Tuesday, March 15, 2016

What's Wrong With Ted Cruz?

On March 23, 2015 The Washington Post presented the following (an article by Ed Rogers) on Ted Cruz.  I include the entire article plus my responses.
What is it that a lot of Republicans don’t like about Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.)? First and foremost, to many in the GOP, Cruz embodies the debacles that have damaged the GOP brand in the last few years, from the government shutdown to filibusters to a dogmatic style and harsh tone that seems to focus on narrow, unachievable objectives rather than proper governance.
Actually, these ideals which Cruz has embraced are precisely what has been SUCCESSFUL in the Republican party in the not-too-distant past!  When Republicans talk-the-talk of conservatism, they get elected - but when they don't walk-the-walk, as most have NOT done - we end up in the mess we're in now.  That "mess" is the fact that Republicans hold the majority of BOTH houses right now, and yet are still "governed" by the bully tactics of the Democrats. 
In 2016, more than anything else, Republicans want to win. The purest in the party are louder and more celebrated in the media, but they are outnumbered by those who think a solid conservative who can appeal to the center has an easier time winning than someone like Cruz, who is associated with the angry, self-righteous right wing of the party.
The FACT is, Ted Cruz IS a "solid conservative" who IS appealing to the center AND to Independents and even some Democrats!  THIS is what has "the establishment" scared - HE is, virtually single-handedly, taking BACK the Republican Party in Reagan-esque form.  As much as "the establishment" hates Donald Trump (and they do) they hate Cruz more, because they fear they will lose their "power."  Um, wake up folks!  What "power" have you been yielding or in control of lately?  While holding the majority in both the Senate AND the House, Republicans should be pushing through legislation left and right - and then let the Democrats be the ones who "shut down government" as they try to stop the Republican juggernaut! 
It isn’t clear whether Cruz particularly cares about how he is viewed or whether he thinks he needs to soften his image, if not modify some of his positions, in his campaign for president. At times, it seems that Cruz wants to wear his lack of support from the Republican Party “establishment” as a badge of honor. But if he defines the “establishment” as just about anyone who has ever won an election, well, he may need to rethink his approach. One bad sign for Cruz is that he doesn’t appear to have many elected officials supporting his candidacy at this stage. That’s a red light flashing on the dashboard of any campaign. It says something when others who have “run for sheriff” are not willing to associate themselves with your campaign.
Not having many elected officials supporting you IS A PLUS!  It is "the establishment" which has gotten us into the mess we're in now - it's going to take someone bold enough and strong enough to stand up against "the establishment" to "fix" things.  Of those left in the race now, only Trump and Cruz are bold and strong enough to do that.
If Cruz overplays the role of a courageous, persecuted martyr, the act will grow tiresome quickly. 
Well, he hasn't!  In fact, the only two candidates who are REALLY playing this "role" happen to be the two front-runners in the race, one year after this article from The Washington Post was written.
Maybe the problem is Cruz and not the ideological backsliding of others or the wishy-washyness of the seasoned Republicans who have been around longer than him. Maybe Cruz is just too half-cocked for his own good. His vigor and volume and intensity have gotten him here, but right now he only has a narrow foothold in the party, not a firm position with a lot of growth potential.
The growth potential is there, just not so much in the "establishment" camp.  Where the potential is and has been seen is in the grass roots of the Party - AND - among independents.
So as Cruz launches his campaign today, he has to decide whether he wants to be a Pat Buchanan figure, shaking his fist and sticking with a marginal appeal, or if he wants to embrace the Republican Party as a big tent.
So, nearly a year after this article was posted - Cruz is running a strong number two, to Trump - who is even more radical or "angry" (if you will) in his campaign demeanor.  I'd say asking The Washington Post, or at least Ed Rogers, for political advice for Conservative Republicans is like asking the wolf to watch the sheep.