By Rick Manning
Common wisdom amongst those who live in the Beltway is that the fight to end Obamacare was not worth it, and those who stood up to the bullying of Obama and his cronies were political losers.
Senator Ted Cruz went home to Texas last weekend and made two separate stops to talk to the people at hastily arranged events.
Far from the images America saw in 2010 when Obamacare supporters desperately cancelled or limited attendance at events, Cruz stepped into the lion’s den of real public opinion in his home state of Texas and the result was not just standing ovations, but cheers that exceed a concert crowd demanding an encore from their favorite artist who has left his greatest hit unsung.
You can see the thirteen minute ovation yourself here. It is worth it to confirm what many of us know in our hearts – when you stand up and fight for what is right the people appreciate it.
Critics would argue that these cheers came from tea party types and don’t reflect the people at large. However, it is better for a leader to be loved by those who are informed, than to be barely tolerated by those who aren’t. Informing the currently uninformed electorate is much easier when you are standing on principle. In this case it is all the easier as the implementation of Obamacare has been a stunning disaster that the people are learning is going to hit them in the wallet with massive premium increases while costing many of them to lose their existing health care coverage. That is exactly the position Cruz, Senator Mike Lee and those who stood with them find themselves.
When asked about the government shut down, they can look squarely in the camera and say they did it because the Obamacare law is going to hurt people, and it was their duty to try to stop this big government boondoggle that is guaranteed to fail.
This is now no longer rhetoric as even the mainstream media is acknowledging that Obamacare was not ready for prime time. But only those who were willing to fight to stop it can honestly tell the people that they have been doing everything in their power to end the disastrous federal government power grab.
John McCain cannot say it. Lindsay Graham cannot claim it. Lamar Alexander can only stammer, look away and try to change the subject when asked where he was in the fight led by Ted.
In politics, if you are lucky, you get a few big moments when it is more about the country than about yourself. Cruz and Lee along with Rep. Tom Graves, Louie Gohmert and so many others in both the Senate and the House risked their political careers in trying to stop Obamacare, and they can now look the people in the eye and honestly tell them where they were at this critical juncture in our nation’s history.
They passed the crucible moment with flying colors, while so many others’ courage fell short hiding behind the skirts of the “I didn’t agree with the strategy” excuse.
At a time when Congress is viewed as being lower than snail slime, Ted Cruz can return home to Texas to ovations, can Lindsay Graham say the same? Somehow I think there is a lesson there.
Rick Manning (@rmanning957) is the vice president of public policy and communications for Americans for Limited Government