Democrats would love to make Ted Cruz the face of the Republican Party


You’ve heard of love-hate relationships, right?

HERE‘s a classic example:

Starting around the time he launched a bogus attack on then-Defense Secretary nominee Chuck Hagel, Democrats have loved to hate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).

They made sure as many as people as possible saw him condescend to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), as she tried to advance an assault weapons ban in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre. When he launched a failed filibuster of more modest gun legislation the public relations backlash (nurtured by Democrats) made him persona non grata with some members of his own party.

Among Democrats, he is one of the most widely cited opponents of immigration reform.

And this week no less a powerbroker than Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) called Cruz a “schoolyard bully” and the “very junior senator from Texas,” after Cruz blocked further formal budget negotiations absent a pre-emptive Democratic surrender.

Yup, Democrats can’t stand Ted Cruz. Except that they also kind of love him.

Their distaste for his antics and his radical ideology is undoubtedly genuine. But Democrats are also thrilled that someone with those — should we call them qualities? — has emerged after the rout in 2012 as a Republican powerbroker in his own right, in a party whose leadership is too weak and timid to control him. And, the greater his stature in the party, the more harm they believe he’ll do to the GOP nationwide, whether or not he runs for president in 2016.


The dynamic resembles Democratic efforts to increase the stature of unelectable GOP candidates from Sharron Angle to Christine O’Donnell to Mitt Romney’s many would-be rivals. In 2011, Nancy Pelosi roiled the Republican presidential primary when she told TPM, “I like Barney Frank’s quote the best, where he said ‘I never thought I’d live such a good life that I would see Newt Gingrich be the nominee of the Republican Party,’” and alluded to a rich field of material Democrats would use against him.

Nobody was happier with her comments than Gingrich himself.

Cruz and top Democrats enjoy a similar symbiosis. When Reid insults him, and when he gets under Feinstein’s skin, that helps him with the GOP base. When Democratic strategist James Carville goes on national television to acknowledge Cruz’s talents and kinda-sorta suggest Democrats would be scared to run against him, we recognize that as tried-and-true but harmless rat[bleep]ing, to use the technical term. Cruz sees it as an opportunity to tout his conservative bona fides.

Everyone wins — except the rest of the GOP.



  1. Neftali

    Democratic Strategist James Carville appears to have some respect for the Texas Senator from Harvard.

    “I think he is the most talented and fearless Republican politician I’ve seen in the last 30 years,” Carville said. “I further think that he is going to run for president, and he is going to create something.”

    Results of that potential presidential run aside, Carville added that Cruz “is going to be something to watch” because he “has no fear.”


  2. Robert

    The Democrats don’t have in place, the channels and mouthpieces required to make this happen. Although some on the right would like to think the media is all things liberal, it’s not.

    The media is concentrated with right leaning organizations and mouthpieces. Heck, we don’t even have access to liberal radio commentators anymore and we have to pay extra for MSNBC. We used to have liberal radio (1 channel), but after the election, Clear Channel took it off and replaced it with 24/7 sports commentary.

    So I say, the topic of this thread will never happen, unless the Republicans want it to, but I doubt they do. Besides that, the Democrats as a group, just don’t have the ability to organize this kind of thing. They couldn’t even muster enough anti-war sentiment to get us out of the Middle East.

  3. Robert

    neftali, although I’ve stated I don’t think the dems can pull this off, it does appear to me Carville’s comments may be trying to do exactly what the title of this thread is saying. The only way it will happen is if its repeated often enough to make it become the storyline. If the MSM doesn’t follow suit, it will not get any legs beneath it.

  4. Neftali: My post references Carville’s comments about Cruz and characterizes them as political “rat-[bleep]ing.”

    Or do you honestly believe Carville thinks the Dems should fear Cruz?

    Oh, yeah. Sure he does. (Heh, heh.)

  5. Neftali

    Democrats do indeed fear Ted Cruz. Former U.N. ambassador and New Mexico governor Bill Richardson recently made the absurd statement that he “doesn’t think he [Cruz]should be defined as a Hispanic.” Just because of Cruz’s stance on immigration reform.

    Democrats are afraid of the outreach and influence Cruz has on the Hispanic community. Why else would you say something so ridiculous?

  6. Dream on, Neftali, dream on.

    I don’t know of a single liberal who seriously fears Ted Cruz. Not one.

    Nor is Cruz, who opposes immigration reform, likely to win much favor among Hispanics.

    As is pointed out in my blog post, Cruz is just the kind of guy Democrats want to portray as the face of right-wing Republicanism today. The wingnut base of the GOP loves him, but his extremism and latter-day McCarthyism isn’t going to sit well with the American populace in general.

    The man is a kook, and only kooks think he’ll help advance Republican fortunes.

  7. Brian Opsahl

    Mr.Cruz was born in Canada…was he not..?

    so all the birthers will now have something constructive to do with there time..hhhhmmm

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