Ted Cruz Now Leader of Republican Party

 

shutterstock_180292484In the land of the blind, the one-eyed is king. You may not like Sen. Cruz, may not trust him, may not support him, but he has consistently provided leadership from his new-guy chair where the GOP thrones have been — at best — incompetent.

Cruz and Rep. Lee Zeldin sent a letter to Secretary of State Kerry asking for details on the administration’s apparent intrusion into Israel’s internal politics:

“Has President Obama launched a political campaign against Prime Minister Netanyahu and his representatives?” Sen. Cruz asked. “This administration’s relentless harassment of Israel is utterly incomprehensible. The Islamic Republic of Iran is pursuing the deadliest weapons on the planet, and there can be no doubt that their first target will be Israel, followed by the United States. This administration should be focusing its animosity on the very real enemies we face, not on our staunch allies.”

Cruz asks the following questions, among others:

  1. How much funding has the U.S. Government provided to OneVoice, PeaceWorks Network Foundation, and any connected initiatives, projects or subsidiaries?
  2. Who approved providing such funds?
  3. What is the oversight and accounting process for how these funds are being spent?
  4. How often and on what dates has such funding been provided?

The point is not to get meaningful, honest answers which clear things up. We’re not stupid. The point is to get the administration on the record. I am sick to death of the McClellan Republicans refusal to engage in opening skirmishes such as this on the specious rationale that it won’t win the war in a stroke.

So long as the GOP is led by men such as McConnell and Boehner (see recent unforced “errors”), it will get no support from me, and in fact opposition. Ted Cruz will likely always have my support.

There’s a lesson in there the establishment has decided not to learn. So be it.

Image Credit: Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com

There are 48 comments.

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  1. DocJay Inactive
    DocJay
    @DocJay

    I’m glad the man cares enough to speak up.   I wonder if there will ever be meaningful investigations in to this administration.

    • #1
  2. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @BallDiamondBall

    DocJay:I’m glad the man cares enough to speak up. I wonder if there will ever be meaningful investigations in to this administration.

    Not until things change on the GOP side of the house.  Oh, how’s it going on that Boehner lawsuit to defend Congress from Obama?  Uh-huh.

    • #2
  3. user_653084 Inactive
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    I’m not sure your title is supported by your post. From what I’ve read, Cruz was leading one House Member. If anything, he was more the leader of the party in the summer of 2013 when he convinced lots of House Republicans to vote for the shutdown. Now, I agree with you in approving of Cruz’s letter. I just don’t think we should make more of it than is warranted. It’s a gesture, a good one, but a gesture nonetheless.

    • #3
  4. billy Inactive
    billy
    @billy

    Salvatore Padula:

    I tend to agree. Hopefully one day he will ascend to the Senate leadership, but for now he is still just a first-term Senator.

    • #4
  5. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @BallDiamondBall

    Sorry, I just checked my GOP give-a-damn-o-meter, and it definitely says Cruz is in charge.  Because if he’s not in charge, I don’t give a damn.

    Can we say damn here?  Hang on, lemme ask Ted.

    • #5
  6. Mendel Inactive
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    I agree with Sal – writing a letter is not leadership.

    It’s also not nothing. Cruz has consistently made his colleagues react to him, which is certainly unusual for a first term Senator and shows more influence than most of his more-senior colleagues could claim.

    But I think this is also indicative of the Tea Party fraction in general: they too often mistake symbolic gestures for actual leadership – and then complain when a new Congress gets sworn in and they’re not in the leadership. It takes more than stirring speeches and throwing parliamentarian bombs to accrue the type of influence needed to hold a Speaker’s gavel, yet I see few members of the Tea Party fraction who seem eager to put in that type of dirty work.

    If Ted Cruz is leading the GOP, why isn’t Congress actually passing many conservative measures?

    • #6
  7. user_653084 Inactive
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    BDB- So basically your argument is that you want Cruz to be in charge of the GOP, therefore he’s must be?

    • #7
  8. user_5186 Inactive
    user_5186
    @LarryKoler

    Don’t listen to them, BDB. I love your approach:

    I am sick to death of the McClellan Republicans refusal to engage in opening skirmishes such as this on the specious rationale that it won’t win the war in a stroke.

    This is something that has bothered me for many years. I often complain to people about the media, for example, and the most common retort/excuse is that’s just the lay of the land and Republicans should just factor that into their calculations.

    Well, of course, I agree but that’s not really the reason they are telling me this. It’s mostly to not seem like a complainer. Why? Because Karl Rove and Mike Murphy tell us not to cavil at the media. Learn to live with them. Again, that’s fine but it shouldn’t be the first thing they tell us. If they wanted to fight the real fight against the real enemy they wouldn’t talk this way. They are losers and they are desperate to find only battles they can win — so they always pick on the easiest issues that won’t get the media after them. And every year there are fewer and fewer of these.

    There is no strategy to deal with the media, our biggest enemy. There is only looking around the 600 lb. gorilla for something easy to do.

    • #8
  9. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @BallDiamondBall

    The squish is deafening.

    • #9
  10. user_653084 Inactive
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    “Don’t listen to them, BDB. I love your approach”

    To quote Captain Edmund Blackadder, “Yes, pay no attention to the nasty man.”

    • #10
  11. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @BallDiamondBall

    I’ve got a brilliant plan…

    • #11
  12. user_44643 Inactive
    user_44643
    @MikeLaRoche

    Ball Diamond Ball:I am sick to death of the McClellan Republicans refusal to engage in opening skirmishes such as this on the specious rationale that it won’t win the war in a stroke.

    Exactly.

    It is the most basic rule of military strategy, backed by millennia of military history: you cannot win if you will not fight.

    • #12
  13. Barfly Member
    Barfly
    @Barfly

    Salvatore Padula:I’m not sure your title is supported by your post. From what I’ve read, Cruz was leading one House Member. If anything, he was more the leader of the party in the summer of 2013 when he convinced lots of House Republicans to vote for the shutdown. Now, I agree with you in approving of Cruz’s letter. I just don’t think we should make more of it than is warranted. It’s a gesture, a good one, but a gesture nonetheless.

    Yeah, ditto. Cruz is looking really good to me these days, but I went thru a Rubio phase too.

    As for the Republican party – I’m a member but in name only and desperately looking for an alternative. If a 3rd party shows up and Cruz is one of its leaders, I’m in.

    • #13
  14. Mendel Inactive
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    Mike LaRoche:

    It is the most basic rule of military strategy, backed by millennia of military history: you cannot win if you will not fight.

    Pray tell, what was the last military battle won by sending a tersely-worded letter to the enemy?

    It saddens me that people seriously consider such a symbolic gesture to be “fighting,” especially since Cruz, and the rest of the Tea Party Congressmen, have such a much more potent weapon at their fingertips: the legislative process.

    Why not send a bill to Obama authorizing more military equipment funding for Israel? Or where is the bill changing the definition of the work week under Obamacare? Where is the bill repealing the employer mandate? All of these would have an immediate impact: either Obama would ratify them, or he would make himself unpopular by vetoing such popular initiatives.

    • #14
  15. Mendel Inactive
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    I don’t want to come off as being a Cruz hater.

    I agree with most of his policies (not always with his parliamentary tricks). It is delightful that the one of the most hardline conservatives in Congress is also one of the most eloquent and soft spoken. And he has certainly carved out a much greater presence on the national stage than 90% of his more senior colleagues. Kudos.

    Cruz is great – for a first-term Senator. But he has shown very few of the qualities I look for in a leader: namely, being able to actually change policy outcomes for the better. Again, not really a problem for a first-term Senator.

    The problem is when the rest of the Tea Party sees Cruz as their model leader. His tactics of giving stirring but partisan speeches while intentionally sabotaging the legislative process does nothing but stir up emotions – but emotions will be woefully inadequate when it comes time to unwind one of the most complex and pervasive social programs in American history.

    • #15
  16. user_44643 Inactive
    user_44643
    @MikeLaRoche

    Mount up, boys, and ride to the sound of the squishes!

    • #16
  17. Devereaux Inactive
    Devereaux
    @Devereaux

    Mendel #15

    Very well. I’ll bite. ?Where ARE all these bills you speak of. Let’s remember that the election was in early November, and now it’s basically February. That ought to have left any leadership worth its salt time to actually gin up at least half a dozen of these bills. None of these need be terribly complecated. I would expect they could be written in 2-3 pages each. Set them up solo. Don’t allow any amendments. Make the democrats vote yea or nay on the substance. Then send them to the President.

    ?So who exactly IS the leader of the Republican Party.

    • #17
  18. Mendel Inactive
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    Mike LaRoche:Mount up, boys, and ride to the sound of the squishes!

    Indeed, your desk in the faculty lounge would be the ideal launching point for the Letter Writing Brigade to mount its bold assault.

    • #18
  19. user_44643 Inactive
    user_44643
    @MikeLaRoche

    Cry “Havoc!”, and let slip the squishes of war.

    • #19
  20. Mendel Inactive
    Mendel
    @Mendel

    Devereaux:Mendel #15

    Very well. I’ll bite. ?Where ARE all these bills you speak of. Let’s remember that the election was in early November, and now it’s basically February. That ought to have left any leadership worth its salt time to actually gin up at least half a dozen of these bills.

    I agree. It is completely disgraceful – and utterly predictable – that Boehner, McConnell, and the rest of the Republican leadership have been slow-walking their pre-election promises (and by “slow” I mean “backwards”).

    But riddle me this: why is a movement that has a good chunk of House seats and the majority of grassroots fervor incapable of making inroads into such a weak leadership team? It’s because the Tea Party prefers words over actions, whereas actual legislative power in Congress goes to those who get things done.

    I understand the hesitancy to engage in the sordid system that is our legislative process. But it’s the only one we have, and until the Tea Party fraction shows more willingness to get down in the weeds and work on legislation – which includes deal-making and compromising – they will remain in the peanut gallery.

    • #20
  21. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @BallDiamondBall

    Mendel:But riddle me this: why is a movement that has a good chunk of House seats and the majority of grassroots fervor incapable of making inroads into such a weak leadership team? It’s because the Tea Party prefers words over actions, whereas actual legislative power in Congress goes to those who get things done.

    Sorry, but that’s [not a strong argument].  What action do you want?  I personally flew to DC (from Japan) to re-open the memorials when they were Barry-caded.  It was awesome.  It was a rare opportunity in that it was non-partisan, officially, but 100% percent rewarding.  Just one veteran supporting others, you know?  But were we supposed to shoot our way into Congress and hold lawmakers at gunpoint to pass bills?

    The reason we’re so angry with the establishment is that they have the power to do these things and they do not!  I am just about moved to swear here, CoC be blinded!  What do you mean the Tea party prefers words to actions?  That’s a bunch of manure.

    If you mean that the Tea Party is a bunch of hicks who don’t know how to get things done in Washington, then come out and say so.  At least then I’ll know what sort of person I’m arguing with.  I guess we’ll go ahead and start waiting with you for long-promised action instead of trying to light some fires with what you call words.

    Boehner and McConnell won’t use their majorities, and it’s our fault?

    Unbelievable.

    • #21
  22. Xennady Member
    Xennady
    @

    Mendel:But riddle me this: why is a movement that has a good chunk of House seats and the majority of grassroots fervor incapable of making inroads into such a weak leadership team? It’s because the Tea Party prefers words over actions, whereas actual legislative power in Congress goes to those who get things done.

    Easy answer: Because the GOP leadership works very hard to thwart the efforts of the grass roots, using enormous amounts of donor cash, with all the desperation of people who know full well their gravy train will end if the crony capitalist apple cart they ride in ever gets overturned by Tea Party reformers. Or, alternately, something even worse.

    In any case I’m tired of getting carpet-bombed with excuses. It doesn’t seem to matter how well or poorly the GOP does in elections. It’s guaranteed they’ll fail, thoroughly and well, then bitterly complain that their supporters wouldn’t shut up hard enough.

    The Tea Party faction would not exist if the Bush-era party hadn’t been such a backstabbing, miserable failure. We are having this very discussion because the establishment leadership has been a failure, not because the Tea Party won’t compromise or work with that establishment.

    This has been a long time coming. Ted Cruz is in the Senate because, roughly, the other GOP candidate was deemed too establishment friendly. And, obviously,  Ted Cruz would not have had a shot at winning that primary election if the GOP political establishment was not regarded as a miserable failure by base GOP voters. And it was the work of years for the party to anger base voters so much that they would threaten to walk out of the party, or vote for such a guy as Ted Cruz, or David Brat, or, etc, etc.

    This cannot last. Either the establishment leadership will stop failing, or the party will collapse and disappear as the voters cease showing up for it.

    Pick one, GOP. Only one.

    • #22
  23. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @BallDiamondBall

    Preach, brother!

    • #23
  24. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Republicans need to play nice with the dems and their policies until they win an the right election. [/sarc]

    • #24
  25. user_348375 Inactive
    user_348375
    @TrinityWaters

    The fearlessness of Cruz is refreshing.  So Boehner gets invited to more beltway parties or whatever…so what.  This topic reminded me of Ben Shapiro’s latest article asking whether the GOP could be following the fate of the Whigs.  Interesting and instructive parallels ensue.  Since he planted that question, I’ve been rethinking recent history and am beginning to see the possibility.

    Not a third party; they are trouble, historically.  A replacement for the GOP.

    Nothing lasts forever; in eight years a fresh party of actual conservatives could be planning for primary contests.  So, we pass on expectations of principled action from the GOP for an election cycle and put up with one more Democrat president.  Not the end of the world.  The Democrat party is in such ruination now, and with Congress likely to remain GOP-led, we can wait one cycle to start anew.  Imagine Scott Walker as Speaker!  Mike Lee as president!  Ted Cruz as Secretary of State!

    A name for the new party??!!

    • #25
  26. user_124695 Inactive
    user_124695
    @DavidWilliamson

    The simplest solution would be to rename the Republican Party the Conservative Party, with Mr Cruz its leader.

    Then Rinos would become Cino squishes.

    • #26
  27. Jager Coolidge
    Jager
    @Jager

    Mendel: His tactics of giving stirring but partisan speeches while intentionally sabotaging the legislative process does nothing but stir up emotions – but emotions will be woefully inadequate when it comes time to unwind one of the most complex and pervasive social programs in American history.

    I think I would like to play devils advocate with this. If the the legislative process is yielding a very bad result why is it wrong to “sabotage” the process? The fact that the “non-tea party” Republicans and Democrats have reached a deal does not de facto make it a good deal. Do you feel that there is ever an appropriate time to “sabotage” the process?

    If you are advocating for what would be major changes in American programs do you really thing this will happen with minor compromised changes?  It would seem to me that the two main ways to get big changes are crisis or “emotion”.  I would rather have people’s emotions “stirred up” and demanding a change rather than reaching a crisis.

    • #27
  28. iWc Coolidge
    iWc
    @iWe

    I think of Cruz the way one looks at a highly-rated college player who goes pro. There is much sound and fury, but it takes years for a superstar to actually start to win playoff games.

    I AM a Cruz fan. But in part it is because the Republicans in general are off to such a lousy, passive, squishy start.

    • #28
  29. Devereaux Inactive
    Devereaux
    @Devereaux

    Mendel: But riddle me this: why is a movement that has a good chunk of House seats and the majority of grassroots fervor incapable of making inroads into such a weak leadership team? It’s because the Tea Party prefers words over actions, whereas actual legislative power in Congress goes to those who get things done.

    I might take exception to this. Actual legislative power in Congress sits with the money! The Tea Party hasn’t been able to get its message translated into acts mostly because it doesn’t have the cash behind it to do so. Line up a bunch of big-time donors and the TP is off to the races.

    Look who won the nomination in 12. Look who is odd-on favorite to do so in 16. It’s the cash.

    • #29
  30. Xennady Member
    Xennady
    @

    Sorry Mendel, I wasn’t aiming my screediness at you.

    But me and the GOP, we go way back.

    My very first vote was a protest against Bush 41. I cast it fully intending to vote for him in the general election later, and I did.

    A while after his defeat, I happened to discover John Podhoretz’s book Hell of a ride: Backstage at the White House Follies 1989-1993. (Out of print, but available used at Amazon. I checked.)(great book, by the way.)

    Bottom line: It was no accident Bush managed to lose to the governor of Arkansas, and bring about a major third party challenge, despite starting with a 90+ percent approval rating. He was just that bad.

    Later, I recall reading that the Bush family pursued a vendetta against people such as Ed Rollins, who had advised Republicans in the House to vote against his pledge-breaking tax increase deal.

    This is the pattern from the GOP and its establishment, still in place today- miserable failure, followed up by hostility against those who object to their miserable failure. Shut up, they explain, over and over again.

    I’m sorely tired of it, is all- and I didn’t get that way overnight, either.

    • #30

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