There’s no doubt Cruz made mistakes. On tactics, he and his allies chose the wrong objective (defunding, rather than delaying key parts) and perhaps the wrong vehicle (the continuing resolution rather than the debt ceiling). And more than once, he put House Republicans in an exceedingly difficult spot. Cruz misled his followers at times by creating the impression that stopping Obamacare was a matter of willpower rather than arithmetic (Republicans alone don’t have the votes). As John McCormack has noted, Cruz alienated many would-be allies with phony purity tests—claiming that conservatives who disagreed with his tactics were part of a “surrender caucus” and even likening them to appeasers of the Nazis. Many conservatives—both inside the Congress and out—have dedicated the better part of the last four years working first to fend off and then to derail Obamacare. Because they disagree with Cruz on a tactical issue, they’re now the surrender caucus? Nonsense.
But Cruz and his allies have succeeded in one crucial respect: The debate is now focused on Obamacare and at precisely the moment when many Americans are beginning to understand just how flawed the law is. Despite the many missteps—sometimes by passive Republican leaders and sometimes by dogmatic defund enthusiasts—Republicans today are in a strong position to capitalize on what Cruz and his allies have done.
And then that "strong position" exploded Thursday as the Tea Party decided it will wreck the country and blame Obama, Boehner, McConnell, Cantor, everyone but themselves.
There's now an excellent possibility now that our economy will suffer massive damage over the next few weeks. Keep in mind that the GOP is to blame.