Evidencing all the reflexive antagonism toward sane governance that is his hallmark, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) lashed out at fellow conservatives, accusing them of being too “scared” to defund Obamacare. Considering that this is impossible so long as President Obama is in the White House and the Senate has a majority of Democrats, Republicans should take that as high praise.

Ted Cruz Sen. Ted Cruz (Jim Lo Scalzo/European Pressphoto Agency)

Come to think of it they should be “scared” of many things:

  • Losing the high ground on Obamacare.
  • Becoming infantile in their aversion to sane national security measures.
  • Sounding like Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa).
  • Living up to the stereotype of angry, immature politicians more concerned about unattainable ideological purity than improving people’s lives.
  • Empowering extreme talk show hosts who live in a political universe as sheltered as the president’s.
  • Taking the country off the cliff by refusing to raise the debt ceiling.
  • Sounding defensive and desperate.
  • Unlearning the lessons of the fiscal cliff.
  • Making Obama sound like the reasonable one.
  • Giving voters pause about handing Republicans the Senate majority.
  • Forgetting that the most successful Republicans are the ones — the governors — who spur conservative reforms and get things done.

House Deputy Whip Tom Cole (R-Okla.) had it precisely right when he explained: “Shutting down the government is a suicidal political tactic. Eventually it will be reopened, but the president will not have capitulated and you will have discredited yourself and along the way you will have hurt the American people.” Scared? Grown-up, I think.

The bombastic junior senator from Texas has been in office all of six months. The Princeton grad with the law degree from Harvard law school and consummate corporate lawyer has never, I would suggest, shown much courage. It doesn’t take courage to run as the reddest of all Republicans in the deep red state of Texas. It doesn’t take courage to drop the pro-immigration reform position of his former boss President George W. Bush and play to the xenophobic yahoos in the party. It doesn’t take courage to side with the lunacy of attention-grabbing isolationists seeking to ride the wave of anti-military sentiment stirred up by an administration in retrenchment mode. It doesn’t take courage to vote “no” on everything knowing that others will behave responsibly so he doesn’t have to.

Actually, what Republicans should be scared of is becoming a party of Ted Cruz’s. That would be irrelevance and an era of continuous liberal rule.