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Ted Cruz’s complaints are meaningless

Last night and again this morning, Senate GOP leaders stabbed the conservative movement in the front, first by rejecting and then by mocking their strategy to force a binary choice between shutting down the government and defunding Obamacare.

"I just don't happen to think filibustering a bill that defunds Obamacare is the best route to defunding Obamacare," Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor Tuesday morning.

That quite likely was the climax of this lumbering government shutdown saga. Ted Cruz will complain some more, Senate Republicans will roll their eyes at him and clear the way for Democrats to strip the defunding rider from the government spending bill. Then in the most predictable denouement since the outcome of the last Washington Racial Epithets game, House Republicans will shrug, fund the government, and Obamacare enrollment will open on schedule.

Several commentators have watched the defund campaign go flaccid and responded by reissuing breathless exhortations that the risk of a debt default next month is much more severe than the risk of a shutdown ever was.

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