Conservative columnist calls Sen. Ted Cruz a jerk
Ted Cruz, the upstart McCarthyite from Texas, recently referred to his fellow Republican senators who might disagree with him on certain issues as “a bunch of squishes.”
Conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin responds to such invective THUSLY:
It is a shopworn technique of hard-line conservatives to declare themselves men and women of principle in contrast to those other Republicans — the ones, you know, who pass legislation and try to represent their constituents. It is both self-serving (presuming principles are of no matter to opponents) and lazy in that it is always easy to say no, ridicule compromise and remain pristine rather than trying to improve legislation or introduce an alternative.
I’m sorry to say Sen. Ted Cruz is too often falling into the reflexive habit of voting no on everything and then mocking his colleagues…
There is being principled, and then there is being a jerk. Putting down your colleagues to boost your own street cred with the base falls into the latter category…
For starters, it’s just not smart to annoy colleagues whose cooperation and support you’ll need in the future. Second, as a conservative he should understand humility and grace are not incompatible with “standing on principle”; the absence of these qualities doesn’t make him more principled or more effective…
There is a deeper problem, I think, with Cruz’s approach to the Senate, which has nothing to do with ideology. The contrast between him and Sen. Rand Paul is telling. Paul is no less conservative than Cruz, but he is polite to a fault, soft spoken and gracious. These qualities serve him well, indeed making some strident positions seem less so. Moreover, Rand Paul is trying to accomplish something. He’s put forth a budget. He’s offered suggestions to amend the Gang of Eight’s immigration bill. He’s suggested reforms to our drug laws.
I don’t necessarily agree with his offerings, but he is trying to work within the Senate to accomplish his aims while being respectful and quite cagey. He is trying to expand the party’s reach. What exactly is Cruz doing affirmatively to aid the country, the conservative movement and the GOP? Yelling at people and voting no don’t qualify.
Meanwhile, Cruz also got a PRETTY GOOD GOING-OVER today on a TV talk show hosted by former Republican lawmaker Joe Scarborough:
Referring to meetings with Republicans, [Cruz] quipped that his colleagues complained that Cruz’s actions were forcing them to stand on their principle.
“He’s lying about what Republican senators were saying in those meetings. He’s exaggerating,” Scarborough charged. “He’s lying about his own party. [...] A lot of people in Washington, including myself, we know what went on inside those meetings, and what Ted Cruz is saying is not true.”
“If there’s bipartisan agreement on Capitol Hill,” Jonathan Capehart jumped in, “it’s that Sen. Cruz is a bit of a jerk. Well, maybe not a bit of a jerk. He is a jerk. Democrats don’t like him, but Republicans really can’t stand him.”
His own party, he added, is sick of “nonsense.” The Senate is the “smallest of boats,” Scarborough warned. And if one member starts acting this way, “the oar, just accidentally comes around and hits him in the back of the head several times.” Fabricating stories won’t work in his favor, he said.