On the September 16, 2013 broadcast of his radio show, Rush Limbaugh offered a full throated defense of Sen. Ted Cruz, whom he feels is under assault from the Washington establishment of both parties. He took particular exception to David Brooks, the New York Times columnist and alleged conservative, who warned of the “rise of Ted Cruzism,” by which he meant the tendency of tea party members of Congress to “obstruct” his term for attempting to stop legislation that they find pernicious.
“Why do you call yourself a Republican if all you want to do is lay down and agree with Obama and the Democrats? Why don't you switch parties if it's so much better over there? What in the world is he supposed to do? He was sent there to stop this. He was sent to Washington specifically to try to stop some of this.”
Limbaugh’s defense of Cruz illustrates that while Cruz may have annoyed the poobahs in Washington, he is delighting rank and file conservatives for whom the radio talker is a voice. The qualities of Cruz that Brooks finds unsettling, the unwillingness to compromise and the desire to stop bad legislation, Limbaugh and by extension grass roots conservatives find exhilarating.
To illustrate, Limbaugh noted that Cruz is on the side of the American people with is opposition to Obamacare.
“What the hell is a ‘normal’ Republican, Mr. Brooks, one that bends over and agrees whatever the Democrats want? Makes compromises? Gets along, goes along? What is a ‘normal’ Republican? I guess we know. So Ted Cruz is to be taken out and destroyed because he wants to stop this? I think the vast majority of the American people want Obamacare stopped, Mr. Brooks. The latest numbers from the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll: Only 12% of the American people think it's gonna do 'em any good.
“Seventy-eight percent, simple math, don't want this, Mr. Brooks. So Cruz isn't a good legislator. He does not compromise what he believes. He doesn't compromise his core beliefs or principles. He isn't normal. He's just a malcontent. He's really trying to get rid of the Republican Party. That's what he's really trying to do. Mr. Brooks, the Republican Party establishment needs to undermined, if you are accurately portraying the mind-set of the Republican establishment.”
The irony is that Cruz, while new to public office, may be the future of the Republican Party. This will be especially true if he achieves higher office.