Thursday, October 17, 2013

Cruz-in' for a Bruisin'

So, you know who else besides Weaker Boener stepped on his dick with the shut-down? This guy:

WASHINGTON — It might be time for Ted Cruz to get a dog.

Because as the saying goes, if you want a friend in Washington, that’s what you do. And by the time Cruz’s crusade to defund Obamacare finally crashed to a halt Wednesday, the Texas senator had precious few friends left.

The government shutdown alienated colleagues in both parties. It generated fresh animosity toward the tea party and a flurry of recriminations toward Cruz. Voter support for the Republican Party plunged.

And the health care law survived unscathed.

It’s clear this entire sordid stinking episode was about his 2016 ambitions. It’s also clear that he stands zero chance of being the Republican nominee in 2016.

Either Cruz grossly miscalculated his strength here or he had something else in mind than running as the Republican candidate. After all, he managed to push Rand Paul into a centrist position here (Paul came out grudgingly against a shutdown) while firmly establishing himself as the head of the congressional Teabagger caucus. This positions himself nicely as an alternative conservative candidate for a Tea “Party” should the corporatists decide they’ve sucked enough lifeblood out of the GOP. It would present an image of Cruz as an outsider for a rabble that desperately craves a change in DC, while never truly straying from a Republican platform of hate and exploitation, something the corporatists at FreedomWorks and The Heritage Foundation would insist upon.

Cruz ain’t bright enough to have thought of this nuance on his own, but for sure, someone like a Sheldon Adelson or even Dick Armey could have persuaded this idiot to pull this stunt with this endgame in mind. Check Ted’s butthole. Someone’s hand is up there. For Cruz’s part, he made a major gaffe in challenging the authority of a former professor of Constitutional law who must have been painfully – maybe “joyfully” is the more correct word – aware of the implications of capitulation not only on his immediate prospects as President, but longer term to the office itself.

Obama stood toe-to-toe. Cruz and the Teabaggers flinched. We can see that the entire caucus flinched since just a single change to the Affordable Care Act was put into the Continuing Resolution, and even that (a means test for the income subsidy for low income Americans) makes sense as a precaution. I’m surprised it wasn’t in the original bill. Perhaps Obama out-thought us even years ago.

It will be hard for Cruz to come back from this: his 21 hour filibuster-lite stunt ensured that his name would be associated with the shutdown in perpetuity. Indeed, had he not made that speechification, the Republicans might have had a far easier time of painting President Obama as the obstructionist.

“Might”, not “would”, but certainly the pasty, flop-and-gin-sweated face of Ted Cruz on the Senate floor negated any possibility of that, Sam I Am. And engendered the mockery of a nation (really dumb stunt, reading to your kids, Senator) and the ire of his fellow Senators. When Rand Paul – who also knew he had a finite time – filibustered-lite, he at least stayed on topic and then some. This isn’t the old days when you didn’t have a C-Span camera sitting in your face. You’re going to have to provide dramatic and non-mockable sustenance to the audience.

I suspect this is why Harry Reid has been reluctant to alter the filibuster rules from the get-go because one day he, too, might have to read to his grandchildren from the pit.