As Hot Air noted on February 13, 2014 the Senate, blowing through a threat by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas to filibuster the “clean” raising of the debt ceiling, managed to find 12 Republican votes to get above the magic 60 vote margin. While Republican establishment types are congratulating themselves on avoiding yet another acrimonious fight with President Obama, Cruz is not pleased.
According to the National Review, Cruz had a warning for his fellow senators.
“Today’s vote is yet another example that establishment politicians from both parties are simply not listening to the American people. Outside the beltway, Americans of all political stripes understand that we cannot keep spending money we don’t have.
“Some members of Congress care so much about being praised by the Washington media that they’re willing to mortgage our children’s future. They pretend we don’t have a problem and can just kick the can down the road.
“Let’s be clear about the motive behind this vote — there are too many members of Congress who think they can fool people and they will forget about it the next week. But sometimes, come November, the people remember.”
For Cruz, the outcome was the best of all possible worlds, exception of course a success that involved extracting something from the Obama administration in return for raising the debt limit, like suspending Obamacare. He will not get blamed for putting the credit rating of the United States at risk for “obstructing” Congresses desire to extend the country’s credit card limit. But at the same time he is well positioned to, as with stopping Obamacare, be the voice of sanity, even while the Washington establishment dumps on him.
How this will affect future elections is unclear. Two of the Republicans voting for the measure, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. John Cornyn, are facing primary battles. They obviously did not help themselves by being part of yet another GOP cave to the free spending Democrats. While Cornyn will likely survive, McConnell is in a little bit of trouble. Will this primary turmoil put the hopes of the Republicans regaining the Senate at hazard? Maybe, but the counter argument is that the greater turmoil caused by Obamacare, the weak economy, and the president’s increasingly high handed governing style is likely to power Republicans to a senate majority anyway.
As for 2016, look for Cruz to be the dominate conservative alternative for the GOP nomination, provided, of course, that he runs. There is a school of thought that he might wait until 2020 or 2024, when he will still be relatively young. But then he might just be a young man in a hurry, concluding that after all 2016 is his moment.