If you were the President and you were obstructed at every turn, the people who elected you would expect you to find and use every bit of power legally available to you including the power to use executive actions, even if this power was rarely used, to further the agenda of the people who elected you.
So when Ted Cruz says that Obama does things that are unconstitutional he is guilty of really stretching the truth for one thing, and, for another thing, this is just one more example of that “I’m rubber, you’re glue; everything you say bounces off me and sticks to you” strategy that Republicans have been using for the past five years.
Ted Cruz stepped really close to the unconstitutional line when he tried to use the CR and the debt ceiling to undo a law – in this case the health care law. He would have gone over the line if the more moderate Republicans did not step back
Once again – Obama cannot be both Mr. Magoo and Fidel Castro (as Ted Cruz’s Dad accused him of being). He can’t be both clueless and a power-grasping-Constitution-ignoring dictator. Either of these positions obviously benefits through those old propaganda favorites – exaggeration and name calling. People who come to America from authoritarian nations often see creeping totalitarianism everywhere they look. They had a bad experience once and it turned their lives upside down and they are understandably concerned to pick up on the signs that it may be happening again. Cruz, Senior had to leave Cuba which was a country he probably loved dearly. He had to literally flee for his life. We can certainly understand why he would be paranoid and hyper-vigilant. Remember Thomas Peterfly. It seems clear to me that if anyone is challenging American democracy right now though, it is the Republican Party and not President Obama. We know that George W. Bush exercised his executive privilege freely and with little push back.
All of these Republican arguments use the Affordable Care Act as some arcane proof that the President is the “trasher” of the Constitution that this party wants us to believe he is. They hate the ACA. It extends rather than trims the social safety net. And while most Americans see this as spending our own money to help our own citizens, Republicans see this as Socialism rearing its ugly head to rob Capitalism of its rightful place as our economic driver, in spite of the fact that no one is trying to oust Capitalism. Republicans hate the individual mandate even though it is the only thing that makes the plan work financially. They are working desperately, and somewhat successfully, to turn American into a loose affiliation of state governments which would allow for greater differences among the states, although many of us believe that some things like educational outcomes (although not necessarily education curricula) and health care insurance standards are aspects of our culture that should be somewhat similar from state to state. Many of us also agree that offering health care for profit and without enough competition is problematic and interferes with fairness and good practice. Republicans consider themselves purists in this regard because they believe that putting the states in control is Federalism and that a Federalist government was the goal of our forefathers.
That maven of sarcasm, the mean but well spoken Representative from Tennessee, Marsha Blackburn suggests that “not everyone wants a Ferrari health plan, some people are happy with a Ford; not everyone wants a crystal stem, some people are happy with a red Solo cup”. (Great choice because we all love red Solo cups ever since that song was written about them.) But no one wants to be scammed, and maybe your insurance company has been scamming you with a really bad insurance plan and now, because of the ACA law which protects health care consumers, they can no longer sell that plan. It is unfortunate that Obama stated so often and so vociferously that if you had a plan you liked you could keep it, but perhaps Obama did not realize how awful some of our insurance plans were, how deeply we were being ripped off. The insurance companies may not be very happy about the Affordable Care Act which is forcing them to do things that have been unprofitable in the past. It could be just possible that the insurance companies deliberately sent their letters out to their insured without any warnings to the administration in order to create chaos and release any anger they have been holding inside.
Why are we dogging every step in this roll out process? We are doing that so we don’t notice that nothing else is getting done. We are being “razzle-dazzled” as the song in Chicagodescribes so aptly. Let the plan have time to function and we might just end up with a fairly uniform and effective health care system. Stop it from functioning and we are back in a pricey world of hurt. Please work on jobs (note to Republicans – I don’t mean the Keystone Pipeline).