Now that the Seinfeld Shutdown is finished (at least until after the New Year) I would like to tell you about a couple of items in the Houston Chronicle this week.
A Stewart Powell article Wednesday, Shutdown a win for Cruz, but at what cost to the GOP? Notes that even as GOP poll numbers fall, and Democratic approval ratings rise, Texas Senator Rafael ‘Ted’ Cruz has seen his stock rise in the 2016 Republican presidential race and has been raking in the cash at his campaign fund and leadership PAC, garnering almost $1.2 million in the last quarter.
Inexplicably, this Canadian-born and Harvard-educated lawyer has, in his eight-month career as a U.S. Senator, broken the Senate tradition of being unseen and unheard in his first term to be cited as a leader in the House of Representatives (?) of the movement to repeal the Affordable Care Act and “relieve the millions of Americans who are suffering under Obamacare.”
Excuse me, “suffering under Obamacare?” I’m not exactly suffering by knowing that my insurance carrier is now required to send out refund checks if they fail to spend at least 85% of premiums collected on actual healthcare, or because I’m able to cover my 20-some-year-old children on my family plan, or knowing that my elderly relatives no longer get stuck paying exorbitant prescription drug bills when they reach the Medicare part D donut hole, or that I could shop for insurance knowing that I can't be denied coverage because of any pre-existing condition.
The partial government shutdown may have cost us $24 billion and put the countries credit rating at risk, but it has served Cruz’s ambitions well. Public Policy Polling in North Carolina found that Cruz has jumped from fifth to first place in GOP voter preference for the 2016 presidential nomination. The Family Research Council poll of people who don’t think that Gary Bauer is a greedy little weasel gave Cruz the top spot with 42% of the vote, leading loons Rick Santorum and Ben Carson.
A Chronicle editorial this week asked “Does anyone else miss Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison?,” saying they “miss her extraordinary understanding of the importance of reaching across the aisle when necessary. Neither sitting Texas senator has displayed that useful skill, and both the state and the Congress are the poorer for it.”
Well, that’s funny coming from the Chronicle, who endorsed Cruz in the general election last year over Democrat Paul Sadler, notwithstanding “his demonstrated ability to reach across the aisle and work productively with his political opponents for the good of Texas.”