Election Proves Ted Cruz is a Talented Politician, But a Harbinger of Tea Party Dominance? Not So Much.

Categories: Politics

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We knew it already, but Ted Cruz is Texas' next U.S. Senator. Sure, he still has to face Democrat Paul Sadler in the November general election, but this is Texas, where so long as you promise to cut taxes and put a big 'R' somewhere near your name, you're good.

The victory, unthinkable a few months ago when Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst was still seen as the anointed one, is now reverberating throughout the country, seen by many as ushering in a new era of Tea Party dominance. Writing last night at the Morning News, Bill McKenzie wondered if this election was the equivalent to Bill Clements' election as governor in 1978, a harbinger of a permanent shift in Texas politics.

But that's not what this is. Cruz's victory does show that the Tea Party is still a viable force, but as Paul Burka at Texas Monthly noted last night, it wasn't the sweeping victory of 2010. Cruz wom, as did Donna Campbell in a Central Texas race for state senate. But many more races favored the more moderate candidates, including, locally, Jason Villalba's win over Bill Keffer for the state house, and Tincy Miller's victory over Gail Spurlock for the State Board of Education. A much greater factor in Cruz's victory was Cruz himself, who Burka calls "by far the most talented person in Texas politics."

His election, as a Republican consultant suggested, is not going to turn Texas purple. Texas is going to stay blood red until demographics shift enough to change that. But it looks from here like the Tea Party has peaked. They still have the energy and clout to decide a Republican primary with ridiculously small turnout -- particularly when they field someone unusually charismatic -- and it will remain a political force in the state legislature for a few years, but it won't dominate the political landscape. Not even in Texas.

In the meantime, Burka gives us reason to hope that Cruz won't be the rabid, inflexible ideologue he plays so convincingly on TV.

"My first reaction was that he is an ideologue, but I don't think he'll remain one for long," he writes. "He's going to figure out the Senate and his role in it."

Let's hope so, or God help us all.

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84 comments
Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

You get the government you deserve.  Face the fact that a lot of the voting public no longer trust either party and the Tea Party fills the void.  The Democrats had a chance to make a difference when Obama first took office an blew it.  Before that the neo-con Republicans had a chance and blew it.  The elected overlords in power keep saying they are going to do this or that and just really focus on getting re-elected.   Now it's "vote the bums out".

randi.trollop
randi.trollop

@rufuslevin, your keyboard called and wants 99% of its capital letters back.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

At the Values Voters summit last October, Cruz warned that American politics had been hijacked by the "gay rights agenda."

 

Oh dear.  Those menacing Gays again...

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

At a campaign forum in July, Cruz told a questioner that "Shariah law is an enormous problem" in the United States.

 

Oh yes.  Cruz is mainstream.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Cruz believes in "Agenda 21", a conspiracy theory that claims the United Nations will force Americans to live in "hobbit homes" and forcibly relocate residents from rural areas into densely populated urban cores.

 

This is mainstream?

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

The Tea Party will turn the republicans into a cult so far extreme to the right that it will eventually become extinct.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

It's astounding how a candidate for the US Senate can win an election without putting forward a cogent platform.

 

How in the world could  voter pull the lever for a candidate who has as their goals and priorities "Pass a Balanced Budget Amendment, Repeal Obamacare, Reduce the Size and Spending of Government, Defend the Constitution" but offers no plan in which to acheive these items?

 

Listening to the debate I heard that he wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Great, what are you going to do to address the issue of rapidly increasing health costs? the silence is deafening...

 

Cruz also wants to get rid of the EPA. Okey dokey, what are we going to do to ensure the air and water of our country are protected? the silence is deafening....

 

The answer is that very, very few voters actually voted. Clearly the ones who did were not eager to learn about the candidate's proposals, but are giddy to vote for a nice smile and an image which was very well marketed.

 

This man is an empty suit, and hopefully he will be exposed for the charlatan he is.

Joseph
Joseph

I think the joke is on the Tea Party.  Cruz is a graduate of Princeton, Harvard and years in Washington politics.  He has played the Tea Party like a violin.  The Tea Party folks are mostly middle brow, and this guy is patrician. Prepare to be surprised.

1morereason2carry
1morereason2carry

Liberals are worse at predictions than those people who keep putting a date on doomsday

 

Peak oil... wrong

 

Global warming.. wrong

 

Tea party peak.. wrong

jared.heath
jared.heath

It should be no surprise that Texas voters from all the small, hick, uneducated communities vote for a Tea-bagger.

 

They are, after all, the heart of the Republican party...all walking around convinced the Republicans have their best interests at heart as they funnel money, jobs, and everything else to themselves and their buddies.

 

They all got snowed over and whipped into a frenzy due to religion long ago.  Unfortunately, religion is a very big part of politics here...if it weren't, the Republicans would have serious problems getting elected anywhere since almost all the Reps I know, when I make them take religion out of the equation, sound like moderate Democrats...

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

He is a Canadian Of Cuban heritage.

 

Call a Cuban a Hispanic and you will regret it .

 

And another thing why are you folks in the face of the  libs about this ?

This was the who is the Bigger Conservative  GOP slug fest .

Cruz won ! Dewherst and the GOP establishment are the ones nursing the set of sore Balls  because they had them soundly kicked up around their ears yesterday.

 

 

1morereason2carry
1morereason2carry

If he were a democrat this article would be you jizzing your pants over the fact he is Hispanic. But it doesn't fit the liberal racist narrative since he's a Republican, right?

James_the_P3
James_the_P3

I don't think you're giving David Dewhurst enough credit for his efforts at being intensely unlikable.  It really took some effort on his part to alienate as many people as he did.  But between running as little more than Rick Perry's lapdog and firing off nothing but negative (not to mention intensely stupid) ads, he managed to pull it off.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Maybe Dewhurst should've done an ad or two explaining why he's superior instead of nothing but attacks. By the time Dewhurst was done even I would've voted for Cruz just because I thought Dewhurst was an asshole.

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

Keyboard says "I keep telling him shiftkey is stuck but he won't listen"

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

 @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz right up there with "Republicans want to kill your babies" (ha!).

 

when in fact, we're mainstream and you are not.  We're out in the green pastures of life and you reside in the tall grass.

 

You live by the invective and the rest of us are logic-driven.

 

you need two surnames when the rest of us only need one.

Albert
Albert

 @mavdog 

 

He could have run on "Hope and Change".

keeponcarryinon
keeponcarryinon

 @mavdog It's astounding a sitting president can get renominated by his party without having passed a budget for his entire term...

keeponcarryinon
keeponcarryinon

 @jared.heath Just like it's no surprise to you when the uneducated, illiterate, poor "minority" communities vote for a pandering Democrat right?

rufuslevin
rufuslevin

 @jared.heath SEEMS LIKE THE KKK CONSIDERED THEMSELVES A RIGHTEOUS CHRISTIAN BUNCH OF DEMOCRATS......

rufuslevin
rufuslevin

 @jared.heath BARNEY FRANK IS AN ACTUAL TEABAGGER...NOT SO MUCH THE TEAPARTY MEMBERS I HAVE SEEN ON TV....THEY LOOK TOTALLY HETEROSEXUAL...NOW WHEN AL SHARPTON HAD HIS RALLY IN WASHINGTON.....THAT LOOKED LIKE A BUNCH OF TEABAGGERS EVERYWHERE.....LIKE AL SAYS, "TEABAG WE MUCH."

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

 @1morereason2carry The NYT has already created a new term for Cruz et al, which is presently matriculating through the AP Style Book.

 

White Hispanic (Ha!)

 

or for the Leftists slur flickers on this board - criollo

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

 @holmantx Cruz has called Medicare "unconstitutional".  Ask anyone over 65 if that's a mainstream belief.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

 @Albert

 well, he pretty much did, without using those words of course.

 

he wants to "change" just about everything. the problem is he won't tell us what he will change it to.

 

don't you want to know what he wants as the new tax code? how he is going to stand on healthcare? on monetary policy after he tosses out the fed? how he will protect the environment after he dissolves the EPA?

 

"Hope and change" indeed!

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

 @keeponcarryinon

 oh? no president has EVER "passed a budget".

 

what's "astounding" is that you believe that a president, rather than congress, votes and passes the spending and tax bills that comprise the budget of this federal govenment.

 

didn't pass government class, eh?

Joseph
Joseph

 @icowrich Cuban Americans are mostly white and consider themselves superior to Mexicans.  Cubans are mostly Republicans. They don't like to be grouped with other Hispanics.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

 @holmantx

 you guys need to spend a bit of time educating yourselves on the difference between the words "race" and "ethnicity".

 

clearly you need the enlightenment.

icowrich
icowrich

 @holmantx Apparently, hispanics have been considered white for quite a while.  I've seen many forms that classify me a "non-Hispanic white."

rufuslevin
rufuslevin

 @holmantx THAT STARTED IN FLORIDA WITH GEORGE ZIMMERMAN...NYT IS JUST SLOW TO COVER THE WORLD OUTSIDE OF MANHATTAN....WHITE HISPANIC IS SORTA LIKE CALLING A MULATTO THE FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT OF THE US.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

 @Albert 

well, that makes little sense....the right seems to delight in criticizing the specific policies of obama. let me mention the Affordable Care Act....should I go on?

Albert
Albert

 @mavdog 

 

After Obama and Pelosi, complaints about specifics ring a little hollow.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

"figure of speech"? LMAO

 

Obama has signed appropriation bills, otherwise the government couldn't spend any money.

 

Appropriation bills (that's spending bills) and tax bills have been passed by congress, which BTW are not both "controlled by his party". But then that must be another "figure of speech'....

 

Not too sure on if there ever has been a "vote count" on any proposal, votes are taken on bills, not "proposals". but then that just might be another "figure of speech"....

 

You're right, "He has not passed a budget", and no president has ever "passed a budget". Congress is responsible. but then, that might be another "figure of speech" you keep making.

 

How this relates to Ted Cruz is a good question.

keeponcarryinon
keeponcarryinon

 @mavdog Figure of speech. Has he signed a budget? Has the congress controlled by his party voted to approve a budget he has proposed? 

 

No.

 

Care to tell us the vote count for his budget proposals? 

 

In effect: He has not passed a budget since he was inaugurated.  

morrainepeak
morrainepeak

Yea, right that explains why Fidel Castro had physicians from Spain and Venezuela, Mexico and Costa Rica treat his various medical maladies (Sorry Roger-Moore-you could be wrong about the  Cuban medical "system")

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

no, there is a difference between being corrected for wrong phrases and a typo. you wrote the complete opposite of what you intended.

 

during the obama tenure in office there have been tax reductions in 18 different instances, and also the payroll tax cut (which will not be extended btw). businesses were provided accelerated depreciation on capital goods- a tax cut.

 

as for capital gains, obama's proposal is less than the historical rates, even less than what ronald reagan put through in 1986.

 

the obama proposal reduces taxes for 95% of american workers. if 95% of american workers are "their voting block", it would seem that would mean that the vast majority of americans are "their voting block".

 

You must not be aware that most industrialized country's are regulating CO2. If you are a climate change denier, you think this is absurd. If you are someone who understands the affect of CO2, you understand why this is happening.

 

No federal reserve? Totally asinine position I must say, do a little reading on the panic of 1797, the depression of 1815, the panic of 1825, panic of 1857, panic of 1873, panic of 1893, panic of 1896, panic of 1907....there is no economy in the world today that doesn't have a central banking system, and that is a good thing for the world and the american economy.

 

ACA? the insurance companies will be running this, to attempt to say the government is in charge isn't accurate.

 

the housing bust was a product of the securitization of mortgages. thank the guys on wall street, do not blame freddie or fannie. 

 

you have proved my point. in one post you have stated more detail on your positions than Ted "empty suit" Cruz has done in the year plus of campaiging for the US Senate. it's not hard, Ted Cruz just doesn't feel the need to do it, and the voters in the republican primary bought the  big bag of nothing he peddled.

 

Mr_Hand
Mr_Hand

 @mavdog Then stop correcting people if you can't type.

 

The democrats in the senate following the president = championing.  letting bush tax cuts expire (taxes being raised) essentially doubling the tax on capital gains, dividends, medical devices through the ACPPA. Are you inferring that the white house or senate champions lowering total taxes/imposition to the federal governement? (not income taxes for their voting block)

 

EPA, no elimination, however, they are killing our economy by regulating CO2 while other industrialized nations are laughing their ass off as we self implode. They need to be dialed back, not expanded.

 

Fed Reserve, yes I do support elimination

 

ACA Act, my proposal is not to let the federal government buearacrats or the appointed Health and Human Secretary run it.  What in the 200+ years of this country makes anyone think that the federal governement can do one thing, just one, more efficient than the private sector.  (I will give you national parks, thats it)  Also maybe Solyndra.

 

On lessening the risk, the answer is simple.  Get the government out.  I am more risky when I have your tax $ to back my bad investments. if I lose, who cares, not my money.  If it is my own money, I price risk accordingly.  I contend that the finacial voodoo we are in now was created by government and the growth of it.  The housing bust was created by Fannie Mae creating a market that didn't exist for guaranteeing high risk loans and mandating banks to make these loans.  Wall St did their part by packaging and selling them and lying about the inherent risk, and are not innocent bystanders, but the whole bust was created not by the private sector, but Federal Government "planning".  And the dismal GDP growth/sustained high unemployment is a product of business owners being rightfully terrified by the uncertainty created by the commander in chief berating their success and pinning them under new regulations and taxes.  

 

I bet that if you research the run up in medical costs, you will find a common denominator in why they have risen exponentially.  You might find that same if you look at student loans as well.   

 

I know the points above are general, but you can see where I stand on the role of a centralized governement.  Based on past performance, I just don't see how someone can conclude that giving more power to these idiots is good for ones own well being or that of society. 

 

Now please give me your examples of how expanding the EPA, taxing business more, and giving the Federal Goivernemnt more "Revenue", and the rest is going to benefit the country

 

 

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

 @Mr_Hand 

if you needed correcting, you needed correcting.....a typo is easy, misstating a sentence takes effort.

 

Not sure who is "championing more taxes". care to elaborate?

 

(before you do, check out the current president's history on taxes)

 

Do you support the elimination of the EPA? talk about "more poison", and we're talking about the real stuff that will kill you...

 

Do you support the elimination of the Federal Reserve?

 

Eliminate the Affordable Care Act? okey dokey, what are the proposals on healthcare?

 

If you don't want "more regulation and overall larger government role in the economy", how would you lessen the risk to not have the same financial voodoo hoisted on us like was done last decade?

 

or are you like Ted Cruz, full of trite sayings and short on answers?

Mr_Hand
Mr_Hand

 @mavdog

 a pet peeve of mine is correcting someone and then posting "what we here is Texas call "All hat and no cattle""

 

My point is that he will probably get swallaowed up in the DC machine and bought at some point.  They all do, both sides.  However, this guy does not openly champion more taxes, more regulation and overall larger government role in the economy.  And for me, thats my guy, not the one who will help usher in more of the poison that got us to where we are at now.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

 @Mr_Hand

 a pet peeve of mine....it is "could NOT care less...".

You could not care less what his race or ethnicity is.

 

me either.

 

what I do care about is Cruz's proposals, what he intends to accomplish.

 

and in that regard, Cruz is long on generalities and void of substance.

 

what we here is Texas call "All hat and no cattle"

Mr_Hand
Mr_Hand

 @mavdog

 I, like many others could care less what his race or ethnicity is.  From a basic standpoint, he ran on a platform to limit the federal government from taking more of my money and guaranteeing loans for Solyndra or pissing it away in a million other forms or fashions. I am for that.

 

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

 @keeponcarryinon

 that's a "hint", huh?

 

very classy of you to hurl a comment such as "liberal racists like yourself".

 

here's my hint to you: those who toss unsubstantiated invective are typically the guilty ones. you know, when someone doesn't have an ability to address the issues, they resort to fabrications to hide their lack of intelligence.

 

yes, you are guilty as charged.

 

as for "identity politics", that's one superflous empty comment. sort of like the empty platform of Ted "Empty Suit" Cruz, and it pretty much sums up your contribution, too.

keeponcarryinon
keeponcarryinon

 @mavdog Here's a hint: I don't care what his race or ethnicity is, unlike liberal racists like yourself who are obsessed with identity politics.

rufuslevin
rufuslevin

 @icowrich  @holmantx HAVING WORKED THE 2010 CENSUS ENUMERATION....HISPANICS WERE ALL CLASSIFIED AS WHITE ON THE CENSUS FORMS.

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