While attacks from liberal Democrats against Senator Cruz are fully to be expected, it may be surprising to some just how venomous members of the Republican “Establishment” have been in their efforts to undermine and neutralize him. Rather than interpreting his devotion to conservative principle as inspiration to join the fight, they perceive him as a threat to their efforts at maintaining “business as usual.”
Note to the Republican Establishment: Surrender is not a strategy, unless your only goal is to lose. The same message should be delivered to those high-paid Republican Party “consultants” who are always so eager to pronounce any truly conservative policy untenable, and any candidate who supports such things “unelectable.” And if anyone is unsure which public figures belong to these two distinguished groups, they can be found on every public forum, lashing out at Texas Senator Ted Cruz in the aftermath of his twenty one hour Senate speaking marathon, in which he put political muscle behind his unshakable opposition to Obamacare.
It absolutely stirs the imagination to ponder where the nation might be, were the Republican Party inside the Beltway populated by individuals possessing even a fraction of the courage and principle he exhibited in his September 24-25 filibuster of any new funding for Obamacare. But while attacks from liberal Democrats against Cruz are fully to be expected, it may be surprising to some just how venomous members of the Republican “Establishment” have been in their efforts to undermine and neutralize him. Rather than interpreting his devotion to conservative principle as inspiration to join the fight, they perceive him as a threat to their efforts at maintaining “business as usual.”
While these Republican “moderates” decry the possibility that, by attempting to make the party actually stand for something Cruz might alienate voters, Democrats have predictably disparaged his endeavor as mere political grandstanding. This is particularly hypocritical and disingenuous, even for Democrats. After all, it was their leader who shamelessly seized the opportunity to inflame racial tensions across America with his “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon” platitude. Yet they have no problems with Obama’s brazen opportunism exhibited in that sorry event, and many others like it.
However, the Democrats are hardly alone in their abhorrence of Cruz and everything he represents. The GOP “Old Guard” regularly betrays its conservative base by seeking common ground and “reaching across the aisle” to Democrats, but it unilaterally despises Ted Cruz and everything he represents. And despite all the sanctimony of “party unity” to which it reverts on selective occasions, its key players have no problem condemning someone who actually seeks to rise above all of the empty posturing. This is, of course, a complete reversal of the sanctimony GOP insiders spew whenever they are in need of broad based support from conservatives. When those situations arise, they instantly recall Ronald Reagan’s “Eleventh Commandment,” (Thou shalt not criticize a fellow Republican) and invoke their perverse remake of his “Big Tent” even if doing so involves the total abandonment of Republican principle. But all of that is out the door now. Ted Cruz refused to go along with D.C. “business as usual,” and that makes him a bigger affront to the GOP than any policies or constitutional breaches from Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, or Barack Obama.
Admittedly, Ted Cruz has done much to earn the wrath and disdain of the Inside the Beltway crowd. Since arriving in Washington last January, he has refused to become just another cog in the D.C. political machine, but instead remains true to the issues and principles on which he campaigned. Such behavior may sound good in stump speeches, but will only make enemies from among the Washington power brokers. Nevertheless, unfazed by the enormity of the stronghold of entrenched self-serving career politicians he faces, Cruz continues to speak the truth as he sees it, and stands by what he says. Furthermore, he fully understands what is at stake for America, which is why he is willing to fight the Hydra of Obamacare with such ferocity.
His refreshing candor and straightforwardness stands in stark contrast to the dysfunctional joke that is Washington D.C., where a government “without a budget” (and not having upheld its constitutional responsibility of operating under one for five years) somehow means it can continue spending profusely and with no accountability. So it is that his critics, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and such prominent “Republicans as John McCain” ultimately say much more about their own ethical bankruptcy and cowardice than do they actually identify any deficiencies in the Freshman Texas Senator.
To the dismay of the political establishment, Cruz came to Washington already having significant experience braving the prevailing political winds. In his 2012 Texas Senate race, he ran with support from the grassroots, while his chief Republican opponent, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, had solid backing from the party apparatus. Dire predictions of his political fate turned out to be so much wishful thinking on Election Day as he easily won his race.
Since that time, he has had the temerity to remain faithful to his campaign promises, which is clearly unacceptable to the powers that be. During a September 22 interview on Fox News, host Chris Wallace explained that he had never been given so much “opposition research” from an office holder’s own party. In a very real sense, Wallace said much more than he intended. Cruz stands for the Constitution, the rule of law, and the American ideal. As such he is indeed in opposition to a major corrupt segment of the Republican Party. And once again, this is hardly evidence of any deficiency on the part of Cruz, but portends a need to clean house in the GOP.
Among the chief adversaries with whom Cruz has had to contend is Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R.-KY). Rather than rally the Republicans in a valiant effort to either dismantle Obamacare, or indelibly label the Democrats as the culprits of its implementation, McConnell has devoted his energies towards undercutting Cruz. Though McConnell claims to be opposed to Obamacare, he is unwilling to actually engage in the fight to dismantle it. Instead, he expresses his hope that it will collapse under its own weight. Thus he has shown both an indefensible antipathy to the future of the country and his vapid concept of “leadership.” Consequently, he continues to try to concoct a position whereby he can claim to have done his duty without actually being on the front lines of battle, or taking any hits. In short, he is quite content allowing the Washington status quo to remain intact.
Despite such odds, Senator Cruz has clearly won the day. Democrat National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Shultz, a rabid partisan, admits that Obamacare may require revisions, while Barack Obama himself has had to acknowledge that it does indeed involve tax increases, which is an incredible understatement. Meanwhile, Ted Cruz remains on message, offering no excuses or concessions.
From here, Cruz faces one of two starkly divergent fates. If his opposition gains sufficient traction, he will be steamrollered and defeated and the movement he represents declared a passing craze that has withered and died (to the betterment of every dedicated Establishment Republican). After that, it will be “business as usual” once again in Washington, with both parties putting on a pretense of political give and take in front of the cameras while reaching back-room deals and backslapping at the bars after hours. Meanwhile, the bloat and intrusiveness of government continues unabated.
Otherwise, if Cruz is able to rally principled and honorable colleagues and prevail, the stranglehold of the GOP “Establishment” will have been broken forever, and “We the People” can begin to rebuild the one-time greatness of this country and restore its government to a properly functioning role. Clearly, the latter possibility is abhorrent to those inside the Beltway and must be averted at any cost, which will not be borne by themselves, but by you and me.
Christopher G. Adamo is a resident of southeastern Wyoming and has been involved in state and local politics for many years. He writes for several prominent conservative websites, as has written for regional and national magazines. His contact information and article archives can be found at www.chrisadamo.com, and he can be followed on Twitter @CGAdamo.