As readers of “Rohn’s Rants,” are aware, I’m lukewarm about Texas Senator Ted Cruz, but I’ve also stated he can persuade me.
There’s no question that Ted Cruz is brilliant, and a staunch conservative. Having graduated cum laude from Princeton University, the Princeton debate team named their annual novice championship after Cruz. Cruz would then graduate Harvard magna cum laude and go on to serve as Texas Solicitor General. In 2012 he successfully defeated an establishment candidate in the Texas Senatorial Primary, and would go on to be elected to the U.S. Senate, where he has earned a 100% conservative voting record.
My problem with Cruz dates back to late 2013 and the erroneous tactic to shut down the federal government to defund Obamacare, a tactic that I never much understood, because you can’t defund Obamacare.
When Democrats created Obamacare, officially called “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” they created an entitlement program, and entitlement programs do not cease operations during a government shutdown, meaning Social Security checks are still mailed, senior citizens still go to the doctor’s office using Medicare, and Obamacare would continue to be funded.
The only way to kill off Obamacare is to repeal and/or change the law. Just 11 months prior to the Cruz shutdown, Republicans all across America were campaigning in support of repealing Obamacare, and they lost. Obama was reelected fairly easily and the Democrats picked up two seats in the U.S. Senate, and a handful of seats in the House. The American people voted to give Obamacare a try.
As the government shutdown dragged on, Ted Cruz would use his echo chamber of national conservative talk radio to tell the grassroots conservatives all across the fruited plain that this was the way to destroy Obamacare, and that any Republican not supporting him 100% was a RINO member of the evil Republican Establishment, a faux conservative, and a traitor to the cause, someone deserving of a primary challenge in the next election. When these Republicans, including our own Senator Ron Johnson, would try to explain why you couldn’t simply defund Obamacare, or that you need 2/3rd majorities to override an Obama veto of an Obamacare repeal, they’d be shouted down, by fellow Republicans!
The government shutdown ended in 16 days, and with the exception of bloating Cruz’s email and fundraising lists, accomplished nothing. Republicans popularity fell. Republicans lost the Virginia Governor’s election, and Obamacare was as popular as it ever would be, despite its disastrous roll out and faulty website!
Republican leadership was getting pounded from both the left, for the shutdown, and from the right, for not being able to kill Obamacare.
And Ted Cruz, just as he planned, emerged unscathed, the hero of the right, the only man fighting the establishments of both parties, the only man standing up to the “Washington Cartel,” the only true outsider.
He was full of crap!
It wouldn’t be the last time Cruz threw his fellow Republican Senators under the bus for his own aggrandizement.
Cruz would go onto undercut and blindside Republicans, even once outsmarting himself by objecting to a spending bill which would backfire on Cruz. His maneuver allowed Senate Democrats a chance to confirm 24 Obama nominations that otherwise would have never come up for a vote!
Cruz would also go so far as to call Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell a liar on the senate floor, a tactic which conveniently coincided with Donald Trump’s rise in the polls, and scored him an appearance on “The Rush Limbaugh Show,” where he could mention his website TedCruz.org.
Cruz would often go on to throw fellow Republicans down the staircase as he’d adjust positions to stay in line with the ever changing demands of national conservative talk radio. In 2013 Cruz supported doubling legal immigration, and an increase in H-1B visas. Today Cruz proposes a halt to legal immigration; calls everything else amnesty, and pretends he had nothing to do with the 2013 bill.
Cruz used to advocate for free trade and the TPA and TPP. The national talk shows came to calling it “Obamatrade.” Cruz now opposes TPP and voted against TPA.
In 2011 Cruz called John Roberts a “principled conservative,” and praised President George W. Bush for appointing him to the U. S. Supreme Court. Then Roberts voted with liberals to uphold Obamacare, drawing the ire of conservatives and conservative talk radio. Cruz used the issue to attack Jeb Bush for his brother’s decision to nominate Roberts, forgetting that he himself supported Roberts at the time.
And the crème de la crème, Cruz has sat bye quietly since June, as faux conservative Donald Trump has attacked and destroyed good conservatives like Scott Walker, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, Jeb Bush, et al, only to himself pop up and attack fellow conservative senator Marco Rubio.
While it was smart politically to allow Trump to do his dirty work, to attack a fellow conservative instead of the true fraud in Trump, shows me Cruz is interested in only himself, and not the conservative cause. This may explain why every time Cruz is in involved in a fight, we hear a lot about TedCruz.org, but never see a policy win for conservatives.
Cruz in 2015 reminds me a lot of another very smart, young, freshman senator, who happened to be born in a foreign country, and a member of a minority group.
Now, don’t get me wrong, Ted Cruz would be infinitely better president than Hillary Clinton, or Barack Obama, and he’d be a strong advocate for conservatives as the GOP nominee, unlike Trump. But to me, Ted Cruz seems a whole lot more interested in promoting Ted Cruz, than promoting conservative solutions.
Remember to go sign the petition at TedCruz.org! That’s TedCruz.org
Rohn W. Bishop is a monthly contributor to The Scene. Follow Rohn on Twitter: @RohnWBishop