I don't know if the following is merely reportorial incoherence, or if it's just more of it-seems-so-incredibly-stupid-it-must-be-brilliant Cruzism, or if, perhaps, my ceaseless attempts to decipher the GOP's politically encrypted strategy have simply befogged my brain. At any rate, from the Washington Examiner, here it is:
[Armed with his own polling numbers] Sen. Ted Cruz during a closed-door lunch on Wednesday argued to his Republican colleagues that the campaign he led to defund Obamacare has bolstered the GOP’s political position in dealing with the government shutdown....
Cruz argued, based on the poll, that Republicans are in a much better position than they were during the 1995 shutdown because this impasse is defined by a disagreement over funding for the Affordable Care Act as opposed to a general disagreement over government spending.
That is notable because, during last week’s conservative luncheon, Cruz was harshly criticized for pushing Republicans into a politically risky government shutdown without a strategy to win the standoff, particularly because polls have consistently shown that voters oppose the defund-or-shutdown strategy favored by the senator, despite the fact that they disapprove of Obamacare.
First of all, the GOP leadership had (at the time of the Examiner's reporting) already cut Cruz off at the knees, by rather conspicuously jumping from Obamacare to general government spending. By Wednesday afternoon--after Boehner's Obamacare-free news conference and Ryan-Cantor's similarly Obamacare-free op-ed fest--everyone knew it.
More than that, though, is the incomprehensibility of the introductory "That is notable" phrase of the final paragraph, as well as the paragraph itself. What's notable? It all says the same thing: Cruz lacked a shutdown-escape strategy last week, just as he lacks any strategy this week. And voters still think it's all quite absurd and they're opposed.
I'm not just poking at the Examiner's reporter. I'd really like to know if anything that Cruz offered yesterday was "notable" or in any way persuasive to his fellow Republican senators. Because if it wasn't, then we can safely strike one GOP (of sorts) contender from the 2016 list.