(Salon) -- Be careful what you wish for. The Republican Party sought a crop of new leaders with the vitality and ideological fire both Sen. John McCain and Mitt Romney lacked heading into 2016. Now they’ve got them, most notably Sen. Ted Cruz, who’s leading the charge to either “defund” Obamacare or shut down the government, to the horror of McCain and other so-called “establishment Republicans” (as if there were any such thing.) Even Tea Party Sen. Rand Paul has maybe kinda sorta suggested that shutting down the government to defund Obamacare is a bad idea — even though he signed Sen. Mike Lee’s letter threatening to do so.
Cruz has no such qualms. Headlining former Sen. Jim DeMint and the Heritage Foundation’s “Defund Obamacare” rally last night in Dallas, he fired up the crowd with his Obama attacks. (Of course, I can’t help but note the irony of Heritage sponsoring Cruz’s “Defund Obamacare” tour when Heritage was the source of one of the plan’s key provisions: the individual mandate to carry health insurance.) Even though some Obama defenders showed up and heckled Cruz, the junior Texas senator and his father were the stars of the night.