Ted Cruz is too stupid to understand it was the best play McConnell could have made under the circumstances. I get why Cruz couldn’t be among the ten who hit the eject button and voted to end the filibuster, but McConnell figured out the best decision was to punt. They still have the filibuster in their back pocket, they’ve blocked the stimulus bills, and they (probably) realize that the economic situation in December is going to put more pressure on the Democrats.
I don’t know if McConnell actually contemplated this but the way I see it, there are two potential factors that could change the dynamics in his/the GOP’s favor in December:
There’s a very good chance that energy prices are going to be a serious inflationary problem this winter. Forecasts put heating costs at least 30% higher, and that could be a low figure. A few polar vortexes this winter could crush the heating infrastructure in some places. High energy prices will impact pricing on everything from heating bills to rents to costs of shipping, all of which will get passed on to the consumer.
Watch the race for Virginia governor closely. If Youngkin wins in November, Democrats are going to hit the panic button, especially in swing states. The swing state moderates are going to feel emboldened to confront the progressive wing of their party, and they will double down on a pared back stimulus. And they’ll confront Biden and put pressure on him to step away from the progressives.
A lot can change in two months.