He has only been in the Senate for seven weeks, but the more I watch him, the more I like Ted Cruz (R-TX). This first-term senator is rattling the windows up in Washington. He refused to vote for an increase in the debt ceiling, he didn’t support John Kerry’s nomination to be Secretary of State, he voted against renewal of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and he spoke out forcefully against the nomination of former Republican senator Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense. Pointing to a potential cause of downfall for any high-profile member of the Defense Department, Cruz inquired of Hagel during his hearings if his bank account included any funds from Saudi Arabia or North Korea. He also brought up at the time the fact that Iran is in favor of Hagel’s nomination.
If you want to know what he’s up to, well, it’s fairly simple. He’s doing what he said he would do when he ran for office. Isn’t that refreshing? As he promised the people of Texas, he’s in DC “to shake up the status quo.”
In response, a whole bunch of folks on the left aren’t happy with him. Pulling out an old favorite from the Democrat playbook, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) accused him of McCarthyism. “In this country we had a terrible experience with innuendo and inference when Joe McCarthy hung out in the United States Senate, and I just think we have to be more careful.” To her and to Chris Matthews at MSNBC, Cruz is just an extremist mistreating a patriot nominated to high office.
Jonathan Weisman at the New York Times bemoans the fact that Cruz is upsetting the sense of “comity,” or courtesy that normally marks relations between senators. The Hill is a left-leaning tabloid that covers politics in DC and they have blasted Cruz as an embarrassment and a slanderer. Ed Schultz, another MSNBC commentator, can’t understand why Republicans are filibustering a defense-secretary nominee “for the first time in a century.” Cruz is painted by the Democrats as a joke at best, and possibly worse, because he’s supposedly endangering the nation’s security.
Politicians on the left don’t like it when Tea Party conservatives fight back, but the moral outrage on the left rings hollow. Is there any nasty political ploy that hasn’t been used by the Democrats in the last year? The truth is that they aren’t morally offended in the slightest. They’re just shocked that a conservative Republican has decided to join in the fray and stand up for his values and the values of those who sent him to the Senate. Their words don’t come from their honest feelings–they are a script for public consumption. It works like this: they pretend to be offended, then they paint Cruz as an extremist nut job and a “teabagger,” and then wait for the left-leaning media to pick up the mantra.
Unfortunately, this methodology usually works. Why? Because so-called “moderate” Republicans like John McCain take their side and refuse to support the vocal conservatives trying to take the fight back to the Democrat front line.
Where was the moral outrage on the left when Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) accused Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney of being a felon and a tax dodger? There was no evidence whatsoever for the accusation (Reid said he had an “anonymous source”), yet at times it continues to be bandied about by Democrats even to this day. Unlike the Hagel situation, where a senator simply asked a question in a public forum with Hagel sitting before him, Reid made his accusation on the floor of the full Senate without Romney being present to defend himself. Where was Sen. McCaskill’s outrage then? Where was Democrat outrage when Nancy Pelosi said she could have GOP advisor Karl Rove arrested, or that she had dirt on former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich?
And let’s not forget the other hypocrisy being perpetrated on the left. Ted Cruz is the son of a Cuban immigrant by the name of Rafael Cruz. He should be a darling of the Democrats. But his crime, of course, is that he’s a conservative. Hispanics and immigrants are praised by the left only when they are liberals.
Keep it up, Ted. Take the ideological battle to the front lines. Stay on the offensive. The only way to falsely paint the Tea Party as a bunch of extremists is to allow the radical left to remain in the mainstream. Don’t give up an inch of territory. They aren’t mainstream at all–but those in that camp have seduced enough voters with their rhetoric against “the rich” and their promises of government benefits to retain power. Playing nice isn’t going to get us any closer to reclaiming our constitutional values.
Honestly, I praise Ted Cruz and I am thrilled with his leadership. At this point the GOP has little to lose–but America has much to lose if Republicans lose their spine.
It’s time to play a new game. Let’s call it “conservative hardball.” It should be played fearlessly, and with a bat of extra-large proportions. Suit up, Democrats. Ted Cruz isn’t the bad boy of the Senate. He’s a conservative Texan who’s tired of playing defense. He has switched to the game of offense and he’s lighting a fire in the halls of the political elites.
Oh, here’s another message for the Democrats: you can stop pretending to be outraged. The needle fell off your moral compass years ago.