Skip to comments.Ted Cruz’s Reagan strategy: What’s behind his sinister plan for 2016 (Cue scary music)
Posted on 06/15/2014 7:47:10 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Ted Cruz gave a rip-roaring speech at the Texas Republican convention last week, pretty much confirming the speculation that hes running hard for president (not that there had been much doubt). All accounts are that he was very well received by the ultra-right conservatives of the Texas GOP. They like their Angus steaks bloody and rare and he delivered.
First he laid out his agenda, which is actually quite clever:
from repealing every blessed word of Obamacare and the Common Core educational standards, to auditing the Federal Reserve and standing with Israel and dissidents around the world. He even struck a populist note, saying, the rich keep getting richer and richer, and everyone else gets left behind, while those in the corrupt, bipartisan cabal in Washington succeed.
Mix together a dash of Rand Paul, a soupçon of Tea Party, a smidgen of standard Washington loathing and even a tiny skosh of Occupy Wall Street and youve got the basis for an unusual GOP amuse bouche. Ladle on some Ronald Reagan secret sauce and youve got a Republican recipe that actually sounds like it might work:
There was a time when we had another president, like President Obama, we had Jimmy Carter, he said to boos. And all of us remember how quickly things can change.
The senator, who at times has been a pariah within his own party in Washington and faced tough headlines over his role in the government shutdown last fall, said of Reagan, as he praised him for ending the Cold War: All of the intelligentsia, all of the cognoscenti, they tittered at such uneducated, Philistine views. He didnt have the sophistication, he didnt have the nuance, he didnt understand détente which Im pretty sure is French for surrender.
He said cognoscenti. And his little dig at the French is a very Reaganesque kind of joke.
But hes right about the bigger picture there as well. The intelligentsia did dismiss Reagan as a clown, to the extent that many of them literally couldnt believe he could win. It simply wasnt possible for someone with such a far-right hawkish worldview to become president. Surely someone with these simplistic ideas could never become president. He was nothing but an actor, for goodness sake. We know what happened. And one cannot help hearing the echoes of that point of view today when its taken as an article of faith that the American people must reject the GOP because of its extremism.
Cruz also made a case for himself as the new Reagan based upon a couple of structural factors that have not been commonly articulated by others:
In 1980, we saw the Reagan Revolution, we saw in the face of stagnation, in the face of feckless, naive foreign policy, in the face of America getting weaker and weaker, we saw a grassroots movement that turned the country around that same thing is happening today.
That shows a conscious pivot from the domestic affairs that have dominated politics since the financial crisis back to foreign policy and national security, which have been traditional Republican strengths. (Its likely this will become an even greater focus if a Democratic woman gets the nomination, playing into their usual feminization strategy in a literal way. Benghazi! is just the opener.)
But Cruz is also saying something else. Hes saying that the right-wing Tea Party of 2016 is analogous to the conservative movement of 1980 and that they are poised to take advantage of the opening Jimmy Hussein Obama has made for them.
At first blush you kind of have to wonder if he isnt on to something. After all, Reagan came in at a time of deep economic er, malaise. People were tired after many years of a war and the cultural turmoil that accompanied it. Racism was morphing from the old style into the new style, with some white people feeling threatened by a loss of their social and political power. The conservative movement that had been building since 1964 was taking over the GOP and the Democrats, after an intense period of reform in the wake of Watergate, had run out of steam.
Perhaps Barack Obama himself described that period the best when he also famously compared himself to Ronald Reagan in the 2008 campaign:
I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it. I think they felt like with all the excesses of the 1960s and 1970s and government had grown and grown but there wasnt much sense of accountability in terms of how it was operating. I think people, he just tapped into what people were already feeling, which was we want clarity we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that had been missing.
Ted Cruz pretty much said the same thing about America today except he left out one very important word: optimism. If theres one thing that Ronald Reagan had that none of the avatars of the modern conservative/Tea Party movement have, Ted Cruz especially, its a sense of optimism. Its not that the movement didnt always, underneath it all, have the fearful revanchist cast it has today. Its that Reagan was extremely skilled at making that paranoid worldview sound sunny and upbeat so he could appeal to a broad spectrum of the American public. And that is not a skill Ted Cruz has demonstrated thus far. In fact, the comparison one hears most often about Cruz is not the cheerful idealism of Reagan but rather the anger and bitterness of Sen. Joseph McCarthy. (And thats what his Tea Party followers love about him.)
Its not entirely impossible that the conditions are ripe for a conservative comeback. Enough time has passed from the Bush Iraq debacle for them to reclaim their standard national security gripe about wimpy Democrats. The economy is stalled at best. And the reform spirit that ushered in the Obama administration spent itself on Obamacare and seemingly has nothing left. Its not entirely daft to compare this moment to that moment in 1980.
But its highly unlikely that the Reagan revolution would have happened without Ronald Reagan. Ted Cruz is no Ronald Reagan. And neither is anyone else.
I can’t put my finger on it, but when I look at Ted Cruz I don’t get a warm feeling that he is sincere. Maybe it’s his white silk tie that reminds me of Movie Gangsters from the 40’s and 50’s.
amusebouche noun \ˈä-ˌmüz-ˈbüsh, -ˌmuez-\
Definition of AMUSE-BOUCHE
: a small complimentary appetizer offered at some restaurants
Origin of AMUSE-BOUCHE
French, literally, (it) entertains (the) mouth
First Known Use: 1984
See, here is proof for all you skeptics and cynics, in fact you can learn something of momentous importance by reading Salon
Read his bio, brother. Read his bio.
The Democrats have only two ways to demonize conservatives - implying they are stupid or implying they are evil. Cruz has an Ivy League degree which (short of being a Rhodes Scholar) is the liberal template for intelligence. Therefore, he must be demonized as evil.
But I think she does make a good point if you read far enough down. Reagan’s charm was an optimism about the American people that implied we could overcome anything if we just rolled up our sleeves and got after it. The GOP nominee is going to have to project more than anger at Washington. He’s going to have to state unequivocably that America is the land of heroes where good people triumph over evil.
But the Left is really worried about Cruz. That drips through every word of this.
LMAO. I feel downright smugish knowing that now.
They really are frightened of Ted Cruz, aren’t they?
” from repealing every blessed word of Obamacare”
I do not like his use of the word, “blessed” when referring to Obembacare. “Cursed” would be better and more appropos.
We can’t be sucked into supporting a host of presidential candidates again in 2016.
The grassroots must unite behind one strong candidate who can get support and raise money.
Ted Cruz is one such candidate...
Not only does he have TWO Ivy League degrees (Princeton and Harvard, both with distinction) but he was the very first Hispanic editor of the Law Review at Harvard, a founding editor of the Harvard Latino Law Review, North American debating champion (both individual & team) and the first Hispanic to clerk for a Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court. They’re not going to be able to pull a Palin on him.
As long as there are inflated egos and hidden Soros-type money, there will always be spoilers. Retreads Santorum and Huckabee are gearing up now.
Heather Digby Parton
Class “A” Certifiable nut case.
Yet you are drawn to the threads about Cruz daily to make snarky comments. You got a crush on him?
This broad has enough $64 words in this piece to match Chelsea Clinton’s annual salary from NBC.
Really, you are going to judge the guy because you do not like the tie he is wearing. God forbid he ever gets a question about underwear Ala Clinton.
'Cantor would cruise to victory' LOL! and you have a history of being wrong.
If you don’t like Cruz, that’s fine.
It’s not fine to throw shade on him without specifics [here anyway.] You’ll be discarded like so many liberals posting here if you keep that going.
Again, it’s fine to favor or not - but give some rationale besides “feelings” if you want to be taken seriously and avoid further ridicule. Of course, that may explain your presence here. You may be trying to convince FR using “feelings” and you don’t care if you’re ridiculed. lol
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