by C. Edmund Wright 2/5/15
These times call for someone who does not fear the media, the Democrats, oor the Washington/New York Republican establishment. We need someone who will plant a flag and draw a line in the sand, and mean it. These times require someone who realizes that the biggest threat to the country today isWashington – a realization that for too long America has been held hostage to “how Washington works,” when it’s Washington that should operate in light of how America works.
Ted Cruz fits the bill. Some others might as well – a certain governor from Wisconsin comes to mind – but as of yet, the GOP establishment have not opened up their guns on Scott Walker. Cruz has been under attack from those inside the Beltway since before he took the oath of office. According to many in the establishment mindset, he is a problem precisely because he doesn’t understand “how Washington works.” He’s been called a wacko bird by a certain senior senator from Arizona, as you may recall.
Ted Cruz likely knows exactly how Washington works, and thus understands exactly how out of touch the Beltway culture is with the rest of America. This isolation dominates every policy and every issue – as those who discuss and vote on our legislation talk as if they are from another planet. As such, he is among a very short list of candidates who fit the requirements of 2016.
Of course, the Republican establishment does not agree, and apparently some on the right don’t, either. That’s fine. It’s early yet. It is a bit unnerving, however, when conservatives use liberal and establishment conventional wisdom to pan a conservative. In her column here at American Thinker, contributor Doris O’Brien attempted to deconstruct the thinking behind a Cruz for president movement. I respect her right to give her opinion, but I could not be stronger in my disagreement.
“It works to a political speaker’s favor to tell his audience what they want to hear,” said O’Brien of Cruz’s performance in Iowa, clearly indicating that Cruz doesn’t really believe what he is saying. She adds that “Cruz was a champion debater in college, so he knows how to score points with the judges.” In other words, Cruz is just pandering to the audience. He doesn’t really mean it. He’s playing you.
This accusation would no doubt be accurate regarding a lot of office-holders in Washington, but Cruz’s actions, from his initial Texas primary campaign – through the filibuster of Rand Paul’s that he supported – to his own filibuster that supposedly shut down the government, show that he does walk the walk that matches his talk.
Yet O’Brien continues, almost mocking Cruz by agreeing with him that “talk is cheap,” and then opining that “it is generally cheapest for those who risk the fewest political consequences as a result of speaking out. ”
Huh? No consequences for speaking out? Cruz’s filibuster brought down a hellstorm of derision on the Texas senator from his own party, including earning the name “the minority maker” in the Wall Street Journal.
Cruz took a big risk, and the last time I checked the scoreboard, he did not make a minority of anyone but Harry Reid’s party. Cruz played the risk/reward dynamic perfectly. And won.
The Republican establishment has yet to take notice. Neither has O’Brien, who insists that “justified or otherwise, the albatross of a government shutdown was hung around the neck of the GOP, and it has become a liberal rallying cry ever since. ” Uh….how did that rallying cry turn out in 2014?
The author tries to wiggle out of the 2014 conundrum by theorizing that “as luck would have it, voters in the 2014 midterm election had largely forgotten about the government shutdown in the face of more pressing problems.” No, Ms. O’Brien, luck has nothing to do with it. Skill. Leadership. Prescience. Common sense.
Cruz, like many conservatives, saw through the government shutdown issue from day one. And it wasn’t “luck” that brought on those more pressing problems – the shutdown was precisely about Obamacare, which is the biggest of those pressing problems. Cruz knew that this would happen. He knows that the rest of the country does not obsess over Washington. He knew that the reality of Obamacare would dwarf the phony shutdown kerfuffle. And it did, and he was vindicated.
O’Brien then compared Cruz directly to President Obama, saying, “[H]e burst on the political scene in a meteoric rise not unlike that of Barack Obama … caught his party’s eye, and moved quickly to become a U.S. senator.”
Actually, he did not burst on the scene like Obama at all, as he had to runagainst his “party’s eye” to even get the Republican nomination for the Texas Senate seat. Obama was a Democrat darling from the moment of his 2004 convention speech. That was his burst. Cruz had no such burst.
Yet the Obama comparison continues: “Cruz, like the man in the White House, was educated at Ivy League schools, served on his college’s law review, began his political career on the state level … [and] his work resume, like Obama’s going in, is rather thin compared to the competition.”
Naturally the Obama comparison is meant as an insult, and a warning – as if our problem with Obama is his lack of experience. It is not. I wish it were; I wish he had failed at everything he had tried due to a lack of experience and competence. Of course, he hasn’t.
Obama has accomplished much of the devastation he set out to do – and is still on a catastrophic roll today. And while Obama honed his liberal skill set while at Harvard, Cruz destroyed liberals just like Obama while at Harvard as a champion of debate.
Besides, the presidency is no longer a CEO position or an administrative position, if it ever was that. Who you are, what you stand for, and how you can articulate your vision are far more critical skills than some kind of conventional idea of “experience.” It’s been my observation that the longer someone is in office in Washington, the worse he becomes.
Obama has made it clear his whole life who he is and what he stands for – and he appointed a cabinet full of like-minded thinkers and turned them loose. He is inexperienced. He is incompetent. But that doesn’t matter, because the office isn’t one of administrative competence and governing experience.
And Americans are starting to figure this out. Certainly we have living proof of this with the current House speaker and current Senate majority leader – neither of whom is considered presidential material by anyone. No one wants Harry Reid to run, or Nancy Pelosi, or Jim Clyburn. If experience in Washington were really helpful, these would be the names bandied about. They are not.
Now, will Ted Cruz stand the test of time between now and early 2016? And even if he does, will the Republican electorate choose Cruz for 2016? And if so, will he win the presidency? It’s quite possible, but certainly not predestined. What I do know is that all of the conventional-wisdom arguments against Cruz just do not stand up to scrutiny.
C. Edmund Wright is contributor to StubbornThings, American Thinker, Newsmax TV, Talk Radio Network and author of WTF? How Karl Rove and the Establishment Lost…Again. • (912 views)