Political analysts and politicians are having a hard time figuring out Tex. Senator Ted Cruz. Could there really be a politician who couldn’t care less what the people who work with him in the Senate from his own party think about him? Could a freshman Senator really threaten others in his party with defeat since they didn’t vote his way? The answer is yes:
According to Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, it’s his colleagues, more than anyone, who should be blamed for the failure of the defund-Obamacare campaign — and he expects conservatives to remember come primary season.
“Unfortunately, rather than supporting House Republicans, a significant number of Senate Republicans actively, aggressively, and vocally led the effort to defeat House Republicans, to defeat the effort to defund Obamacare,” Cruz says, in an interview with National Review. “Once Senate Republicans did that, it crippled the chances of this effort, and it caused the lousy deal.”
“Senate Republicans” is basically barely veiled code for “traditional conservatives,” OR “moderate Republicans,” OR “non-Tea Party conservatives.” Where have I heard this argument before?
When pressed to cite specific Republican senators who may face primary trouble, Cruz refuses — “I’m not interested in a battle of personalities.” But he strongly urges conservatives to hold those lawmakers “accountable.”
“As with every decision elected officials make, the consequences of those decisions are up to the American people,” Cruz says. “But I will say this: From Day One in office, I’ve urged the American people to hold every elected official accountable, and far too many elected officials are not listening to the American people. . . . when you’ve got 10 to 20 Senate Republicans going on television, day after day after day, saying, ‘we cannot win, this is a fool’s errand, we will lose, nothing will happen, we will surrender,’ and blaming Republicans every step of the way, it eliminates the ability to get a positive outcome….
I could have sworn I’ve heard something like this over the years…
“Now, I have publicly said it is likely that I will stay out of all incumbent primaries,” he continues. “But every elected official has to make the case to the grassroots in his or her state on why he or she is effectively fighting for them.” When asked whether using the word “likely” means he’s leaving room to back a challenger, Cruz repeats the line, saying it’s “likely” he’ll stay out.
Looking ahead, Cruz is also unwilling to rule out a fiscal standoff or shutdown in 2014 over the debt ceiling or government funding. “There will be plenty of time to discuss possible strategic steps going forward, and in my view, the overarching focus should remain on providing real relief to the Americans who are hurting because of Obamacare, and on restoring jobs and economic growth,” he says. “That will remain my focus, and I hope it will be the focus of House Republicans and Senate Republicans, joined together and united.”
Cruz knows many Senate Republicans are unlikely to appreciate his advice to conservatives, or his appetite for another showdown early next year. He doesn’t care, though, since he believes his push to stop Obamcare and connect the party to disenchanted voters beyond the Beltway is critical to the GOP’s future success.
Now I know: it is (again) basically what conservative talk show titan Rush Limbaugh has preached for years. It’a all about passing a series of far right litmus tests and those who don’t pass them are a)out b)consorting with the political enemy c)enabling Democrats and Barack Obama d)political wusses since compromise and seeking to legislate in ways match a national consensus are for weaklings and sell outs.
I was largely offline Saturday (and will be on and offline today) but most political weblogs and news agencies have been writing about the accelerating Republican civil war that promises to have Tea Party sympathetic groups trying to defeat Republican non Tea Partiers and non Republican Tea Party groups affiliated with business trying to defeat Tea Party sympathetic candidates.
This means it’s highly likely that the House can remain Republican — but now some analysts are saying that could even be in danger despite gerrymandering –but the party could be defanged for one or even two election cycles while this war that erases Ronald Reagan’s 11th commandment rages Good news for the Democrats? Not really. Strains are likely to develop in the Democratic Part as the Dems and GOPers in Congress try (again) to come to agreements of spending and taxes.
But Cruz remains the wildcard: he is not just the public manifestation of the Tea Party, a kind of Sara Palin 2.0, but he is the manifestation of what Limbaugh and members of the conservative entertainment media have suggested for years.
But he’s serious. And someone who has no problem going to work and looking co-workers in the face when he’s pubically called for them to be fired is a fearsome thing.