Sen. Ted Cruz continues told Fox's Greta Van Susteren that Republicans could force a government shutdown and blame it on President Obama, despite the fact that most of his colleagues and reality disagree with him.
August 22, 2013

Sen. Ted Cruz has been out there doing one interview and town hall meeting after another, attempting to sell the idea of defunding "Obamacare," and despite some heckling and a lot of disagreement from his fellow Republicans, Cruz continued to insist on Fox this Thursday that they can force a government shutdown and then blame it on President Obama.

As Digby explained this week about this nonsense, welcome to Doubling down on stupid:

The Heritage Foundation Obamascare travelling revival show continues: [...]

It's hard to believe that anybody's out there making the case for using the emergency room for all their health care needs, but there you have it. Heckuva job Minty.

Meanwhile, we have the brilliant political strategist Erick Erickson with this:

Ted Cruz has not proposed shutting down the government.

Mike Lee has not proposed shutting down the government.

Congressman Meadows has not proposed shutting down the government.

In fact, everyone who supports defunding Obamacare has been very clear that they’ll vote for a continuing resolution, just not for Obamacare funding. If the government shuts down over that, it would be Barack Obama insisting his health care plan nobody wants gets funded.

It's possible they'll be able to convince every member of their hardcore Tea Party base to interpret events in exactly that way. But I have a sneaking suspicion that the leadership of the party, even the rightwingers, understand that normal people will see that it's the Republicans shutting down the government. Because --- reality.

Reality indeed. As I noted at the top of the post, he's getting a lot of push back from his fellow Republicans on this, and for good reason. Mike Burns at Media Matters has more on that here: Conservative Media Divide On Defunding Obamacare Through Government Shutdown Grows:

Republican politicians, including Cruz (TX) and Senator Mike Lee (UT), have threatened to shut down the government in order to stop funding health care reform. That approach has earned criticism from other Republicans, such as Senator Richard Burr (NC), who called it "the dumbest idea I've ever heard of."

Writing in Politico, Lowry argued against Cruz's strategy, dismissing it as "a grass roots-pleasing slogan" and unrealistic: [...]

Lowry's criticism adds to an already wide split among right-wing media on GOP threats to shut down the government.

Like Lowry, some conservative media have argued against the approach. Fox News contributor Jonah Goldberg said that the idea "works fantastically well for fundraising when you want to go and run in 2016 for president" but is "ludicrous" as a legislative strategy. Charles Krauthammer, a Fox News contributor and Washington Post columnist, called the approach "really dumb" and "nuts." Fox News contributor Karl Rove has also spoken out against the approach.

Despite the widespread criticism of the approach, including from their own colleagues in the right-wing media, others have fervently supported the plan. In a RedState post, Fox News contributor Erick Erickson wrote that Republicans who do not support the defunding effort should be challenged in primaries. Conservative radio host Mark Levin dismissed the consequences of a shutdown, saying he "like[s] the weekends" when the government is shut down. And Sean Hannity, one of the loudest conservative media voices in support of the approach, has said that defunding the health care law "is the hill to die on."

I generally don't mind watching GOP infighting and these people going at each other, but it's really frightening and disturbing to watch these irresponsible hostage takers be willing to blow up the economy of the United States and do untold damage to our citizens in order to score political points. I don't recall ever seeing anything as callous and dangerous in my lifetime and the fact that the media is willing to prop these guys up and give them air time as though what they're threatening is rational is really disgusting to put it mildly.

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