Years ago, I adopted a personal paradigm that has yet to fail: if I’m injured in any way by an arrogant, self-serving narcissist (as though there were any other kind), I do not have to lift a finger by way of retaliation. Though I may have been inconvenienced, or worse, in the short term, in the long run, these folks have a way of undoing themselves. What’s that famous quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln? “You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time….” Wise man.
Freshman Texas Senator Ted Cruz has never been able to fool all of the people. Quite the contrary. In just nine months of the job, the “legislator” (I use the term very loosely as pertains to the quarrelsome elected official) has done his best to become public enemy #1 of the liberal agenda. It’s important to keep in mind that the term “liberal agenda,” no longer has the same connotation of years past. Unfortunately in 2013, those deemed to be in possession of a liberal agenda need only exhibit a desire for functional government, without resorting to extortion to extract concessions from across the aisle. Compromise is for sissies.
When asked by Fox News host Chris Wallace in May of this year if he could “make it” in today’s Republican party, 1996 Presidential candidate, and nobody’s idea of a radical, Bob Dole famously replied, ”Reagan wouldn’t have made it. Certainly, Nixon couldn’t have made it, because he had ideas and we might have made it, but I doubt it.”
The lunatics have been running the asylum for awhile now as pertains to the G.O.P. and until very recently, it appeared that the troika of newly elected Senate “it” boys – Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz – could do no wrong as far as the party was concerned.
Before the last couple of weeks, the privately anti-Ted faction of the Republican Party had to keep quiet, steeping in progressively annoyed shame as the aggressive young Canadian seemed to locate unmitigated gall at every turn. Satisfaction came briefly and cheaply, as when Cruz presumed to lecture California’s Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein vis a vis the Constitution this past March. The senior lawmaker shot back, “I’m not a sixth grader…Senator, I’ve been on this Committee for 20 years…After 20 years, I’ve been up close and personal with the Constitution. I have great respect for it. … So I, you know, it’s fine you want to lecture me on the Constitution. I appreciate it. Just know I’ve been here for a long time.”
But my friends, after Cruz’s brazenly egocentric, disingenuous summertime “Defund Obamacare” campaign, punctuated by this week’s senseless and shameful non-filibuster on the Senate floor, longtime Tedemies have been treated to glorious new sounds. The jumping of the shark, the thud of the wall of protection that once surrounded Cruz, and kept more mainstream Republicans from daring to criticize the Tea Party Golden Boy. The following is a roundup of my favorite quotes in recent days from disgusted and newly empowered G.O.P. moderates:
New York Republican Congressman Peter King: ”My sound bite is to say he’s a fraud…I start with that, and then I go on. It takes me two or three minutes to explain it.”
Arizona Senator, and failed 2008 Republican Presidential Candidate, John McCain: “I spoke to Senator Cruz about my dissatisfaction.” I’m going to go out a limb here and characterize the famously fiery McCain’s paraphrase as the understatement of the month. McCain once publicly described his fellow lawmaker as a “wacko bird.”
Anonymous GOP Aide: “Some people came here to govern and make things better for their constituents. Ted Cruz came here to throw bombs and fundraise off of attacks on fellow Republicans. He’s a joke, plain and simple.”
It’s been a regular schadenfreude feast for Cruz’s enemies, and the fact that he brought this reversal of fortune upon himself only makes the meal more delicious. Just how huge is the sudden shift of public opinion within the party? The Atlantic ran a piece this week that observed, “Watching the pushback against Senator Ted Cruz right now is like watching a group of kids who have been in thrall to a bully suddenly wake up to who he is and start working to cut him down to size. Republican members of Congress who were once his allies have begun to turn on a man who has become an outsize figure in their party since winning office less than one year ago.”
It’s all just marvelous and it couldn’t have happened to a better guy. Unfortunately for the long-suffering citizen, Cruz has over five years left of his term, but if I can pay just one compliment to Tea Party zealots, they have a long memory. Couple that with the certainty that Cruz is not done sticking his foot in it, and for the first time, well ever, I look forward to seeing someone get “primaried.”