Ah, to be a Ted Cruz “hater.” I put the word in quotation marks, lest I be accused of being too harsh on Cruz detractors who seem to get their panties wadded up whenever he opens his mouth.
One of the mistakes those of us who are involved or interested very much in politics often forget is many people outside of that realm don’t know or don’t care about the day to day goings on of the political world.
Therefore when people start shrieking about Cruz and how he’s leading the GOP to defeat I just happen to laugh. At this point in the game, most people are not really paying attention. But conservatives are. And in that regard, Ted Cruz, much to the dismay of beltway insiders, is invaluable to the GOP as it heads into the 2014 elections.
He’s remarkably intelligent, yet seemingly incapable of using that intelligence to work toward attainable political goals – aside from his own embiggenning. With Democratic control of the White House and Senate, the options for conservative gains are rather severely limited. Yet he demagogues when he should be silent, taunting his opponents (and his own party) to take their best shot. For this and other reasons he is disliked by his colleagues.
Oh no! He’s disliked by his colleagues? The horror! The important thing to keep in mind here is the reason why he is disliked by his colleagues and that answer is simple: Cruz has called them out on their bullshit, forced them to make tough votes and they don’t like it.
Boo. Frigging. Hoo.
It reminds me of the movie ‘The Insider.’ Lowell Bergman, played by Al Pacino spills to the NY Times how CBS corporate and the top brass at CBS News killed the 60 Minutes interview with former Brown & Williamson Tobacco executive Jeff Wigand because CBS was afraid of a lawsuit.
Don Hewitt, screams at Bergman, “You gave a blow by blow account to the NY Times of what we discussed behind closed doors. You f**ked us!” Bergman responds, “No! You f**ked you! Don’t invert things!”
It’s a similar situation. The Republican Party brand is in the toilet right now and Ted Cruz is a perfect scapegoat for Republican politicians, consultants and staffers who don’t want to look in the mirror and realize that they’ve been making a mess of the party since 2006. Physician, heal thyself!
Ted Cruz does have a strong personality, yes. Is that such a bad thing? In 2012, the GOP nominee was Mitt Romney, who by contrast makes The Tin Man look as smooth and cool as Dean Martin. How in the hell did that work out? 2008 was a long shot regardless because of the political climate but when your nominee (John McCain) inspires more jokes about him resembling The Crypt Keeper instead of votes, you’ve got a problem.
And amazingly, there are many of the people running around pulling their hair out over Ted Cruz who want Mitt Romney to run again in 2016!
Insanity is often defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Here’s something to consider…..when Republicans want somebody to campaign with them, are they reaching out to Bob Corker or Peter King? When Republicans want somebody to help them raise money, say in South Carolina, are they calling Lindsey Graham? Nope. Do disaffected conservatives long to hear speeches from John McCain or Mitch McConnell? Hell no.
So with Ted Cruz, what does the GOP have exactly?
1. A politician that inspires base voters and reaches disaffected conservatives.
2. A politician that raises lots of money
3. A politician that other politicians want to campaign for them.
Yes, by all means, let’s shut that guy up!
Even The New Yorker, not exactly a bastion of conservative thought, gave Ted Cruz credit for his Senate speech opposing the Democrats plan to basically gut the first amendment. Ironically, some were complaining this was another case where Cruz was “grandstanding” because it was an amendment that had no chance of passing. That’s not the point. The point is, Democrats would pass it, given the chance.
People can get pissed off at Cruz all they want, but he plays to win. He doesn’t play not to lose.
It would be a huge mistake for the GOP to marginalize him.