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Posted by on Dec 13, 2014 in 2016 Elections, Featured, Politics | 8 comments

Ted Cruz Strikes Again (at the GOP Congressional Leadership)

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He’s clearly off and running. For President. But, in the meantime, if all the world isn’t (yet) his stage, his stage is the Senate floor. And he’s using it.

Texas’s Republicqan Sen. Ted Cruz has struck again — at the GOP’s Congressional leadership:

Sen. Ted Cruz, the firebrand conservative freshman from Texas, has blown up the Senate leadership’s plans to have a peaceful weekend by forcing round-the-clock votes on President Obama’s nominees and the $1.1 trillion omnibus.

Cruz took to the floor late Friday to castigate congressional leaders for trying to pass the 1,600-page spending bill after only a few hours of debate and questioned the resolve of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to fight Obama’s executive order protecting five million illegal immigrants from deportation.

“Even though millions of voters rose up just one month ago to protest how President Obama and the Senate Democrats were running Washington, business as usual is continuing inside the marble halls of the United State Congress,” Cruz said in a fiery floor speech.

Because of objections from Cruz and his ally Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), the Senate will begin slogging through procedural votes on nominees starting at noon Saturday and vote to end a filibuster of the omnibus spending package at 1 a.m. Sunday morning.

“It appears that we’re going to have to have a series of votes all day tomorrow starting as soon as we get here and perhaps into the morning,” Reid said shortly before temporarily adjourning the chamber Friday night.

A senior Senate Democratic aide said the Senate may hold up to 40 procedural votes on nominees this weekend due to what he called the “extreme pettiness on the part of Republicans.”

The Republican Congressional establishment can’t merely steamroller Cruz, because a)he is building a constituency among the growing part of the Republican Party which believes take no ideological prisoners, and no compromise b)his positions are clearly in line with what I call the GOP’s Talk Show Political Culture which is an important component in steering the Republican Party. Rush Limbaugh has recently blasted the party’s establishment:

RUSH: I think that used to be the case. I think it used to be that Republican/conservatives leaders would rely on me and others in the so-called conservative media to take the arrows for them. We would be the ones to explaining. We would be the ones to inspire. We would be the ones to fire up. We would be the ones to basically take the hit when there was reaction to it. In other words, they relied on us to inform their voters who they were. They relied on us to tell their voters what they were gonna do.

But I don’t think anymore that’s the case because they don’t do what their voters believe they’re gonna do, and clearly I no longer espouse what they believe. So I don’t think that is a factor. It was I think not long ago. The last three years, last four years there’s been a transformation that’s taken place among the Republican leadership. It’s kind of complicated here, really, because the Republican Party has never really been enamored of conservatives. The Republican Party has been tolerant.

But for the most part, the Republican Party did not like Reagan. I mean, the establishment wing of it did not like Reagan and don’t like conservatives. One of the reasons why — and there are many reasons I’m sure I haven’t even thought of. But one of the basic reasons is that the mainstream Republican Party does not oppose a big government. They want to run it. The mainstream of the Republican Party… My brother wrote a column about this phenomenon just this week. A lot of conservatives make the mistake of thinking it’s just the Republican leadership.

Cruz has some important ideological soul-mates and he’s clearly going to carve out a niche for himself if he runs for President, particularly if unsuccessful 2012 nominee Mitt Romney jumps into the race and is well funded (as he would be) and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush enters the fray as well.

In the meantime, the Congressional Republican establishment is going to be seeing and hearing a lot of Sen. Ted Cruz over the next year.

Or two.

PHOTO: Gage Skidmore [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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  • Terrific article this week from Daniel Larison at The American Conservative on Cruz.

    “Cruz might give “establishment” candidates a bit more of a headache than most of them expect, but the trouble he is going to have in running for president is that he has a special knack of making enemies of all kinds of Republicans by dint of his obnoxious style and scorched earth tactics. It isn’t just that he endorses long-shot, losing tactics, but he goes out of his way for whatever reason to antagonize and insult other Republicans and conservatives that happen to disagree with him about tactics or rhetoric. Whether he is mocking critics of his shutdown antics as the “surrender caucus” or needlessly imposing wildly inappropriate litmus tests on Near Eastern Christians, he makes a point of picking fights with other Republicans and conservatives for no reason. It would be one thing if he were perceived to be doing this for principled reasons, but he also gives everyone the impression that his grandstanding is mostly opportunistic.

    Then there is the fact that he is an unscrupulous demagogue. He proudly makes obviously false claims, and when he is shown that they are false his first instinct is usually to impugn the motives of the people calling him out. Because he has tried to position himself between different factions of the party on foreign policy, he has also managed to annoy all sides of the intra-party debate. Instead of establishing himself as an acceptable compromise candidate occupying the space in between, say, Rubio and Paul, Cruz has given every faction a reason to distrust and dislike his foreign policy views. Beyond that, his dealings with many other people in his party have been poisoned by his off-putting and arrogant behavior. That extends from the vast majority of his Republican colleagues in the Senate to the WSJ editors, most of whom Cruz should be able to count as allies.”

  • dduck12

    This Cruz charater reminds me so much of McCarthy , no not Charlie, Joseph, that I hope he has a similar fate, like going down in embarrassing flames.

    • The_Ohioan

      McCarthy only wanted the attention. Cruz is determined to tear everything down and start over.

      • dduck12

        With attention comes power and power requires more power..

        • The_Ohioan

          True. McCarthy was an alcoholic loser who happened to stumble onto a gimmick that raged out of control during the commie fearing 1950’s. He had a tiger by the tail and rode it until it ate him alive.

          Cruz is very smart, maybe completely ruthless (unknown yet), and will be able to inflict much more mayhem on our system of government before he’s stopped. And he will be stopped.

          You have only to read their fathers’ governmental philosophy of both to understand how they came to the views that both Rand and Cruz claim to hold.

          I don’t want to believe there is an even greater threat, but the Christian Reconstructionist movement is a real movement in some people’s lives. And the zeitgeist is right, just as Nazi Germany’s was in the 1930’s.

  • hartwilliams

    And Harry Reid will now confirm stalled appointments*. I am reminded of a line from the I Ching:

    The dark power at first held so high a place that it could wound all who were on the side of good and of the light. But in the end it perishes of its own darkness, for evil must itself fall at the very moment when it has wholly overcome the good, and thus consumed the energy to which it owed its duration.

    * Conservatives’ Move Backfires, or Reid seizes GOP fumble

  • dude1394

    You mean he is building a coalition jwust like warren’s. For some reason i dont expect this “moderate” rag doesnt have much of a problem with the democrats in the congress trying to shut down the guvment. Those partisan terrorists.

    • The_Ohioan

      Yes, he is building a coalition just like Warren is. Both are outliers and it will be interesting to watch how successful each is in their efforts.

      One is anti-immigration and one is anti-corruption. The nation has a real choice, for a change, about who to support (not necessarily vote for – neither will probably get that far).

      One is a nihilist and one is a reformer.

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