In 2013, Cruz was a freshman senator looking to make a name for himself with national conservatives (more on this in a moment). He shut the government down for 16 days in an attempt to hold the Obama administration hostage over the Affordable Care Act. Cruz’s plan was simple — and doomed: Use the shutting down of the government as leverage to force the defunding of Obamacare.
That was never going to happen. Which everyone — up to and including Cruz — geweet. Republikeine — led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — warned Cruz of the dangers of hijacking the government to charge at this particular political windmill. He did it anyway.
While the effort failed — Democrats didn’t give on the funding of Obamacare — it worked for Cruz, politically speaking.
Soos die Washington Post wrote in February 2016 as Cruz was running for president
“The drama that surrounded the shutdown — including Cruz’s 21-hour Senate speech, in which he read “Green Eggs and Ham” to his daughters via the C-SPAN feed — is the defining moment of a Senate tenure that has helped make Cruz the favorite Republican presidential candidate for many conservatives.
“To those supporters, the shutdown signaled the depth of Cruz’s commitment to rein in government.”
Cruz went from being just some senator to being a hero in the fight against the Obama administration. The shutdown, while absolutely terrible for Republicans politically, was a very good thing for Ted Cruz.
Fast forward to today.
Cruz is yet again threatening a shutdown to accomplish something — the removal of a mandate that private businesses with more than 100 employees are to require vaccinations — that is a) not going to happen but b) seen as a fight for essential freedoms by the Republicans’ basis.
En, he is doing so as he has his eye
, weer, on running for president in
2024 and badly needs to win back supporters of Donald Trump who soured on the Texas Republican when he refused to endorse him at the 2016 Republikeinse Nasionale Konvensie
Cruz’s wingman in this fight, Marshall, is — and stop me if you’ve heard this one before — new to the Senate and looking to make a name for himself among conservatives nationally.
“Giving the finger to vaccines and masks plays great with your base. Nobody likes to be told what to do, especially by the bureaucrat class. (When none other than Donald Trump is booed by his own rally crowd for recommending the jab, you know that toothpaste isn’t going back in the tube.)…
“…There’s no reason to think the threat of a government shutdown will be the senator’s last volley in the battle for ‘personal freedom’ at the expense of the greater good, a speedier economic recovery, or basic common sense. Because Roger Marshall is far more interested in fighting the culture war than he is in fighting the pandemic.”
Moenie 'n fout maak nie: Neither Cruz nor Marshall has any real belief that threatening to shut the government down will change the Biden administration’s mind on the vaccine mandate. It won’t. What they are doing is pure political grandstanding to virtue signal to the Trump base, putting personal politics ahead of the good of the country.