On Morning Joe this morning, the opinion of Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski, the Huffingon Post’s Sam Stein, the New York Times’ Jeremy Peters, Bloomberg columnist Al Hunt and Cokie Roberts is uniform and vehement: everything about Ted Cruz’s semi-filibuster on the floor of the Senate is bad. They’ve called it preposterous, a publicity stunt, political theater, ridiculous, crazy, and said he’s “screaming”; guest Sen. Claire McCaskill said Cruz thinks he’s starring in a movie and using the floor of the Senate to promote himself. (Because senators otherwise never speak on the floor of the chamber to promote themselves.)
Much as the discussion of the NSA domestic surveillance program shifted to a binary choice about personality (“what do you think of Edward Snowden?”) the media is turning the discussion of Obamacare into a up-or-down choice on what you think of Ted Cruz.
But what one thinks of Ted Cruz is, in the grand scheme of things, a rather minor matter compared to the program’s impact on full-time employment, its malfunctioning software, the program’s failure to ensure coverage for 500,000 children, and the way lower-income families that have good insurance plans will be forced to pay much more for them.
Of course, to discuss those subjects, you have to know something about how Obamacare is being implemented and the ensuing problems. To fume and scoff and sneer and mock Ted Cruz… you don’t really need to know that much.