I understand the anger at Senator Ted Cruz.
The junior senator from Texas — enabled by a feckless Speaker Boehner — has led an effort that has cost the economy at least $24 billion, putting Americans out of work while millions are still in need of jobs.
Enabled by a vast network of right wingers funded by billionaires terrified by the though of nearly all Americans having access to affordable health care, Cruz has demonstrated to the United States and the world both how dangerous the Tea Party is and how the Republican Party is now effectively just a tool of the Tea Party that cannot be trusted with any sort of power.
As a result of Cruz’s crusade, the GOP’s once-bulletproof majority in the House is now at risk.
That’s why it’s crucial to not let justified anger go unfocused.
The right wing media is playing up petitions that ask Cruz to be charged with sedition. They’re focusing in this for the same reason we focused on petitions to secede from the union that right-wingers hyped up after President Obama was re-elected: it makes your opponents look silly.
To be clear: I don’t think Cruz is guilty of any crime. By capitalizing on every bit of power the Constitution and the rules of the Senate give him along with the cowardliness of Republican leaders, Cruz has exposed how our political system empowers people who have trace amounts of power to do great damage. With just one house of Congress and a minority of the Senate, the GOP could have destroyed the global economy. Cruz could have delayed the deal that raised the debt limit and caused a default himself. But he didn’t because he knew there would be consequences to that beyond a “jaw-dropping” dip in the polls.
The greatness of our system is that it also makes it possible to overcome and punish this kind of overreach. Shutting down the government gave President Obama his one chance to finish his term with a cooperative House. And Ted Cruz may do it again!
This is why I call on my fellow progressives not to call for Cruz’s arrest or question his birth certificate, even satirically. It may be fun but in the end, we just look hypocritical.
We must think ahead to 2016.
Conservative leaders have said that if the Iowa caucuses were held today, Cruz would win in a landslide. But that’s years from now. Cruz’s equally regressive colleague Senator Rand Paul could easily split the far right and Republicans could end up with an extremist who poses as a moderate — Chris Christie. Both Paul and Christie are far better politicians than Cruz, who is at best a top-notch demagogue.
Cruz is not to be feared. He’s to be mocked and encouraged — and hopefully nominated!
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has got it exactly right.
“He is a laughingstock to everybody but him,” Reid said this week “What has he accomplished other than raising some money for president? And if this man can get the nomination to be the Republican nominee for president, I pity the Republican Party.”
Reid went on to suggests the Cruz overestimates his intelligence and talks to people as if they are stupid.
You know who enjoys being spoken to as if they are stupid? Stupid people who think everyone else is dumb.
These are the people who will picking the next Republican nominee for president. Let us pray that they pick Ted Cruz.
PS: Of course, I’m being facetious when I suggest you should donate money to Ted Cruz. But you should join me in endorsing him for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination in the comments.
[Photo: Gage Skidmore | Flickr.com]