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The Week

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Whatever happened to the wholesome, respectable MTV we grew up with?

In a recent interview, Senator Ted Cruz (R., Texas) said of defunding Obamacare that “if it doesn’t happen now, it’s likely never to happen.” That’s why he thinks Republicans have to use the threat of a partial government shutdown to achieve it. Other defunders have argued that to wait until Republicans have the Senate, House, and White House to repeal Obamacare is tantamount to abandoning the goal because winning so many elections is too improbable. All of this is much too defeatist. It is true that liberal programs rarely get repealed once implemented. Obamacare is, however, much more perverse than most, and in ways that have made it unpopular and may continue to do so. Republicans should seek to build an electoral majority to replace it, not wallow in despair. A Cruz aide has said that conservatives who doubt the wisdom of his strategy are in a “surrender caucus.” The senator disavows this remark, but he should take care, while making the case for his preferred course, not to announce his own surrender date.

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