October 13, 2013
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) speaks at the Values Voters Summit. (Jose Luis Magana/AP)
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) speaks at the Values Voters Summit. (Jose Luis Magana/AP)

In between heckles at the Values Voters Summit on Friday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) prattled on about freedom, the left’s lack of love for same, “that train wreck, that disaster, that nightmare that is Obamacare” and the enduring fight to rid the land of that scourge. The talker from Texas told the gathered, “Listen, none of us know what’s going to happen with this Obamacare fight right now. In my view, the House of Representatives needs to keep doing what it’s been doing, which is standing strong.”

Of course, like a good demagogue, Cruz issues edicts he doesn’t follow himself. The latest evidence appeared in the last paragraph of the New York Times’s story on the talks to solve the fiscal crisis. A crisis sparked by a government shutdown caused by Cruz.

Senate Republicans have insisted on dropping efforts to dismantle the law. At a lunch meeting in the Capitol earlier this week, Mr. McCain asked the roomful of Republican senators if any still thought that reversing parts of the program was an achievable goal now, according to a person briefed on the meeting. No one raised a hand, not even Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, the public face of the conservative push in Congress to repeal the law.

A Senate source confirmed to me what happened at that lunch. And while we spoke on the phone, I could envision the full eye roll that must have overtaken said source’s face.

“In the movie ‘The Usual Suspects,’ they said the greatest trick the Devil ever played was to convince the world he didn’t exist,” Cruz told the Values Voters crowd. “Well, you know what? The greatest trick the left has ever played is to convince conservatives we cannot win.” By not raising his hand to demonstrate his enduring faith in the prospects of conservative victory against a law upheld by the Supreme Court and the American people in the 2012 presidential election, Cruz once again revealed himself to be the most cynical member of Congress.

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Jonathan Capehart is a member of the Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog.