Commentary Magazine


Ted Cruz, RINO?

According to The Hill newspaper:

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) late Saturday shrugged off the idea that Republicans would shut down the federal government if President Obama took executive action on immigration reform.

“There is one person and one person only talking about shutting down the government, and that is the White House,” he told The Washington Post after offering a blistering critique of the administration’s policies at the Americans For Prosperity conference in Dallas.

I for one am glad that Senator Cruz seems to have learned from his disastrous mistake last October, when he was the leading voice (but hardly the only voice) for shutting down the federal government if the president didn’t defund the Affordable Care Act. Leading up to the shutdown many of us said that to follow the Cruz strategy would be a terrible mistake. It was. Nothing good was achieved, while the GOP badly hurt itself in the process. Yet Cruz, to this very day, continues to defend what he did. He was a profile in courage, don’t you know; a man of rare, unbending principles.

But if using the government shutdown as a means to stop Mr. Obama was such a wonderful strategy, then why not pursue it again–especially if President Obama unilaterally acts to legalize those who live in America but who came here illegally? Indeed, the Senator Cruz from October 2013 would excoriate the Senator Cruz of August 2014, just as last fall he excoriated Republicans who warned against his gambit. He would be saying the Ted Cruz of today is unprincipled, craven, weak, afraid of his own shadow, and a man who doesn’t have a clue as to the damage the president is doing to the nation. “Now is the time to fight, not to flee,” Ted Cruz circa 2013 would tell Ted Cruz circa 2014, “a time to take a stand, not retreat.”

Let me reiterate: I’m pleased Senator Cruz has implicitly rebuked the approach he took last fall. But given how critical he was of his colleagues, who turned out to be so much wiser than he, it might be a nice touch for the Texas senator to apologize to those he attacked, and even to admit he was wrong. Because he was. And because even he sees that now.

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2 Responses to “Ted Cruz, RINO?”

  1. ERIC SCHUMANN says:

    As a self-appointed guardian of civility, Mr. Wehner should exercise more discretion when he feels the urge to blurt out a catty “I told you so”. He should also exercise some of the reflection he urges upon the tea partiers he loathes (except when their energy is required to win elections for a moribund establishment). Was it really so “disastrous” for the GOP to use its legislative power to try to stop the most unpopular legislation in recent memory? To highlight the party’s opposition to this crappy law just before the wave of stories about failed websites and broken promises as people learned they were losing their plans and doctors? Did it really “badly hurt” the GOP, or has Mr. Wehner not seen how then (as now) Republicans are positioned to both hold the House and take control of the Senate? After the “shutdowns” in the mid-1990s the GOP held both Houses of Congress for a decade, and won the next two presidential elections – maybe then it also wasn’t a disaster either. Weren’t the real lasting headlines last fall about how the President abused old tourists and WWII veterans? Nobody outside certain corners of the media ever thinks about the “shutdown” – but they remember the disastrous Obamacare rollout. The defund episode was mostly disastrous in revealing that the GOP establishment had never bought into the liberty and small government ideas that motivated the tea party movement; rather, they had merely used the tea party energy to win in 2010. And the party base noticed. The party should be bragging about the effort: “We tried to stop this thing!” Instead they are mum. If the Republicans win big this fall, they have no mandate to repeal Obamacare, because they are not campaigning on this as an issue.

  2. KENT LYON says:

    Ted Cruz obviously has learned more than Mr. Wehner ever has. Ted Cruz is able to modify his course, unlike Mr. Wehner. Mr Wehner can’t get off his one note obsessive criticism of Ted Cruz, and continues to damage the Republican party thereby. Yet Ted Cruz has done far less damage to the Republican Party ( not to mention the nation) than Mr Wehner has done in conjunction with his former boss in the White House. George W. Bush. His attempt to remake the “party of Reagan” into the “party of George W. Bush” of “compassionate conservatism”, has inflicted much damage, but Mr. Wehner refuses to see this. His efforts in the Bush White House set up the country for the Obama administration who, catastrophically, is perpetuating all too many (though not all, making him worse than George W.) of GWB’s policies.
    I would suggest that Ted Cruz wait until Mr Wehner and G. W.Bush apologize for the damage they have done, before he apologizes. You first, Mr. Wehner. Set the example. Regard the beam in your own eye, before you address the mote in Mr. Cruz’s.

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