In November of last year, Ted Cruz – cruised – to victory in his race for the U.S. Senate, first defeating longtime Lt. Governor David Dewhurst who had a significant lead of 45% to 34% in the first round of primary voting. Cruz managed to gain the support of the Tea Party and firebrand talk radio host Mark Levin, upset Dewhurst in the runoff and easily defeated his Democratic opponent in the general election.
Dewhurst certainly had his own missteps; while Cruz worked hard to portray him as a moderate, Dewhurst responded with claims of Cruz being racist, in bed with Chinese lobbyists and various other attacks while engaging in other unscrupulous activities such as trying to camouflage his own positions and playing games to cover his tracks.
While hardly a moderate, by all accounts Dewhurst demonstrated himself to be a man of little integrity and Texans rightly elected Cruz to replace Kay Bailey Hutchinson in the Senate. The question is, did Texas, and America, really do any better?
Dewhurst has seemingly tried to keep up with the Joneses and boost his conservative cred, including recently jumping on the intense Obama-bashing wagon, perhaps out of concern for his job now that he’s running for reelection against three other Tea Party darlings.
Monday night, Dewhurst predictably called for the impeachment of Barack Obama while speaking to a Tea Party rally.
Said Dewhurst “I don’t know about you, but Barack Obama ought to be impeached, not only for trampling on our liberties, but what he did in Benghazi is just a crime.”
While it’s very clear to many that there has been some sort of serious malfeasance regarding the Benghazi debacle and no one in the administration has been held accountable or even been forthright with the truth while the left and the media have largely called the issue a “phony” scandal, it’s not clear at this time what Obama’s role was or should have been. Nevertheless, Dewhurst has already made a fool of himself by claiming the White House watched a live video feed of the attacks while they occurred, earning an embarrassing Pants on Fire rating from Politifact.
Dewhurst will be left to his own destiny in Texas while Cruz commented on his recent celebrity, after his inexplicable attempt to derail Obamacare, apparently through any means necessary, drew to a close when on Wednesday night, Congress finally voted to end the government shutdown after 15 days.
Cruz echoed sentiments similar to what he’s been saying for some time: “This deal embodies everything about the Washington establishment that frustrates the American people." He asked the president to imagine what would have happened if “Senate Republicans had simply supported House Republicans and the American people.”
But is that really true? Cruz has been saying all along that he has been trying to do the will of the American people and what the American people want. One can’t help but wonder what barometer he’s using.
It’s a no-brainer that the left would attack Cruz and his tactics but as he now attempts to write off his staggering unpopularity within the Republican party, the fallout continues. He still maintains that objections including the Houston Chronicle's lamenting the departure of his predecessor are a result of his rocking the boat sailed by the Washington establishment and RINOs.
However, when invoking terminology such as “the will of the American people” and “what the American people want,” one can only get too creative with what that means.
It’s no secret that Americans have issues with Obamacare but staggeringly, during a rollout that has been fraught with problems, approval of the law has actually increased. Indeed Cruz and his allies managed to accomplish what no Democrat could.
Why? Because Cruz chose a defund and/or shutdown strategy to derail it that was far more unpopular than the law itself. Those who tried to point out the course was self-defeating were labeled liberals and RINOs but every poll has consistently shown that not only are Democrats overwhelmingly against Cruz’ plan, which is no big surprise, but Independents also strongly opposed it and even Republicans were split. Overall the numbers were strongly against the threat of shutdown in every poll and while Barack Obama’s numbers had previously continued to decrease as well, the GOP’s approval rating hit an all-time low while Obama’s ticked back up.
Most acknowledge that Cruz did what his constituents elected him to do and there is no crime in standing on principle and representing those who sent you to Washington. The problem lies in calling it something else. Claiming that he was doing what the American people wanted when every poll showed he was doing exactly the opposite is either strikingly obtuse or alarmingly dishonest.
Had he simply told the truth, as one of his Tea Party colleagues told CBS News, he might have an argument. Representative John Fleming (R-LA) said Wednesday night “My constituents have been very congratulatory towards me and I feel like I did exactly what they sent me up here to do.”
That makes sense. Claiming the American people support something they do not, not so much.
Perhaps something along the lines of "I can't always let polls tell me what to do or base my decisions on popularity. My constituents sent me here for this and I am keeping my word."
What the American people do want is the end of fiscal irresponsibility, something the Democrats have shown zero interest in changing and until recently, Republicans have been enabling while failing to offer any alternatives of substance. Perhaps the next session of Congress will find legislators working on something besides pointing fingers and voting to raise taxes, repeal Obamacare or other measures that won’t make it through both chambers.
The GOP will be left to do damage control and find a better way to deal with the recurring fiscal issues that have only received a Band-Aid until January 15, 2014. They have managed to stay out of favor with the American public and failed to win the presidency despite having the benefit of working in opposition to a president who is not only embroiled in one controversy after another but has shown a striking lack of leadership and ineptitude on a number of fronts. They are fortunate to still be dealing with a Democratic Senate that spent years without generating a budget until this year, so if it’s another example of the blind leading the blind, as has apparently been the case, perhaps they can see clearly now the reign—of Cruz—is gone.