When House Republicans unveiled a proposal in the fall aimed at avoiding a dead-end government shutdown over Obamacare, the conservative backlash was swift and brutal: they called it a surrender, a betrayal, an appeasement of the health care law they all abhor.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) decried it as “procedural chicanery” that would make House Republicans “complicit in the disaster that is Obamacare,” should they go along with it. FreedomWorks called it a “bait and switch to give the Senate a hall pass to fund Obamacare” and accused House GOP leaders of wanting to “cave and run.”
Since then the phenomenon has grown and taken hold in the 2014 primaries as Republicans accuse their opponents of privately harboring sympathies for Obamacare.
“I’ve not seen anything like this before,” said Norm Ornstein, a congressional scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. “It is just such an interesting phenomenon — call it anthropological or sociological or pathological.”