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Is Ted Cruz brilliant or deranged? (Worried, they are. Flop sweat, they suffer from)
The Week ^ | September 24, 2013 | Keith Wagstaff

Posted on 09/24/2013 1:20:35 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) compared Tea Party Republicans to Thelma and Louise for their "foolhardy plan to drive the economy off the cliff" by risking a government shutdown over ObamaCare.

In this drama, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is Louise, foot on the accelerator. The more moderate members of his party are like Harvey Keitel, watching in horror from a distance.

From a certain standpoint, there would appear to be no method to Cruz's madness. First, there is no scenario in which Senate Democrats and Obama accept a budget that defunds ObamaCare. Second, a government shutdown would not derail the health care law. And finally, Cruz has found himself in the strange position of trying to convince Senate Republicans to filibuster a bill he himself endorses, to prevent Reid from stripping a resolution defunding ObamaCare.

But in the world of Republican politics, Cruz may be playing to his strengths, particularly as they apply to a potential 2016 presidential run. So is Ted Cruz brilliant or deranged? Let's analyze the political wisdom of Cruz's recent actions.

He's a genius A new CNBC poll shows that most Americans are against defunding ObamaCare if it involves a government shutdown. Another poll by Pew Research shows that most people will blame Republicans if a shutdown happens.

But Cruz doesn't care what angry voters in New York or California think. He cares about what his Tea Party base thinks. And they are the only demographic in the CNBC poll who favored defunding ObamaCare even if it means the government shuts down on Oct. 1.

To see these polls through the eyes of Cruz, "imagine what those numbers look like in Republican seats that are largely whiter and more rural than the rest of the country," writes Slate's David Weigel.

When your main concern is the prospect of a well-funded Tea Party challenger in a GOP primary, driving off a cliff makes more sense.

Even his failure to propose meaningful legislation is considered a political plus. "He seems content accomplishing nothing because, in Cruz's view of the federal government, nothing is the accomplishment," writes GQ's Jason Zengerle, who contrasts Cruz with Florida's Marco Rubio, a once promising Republican senator who took a huge hit from his base after supporting an immigration reform overhaul that stalled in the House.

By simultaneously sitting on the sidelines and putting intense pressure on his colleagues to oppose things like ObamaCare and immigration, Cruz scores political points without putting his name on legislation conservative opponents can latch onto.

As for his take-no-prisoners approach on defunding ObamaCare, he has earned high praise from other Tea Party favorites, most notably former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

"Right now, Ted Cruz is speaking for us in this Obamacare fight," she says at Breitbart. "God bless him for it."

He's an idiot While Cruz is great at "burnishing his credentials as someone who doesn't know or care about the ways of Washington," write The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza and Sean Sullivan, his lack of tact with his Republican colleagues could hurt him in the long run.

"For those who would dismiss the importance of the inside game," Cillizza and Sullivan warn, "remember that while your own party establishment probably can't keep you from a presidential nomination, they can make it a heck of a lot harder to win one."

Then there's the damage Cruz is doing to the GOP brand, which would come back to hurt him if he ever wins a GOP presidential primary.

"The self-promotional babble of a few has become the mainstream of Republican political thought," argues former Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) at The Hill. "It has marginalized the influence of the party to an appalling degree."

"The rigid stance will also cause massive collateral damage to all Republicans," Gregg continues. "Even those who may not support it will be harmed by the label of incompetence that will stick to the whole party as a consequence."

Some of Cruz's Republican colleagues in the Senate have been similarly critical of his strategy, like Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who mocked Cruz's Ivy League pedigree by saying, "I didn't go to Harvard or Princeton, but I can count — the defunding box canyon is a tactic that will fail and weaken our position."

In the end, criticism probably won't have much impact on Cruz. "He has come to the reluctant but unavoidable conclusion that he is simply more intelligent, more principled, more right — in both senses of the word — than pretty much everyone else in our nation's capital," GQ's Zengerle says.


TOPICS: Texas; Issues; Parties; U.S. Senate
KEYWORDS: congress; cruz; obamacare; tedcruz
I'm thinking the author lives up to his name on a regular basis.
1 posted on 09/24/2013 1:20:35 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
in Republican seats that are largely whiter and more rural than the rest of the country," writes Slate's David Weigel.

Liberals can't pick their own nose without finding racial implications in the act.

There is NO racial component to supporting or opposing Obamacare.

2 posted on 09/24/2013 1:26:52 PM PDT by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Cillizza and Sullivan warn, "remember that while your own party establishment probably can't keep you from a presidential nomination, they can make it a heck of a lot harder to win one."

Did that statement make sense to them when they wrote it?

3 posted on 09/24/2013 1:29:30 PM PDT by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Poll one more question: Is shutting down government a bad thing? I’ll bet the answer is no by the majority of Americans.


4 posted on 09/24/2013 1:31:31 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (From time to time the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
rino photo: RINO RINO.jpg

Everybody left and right loathes establishment republicans so it's always a good idea to separate yourself from them. And he's a good draw on the fund raising circuit from looking at FEC.GOV.

5 posted on 09/24/2013 1:32:54 PM PDT by Snickering Hound
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To: Blood of Tyrants
I'll take that bet. With 40'% being on welfare of some kind, and another good percentage being liberals whose heart break if they hear about anyone not being supported by the gov't, I bet they make up that majority who will say it is a bad thing.

They'd be wrong, of course, but they're still in the majority.

6 posted on 09/24/2013 1:34:37 PM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

There was a guy in the other party long ago who had grass roots support. He was also from a southern state, in fact just next door to Texas. His name was Huey Long and the then establishment base in La and in DC hated him, called him a demigod and incited an assassin to remove him from the playing field. While I do not subscribe to Long’s politics, the methods he employed against the establishment were wonderful and they worked IMO. He also received a constant barrage from the establishment and their minions. The message here is not one of conservative or liberal, it is one of outsiders against the insiders.

Our system is broken given the amount of political corruption that has taken hold of it, in fact, it is almost broken beyond repair. If Cruz is not able to elicit more support than a handful of cohorts in his quest, it has been killed. Furthermore, the establishment will have assassinated Cruz, the tea party and true conservatives everywhere without firing a shot. Frankly, they are too cowardly to do that anyway, they will use the smear and gossip to do their killing.


7 posted on 09/24/2013 1:35:38 PM PDT by Mouton (The insurrection laws perpetuate what we have for a government now.)
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To: dead

The “establishment” loved McCain, Romney, Dole, Bush (in 1992) Dewey and Ford. Look where that got us.


8 posted on 09/24/2013 1:35:39 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (You can't invade the mainland US There'd be a rifle behind every blade of grass.)
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To: ShadowAce; Blood of Tyrants

Which is why the inevitable divorce can’t come soon enough, before they bankrupt everybody.


9 posted on 09/24/2013 1:37:10 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (You can't invade the mainland US There'd be a rifle behind every blade of grass.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
We're already bankrupt

But we're too stupid to know we're dead--much like a snapping turtle.

10 posted on 09/24/2013 1:39:15 PM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: Mouton

11 posted on 09/24/2013 1:40:13 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (You can't invade the mainland US There'd be a rifle behind every blade of grass.)
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To: Mouton

Long was a Fascist....Thank god for Mr. Weiss.


12 posted on 09/24/2013 1:41:02 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Does this author really think a Solicitor General of any state can be “deranged”? Cruz was Solicitor Gen for the state of TX before this election. A brilliant mind with conservative values and miles of common sense, feared and hated by his own eParty and the Dems.


13 posted on 09/24/2013 1:47:23 PM PDT by Hattie
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To: dfwgator

I know that but how the outsiders are treated by the insiders is the message here, not the individual.

Long’s campaign slogan was every man a king....Obama’s would be every man a queen.


14 posted on 09/24/2013 1:48:29 PM PDT by Mouton (The insurrection laws perpetuate what we have for a government now.)
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To: dead
There is NO racial component to supporting or opposing Obamacare.

I disagree: I think Obamacare should be exlusively for minorities. Elections have consequences, and what better way to recognize that fact?

/sarc (then again, maybe not...lol)

15 posted on 09/24/2013 1:51:59 PM PDT by Night Hides Not (The Tea Party was the earthquake, and Chick Fil A the tsunami...100's of aftershocks to come.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet


Worried, they are. Flop sweat, they suffer from..
16 posted on 09/24/2013 1:52:31 PM PDT by jimsin
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

We’ll see when he goes up against Hillary in a debate and tells America “I’m the guy who tried to stop this for you”.


17 posted on 09/24/2013 2:07:32 PM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Blood of Tyrants
40%+ depend on a free check from Uncle Sam. At least 20% depend on government make-work jobs or essentially work for the government as a contractor.

Sorry FRiend, I think we are the minority now...

18 posted on 09/24/2013 2:38:32 PM PDT by varyouga
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Oh, by the way, did you know he was from Canada?


19 posted on 09/24/2013 2:43:35 PM PDT by DManA
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To: DManA
Where was nobama from...can you document it since all of his legal unforged records have been deemed off limits by his first executive order?
20 posted on 09/24/2013 3:33:52 PM PDT by ldish (Have had enough...you??????)
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To: ldish

I was being sarcastic. His gop enemies always bring that up.


21 posted on 09/24/2013 3:42:54 PM PDT by DManA
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