By Erin Drushel

[avatar user=”ErinDrushel” size=”thumbnail” align=”left”]Erin Drushel[/avatar]

The U.S. Congress has until midnight September 30 to make sure the government continues to be funded or face a government shut-down.  At the heart of the debate is – once again – the obsessive ideological desire by some Republicans to defund Obamacare.

(Read: I Miss My Canadian Healthcare)

This is nothing more than “A Game of Thrones” without the dragons and with less (actual) bloodshed.  Not so fantastic to watch/read when it’s concerning real people…

And the man who managed to get himself into the thick of it: Republican Senator Ted Cruz.

The first year, Tea Party-backed senator managed to make a name for himself within party circles.  Although, it seems that name may be “mud.”  He’s managed to incur the wrath of both House Republicans (for seeming to shirk the duties of the Senate back on to the House), and his colleagues in the Senate (for his backward approach to legislative procedures).

Here’s the situation, the GOP-controlled House passed legislation that would continue to fund the government on condition that Obamacare is defunded – a known deal-breaker.  So, they kick it upstairs to the Democrat-controlled Senate where they have the option of stripping out the defunding language prior to a vote.  Ted Cruz’s strategy is to attempt to filibuster his own party’s legislation – which he agrees with – in order to prevent Senate Democrats from removing the defunding language.

Could it be that House Republicans put in a clause that set-up this entire drama so that they could blame the Democrats for a government shut-down?  You can’t do that… well, I suppose you can, but not without shoving your fingers in your ears and screaming “NO, I’m right!” over and over again.

And what will be the result of this “fruitful” turmoil?  If passed, the legislation will keep the government funded for two or three more months…at which time we can start this nonsense, all over again.

… Sigh… it’s all too easy to see where political apathy is born.

And so, America waits.

As for Ted Cruz, there is speculation that he may be eyeing a run at the presidency come 2016.  His extreme approach to politics – which to some may seem courageous – may come back to haunt him if his political future remains intact.

To add to his future (potential) troubles, this summer Cruz released his birth certificate and it was revealed that he was born in Canada.  The U.S. Constitution does not clearly define “natural-born American” but – although many would say that since his mother was American, he’s a natural-born American citizen – only the Supreme Court can make that ruling.

This could be reminiscent of the failed “Obama birth certificate conspiracy,” which was brought about by Cruz’s fellow Tea Partiers.  And although he will renounce his Canadian citizenship, Cruz may become the future target of those same allegations.

After watching the budget nonsense unfold and Cruz’s increasingly absurd role during the crisis, I think I can safely say: America…you can keep him.

– Erin Drushel

1 Comment

  1. treebeard September 30, 2013at10:25 pm

    Should my understanding be correct, under American law your citizenship is still determined now and forever by your place of birth – even if you subsequently choose to become a naturalized American citizen. Canada will accept your renunciation of Canadian citizenship – a notable example being Conrad Black) but that has no effect on how an American court will interpret the constitutional requirements for the office of President.

    Let’s hope Cruz’s renunciation is accomplished before the U.S. courts tell him no – I’m sure we will all find it much more comfortable if he’s done and gone and ineligible to come back.

    I also think the guy is nuts. You don’t try to blackmail the President of the United States.

    Barack Obama made the promise of universal medical care a centrepiece of his election campaign last year and was given an overwhelming mandate. He can not and will not let betray his central promise.

    The far-right crazies are calling for negotiation. Negotiation implies offers and counter-offers. But what are the Cruz crowd offering? To stop threatening to shut down the government of the United States? They are trying to hold the whole nation hostage? And planning comparable idiocy again when the debt ceiling comes up in three months?

    The tragedy here is that the American public neither knows nor cares that these head cases on Capitol Hill are on the brink of taking away their access to their most basic quotidian government services, on which they rely every day, and a couple of months later initiate a cup that could well destroy the free world’s economic systems. And if anyone knows, they don’t care, and if they do and try to warn, they won’t be listened too. The NFL season has started, and other such crises of our civilization.

    Obama knows what he must do and why he must do it. An English Victorian poet said it well: “… he who pays of the Danegeld will never get rid of the Dane”.
    The White House will not surrender. Let us hope Canada survives the flying debris from the imminent American crash.