On Wednesday afternoon, after Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) finished his quasi-filibuster on the floor of the Senate over his efforts to defund Obamacare, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) rose to rip Cruz. In the process, he proclaimed that Obamacare had been passed through fair process, and said that Republicans had to accept that “elections have consequences.” He stated:
I campaigned all over America for two months, everywhere I could. And in every single campaign rally I said “we had to repeal and replace Obamacare.” Well, the people spoke. They spoke, much to my dismay, but they spoke and they re-elected the President of the United States. No that doesn’t mean that we give up our efforts to try to replace and repair Obamacare. But it does mean elections have consequences and those elections were clear, in a significant majority, that the majority of the American people supported the President of the US and renewed his stewardship of this country. I don’t like it, it’s not something that I wanted the outcome to be. But I think all of us should respect the outcome of elections, which reflects the will of the people.
This sort of weak-kneed thinking has led to Republican surrender time and time again without exhausting all available procedural options. President Obama was indeed re-elected, and the Democrats do indeed control the Senate. But the notion that Obama’s re-election is proof of the popularity of Obamacare is a massive fallacy, as is the idea that Republicans must not use whatever leverage they have at their disposal to fight the law. President Bush was re-elected in 2004. That did not stop Democrats from stymying his attempts at social security privatization.
McCain went even further, stating, “We fought as hard as we could in a fair and honest manner and we lost,” regarding Obacare. “One of the reasons was because we were in the minority, and in democracies, almost always the majority governs and passes legislation.” He said that Obamacare discussions represented “one of the most hard fought, fair, in my view, debates that has taken place on the floor of the Senate [over] the time I’ve been here.” Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) immediately said that Obamacare was not passed fairly; as a matter of fact, it was passed without a single Republican vote, in the dead of night, without releasing the text of the bill until just hours two days before the vote.
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).