A lot of establishment Republicans, both in Congress and outside, have attacked or minimized Cruz's 21-hour speech against ObamaCare, because they are afraid of Republicans being blamed for a government shutdown. However, the House bill was designed to give the Democrats a choice in the matter--either accept defunding ObamaCare or shut down the government.
Garth Kant explains at World Net Daily:
McConnell announced Monday he does not support the attempt by Cruz to defund Obamacare.
The GOP Senate leader claimed he opposes Obamacare, but he refused to support Cruz’s effort to block a vote on cloture, which effectively doomed the House bill that would have defunded Obamacare.
McConnell would have needed to get only 41 out of 46 Republican senators to vote to block cloture, but he would not support the effort.
He, and other establishment Republicans, fear they would take the blame for any government shutdown, even though the House bill is specifically designed to force Democrats to be the ones to shut down the government, should they refuse to defund Obamacare.
... Democrats favor the health-care law because they consider it the president’s signature achievement.
Analysts believe GOP leaders refuse to mobilize their rank-and-file to fight Obamcare because they are afraid a government shutdown could cost them at the polls in the 2014 elections.
... The next vote, Friday or Saturday, Cruz said, is “the vote that matters.”
That’s a vote on cloture, a proposal to cut off debate, and it will determine whether there will be a 50- or a 60-vote threshold for making changes to the bill.
If it passes, Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., could easily add language to the bill restoring funding for Obamacare, because he would need only 50 votes. Republicans have only 46 votes in the Senate, Democrats have 52 and there are two independents. Cruz wants to make sure the threshold to change the bill would be 60 votes.
Cruz said, if the GOP goes along with Democrats and votes for cloture it will doom the effort to defund Obamacare.So, if the Republican Senate leadership were to get behind the House bill, it would force the Senate to give a thumbs up/down vote on the bill.
However, the old-timers don't like that option. John Podhoretz writes at the New York Post:
His filibuster’s nominal purpose was to put pressure on the Senate to create the conditions under which funding for ObamaCare would be stripped from a budget resolution — or else force Democrats to shut down the government.
Yet that was and is never going to happen; Democrats have the majority in the Senate. ObamaCare is their law, their passion and their president’s signature achievement. So much for the procedural hijinks Cruz was engaging in.
But then the real passion in Cruz’s appeal and the passion among the Republican base and the conservative movement in this entire business isn’t directed against Obama and the Democrats — but rather against Republicans and conservatives who don’t see the purpose of creating a political crisis over funding the government with no possible positive outcome for the Right.
Cruz has dubbed such people “the surrender caucus.” At the start of his marathon, he compared them to Neville Chamberlain, conceding Austria to the Nazis.
Every single one of those Cruz includes in the “surrender caucus” opposes ObamaCare and voted against it. The writers and talkers he includes in the “surrender caucus” have written or spoken tens of thousands of words against it and are as committed to stopping its harmful effects as Cruz is.
They simply don’t see the value in this game of brinksmanship; in fact, they — we — see that it might be harmful to the cause of stopping ObamaCare. This disagreement is over tactics, not core convictions.
Do you see his explanation? The Democrats are going to win on this issue, so why fight it? This is a message of appeasement, and, unfortunately, the voters the establishment Republicans are trying to appease are the voters that were going to vote Democrat anyway.
If there was a time to block the implementation of ObamaCare, it is now. But the old-guard Republicans are throwing that opportunity away so they don't alienate Democrats.