Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) continued his magical mystery tour on CNN yesterday as he persisted in pushing his going-nowhere strategy. This time, the freshman tea party darling who brought us the current government shutdown over attaching changes to Obamacare is now making it a condition for raising the debt ceiling. This is so not going to endear him to his colleagues in Congress.
To say that Cruz is not held in high regard by Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill is an understatement. Last week he suffered a rhetorical beatdown from fellow Republicans. One senator told Politico, “It was very evident to everyone in the room that Cruz doesn’t have a strategy -– he never had a strategy, and could never answer a question about what the endgame was. I just wish the 35 House members that have bought the snake oil that was sold could witness what was witnessed today at lunch.”
That lack of strategy certainly rankled one influential Republican member of Congress, who bemoaned President Obama’s disinterest in rescuing the GOP from itself to a bunch of reporters last Thursday, speaking on the condition that he not be quoted by name:
“[L]ook, Cruz and company lost a lot of influence in the House when he gave them exactly what they asked for and [Senate Republicans] couldn’t produce what they promised. Most of us thought they never were going to be able to produce what they promised. But some people did. And if you remember, [what] dropped from the junior senator’s talking points pretty quickly was, if the House stands united, then there’ll be 41 Republicans standing strong. Well, there weren’t. There were 19. I mean, he couldn’t even get a majority of his own conference. He couldn’t get the majority of the minority in his own body. So, look, he’s pretty gifted at positioning himself and he’s a brilliant communicator. And I probably agree with him on 95 percent of the issues. But I’ll tell you one thing: He’s never played team sports in his life.”
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) was even more blunt. “The question now is whether the people who fell for the Cruz folly will recognize that it was built on a false premise,” he told the Wall Street Journal. “The whole thing was a joke from the beginning.”
Now that the fight over the continuing resolution is blending with the fight to preserve the full faith and credit of the United States, there is a lot of renewed talk about a “grand bargain.” And there’s 100 percent certainty that Cruz & Co. would reject it.
“The guys that got us into this mess won’t be there to cut the deal that gets us out. And they will attack the people that actually come to the deal. And profit by it politically,” the Republican member said.
From Cruz’s perspective, politically and financially profiting from the anarchy he stokes in the Capitol is all to the good. Pity that the nation he claims to love so much could be irreparably harmed by it.
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