Of all the dumb things I’ve seen in politics, the idea that Ted Cruz obeying the Affordable Care Act while seeking its repeal constitutes some sort of hypocrisy or controversy takes the stupid cake.
The people attempting to make this argument need to splash some water on their faces, take a long look at themselves in the mirror, and take stock of what they’ve devolved into after six long years of defending Barack Obama. They’re acting out of pure, reflexive, attack-dog hatred for everyone who dares to challenge their master.
Cruz has to sign up for ObamaCare, kids. As you were all screaming in unison not long ago, it’s The Settled Law Of the Land. ObamaCare is force, compulsion, a mailed fist, a boot stamping on the American face forever. Obama lied through his teeth about how it would be an optional deal so super-awesome that Americans would voluntarily rush to embrace it: “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan. No one will take it away from you, period.”
But it’s not voluntary, not at all. Very few things our central government does are as voluntary or optional as the Ruling Class likes to pretend. In this case, we’re talking about thousands of pages of poorly-written, badly-thought-out taxes, regulations, and mandates, including the historic trans-Constitutional imperative that levels a chimerical tax/penalty against anyone who refuses to buy a product sold by private industries in league with Big Government.
There’s nothing particularly complicated about the Cruz situation.
The Senator’s wife Heidi is taking leave from her job at Goldman-Sachs to work on his presidential campaign. Her health insurance will be terminated, so Mr. and Mrs. Cruz are required by law to buy into ObamaCare. He refuses to take advantage of the special exemption King Barack I carved out for our political aristocracy, making the one voluntary decision available to him in this situation, as he explained this to CNN’s Dana Bash in an interview:
“We’ll be getting new health insurance and we’ll presumably do it through my job with the Senate, and so we’ll be on the federal exchange with millions of others on the federal exchange,” Cruz said.
Asked whether he would accept the government contribution available to lawmakers and congressional staffers for their health care coverage through the ACA, Cruz said he will “follow the text of the law.”
“I strongly oppose the exemption that President Obama illegally put in place for members of Congress because (Senate Minority Leader) Harry Reid and the Senate Democrats didn’t want to be under the same rules as the American people,” Cruz said, before repeating: “I believe we should follow the text of the law.”
Under the Affordable Care Act, members of Congress and some designated congressional staffers are required to obtain health care coverage through the D.C. Health Link Small Business Market. The Office of Personnel Management’s guidelines state that lawmakers and their staff receive a “government contribution” if they get health care coverage through the ACA.
But some lawmakers have declined to accept the contribution, saying they do not want to get special treatment. After the interview, a Cruz spokesperson clarified that he wouldn’t take the contribution.
So Cruz is voluntarily choosing not to avail himself of two perfectly legal options available to him under the law, because he disagrees with them and does have the option of refusing, and he is complying with the mandatory portion of the law, which he wishes to repeal in its entirety. There’s nothing inconsistent or hypocritical about that at all. Aren’t liberals supposed to think the greatest threat facing America comes from “extremists” who refuse to comply with laws they find objectionable?
In fact, charges to the contrary are like a slow underhanded pitch across the plate, where Cruz is patiently waiting with a Louisville Slugger. The entire situation is tailor-made for his campaign platform about the rule of law, and how no one is above it. “I believe we should follow the text of every law, even laws I disagree with,” he explained to CNN. “It’s one of the real differences — if you look at President Obama and the lawlessness, if he disagrees with a law he simply refuses to follow it or claims the authority to unilaterally change.”
This will also give Cruz another opportunity to explain why ObamaCare is a pile of nonsensical crap created political greed and cowardly dishonesty, not a brilliant centrally-designed plan to make health care better. He can remind Americans to be angry about the special aristocratic privileges he voluntarily refused to accept.
CNN takes a last-ditch stab at turning this into an anti-Cruz story by claiming it’s “deeply ironic” for ObamaCare’s paramount opponent to use the system, but this doesn’t even meet the Alanis Morrissette definition of “irony.” There’s nothing ironic about complying with laws you oppose – it’s a universal American experience. Even Barack Obama had to comply with a few laws he opposed, until he seized dictatorial powers to rewrite them, and he hasn’t rewritten all of them yet.
There is perhaps a smidgen of tactical campaign criticism to be made, in noting that Cruz staffers “appeared caught by surprise Monday by questions about the senator’s health care.”
They should have been ready for this, particularly given the Beltway Media obsession with burning Republicans at the stake for alleged hypocrisy. (The universal media template is that Democrats “evolve,” while Republicans “betray their principles.”) Presumably the campaign will learn its lesson and understand that literally everything the candidate does will be fodder for political attack. If the Cruz campaign, and every other GOP presidential team, doesn’t learn that lesson, there will be reason for concern.