The nominations of Thom Tillis for Republican candidate for United States Senate in North Carolina and Ben Sasse for Republican candidate for the same from Nebraska was supposed to suggest that the Republican civil war between the establishment and the tea party is – well – civil. However Red State’s Erick Erickson has not gotten that memo. He demanded in a Sunday blog post that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a tea party favorite, resign as vice chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
Erickson lists a number of what he perceives as slights that the NRSC has inflicted on the tea party in general and Cruz in particular. These include NRSC consultant Brian Walsh making a snarky tweet that suggests that Cruz is not paying smart politics by “undercutting” the senior senator from Texas, John Cornyn, and his policies. Another example is an allegation that the NRSC is conducting a smear campaign against Chris McDaniel, who is challenging incumbent Thad Cochran for the GOP senate nomination.
Ironically, as the National Journal stated, Cruz has already withdraw his involvement as NRSC vice chair in Republican primaries. Though this is officially seen as being neutral in contests in which Republican incumbents are battling tea party challengers, it is seen as a blow to the NRSC’s evident campaign to support incumbents who are expected to win in November. If Cruz had signed onto that strategy, it would have been seen as a blow against tea party efforts to elect more conservative senators.
Cruz is not likely to follow Erickson’s suggestion and resign from the NRSC. One reason is that he intends to be active in supporting Republican candidates, of all stripes, in the generation election in the fall. The reason is very simple. The aspirations of the tea party and Cruz’s own ambitions would be better served if the Senate switches to the GOP, even if some of the Republican senators are less conservative that Cruz.