Why Ted Cruz speaks for me

Warriors versus wimps.

Ted Cruz and his allies get it.  They get that Americans can’t afford to have Obamacare implemented against our groaning, near-collapse finances.  They get that we are disgusted (and alarmed) at the idea of being the GOP’s economic attrition strategy for the 2014 election: the strategy that says, “Let things get as bad as they’re going to with Obamacare, and then people will finally blame the Democrats.”  The problem with that strategy is that someone has to pay the price for it – has to accept the financial losses, which for many people could be disastrous, even permanently life-changing – and that someone is us.

Cruz – and Mike Lee in the Senate, along with Matt Salmon (AZ) and others in the House – show that they get what the stakes are, by being willing to take a big risk on a deliberate strategy.  They’re making an attempt they could actually be defeated in:  to galvanize the rest of the GOP and get it to take a risk.

Contrast that with the bet-hedging and consultation-begging we see from the GOP leadership.  Here’s where my confession of populism comes in:  I don’t recall ever having such a sense of revulsion against the air of protecting privileged insularity that hangs over Beltway insiders, both politicians and pundits.  As we understand it, GOP leaders sent unsolicited “opposition research” to Fox News on Sunday, in order to undermine Cruz in his appearance with Chris Wallace.  Karl Rove excoriated Cruz on the Sunday show for failing to properly “consult” with his colleagues.  Tucker Carlson, Charles Krauthammer, and even Brit Hume took up the cry on Monday’s Special Report, accusing Cruz of grandstanding, and personalizing their criticisms of him to a startlingly petty degree.

Meanwhile, as the GOP impugns Ted Cruz’s motives with slam-book-quality allegations, it quietly accepts Obamacare exemptions and special subsidies for Congress.  The whole scenario seems like Mr. Smith Goes to Washington come to life.  All that’s missing is misleading photos of Cruz making bird calls.

But the truth is, this isn’t Mr. Smith Goes to Washington – because the plot of Mr. Smith turned on a relatively small matter, one that might have had symbolism for the operation of the whole government, but that in a literal sense affected only a small number of citizens.  The implementation of Obamacare is the biggest issue America has dealt with since how to get rid of the atrocious institution of slavery, and what “union” and “states’ rights” mean.  It profoundly affects everyone who will ever be an American from this day forward.  Issues don’t come any bigger.   Obamacare is about government’s relation to the citizen; about what government can dictate and control in our lives; and about what our economic liberties will mean, not in a decade, not a year from now, but tomorrow — and for the rest of our life as a nation.

Mr. Cruz Goes to Washington
Mr. Cruz Goes to Washington


From where I sit, it looks like Ted Cruz gets that.  He gets that we can’t just sit still, paralyzed by bad press and Democratic talking points, and let these questions be decided through the back door by the implementation of brain-deadening regulations.  He gets that that’s what’s happening.  He recognizes that a time comes when risk must be taken: when it just isn’t good enough for the well-worn remedies of consultation and deferral to produce the same unsatisfactory outcomes that they always do.  This time, the cost of taking that risk-averse route is too high.

Cruz did what he had to do on Fox on Sunday, remaining on message with admirable rhetorical discipline.  What he said was an accurate and succinct representation of the alternative he and his allies are offering:  fund the government without Obamacare in fiscal year 2014, as the alternative to funding it with Obamacare.  Delay implementation of the individual mandate, if that’s the best deal we can get, but go for the most we can get while still funding the government.  Don’t shut it down.  I found him to be effective in getting his point across.

But the old-school GOP leaders won’t get onboard with that message, apparently preferring to emphasize that they haven’t been consulted with.  They might as well just concede the terms of the fight to the Democrats and have done with it.

There are an awful lot of Americans out here who don’t know when the next shoe is going to drop, as the predator in the dark stalks their jobs, insurance, and finances.  Despising these people and their worries about Obamacare and the trend of big government – in the manner of Harry Reid – is as much bad karma as it is bad politics.  Yet senior Republicans seem to join Reid in being annoyed with the people for not wanting to play the role of the sacrifice in an electoral-politics ritual.

Instead of deferring an Obamacare fight to a future point we can’t guarantee we’ll even reach – i.e., after a Senate victory in 2014 – Cruz and his allies propose to fight today, on ground we can at least define clearly and prepare for in the present.  Are they right?  There are arguments pro and con.  But I don’t hear GOP leaders making any of those arguments in a forthright or convincing manner – or in any other way, for that matter.

One thing we can guarantee: we, Republican leaders and voters, won’t come to a unified position on that by refusing to address the question on the terms proposed by Cruz and his allies.  Cruz is trying to force the issue, which accords it the weight and immediacy that I give it.  He’s carrying my water.  If GOP leaders want to lead, they need to get out in front of this issue.  Go in strong with Cruz to make the strategy theirs – give the people something to applaud or reject – instead of merely sniping from the shadows.

J.E. Dyer’s articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s “contentions,Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard online. She also writes for the new blog Liberty Unyielding.

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23 thoughts on “Why Ted Cruz speaks for me”

  1. Ted Cruz is a real man. Not one of those over coiffed foops who never saw a principle that they could stand for. He’s a leader. Something that the GOP in Congress doesn’t have, which is why the Elite Establishment types hate him so much.

    Ted Cruz is speaking for me…

    He’s fighting for what’s right. McConnell is a sweaty lipped mush mouthed coward..(That’s right Coward…) Cornyn, Corker are just tools… power tools with no electrical cords.. They do lack the courage to fight. And most of all there is the foul mouthed, insulting, condescending, self-important, corrupt son of a son of a sailor, both of whom were definitively better sailors than their progeny. John S. McCain is a bully; low class and disloyal.

    Ted Cruz is separating the wheat from the chaff. At the end of this we’ll see who really wants to end the travesty of Obamacare, and who were just counting on using its manifold failures as props in future elections…

    Don’t expect the media to do much to cover it… and don’t expect any truth to be reported.

    The Establishment is being challenged, and they are fighting back like the wounded boars that they are.


    1. Yeah, it’s reactionary from the GOP leadership, rather than leaderly and strategic.

      Whatever happens, I won’t count Cruz’s crusade a loss.

      If you live in a state where there is any prospect at all of your senators listening to you, I urge you to let them know your sentiments on this.

  2. Update after seeing the evening line-up on Fox News.

    I note in general that the public commentary of senior Republicans has suddenly grown more respectful of Cruz, just in the last 3-4 hours or so. Kind of funny to watch.

    Dana Perino was a hold-out on Hannity within the last hour — but she’s not hearing from constituents on this, the way members of Congress are.

    Must make a note to listen to Limbaugh tomorrow morning. His listeners often call in with info on how the constituent-sentiment trend is going for senators and representatives.

  3. I’m sympathetic to the argument that Krauthammer made tonight that Republicans should get out of the way and let Obamacare implode on its own – and let the unions and other Obama allies be out front complaining about it. But I’m with J.E. and other non-beltway conservatives – there is nothing more important to our country than getting rid of this bill. If we don’t stand up and fight for the repeal Obamacare, then what *will* we stand up and fight for?

    And not to be overlooked is the political space that Cruz & Co may be providing. Even if defunding doesn’t happen, then maybe a compromise comes about and Obamacare gets delayed by a year – a delay that wouldn’t have been politically possible without Cruz vocally calling for defunding. (Although one can argue that a roll out of Obamacare now when the whole bill is in disarray is preferable to a year from now when we’re probably past the midterm elections).

    1. “Implode on its own…” I heard this argument this morning to my rebuttal of Thomas Sowell’s piece on The American Spectator. I heard it in last year’s election when conservatives sat it out so everyone would see just how bad Obama is. Just let it (Obama, Obamacare, whatever…) happen and everyone will see how awful it is. Then, oh boy, watch out. The People will rise up and run the rascals out.

      Except that never happens. When merde hits the fan, it’s never the fault of the incontinent. People don’t learn like critters in a Pavlovian lab. Animals associate an electric shock with given behavior; cause and effect are immediately linked. People, though, will go to great lengths *not* to do so. They’ll fabricate excuses and elaborate theories of causality. Look how many battered wives rejoin their husbands, how many poor always vote Democrat.

      No, implosion is an excuse for letting someone else do the heavy lifting. These issues have to be fought actively. Passive resistance just passes the buck. Thank God the country occasionally produces a Reagan or a Cruz. God bless ’em.

      1. Amen, tminus1.

        Unless you’ve got an unchanging, thoroughly predictable condition like terrain to wait for, it’s almost never a good idea to delay closing battle.

        But even if you can count on terrain, you can’t count on weather. Many a strategist has delayed for what seemed like iron-clad reasons at the time, only to wish he hadn’t.

        In politics and other human relations, it’s really, really rare for it to be a good idea to wait until things get worse before mounting the confrontation. Is there a parent alive who, having had to deal with a troubled kid, doesn’t wish he or she had had the watershed confrontation sooner?

        Most of the time, delay is just procrastination and excuse, based on fear. We’ve all been there. I admire Cruz tremendously for not giving into the most consistent, banal of temptations.

  4. I am not a big fan of fighting the Lost Cause. But I also have no respect for a representative that chickens out of a fight because he is not guaranteed a win.

    Even if he is unsuccessful, Cruz is doing the right thing even at the risk of being shot in the back by his own Party. Obamacare is an abomination, and to tolerate it just to try to win the next election, so you can tolerate it some more, is just cowardly.

    In his rogue’s gallery, TMF somehow omitted Karl Rove, who should have been turned into a frog by Christine O’Donnell a couple of years ago.

    1. Only because Rove (spit) is not an elected person… He’s his own special brand of putrid.

      Every single one of those “lost” senate races that the Establishment wants to blame on the TEA Party were lost by the Establishment, on purpose… just so that they could blame the TEA Party.

      Their political loyalty as traditionally gone only one way. Well, it looks like the loyalty gig is being dropped right in their collective lap. Their pet nominee lost because the Right was convinced that the Establishment wouldn’t do anything to stop this, when push came to shove.

      This entire episode is just proof that they never intended to repeal Obamacare…

      Betcha Rove has a nice package deal with a tony new health resort in Aruba, and concierge Medical services folded in.

      But it’s really going to be interesting when the medical insurance bill comes due, and the fines start flowing. The Demedia complex will blame the GOP.. and the drones will believe it.

  5. The entire premise of OC is based on a false assumption. The young and healthy must work against their own interests, by sigining up for Health Insurance they do not want or need in order to subsidize the old and infirm.
    Major insurance carriers went along with lower per capita profits for the “sure thing” of an expanded pool of customers. Not going to happen.
    Aging baby boomers, illegals, and the poor are driving the financial/health problem.
    100% of Americans want first class medical help when we need it.
    Only about 50% can afford it.
    It may prove to be an almost intractable problem, political theater aside.
    We boomers are going to have to crawl in the grave, illegal immigration has to be controlled and the poor will always be with us,
    OC is and will be a disaster. The slow motion implosion be a daily topic during 2014. The White House will be in total disarray during the mid terms and Barry will do a lot of talking. So whats new.
    Long term O will be dust in the wind.
    A postscript please. The fact our legislative rulers have given themselves a pass on Obama Care really shows how the Republic is doing these days.
    The Tea Party needs to grow and grow. Entrenched fatcats in both parties need to be thrown out.
    I really wish Mencken were reporting these events. Boobus Americanis would lead many of his posts.

  6. Cruz’s filibuster is an appropriate and principled tactic. It probably won’t succeed but that isn’t the criterion — lots of people told MLK that his principled tactics wouldn’t work.

    It has also stopped Barry and his merry band of thieves from demanding even more from the compliant R’s.

    And it has made Cruz a formidable candidate for 2016. HE was the one who stood up to Barry. He was the one who said “no” to Obamacare now — unlike his R competitors for the nomination who will belatedly be calling for its repeal.

    All in all, a good move. And you know it’s good because the D’s and their punditry are squealing so much!

    1. Ooh-hoo! Got a little disputation there between Andy and Ramesh. National Review is not that much to the right of the Republican establishment, but has a few real conservatives in the stable.

  7. A few notes:

    Ted Cruise–W.A. Guy. Absolutely.

    But an obligatory reminder, Ted Cruz would not be in the US Senate today if it weren’t for one Sarah Louise Heath Palin, whose perfectly timed late endorsement helped Senator Cruz surge to a runoff. From that point on, victory over Dewhurst was a near certainty.

    Are we seeing the emergence of the “Palin wing” in the Senate? God Bless the Sarah.

    John McCain–fellow sailor, former POW, a man for whom I worked and contributed in two presidential campaigns–is a man who thoroughly disgusts me.

    Any remaining good will I held for him because of his Naval service and particularly his time in Hanoi is gone, Gone, GONE.

    Is he suffering from some variation of the Stockholm syndrome? He should sit down, and drink a tall glass of ST*U.

  8. Cruise==>Cruz heh. oopla.

    I guess the fingers were on ‘Cruz, err Crusie-control’

    No disrespect intended.

  9. I understand his motives, but to the vast majority of Americans, Cruz is making the mean-old-GOP look even older and meaner. To the typical, uninformed, mouth-breathing citizen, Republicans just don’t want people to have access to health care. They want to only help rich people get richer and they’re happy to see the poor and middle class become more poor.

    Most people genuinely believe Democrats are the nice guys who want to help the little guy. Dems have been very successful at selling this message, ridiculous as it may be. They’ve actually got people believing it was Republicans who “sold off” American manufacturing to China and pushed jobs overseas. I gotta admit, diverting the truth about unions, taxes and regulations pushing manufacturing overseas is pretty clever.

    So, matter what the GOP may win on principal, they’re losing the image war. And the Dems are happy to see their opponents twist in the wind on the health care issue and every other issue.

  10. The Whigs have been gone for some time, replaced pretty much by the Republicans. Maybe it’s time for the GOP itself to be replaced.

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