Where was John Cornyn?

That was the question I asked myself over and over again the night of the 21 hour floor speech by Senator Ted Cruz in opposition to Obamacare.

Senators Mike Lee, Marco Rubio, Mike EnziJeff SessionsRand PaulJim Inhofe, Pat Roberts and David Vitter all lent their support and help to Senator Cruz in an effort to give Americans opposed to the failed implementation of Obamacare a voice on the floor of the Senate.

Conspicuous by their absence were Senators John Cornyn – Cruz’s fellow Senator from Texas – and Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. The top two Republicans in the Senate failed to show leadership on a critical issue when their leadership would have meant the most. They would have lost nothing by appearing on the floor in support of Cruz. They would have helped to push the public debate on Obama’s biggest policy failure, and the issue that drove the Republican – Tea Party takeover of the House in 2010. They could have lent strength to the message of the impending damage that Obamacare will wreak on the nation and actual harm that has already occurred. They could have turned a one-man filibuster into a party and a country standing united.

They knew that Harry Reid and the Democrats were going to strip out the House language removing Obamacare funding on a party-line vote. They knew that Republicans would be hard-pressed to convince any of their Democrat colleagues to join their side of the argument (although Joe Manchin came very close). They knew that the punditocracy would blame them for wasting time with pointless theatrics.  But they should have shown up anyway to make the point. Then at the end, they could have voted against the legislation with the rest of the party, patting themselves on the back for putting up a worthy fight.

Instead, they chose to force Cruz stand alone with his few friends, allowing the left and the media to falsely frame the effort to stop Obamacare as a mere publicity stunt intended to boost the prominence of a single man. On Friday, September 27, when the Senate voted 79-19 on the Motion to Invoke Cloture on H.J. Res. 59, those Senators who turned their backs on Cruz and the American people chose to surrender any pretense of a fight on the Continuing Resolution which would have continued funding the government while stripping out funding for Obamacare.

In so doing, they helped lend unwarranted credence to the argument that Cruz’s fight was pointless and without merit or redeeming value, and that to fight against the implementation of the left’s signature accomplishment under the banner of the Obama administration was to engage in a Quixotic effort. This view is shortsighted and cowardly at best, and naive and gutless at worst.

The following Republican Senators abstained from voting on the most critical issue facing Americans or worse, actually voted with Harry Reid and the Democrats to fully fund Obamacare:

  1. Lamar Alexander (R-TN),
  2. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH),
  3. Tom Barrasso (R-WY),
  4. Roy Blunt (R-MO),
  5. John Boozman (R-AR),
  6. Richard Burr (R-NC),
  7. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA),
  8. Jeff Chiesa (R-NJ),
  9. Dan Coats (R-IN),
  10. Tom Coburn (R-OK),
  11. Thad Cochran (R-MS),
  12. Susan Collins (R-ME),
  13. Bob Corker (R-TN),
  14. John Cornyn (R-TX),
  15. Lindsey Graham (R-SC),
  16. John Hoeven (R-ND),
  17. Johnny Isakson (R-GA),
  18. Mike Johanns (R-NE),
  19. Ron Johnson (R-WI),
  20. Mark Kirk (R-IL),
  21. John McCain (R-AZ),
  22. Mitch McConnell (R-KY),
  23. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK),
  24. John Thune (R-SD),
  25. Roger Wicker (R-MS),
  • Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Not Voting
  • Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Not Voting

This failure to stand against oppressive government encroachment is nothing new, and in fact is one of the main reasons Republicans consistently fail to garner broad support beyond the dedicated base of the party. By failing to stand in the way of leftist ideology and the liberal agenda, and by failing to offer solutions and policies that address the concerns of all their constituents, Republicans have allowed the left to establish deep footholds in every sector of culture and public life. While liberals have moved at a breakneck pace in attempting to implement every facet of their platform – with or without public support, Republicans have failed to adequately oppose them by either fearing public disapproval, a media backlash or by failing offer a counter argument that addresses the concerns of everyday citizens.

Instead, by embracing and continuing the paradigm that decades of bloated, intrusive government have created, Republicans have tacitly agreed to liberal views on spending, deficits, welfare, and entitlements. In contrast to the headlong speed leftists would prefer, Republicans have consistently moved the progressive agenda forward at a slow pace, concealing their complicity with empty rhetoric. By failing to oppose Democrats at every turn, and by failing to offer policies and an approach that adhere to the Conservative worldview, Republicans have allowed liberals to be the only voice in the room. The only speaker on the stage.

America stands on a precipice of badly shaky ground. The implementation of leftist, socialist policies and ideology over the last 70 years by the  Democrat-dominated Congress have served only to cause circumstances to steadily worsen, yet Democrats and the left have rarely  suffered any of the blame. Instead, Republicans who either “go along to get along”, or who are spineless in the face of the ravenous, slavering leftist monster have forced Conservatives of principle to bear alone the criticisms of the media, their constituents and their colleagues.

The old story goes that a scorpion, seeking to get to the other side of the water asked a frog for a ride. The frog was reluctant, saying “no, because you are a scorpion, and will sting me.” The scorpion replied, “I would never do that. If I stung you, we would both drown.” The frog, satisfied with this defense agrees to carry the scorpion. Halfway across the water, the scorpion suddenly stings the frog. As they begin to sink into the murky depths, the frog plaintively wails, “why did you sting me? Now we shall both drown.” The scorpion replies, “I couldn’t help it, I am a scorpion.”

Republicans are the frog.

Republicans are the problem.

Vladimir Davidiuk | @VladDavidiuk