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Thanks Again, Texas Electorate!

[ 130 ] October 3, 2013 |

It’s beginning to dawn on more Republicans that Senator Surly looks out for only one person, Surly:

But as the government shutdown heads into day three, a number of Republican senators privately blame the Texas freshman for contributing to the mess their party finds itself in. And now that they’re in it, they say it’s up to Cruz to help find a solution.

“It was very evident to everyone in the room that Cruz doesn’t have a strategy – he never had a strategy, and could never answer a question about what the end-game was,” said one senator who attended the meeting. “I just wish the 35 House members that have bought the snake oil that was sold could witness what was witnessed today at lunch.”

Maybe you could take the next step and consider the possibility that the Malevolent Fredo caucus in the House shares Cruz’s motives and (strictly personal) goals. Those rubes won’t fleece themselves! (Well, actually, winger rubes might actually be self-fleecing, but you can see what I’m driving at.)

Meanwhile:

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) warned on Wednesday that the government shutdown could leave the United States vulnerable to terrorist attacks.

“If, God forbid, we see an attack on the United States because the intelligence community was not adequately funded, every member of the committee would be horrified,” Cruz said during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the government’s surveillance programs.

I’m pretty sure Cruz is the result of a horrible experiment in which Aaron Sorkin wrote a strawman Evil Republican but felt that the character was a little too on-the-nose and didactic.

Comments (130)

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  1. joe from Lowell says:

    it’s up to Cruz to help find a solution

    Yeah, good luck with that.

    The most important thing to Protest People is their self-image as Protest People.

  2. Karen says:

    I apologize on behalf of my state, and emphasize that I voted for the other guy whose name I’ve forgotten already.

    Ted Cruz should be the poster boy for Battleground Texas.

    • joe from Lowell says:

      Lyndon Johnson

      George HW Bush

      Tom Delay

      George W. Bush

      John Cornyn

      Rick Perry

      Ted Cruz

      It’s like the cover of a Devo album. When do the tails start to reappear?

      • Karen says:

        Take Lyndon off the list. He signed the Civil Rights Act and created the Voting Rights Act.

      • calling all toasters says:

        No Ross Perot?! Penis Armey?

        Texas is far worse than your list indicates….

        • Karen says:

          We’re a big state, and we’ve had far more than our share of influential members of Congress. We have had more opportunity to be awful. I rather doubt California or New York have any better lists. Heck, even uber-liberal Wisconsin gave us Tailgunner Joe.

          • calling all toasters says:

            Who’s the worst New Yorker now, Peter King? Andrew Cuomo? California has Issa and Rohrabacher, but wake me up when they’re Majority Leader or a credible Presidential candidate.

            No, Texas is the worst.

            • Karen says:

              Well, Reagan was a Californian. New York produced Guiliani. I note that many of the worst Texans aren’t in office now, so there’s no reason to forgive other states their catastrophes, especially since we are still living with the effects of Reagan. Cali needs to elect an awful lot of liberals to make up for him.

              • Tyto says:

                Forget the greater U.S., California is still trying to shake off the effects of *Governor* Reagan. And don’t even get me started on winger Mecca presidential library in Simi Valley…

                • Stag Party Palin says:

                  There’s a golf course across the way from the reagan Library and the 11th hole is the reagan Memorial hole, complete with plaque and plinth. You can see the library from there. It’s damn hard to concentrate, I tell ya. Funny thing is, the shot to play is go left and fade right.

              • N__B says:

                Giuliani a piece of shit, but we didn’t foist him on the rest of the country.

                • Karen says:

                  But you did send us Pataki — who looks positively wonderful compared to the current bunch — and Alfonse D’Amato.

            • joe from Lowell says:

              I’ll take Texas over Oklahoma in a heartbeat.

              There have been some redeeming Texas political figures in recent memory.

              • Karen says:

                Thanks. All Texans join in your opinion of Oklahoma. My nomination for state with the worst politicians ever is South Carolina. I can even think of a couple of not-appalling members of Congress from Mississippi and Alabama, but I can’t come up with so much as a city council member from South Carolina who wasn’t horrible.

          • zombie rotten mcdonald, shambling dog of the imperialists says:

            I wouldn’t all us uber-liberal. Pretty much a purple state, although reliably blue in Presidential elections. Outside of Madison and Milwaukee, it’s pretty reactionary.

            And we are keeping up with Turdwaffle Walker and Paul Ryan.

          • Johnny Sack says:

            Yeah, even leaving aside its peculiar politics, Texas is a big state, as are New York and California. Hell, at least we’re semi-realistic about Texas. California gave us two of our worst presidents, lest anyone forget.

            • Karen says:

              The principal difference between Texas and the other three or four huge states is that we’re still pretty rural. Our cities are either dark blue or purple, but so damn much of the place is still dirt broken by tiny hamlets, and lily-white suburbs. If we were as urban as Cali and NY, we’d be blue, too.

      • rea says:

        John Connelly

      • Anonymous says:

        You forgot Dick Armey!

    • Scott S. says:

      What she said. Abject apologies offered, along with the promise that, if I’m elected governor, having Cruz beaten with a chrome-plated longhorn skull is going to be a very high priority (after I’ve finished beating Rick Perry and Greg Abbott).

      • Hogan says:

        You may find help from a surprising quarter:

        The only confusion that comes out is that Cruz stood on the side and confused people about the fact that every Republican agrees. He said if you don’t agree with my tactic and with the specific structure of my idea, you’re bad. He said if the House would simply pass the bill with defunding he would force the Senate to act. He would lead this grass-roots movement that would get Democrats to change their mind. So the House passed it, it went to the Senate, and Ted Cruz said, oh, we don’t have the votes over here. And I can’t find the e-mails or ads targeting Democrats to support it. Cruz said he would deliver the votes and he didn’t deliver any Democratic votes. He pushed House Republicans into traffic and wandered away.

        • sibusisodan says:

          Interesting and surprising thoughts on Cruz there, but he still persists with “you agreeing to all of our demands is compromise, us agreeing to any of your demands is pathetic capitulation” catechism:

          The administration asking us to raise taxes is not an offer; that’s not a compromise. That’s just losing. I’m in favor of compromise.

          He’s still part of the pathology that’s driving this whole thing, even if he’s tactically more reasonable that Ted Cruz (which is a pretty low bar).

        • Jerry Vinokurov says:

          If only we could all push House Republicans into traffic, what a great day that would be.

        • Anonymous says:

          As a Canadian, I’m grateful Cruz moved to Texas.

          • Cody says:

            It seems like politicians in the South are always the worst, but America is the South of Canada!

            Then again, the federal Canadian government is god-awful from what little I know.

            • Could be god-awfuller. Both my office and my apartment building, neither of them having anything to do with the feds, were built/repaired with federal money.

              I hate hate hate them but they still appear to be Canadian somehow.

          • Anonymous says:

            Thus reducing the IQ of both places…ehh?

  3. Rarely Posts says:

    I am so tired of hearing about how all these alleged “moderate” Republicans are allegedly being held hostage by a small faction of conservative House Senators and Republicans. That’s not how the House or Senate work. If a majority of the House Republicans were willing to go to Boehner and say: “let the CR go to the floor, and if there is a challenge to your position as speaker, I’ll still support you” then all of this would be over. They don’t even have to commit to supporting the CR! Just to supporting his leadership in the event that he allows a vote. But not even half of them will commit to that.

    They love to go to the press and pretend, off the record, that there are all these moderates. But, at the end of the day, almost none of them will publicly push for the necessary resolution of this crisis. Heck, even the “moderate” Republican senators who allowed for a vote on the “clean” CR still voted against it! And, here, they’re arguing that it’s Cruz’s responsibility to find a solution, so they can’t be held accountable.

    It makes me furious because it blurs the accountability. The entire party establishment is responsible for this, and the only ones who deserve any credit for moderation are those who are actually willing to vote publicly to get things fixed. And, as we know from their votes on the Democrats’ appeal within the House to have a vote on a clean CR, that is zero of the Republicans.

    • “The entire party establishment is responsible for this, and the only ones who deserve any credit for moderation are those who are actually willing to vote publicly to get things fixed. And, as we know from their votes on the Democrats’ appeal within the House to have a vote on a clean CR, that is zero of the Republicans.”

      Agreed. McConnell, Boehner and the like are happy to play the closet “moderate”, but it’s not like they don’t hate the ACA. They just find these tactics ungentlemanly and unseemly, and that’s supposed to make things better . . . how?

      • TT says:

        They just find these tactics ungentlemanly and unseemly….

        Boehner and especially McConnell(!) don’t give a damn if a tactic is “ungentlemanly and unseemly”. They only care about 1) it’s effectiveness, and 2) whether it will boomerang back on to them and threaten their own political hides and their ability to elect more Republicans.

        • “whether it will boomerang back on to them and threaten their own political hides”

          Sounds like a good definition of “ungentlemently and unseemly” to me. The whole point is to keep the club intact and growing, and this Cruz fellow and his ruffians in the House don’t seem to understand that.

      • timb says:

        You guys may or may not know this, but McConnell, a truly effective and vile legislator, is in real trouble for his re-election.

        He is walking a very fine line here, because if he makes the rest of the country happy and does the right thing (something which has never been his MO) for the country and his party, he damages his PERSONAL future. If he “caves,” he will lose his primary.

        Bringing to Washington another Richard Murdock-esque tool, but getting rid of the most effective Senate minority leader in generations. God, I hope he loses

    • Walt says:

      This is Republican senators bitching. It’s up to the Republicans in the House or Boehner to un-shut-down the government.

    • Joshua says:

      That’s because they are scared to death of getting primaried. They see an endless parade of ads next year saying that “While Ted Cruz tried to fight, Joe Schmo sided with John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi in ramming Obamacare down your throat.”

      I feel like it is safe to say that Reagan’s “11th amendment” is dead and buried. Good riddance.

      • Lee Rudolph says:

        I hadn’t realized Reagan was such a big sovereign immunity guy.

      • Karen says:

        11th Commandment. Allowing the country to tank because you’re scared of mean attack ads makes you a filthy coward. I actually find the cowards who allow this to happen when they have the ability to foresee and prevent it worse than tantrums like Cruz.

        • aimai says:

          As I look at all the things that had to happen to bring the Republican party to this pass I think its even weirder than that. Sure: courage, principle, and just plain humanity could bring thsi crisis to an end in a second. But a lot of things had to shift so that plain old human nature (bad) could run rampant and the entire caucus end up stampeding like lemmings for the cliff. The end of earmarks made it impossible for any speaker to bribe and threaten his caucus. The rise of separately funded tea party groups with small focus interests (obamacare, gay marriage, whatever) created tiny separate interest and pressure groups who could be on a suicide mission that couldn’t be called back. Boehner’s failures as a negotiator and failures as a human being led to him promising no private negotiations with Obama to the conservatives so Obama has no counterparty to his negotiations and the entire “movement” is hard to fight because its actually acephalous. The current Republican party is like a failed state that has devolved into warlords and helpless serfs. There’s no there there, no place for principle or courage or even individual action as everyone simply guards their back and hunkers down.

          • Karen says:

            True enough. Who would have thought that the inability to include pointless highways to East Jesus, Indiana in the federal budget would bankrupt the country, but clearly that’s happened.

            • timb says:

              Not fair. Indiana is a third world country who already spent its Federal road money on operations (so, it could cut taxes to the rich) and thus has NO way to complete its road to Evansville, nee East Jesus.

              Hilariously, I-69 just peters out into cornfields south of Bloomington. (hilarious because of all the juvenile humor one gets out of calling the highway “69″)

            • Another Holocene Human says:

              Well, oddly enough, Indiana did get their money to build an unneeded highway to East Jesus. My friends in Bloomington think it’s a waste of money and kind of environmentally stupid, as the road as built has plenty of capacity and doesn’t need widening, but, you know, millions for unneeded roads and not a penny for Amtrak.

              How is it you can get all over Ill in a train but Ind is like a dark zone, “you will not pass”?

              • timb says:

                Because we keep trying for trains in Indiana, but the legislature will only earmark funds for roads. The conservative talk shows say “Why seek a 19th century solution to a 21st century problem”? I think they are referring to the problem of Indiana legislators being bought like whores by the Chamber of Commerce and the Indiana Manufacturer’s Assn, but it’s possible they don’t think that’s a problem

  4. Cruz is central casting political drama, alright, but note that the Republican senator who trashed his strategy did so anonymously while Cruz basks in the spotlight to a packed house. Win or lose, even lose catastrophically and see Obamacare go forward unmolested, it’s hard to see Cruz not coming out of this with almost folk hero status.

    Case in point: Erick son of Erick has been on a real tear since this started. He’s never been able to play war this effectively (I don’t think I’ve ever seen him happier). All of these are titles of his from the last two weeks (http://www.redstate.com/users/erick/):

    Mail Call: Ted Cruz Over Target Edition

    A Cruz Missile Launch, Like a Light, Shows the Cockroaches Scurrying

    A Test of Your Power and Influence

    House GOP: Stand Your Ground

    Hold Your Ground and Shut John Cornyn Up

    Ted Cruz & Mike Lee: Commanders of the Conservative Army

    RedState, Erickson and that crowd have loved Cruz for a while now, but this is new levels of adoration even for them.

    • Scott S. says:

      Eventually, and probably sooner than we expect, Cruz will be declared a RINO. No one ever pure enough for the Red State crowd.

      • Shakezula says:

        Yep. Using the Conservative Punditocracy as a representative sample, the Republican voter is vicious and fickle.

        Look at the 180 they pulled on Bush II. And I haven’t heard any slobbering over Rubio in a while.

        • aimai says:

          Well, his fifteen minutes will only be over when there’s another poster boy to slobber over and after he’s had his mush stolen by Obama. I’m not sure when and how that will take place, or who will take his place.

          • Shakezula says:

            I saw somewhere (Twitter?) a comment by John Thune, whining about something or other.

            Remember him? It took me a minute. But then I remembered when he could barely walk down the street for all the Conservative Thunebros humping his long tan legs and declaring him the next God Emperor of America.

            Based on recent events, the new poster boy (or girl) will have to be a bigger demagogue than Cruz, and the one after that even more so. I think the current U.S. Congress is hosting four, perhaps five more levels of bat shittery. But after that, the kind of people who are able satisfy the voters’ jaded palates will be too extreme (and perhaps insane) to win in even heavily gerrymandered districts.

            I guess at that point they’ll seek heroes from state legislatures and on down from there. Some city council member is in for a rude shock one of these days.

            • aimai says:

              Very, very, good point Shakezula. Somewhere some fat, hostile, asshole, Christie lookalike who vaults to youtube viral fame for berating a homeless gay latino veteran is going to wake up and find their lawn sprinkled with fanbois and girls all wearing quickly cobbled together masks of his face and holding up “I am spartacus-of-the-podunk-city-council-too!” signs.

        • They can absolutely turn on Cruz, and probably will once they realize that all he can do is promise them the moon and the stars, not actually deliver them. But he’s building up the kind of deep rooted political goodwill that Palin had going for her once upon a time. She was a stone cold rockstar for years and still retains some of the old magic despite it all, and she isn’t nearly as smooth, disciplined or dudely as Cruz. It’s way too early to start talking about presidential this or even 2014 that, but Cruz is carving out a significant chunk of the Republican Party and its most ardent supporters as his person fiefdom.

          And unlike Palin, who was content to fritter that love away on small money scams like books and reality TV, Cruz seems intent on pushing policy hard to the right. Whatever the outcome, he’s slick enough to come out of this as a big time power broker who will have plenty of opportunities for his agenda and himself.

        • timb says:

          rubio is RINO for forcing “amnesty” on them

          • Another Holocene Human says:

            Silly Rubio, working from the Bush playbook when the True Republicans have burned Bush and his playbook in effigy and moved onto OBS.

      • timb says:

        This. Revolutionaries always turn on each other. Cruz is this month’s Robespierre. In some short period, he will find his metaphorical head in a basket

  5. Todd says:

    “If these senators had pledged to oppose funding for Obamacare, we wouldn’t have had to run ads against them,” said Executive Director (of the Senate Conservatives Fund) Matt Hoskins. “They only have themselves to blame.”

    The next couple of years will probably be a national political disaster because of these clowns, but it will almost be worth it to see the comeuppance they increasingly receive from their own party.

    almost

  6. Porternator says:

    Selma – Sorry Surly.

    Surly – Shut up.

    Of all the stars in the sky, this exchange might be my favorite Simpsons quote. God I love you so much, Surly. Even knowing that love is unrequited.

  7. Ted Cruz is on a Cruz-ade – for Ted Cruz.

    Ted Cruz wants to be POTUS.

    He may find it as hard to achieve that goal, running the rest of his life as the Teabagger 3rd party candidate, as Ol’ Gus Hall had running for President as Chairman of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA).

    On the plus side for the Cruz-ader, I don’t think the CPUSA ever even rated 3rd Party status, so at least he’s got THAT going for him.

    • Gone2Ground says:

      Oh, I’m sure he’s going to try to be Crazy Uncle Liberty (!) with a side of fries for the next couple of decades. Ron Paul has run a great gig for evah with his shtick as the “outsider”. I bet he’s rich as Midas, too.

      Until the sex scandal. Which always seems to take these guys down.

  8. LeeEsq says:

    The Roman citizenry got their bread and circuses for free. We have to pay for ours. Thats not fair.

    • Matt says:

      At this point, we’re basically paying for bread & circuses and then not even GETTING them.

      • Shakezula says:

        You’re paying for the bread and circuses attended by the Job Makers and you should be glad of the opportunity. If you keep your nose clean and yank on those bootstraps hard enough you might get an internship cleaning out the lion cages.

  9. allium says:

    “There’s Surly! And a couple of dozen Remorsefuls!”

    • slightly_peeved says:

      Hopefully Tipsy will bring this to a vote in the House sometime soon..

      • aimai says:

        If I were Obama and Reid I would have greeted Boehner with a bottle of scotch and a huge tumbler to hold his doubles at that meeting, while the rest of us drank tea.

        • postmodulator says:

          You know, on top of everything else, shouldn’t we at some point have a talk about that? Boehner is a not-very-highly functioning alcoholic. Everybody knows it, everybody knows it affects his work. (If nothing else, all those times he’s cried on the House floor.)

          The man’s second in line for the motherfucking Presidency. As far as I’m concerned, a congressman with a drinking problem is between him and his district, but this guy could end up running the show under a number of unlikely but not impossible scenarios.

          • aimai says:

            I guess I just don’t think Obama has time to run an intervention. “John…we need to talk.”

          • mds says:

            but this guy could end up running the show under a number of unlikely but not impossible scenarios.

            Eh, officially demanding that Obama and Biden resign from office is for the next continuing resolution / debt limit imbroglio.

  10. J.W. Hamner says:

    “If, God forbid, we see an attack on the United States because the intelligence community was not adequately funded, every member of the committee would be horrified,” Cruz said during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the government’s surveillance programs.

    Gotta love the “Look what you’ve made me do” defense.

  11. Thlayli says:

    Lord Saletan’s Slatepitch:

    The shutdown is “leverage” for the debt-ceiling fight. All the shouting and whining about Obamacare was a smokescreen. The shutdown will last until at least the debt-ceiling deadline.

  12. Larry says:

    We’re all living in a John Birch Society holodeck program written by Cruz. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJYXC1cbSVA (top 10 holodeck malfunctions)

  13. timb says:

    As a lawyer and a person, it still shocks me how low a person will go to say something he/she knows is untrue in the hope it will benefit him/her. I just cannot say something I know represents a blatant falsehood.

    Bit, after Cruz starts this shutdown, how could he ever say with any sort of internal integrity that quote about terrorism? How could he do it without laughing? How little self-awareness does he have.

    Occasionally, I will represent someone whose case, I have reluctantly decided at the last minute, is not strong. I still try to convince the judge, but, even then, I cannot and will not lie. How can Cruz say what he just said without a smile?

    • aimai says:

      Because he doesn’t know its a lie (see, Simpson, Homer) because he’s a straight up asshole, not a bullshitter in the Harry Frankfurt sense. Somewhere in Ted Cruz’s past is a very damaged child who never learned anything from his parents except “look what you made me do!”

      • FlipYrWhig says:

        We’ve heard Cruz’s father. I think it’s more likely that the crazy arrogant assface with a creepy weird kid kept telling the weird kid “The other kids don’t want to play with you because they’re jealous of you, and one day you’ll make them see how wrong it was for them to treat you like that.”

    • Shakezula says:

      You’re working under two restraints – A personal moral code that prevents you from lying and the sanctions that would come with lying to a judge. (Or at least the fear of them.)

      Cruz is a doesn’t have the former and there’s no penalty for the latter. In fact, because the elected GOP will only listen to people with lots of cash and/or lots of vitriol, he’d be penalized for telling the truth. To the extent he’d probably be Former Candidate for Senate, Ted Cruz.

    • Johnny Sack says:

      Sigh. It makes me ashamed to be a Cuban the same age as him and Rubio. I apologize.

      Let me say this: Rubio never scared me, ever. I had to interact with him a few times in Miami, and I have quite honestly stepped in piles of dogshit smarter than him. He’s about as smart as you need to be to make it in national politics (a low bar) but no more. He has no charisma, and he’s not a good speaker.

      Cruz does scare me. He’s smart (it is obnoxious how we give ivy leaguers the benefit of the doubt, I have an Ivy League education and believe me I had plenty of less than brilliant classmates), and he may not have the once-in-a-generation charisma of Bill Clinton, or the once-in-a-generation speaking skills of Barack Obama, but he is charismatic for a Teabagger (another very low bar) and a pretty good speaker. I like to think that he’s alienating too many people and too radical, but he truly frightens me in a way that equally extreme but far less talented politicians (Rand Paul? Pfffft. Please.) don’t.

  14. aimai says:

    I read the Politico article. It said, straight up, that the only reason Senators in Cruz’s own party followed Cruz is that he controls something called the “Senate Conservative” PAC and he was threatening to run ads against them in their own districts. In other words: he threatened his own party members and Mitch McConnell couldn’t do a thing about it. But who backs the Senate Conservative Pac and what is in it for them? Its not that much money–around 4 million all up. They spent every penny they took in, seemingly (I checked on Open Secrets). The money comes from some Texas Businesses, a mystery “Israel Analytics” Exxon and Credit Suisse. These guys in the Senate are being rickrolled by Cruz and his backers and they are too stupid and too scared and too inept to fight back.

  15. actor212 says:

    So they’re saying it’s all on Cruz control?

  16. e.a.foster says:

    When you look at the Texas school system, you know why they produce people like Ted Cruz and those who vote for him. The school system doesn’t encourage “critical” thinking.

    It is doubtful Cruz ever thought about anything except his personal agenda. Not of the impact his “little plan” on other American citizens or the economic system. It was all about Ted’s wishes. People who are so focused on one idea, frequently are not able to think about ramifications or long term impacts. Its not part of the mental capabilities.

    The Republicans did say at some point they planned to work at getting rid of Obama any way they could. Well this is their current effort. It isn’t about the Affordable Care Act, its about Obama. These people dislike him so much, they don’t care what damage they do to the country. Perhaps their real intent is to ensure there is never another president who isn’t “white”.

    • Karen says:

      Ted Cruz never attended any Texas public schools. He went to private Christian schools in Houston, Princeton, and Harvard Law. Our schools have enough problems; please don’t add to them.

  17. E.A. Blair says:

    Ted? You mean Rafael, don’t you?

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