For all the DC chatter about Ted Cruz and his 2016 aspirations, no one has really paid any attention to what happened last Friday when the House passed their "defund Obamacare, okay not really" bill.
Eric Cantor signaled their actual goal in the rally they held after the vote. ViaHuffington Post, what Cantor said:
Speaking at a rally where Republican leaders cheered the House's passage of a government spending bill that would permanently strip funding from the Affordable Care Act, Cantor called out by name each red state Senate Democrat facing reelection: Sens. Mark Begich (Alaska), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Mary Landrieu (La.) and Kay Hagan (N.C.). As the majority leader asked what those Democrats were doing to protect their states from Obamacare, audience members cheered loudly and applauded his remarks.
"Many Senate Republicans have promised to leave no stone unturned in fighting for this bill, and all of us here support that effort," Cantor said. "We are calling on Senate Democrats to do the same thing."
"I want to know where Senator Pryor stands on protecting the middle class," he added. "How about Kay Hagan in North Carolina? Does she understand the consequences that Obamacare is having in her state?"
"What about Mary Landrieu of Louisiana?" Cantor continued. "And finally, what about Mark Begich of Alaska? ... Will he vote to keep Obamacare in place?"
Targeting Red State Democratic Senators to force them to vote for that which is unpopular in a Red State is a strategy to recapture the Senate, not kill the Affordable Care Act.
In fact, I'd argue the Affordable Care Act is something Republicans need to have a prayer of staying alive at all. As long as they fuel the hate, they get to use it to try and defeat Democrats.
And if Ted Cruz helps win Senate control that's just fine with him. It makes his prospects and those of his fellow wingnuts look that much brighter in 2016.
Watch this space. I'm betting we'll see ads running against those four Senators in 3...2...1.