Wednesday, July 31, 2013


It's obvious that Ted Cruz wants to run for president in 2016, so this would seem to be a bad career move:
Ted Cruz is taking his hardball tactics to a whole new level.

The Texas freshman senator and his senior aides are unleashing a barrage of attacks on their fellow Republicans for refusing to support their plan to choke off Obamacare as a condition for funding the government. Cruz's chief of staff is lambasting fellow conservatives like Oklahoma's Tom Coburn for serving in the "surrender caucus." His top political strategist has compared Mitch McConnell to Barack Obama. And the senator himself has said many Republicans are "scared" to wage this fight.

... Cruz's strategy is a departure from the usually clubby chamber, as he's grown increasingly alienated from his caucus....
Yes, it seems like a bad career move -- but notice what's been going on in the polls for a long time now: Voters hate the Republican Party, according to polls, and really hate congressional Republicans.

The reason the GOP's poll numbers are much worse than the Democratic Party's is that Republicans, unlike Democrats, tell pollsters they don't like their own party. See, for instance, the recent Marist poll (PDF), in which 68% of Democrats said they approved of the Democrats in Congress, but only 35% of Republicans approved of congressional Republicans.

None of this, mind you, prevents disgruntled Republicans from voting Republican. There's a simple reason for that. Republicans may dislike their party, but the majority of them dislike it because it's not right-wing enough. So, come Election Day, they're obviously going to vote for the most right-wing major party on the ballot, even though it falls short of their conservatively pure standards.

A Pew poll just released today confirms this: 67% of Republicans say they think their party "needs to address major problems" within the party, and a majority -- 54% -- think party leaders need to move in a more conservative direction.

And the folks who really think the GOP has gone wobbly are the teabaggers: 53% of tea party Republicans say the party has compromised too much with Democrats.

And teabaggers overrepresented in the Republican primary electorate, according to Pew:
Tea Party Republicans have influence in the GOP partly because of their high level of political engagement. Overall, they make up a minority (37%) of all Republicans and Republican-leaning independents nationally. Yet this group is more likely than other GOP voters to say they always vote in primary elections; as a result they make up about half of the Republican primary electorate (49%).
So, to sum up: In general, Republicans dislike their party, even though they vote for it. Teabaggers in particular see the party as a sinkhole of appalling squishiness -- and they vote more than non-teabaggers.

So, yeah, it's smart for Cruz to bash his own party.


Victor said...

Yeah, but he's walking a fine line by doing that name calling and finger pointing.

If he presses too much, he may create a situation where the Republican Party splits, and new state-wide Teabagger parties formjust in time for the 2014 mid-terms - and a national one, for the next Presidential.

Existing Republican Senators already don't much like him - and a few outright hate him. And if they hold office in after 2014, he'll probably be left pretty powerless within the Senate.

Sure, in 2016, he'll probably be the candidate of choice for the 27% that will be the backbone of that new 3rd Party.
But how does that help him win the Presidency?

If he goes back to the Republican Party, where the money is and power (but who knows, by then...), someone will move to his right to be the Teabagger's Presidential candidate by calling Cruz just another ambitious "Squish."

And if he turns his back on the Republican Party, then he can certainly run as that 3rd parties candidate.

But that probably won't win him the election - I say "probably," because if we have another major domestic terrorist attack, or the economy nose-dives again, all bets are off.

But unless there's a disaster, he won't be able to move back to the middle, even if he wanted to. He's to ideological for non-disastrous times.

I think he's smart, but I think he's more egotistical than intelligent.
I don't understand his end game.

But then, I didn't graduate from Harvard like he did, so what the hell do I know?

What say the rest of you?

BH said...

I doubt he has an end game, really. Intelligent or not, Cruz is fundamentally an attention-w***e. Reminds me of what I've read about Huey Long's time in the Senate - no real thought about working with other members, just a nationwide stage for stunts.

Victor said...

I hate to say this, because I really do value human life - but, we may have to hope for Cruz to share the same conclusion, as that ideologue had to his "career."

FSM, forgive me!

trnc said...

How does Cruz get around the fact that he isn't a natural born US citizen? Convince his party that he was born on one of Canada's many US military bases?

Steve M. said...

Allegedly, that's not a problem, because Mom was born in the U.S.

(Obama's mom was born in the U.S., so by this logic he would have been eligible to be president even if he'd been born in Kenya, but Republicans love their double standards.)