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posted: 10/26/2013 5:00 AM

Cruz was ringleader in the shutdown

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To say that both the Democratic and Republican parties are to blame for the government shutdown is to ignore the facts. The basic "housekeeping" debt ceiling bill came up for a vote and the Tea Party Republicans used this as an opportunity to seek the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, as they had planned earlier in the year. Asking the president to dismantle his signature legislation, which is now officially law, is not reasonable but ludicrous. And this all happened just before the start of the enrollment period, so deciding it was a failure was not only premature but more like the thinking of a nervous preteen on a first date.

Among the players in the Tea Party revolt and subsequent government shutdown are Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a smart but narcissistic and manipulative guy who has been able to mesmerize a small group of fearful, mostly older, Southern white evangelicals. He is like the Jim Jones of the Tea Party and probably more dangerous because his power is greater. There is no place in representative government for someone who is not mindful of the concept of separation of church and state. Clearly he enjoys media attention and testing the limits of power. He cares about himself and that's it, better suited for TV evangelism, consulting for a conservative network or running a sweat lodge.

The Tea Party Congressional Republicans, under the sway of an almost maniacal Cruz, are fully responsible for this mess. And it's not likely that he'll be voted out as he "serves" a redrawn district. Say goodbye to the reputation and stability of this country. We are truly in a new era where respect for and dignity of the presidency and other government institutions are morphing into something unrecognizable, even to a pack of coyotes.

Susan Menzimer


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