Young: Ted Cruz and the Wile E. Coyoye approach to government
September 26, 2013
Did we ever tire of it?
No matter how many times Wile E. Coyote face-planted on the cliff or came up on the underside of his own boulder, we watched for his next botched plan.
Wile E. is a lot like an increasingly cartoonish presence on the political scene these days.
All he hungers for is one particular carcass for dinner.
So he spends his every waking moment positioning an anvil above the desert roadway.
Today's Republican Party is a Wile E. bunch, and we know whose carcass it craves. Nearly six years in tongue-dragging pursuit, most of its ranks in Congress still can think of nothing else, certainly not governing.
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The sad irony is that keeping to the script of never learning, a new breed of coyote has emerged — canis deleterious — which appears even more desperate.
Sen. Ted Cruz, tea party darling, is seen as the equivalent of those mail-order ACME spring-loaded boots that Wile E. ordered by mail — you know, to put some "sproing" in a Wile E's step. Watch that step.
Cruz has made defunding the Affordable Care Act his signature feat. He's led fellow partisans up to the precipice — wait, this sounds familiar — of shutting down the government in order to get what they most fondly fantasize.
Yes, and position a grand piano at the edge of the butte, just so …
At times House Speaker John Boehner has feigned intention to work with the president, but with the House's latest budget gambit, we can ascribe Boehner's seven-layer tan to anti-Obama tea party patrol: hours upon blistering hours along a blinding and desolate highway.
Probably nothing has demonstrated the cartoonish nature of this quest like the feedback from certain players on what to do about Syria and chemical weapons.
Quoth Cruz in June: America needs a "clear, practical plan to go in, locate the weapons, secure or destroy them and get out."
Quoth Cruz once President Obama started talking tough with Syria: "We certainly don't have a dog in that fight. We should be focused on defending the United States of America."
Always consistent. Whatever the president says, say the opposite. And stay resolute.
"Rushing us to war," said the very people who rushed us to a war 10 years ago based on claims they could not support.
"Hedging and telegraphing his punches," said those who apparently wanted Obama to rush.
He didn't, and turned to talking, to the nation, to Congress, to allies.
"There you go: weakness," came the howling rejoinder.
Now, look at what's happening: negotiations to secure Syria's chemical weapons (which of course don't exist; right, Mr. Assad?), as well as the hint of movement toward a negotiated peace in Syria's civil war.
"A shell game," comes the howl. "Syria will hide them or ship them to Iran."
That could happen. But if this deal goes through with Russian participation, and with United Nations participation, a likely-to-be-unified U.N. Security Council will be more likely to hold Assad accountable if Syria uses those arms again.
Oh, and did anyone notice that Iran has said it is interested in making nuclear concessions to end the sanctions strangling it?
As The New York Times' David Sanger writes, referring to Syria and Iran, "Without much warning, diplomacy is suddenly alive again after a decade of debilitating war" in the Middle East.
Whatever the case, the lean and hungry opposition (forget that "loyal opposition" stuff) will do everything in its power to make a case against it — if this president has a hand in it.
Because all it wants is that bird on a platter. Th-Th-Th-Th-Th . . . That's all, folks.
Longtime Texas newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org.
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