is the establishment’s fig leaf.
Democrats don’t want to cede control of Obamacare to Republicans in the House and Senate, even though Obamacare is a creation of the House and Senate. Democrats want a totalitarian government, which is impossible to administrate with the consent of the governed. Obama needs all the freedom from legislative oversight he can muster to implement Obamacare’s gargantuan provisions.