In order to fund Obamacare and, in the process, the government, the Senate has to pass its own version of a House bill. Chatterbox Sen. Ted Cruz, R.-Texas, spent 21 hours trying to delay that effort. In the end, he stopped talking, and the Senate has begun maneuvering into place its own bill that will ultimately, undoubtedly, fund the national health care program.

According to The Washington Post’s characterization of events, Cruz’s most visible opponent was a member of his own party, Sen. John McCain, who took objection to the heated rhetoric:

McCain also vigorously objected to Cruz’s comparison of “pundits” who say that Obamacare cannot be defunded to politicians who appeased Nazi Germany before World War II.

“I resoundingly reject that allegation,” McCain said. He said Cruz had told him that he was not comparing U.S. legislators to Nazi appeasers, but McCain called that “a difference without a distinction” and said he still objects to Cruz’s language.

McCain and Cruz represent different poles of the Republican Party, as currently constituted, with the Texan carrying the banner for the tea party and McCain, the establishment. But it wasn’t so long ago that McCain styled himself a maverick senator whose principles often pitted him against a more conservative Republican leadership. Part of this dynamic is fueled by the construction of Congress. There are simply fewer tea party senators, who have to represent larger and more diverse pools of constituents. In the House, it’s another story. Although still in the minority, activist conservatives wield tremendous power, forcing Speaker John Boehner to bend to their will on this latest budget question.

— Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

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