The Ted Cruz Check And Balance

Ted Cruz certainly does not appear to prioritize making friends and going along to get along in Washington.  This generates much consternation among Democrats, Republicans and the media.  In fact, it appears their largest objection is that he refuses to get with the program.   Likely this reputation may make it tough in any presidential primary to do the politicking it takes to be chosen at the end but I’d offer his role is vital to the life of the Republican Party.

Just like the seal doesn’t like the shark preying on its weakest and most easily caught, the DC Republicans don’t like Ted Cruz but just as in nature, his role is critical to the ecosystem functioning.

While his targets have often been Democrats, or Republicans too willing to go along with more status quo governing, he lately has even tweaked Senator Rand Paul on foreign policy, their first open air disagreement.

Senator Rand Paul shows a lot of promise in his efforts to promote a more liberty minded party with issues that unite all Americans.  In many ways, he’s a logical choice for a front runner when you look at many of the areas of policy he has carved out.

His major weakness is how he sets out a foreign policy position that can also unite the majority of Americans.  While Cruz’s testy push-back on Rand this week was not welcome by the Senator from Kentucky, it’s a good forcing function to remind the Republican Party that as of now, they do not have what appears to be a workable and electable stand on foreign policy.

The party needs a clear stance that appeals to an American public tired of war but also tragically now aware of what our absence in the world has wrought and  is evaluating whether we can live with stepping back.  Without Ted Cruz pushing, we might not have Rand working out how to toe that line effectively as he is, first by moving to the right of Barack Obama. Without that shift, we’d never have this op-ed from Senator Paul.

America is a world leader, but we should not be its policeman or ATM.

I would do everything in my power to aggressively market and export America’s vast natural gas resources to Europe.

I would immediately remove every obstacle or current ban blocking the export of American oil and gas to Europe, and I would lift restrictions on new oil and gas development in order to ensure a steady energy supply at home and so we can supply Europe with oil if it is interrupted from Ukraine.

Because of so many of our current needless laws and regulations, President Obama has left Europe completely vulnerable because of its dependence on Russian oil and gas.

While traditional neo-conservatives might tremble at abandoning our beat, much of the country has tired of being Team America World Police.  Our Republic we enjoy, sadly,  is not a default setting for other societies.  We enjoy the fruits of our republic so much that we forget the philosophy, innovation and rebellion that was necessary to create them.

“The easiest temptation to give into, my friends,” Mr. Hannan warned, “is to take things for granted, to become blasé about the unique privileges we’ve been born with. We can so easily fall into the error of assuming that freedom and free contracts, that regular elections and uncensored newspapers, that jury trials and habeus corpus and equality between men and women, that these things are somehow the natural condition of an advanced society.”

We also dismiss that our own freedoms were earned through our own efforts to win them.  There’s an inherent disconnect in a party that advocates for individual effort and achievement at home yet believes we can grant the fruits of that achievement to other countries through our efforts.  Our International Welfare efforts grant billions in aid and weapons to countries that don’t like us. Even odder, we send foreign aid to a country like China that bankrolls a good portion of our debt.

It does not mean we must shrink from the world stage or cannot play a meaty roll abroad but the Republican Party needs to have this debate now so there is a sound strategic aim for this country in foreign affairs in the future.

Ted Cruz is right that somewhere between McCain’s world police and Rand’s current more isolationist tendency lies the logical path forward.  The United States does have a vital role to play. Defining that role lies on the shoulders of our healthy 2016 bench to articulate effectively.

Poll driven empty headed meandering by Obama has left us weak and impotent on the world stage.

It’s likely by 2015 world events, due to President Obama’s frank incompetence, will warrant a more robust foreign policy stance than Rand has been traditionally associated with and the time is now for him and others to develop an workable doctrine for the 21st Century.

So while many find Cruz’s tactics distasteful, they serve to produce a better more competitive party. Any party that believes in free markets and the healthy competition intrinsic to them should not shirk from debate.

Meanwhile, Mike Lee quietly works away to define conservative agenda that can win a majority.   Marco Rubio is starting to lay out appealing domestic policy reforms.  Let’s have these discussions now before the national spotlight is on our presidential candidates.  Ted Cruz is a welcome defibrillator for the Republican Party. Sit back and enjoy the healthy debate.

Even if he’s not your guy…….he’s certainly making your guy better.

It’s time to shift the brand.