Blowing more smoke than a Texas barbeque, 42-year-old Ted Cruz (R-Texas) anointed himself as the GOP’s master propagandist, telling disgruntled white folks in Des Moines, Iowa that he’s leading a revolt against “official” Washington. Blaming everything wrong with America on President Barack Obama, Cruz preached to the choir at a Republican fundraiser that the country’s “facing a new paradigm in politics and it is the paradigm of the rise of the grassroots.” Forget about the fact that most the “grassroots” rejected the GOP Nov. 6, 2012 for eviscerating the U.S. economy under the prior Republican administration of George W. Bush. “It has official Washington absolutely terrified,” said Cruz, saying exactly the opposite: Mainstream America is terrified of Tea Party fanatics like Cruz.
Cruz after all blamed House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) for “caving” Oct. 16, settling the score with Democrats to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling. If there’s fear in the streets, it’s over determined zealots like Cruz who would have defaulted the U.S. government to stop Obamacare. Propagandists, like Cruz, cater to his target audience’s worst fears, whipping up as much paranoia as possible. Ted learned well watching former Alaska Gov. and 2008 VP candidate Sarah Palin whip white crowds into a lynch-mob mentality against Obama’s Muslim or socialist leanings. Her racist rants caused former GOP presidential candidate John McCain (R-Ariz.) to denounce her nonsense on the stump. Now Cruz takes over where Palin left off, pandering to a shrinking white majority’s worst fears: The country’s going broke from Obama’s socialist ways.
Cruz’s audience doesn’t get that he’d toss their Medicare and Social Security under the bus. He’s ranting today about Obamacare, when Cruz nearly single-handedly forced the government to default. Cruz wants his audience to believe he’s the reincarnation of the late President Ronald Reagan, ready-and-willing to lead a new “grassroots” revolution. “It was beta tested in 1980 with the Reagan Revolution, and we pulled this country back from the brink. And if you look at this past year we have been saying over and over and over again the power of the grassroots,” said, Cruz anointing himself, like Palin, the second-coming of Reagan. Cruz’s too young to recall that former President Jimmy Carter’s economy was in shambles. Inflation pushed the prime interest rate up to 21%. Mortgage interest rates were at record highs, topping 17%. Gas prices were going through the roof.
For the disgruntled ones that listen to Cruz blow smoke they should look at the facts. Whether they like or despise Obamacare, the facts are the facts. Prime and mortgage interest rates are near record lows. Wall Street is nearing the fourth year of one of the biggest bull markets in U.S. history. U.S. budget deficits, that quadrupled under Reagan, have come down to the lowest levels since former President Bill Clinton balanced the budget in 1998. Since Wall Street crashed and banks ran out of cash in 2007-08, the banking sector is on a stable footing. Cruz and his Tea Party friends would have let General Motors and Chrysler go broke. Today, together with Ford, they’ve made an historic comeback. Cruz wants to lead a “grassroots” movement to crash the U.S. economy and default the government. He preaches to the choir, telling his audience the exact opposite of reality.
Cruz want vindication for taking the U.S. economy to the brink. Not a single reputable economist agrees with his views. “Had we stood together, I’m convinced the outcome of this fight would be very, very different,” said Cruz, referring to his fervent wish to default the country. Yes, the outcome would be different. Cruz’s audience would not get their Social Security checks or have Medicare coverage. All government entitlements would cease to exist. Cruz had the single-minded focus of stopping the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. He would have stopped at nothing. His opposition stems from deeply held beliefs that the government should not be in the entitlement business. Cruz has no problem handing defense or oil contractors a blank check to use U.S. tax dollars. Had the GOP stood with Cruz, the U.S. economy would have plunged back into double-dip recession.
Cruz shouldn’t forget that Iowa’s six electoral votes went to Obama in 2012. Most of the upper Midwest—heavily dependent on auto manufacturing—rewarded Obama for bailing out the U.S. auto industry. If you listen to Cruz, he believes his target audience is rich white folks that don’t need Medicare or Social Security. GOP strategists think problems with the Obamacare Web site are a golden opportunity to score political points after Cruz and the Tea Party nearly defaulted the country. Cruz’s fixation on Obamacare will eventually backfire. As more of the millions of uninsured get insurance, public opinion will grow more positive toward Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Like Romney in last year’s campaign, Cruz has to make up his own reality that doesn’t match published facts. If he sticks to reliable economic metrics, the economy’s come a long way back under Obama.
About the Author
John M. Curtis writes politically neutral commentary analyzing spin in national and global news. He’s editor of OnlineColumnist.com and author of Dodging The Bullet and Operation Charisma.