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October 16, 2013 2:59 PM The Party Line Gets Twisted

By Ed Kilgore

I swear, making sense of the “constitutional conservative” party line on the fiscal crisis it did so much to manufacture is becoming like one of those exercises in Kremlinology back in the day.

Erick Erickson has made it clear that Ted Cruz will not get any flack from the Defund Obamacare crusaders for declining to filibuster the Senate Deal:

Some conservatives are complaining that Ted Cruz will not filibuster the debt ceiling increase in the Senate.
He is doing the right thing.
While you and I and he and everyone else knows the debt ceiling issue will not actually throw us into default, we must remember low information voters and the media. The media will report that Ted Cruz has single handedly thrown the nation into default. Senate Republicans have been positively giddy at the prospects of Cruz filibustering the debt ceiling increase because they want nothing more than to blame him for everything and ignore their own capitulation.
Cruz rightly has pointed out that the Senate Republicans refused to stand shoulder to shoulder with House Republicans. The Senate GOP made it its mission to undermine conservatives every step of the way. For the past two weeks, the Senate GOP has leaked as much as possible to damage Cruz, Mike Lee, and conservatives. They have planted stories about outside groups, treated conservative scornfully, and in closed door meetings berated Cruz, Lee, and others for daring to fight.
The debt ceiling will be raised whether Cruz filibusters or not. It was not worth giving the media another bullet to use against Cruz in this fight. Nor was it worth giving Senate Republicans the talking points they need to convince those on the fringes of paying attention that someone Ted Cruz could singlehandedly cause the nation to default.

But get this kicker:

As Cruz has said repeatedly, the burden of this fight is on House conservatives. We have all known that to be true.

While Cruz (and presumably Mike Lee) will get a pass, it now looks like the Defunders are going to freak out at John Boehner for letting the Deal come to a vote. Here’s how Erickson’s comrades at Heritage Action are framing it:

Heritage Action CEO Mike Needham was on Fox News Wednesday morning to discuss the events taking place in the House and Senate, Obamacare, and Heritage Action’s perspective on the plans forming in the both chambers. He notes that the Senate has ignored the perspective of millions of Americans who oppose Obamacare, while the House has been working to stop Obamacare….
It remains to be seen whether the House will succeed in stopping Obamacare, however. According to some reports, the Senate will reveal its plan this morning, and Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) has indicated he will take up the Senate plan and allow it to pass with Democrat votes.

FreedomWorks’ Rudy Takala is more direct:

Will House Speaker John Boehner need to rely on more Democrats than Republicans in order to pass President Obama’s through Congress - violating what is known as the Hastert Rule? It would be the sixth occasion since he assumed the speakership in 2011, and his seventh attempt. If a cancelled attempt to pass Obamacare funding on Tuesday is included, it would be the eighth.

Yes, Boehner’s sad effort to give Republicans a small ransom payment for letting the world move on is being described as a “cancelled attempt to pass Obamacare funding.”

So if Boehner fails to obstruct the Deal by invoking the Hastert Rule, he’s a traitor all over again:

If Boehner cannot find it in himself to lead a unified Republican Party in doing the right thing, he may find that he has more to worry about than staying on Democrats’ good side. He may find voters beginning to realize that it was he and his friends who were complicit with Democrats in passing the policies that have been hurting them in recent years.

So while Cruz and Boehner are really going to be equally complicit in letting the Deal happen before markets explode, the fiery Senator from Wingnuttia will remain a hero, while the hapless Orange Man will get more political death threats from his own party.

It would be a stretch to say this is like Stalin adopting Trotsky’s forced industrialization policies even as the former’s minions treated the latter as the Great Conspirator Against the USSR, but I’m going to keep my knowledge of intra-Communist intrigue in my back pocket as a possible guide to right-wing behavior going forward.

UPDATE: I’m not the only one who’s reminded of Stalinists by this crowd; Harold Meyerson is, too.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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