Friendly Fire: Ted Cruz is Getting Lit Up by His Own Party

Categories: Politics

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Congress has kicked the can down the road for a couple of months until the next round of full-faith-and-credit brinksmanship. Ted Cruz, the freshman senator from Texas, maintained his cherished ideological purity by voting against increasing the debt limit and reopening the federal government -- this time without obstructing the effort to head off a default.

His failed gambit to defund the Affordable Care Act paid off for him -- if no one else -- in that he has endeared himself even more to the Tea Party. Everyone in America knows his name, even if most of them realize he is the driving force behind a quixotic quest that had no endgame and zero chance of success. But his colleagues are emptying both barrels at him now to any reporter who will listen, blasting what they characterize as a pointless, self-aggrandizing exercise in divisiveness. Republicans, according to a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, have never been so unpopular.

We should note, however, that Cruz failed only if he actually believed he could defund Obamacare with Democrats controlling the White House and the Senate. As far as fundraising goes, it's been a smashing success. In the third quarter ending in September, his joint fundraising organ, the Ted Cruz Victory Committee, took in $800,000. Who knows how much it raised during the shutdown?

Many in his own party haven't fared so well as they watch their collective approval numbers sink. Here are a few of most searing verbal spankings, administered to Cruz not by the opposition, but by his own team:

New York Representative Peter King: "I think it's important for Republican leaders around the country to speak out against him and neutralize him. Otherwise he's going to start the same nonsense again in December or January. He's the guy that caused this, he's the guy who is a fraud because he never had a strategy to begin with. And if we let him do it again, it's our fault."

Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer: "How exactly was he going to achieve abolition of Obamacare? Explain that to me. Has he ever explained it?"

An unnamed GOP senator, because speaking against Cruz has its price: "It's pretty evident it's never been about a strategy -- it's been about him. That's unfortunate. I think he's done our country a major disservice. I think he's done Republicans a major disservice."

Uber conservative tax reformer Grover Norquist: "I think it was very possible for us to delay the implementation of Obamacare for a year until Cruz came along and crashed and burned."

New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte: "We've been asking from the beginning, what's the endgame?"

GOP strategist John Feehery: "This isn't about legislating. It's about being in the center of things."

The Houston Chronicle, which endorsed Cruz: "When we endorsed Ted Cruz in last November's general election, we did so with many reservations and at least one specific recommendation -- that he follow Hutchison's example in his conduct as a senator. Obviously, he has not done so. Cruz has been part of the problem in specific situations where Hutchison would have been part of the solution."

My favorite, from GOP strategist Alex Castellanos: "The snowshoe hare -- I thought it's a marvelous explanation -- every 10 years, multiplies sixfold. Bunnies like sex apparently. But the boom produces a bust. They press their food supply, they invite predators. Right now, Ted Cruz, what's he's doing, feels good. He's growing his supporters. It's leading the Republican Party, I think, into a bust."

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40 comments
scerinjen3
scerinjen3

Years from now when you're forced to choose between an unaffordable, high-deductable insurance plan and paying a fine to the IRS, try to remember who was making a last ditch effort to stop it.

pauldodell
pauldodell

Ted Cruz ... official village idiot of Washington.

Who would have thought a year ago that Cruz could single handedly cause the GOP to implode? Delicious!!!

He is the most effective weapon Democrats have had to use against the GOP in a generation.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

We can't put ALL the blame on Ted Cruz.  The only reason he had the power to do this is because he had the backing of the Republican leadership and the Republican rank-and-file.

He was just the front-man for the operation; the one the others set up to take the blame when it failed.

txsouthpaw
txsouthpaw

Ted Cruz is simply engaging in a taxpayer funded publicity junket. He doesn't serve anyone but himself and is merely sharpening his pseudo-conservative bonafides in order to prosper as a corporate socialist media monkey. He will surely run in 2016 and be promptly ejected from the clowncar only to populate Amazon warehouses with literary rubbish and Fox "News" with endless bloviation. He will retire to a lavishly compensated job running a think aquarium. All of this will insure a long life of prosperity feeding the right wing echo chamber with red meat detritus. Teddy is equal parts Rick Perry, Sarah Palin, and Jim DeMint. The sooner he can be purged from the public payroll, the better. For as much as he rails against government, he sure has spent a long time lying sideways in the trough.

animas
animas

RE: critics "Their collective approval numbers sank",precisely because they ARE a collective.  The Houston Chronicle's suggestion that anyone act like Kay Bailey Hutchinson is absolutely hilarious irony! How many years was that foolish woman in the Senate without any meaningful legislation or committee leadership position?  Cruz may also  end up out of leadership but with more fundraising power --just by doing his own thing.

TedC
TedC

It's all detailed here:   www.fuckyeahfriendlyfire.com

dingo
dingo

And the Democrats relented to open up how they are going to verify subsidy eligibility for ObamaCare as part of this deal. They additionally relented to reviewing this eligibility verification process after 6 months.

Wow, they agreed to open up to the people how they are going to stop low-lifes from defrauding us and how well those anti-fraud efforts are proceeding. How magnanimous.

Maybe with even more haggling  they might even release the premium pricing numbers or even, God forbid, the enrollment numbers.

The holy grail would be demographic enrollment numbers. After all, the plan's success is based upon the young knowingly deciding to over-pay for health care insurance so that a generation who led them astray can under-pay for health care in secure retirement which those young may never know for themselves.

It is 'OUR' government, isn't it? Last time I checked?


Greg820
Greg820

As much as I dislike Cruz, he is at least consistently pointing out how dysfunctional and unengaged the Old Guard Republicans are.  It has been too easy for Republicans to do absolutely nothing for the last decade.  They went along with Bush's incompetence, stand firm against anything Obama does, and contribute nothing unless forced into a corner.  At least Cruz is pushing them in a direction.  That direction, of course, is to their obliteration as a functioning party, but they are all going into it with eyes wide open. Best wishes!

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Let the fat-face Cruz continue to rant and rave like Joe McCarthy.  He'll end up burnt and on the outside just like McCarthy.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@pauldodell 

Cruz is no idiot.  As the child of immigrants, he's enjoyed the best liberal education this country has to offer.

To call him an idiot is to give him a free pass for his real problem - his character.

animas
animas

It is hilarious to see that Cruz has sent his faux "troll patrol" out :Miss Mc craacy, txsuckspaw, P1 (hot chicks etc) Gunter--(who has French health insurance-- btw) to drum up increased funding for the radical wing of the Texas Republican party.  Troll bloviation works every time!

animas
animas

He is either slumming or channeling his inner  Eric Nicholson.

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

@jbsutton Ted Cruz is a fucking joke. Sadly a joke that Texas is stuck with for the next 5 or so years because of the regressive idiots that live in rural areas.

I could handle Kay Bailey, we disagreed on issues but at least she was a rational human being. Besides being batshit crazy, Ted Cruz is the biggest self promoter I have ever seen. His interest isn't in Texas or the United States, his interest is in making a name for Ted Cruz.

Guesty
Guesty

@dingo 1) Income verification already was part of the program.  This was a contrived "victory" to allow the GOP to save face.

2) Premium pricing numbers are widely available from many sources, and likely will be available from the government very soon.  They aren't publicizing the numbers now because they don't want to scare away the very poor before they find out how much they will receive in subsidies.  I personally think this isn't a great way to handle it, but it will ultimately be a non-issue.    

3) The plan's success isn't about young people enrolling to offset the cost of old people, it's about healthy people enrolling to offset for the cost of allowing sick people to get insurance.  Plans charge older participants more than young participants, so any insurer would arbitrage an attempt to keep older participants rates lower on the backs of the young by simply pricing the plans for younger participants lower than the competition while increasing prices on older participates.  I thought you conservatives believed in things like the invisible hand.  

4) I looked up my family's premiums (family of 3, two adults in their 30s and a child under 5), and they run almost exactly what I currently pay through my employer for the same coverage ($840 a month for a gold plan, $460 a month for a bronze plan) for the same private insurer.  For me, this isn't a huge deal because I make too much money to qualify for any subsidies.  But that does not mean I don't get anything from the availability of the healthcare exchange.  The healthcare exchange means I can quit my job and start my own business and keep getting the same insurance for the same money, even if I or someone in my family happens to be diagnosed with a serious illness.  Prior to Obamacare, if I or someone in my family developed a serious illness, it would be impossible to leave to start my own business because I would never be able to acquire health insurance to cover the prior existing condition.  Republicans don't have any solution to that problem, and the free market economists among them should really like the decoupling of insurance from employment to allow for free movement within the workforce (a good thing).  

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 @Greg820 I think that is the real end game.  The point wasn't to get rid of Obamacare right now.  It was to show that the GOP leadership is in appeasement mode.  This was a challenge by the new guard to Boehner and McConnell.  

McConnell made his hot-mic slip that might cost him his minority leader status, if not his office.  He's got a Tea Party primary challenger, just like Cruz to Kay Bailey.  Kentucky is by no means married to McConnell.  He's the same kind of "go along" insider as Hutchinson, and he needs to be looking at her example as to what not to do if he wants reelection.  

Boehner on the other hand isn't going to lose his office, but he's going to have a hard time keeping his speakership in 2014.  He's blasted the Hassert Rule out of the water, pissing off a lot of House Republicans who put a lot on the line for this, just to see the "leadership" hold hands with the minority, squat over them, and take a big shit.  They are in safe gerrymandered districts, and now there are enough of them to put who they want in after this election (and there will probably be even more of them after the election.)

Hell, the end game might be the 2014 elections of Speaker Ryan and Minority Leader Inhofe.  God help Obama and Reid then.

animas
animas

Easy on Tailgunner Joe, Myrna--According to Ethel Kennedy's video biography, the man was quite charming and dated one of her sisters.  Ah for the good old days when Dems and Repubs got along and flushed out Commies together!

Ranger_Clint
Ranger_Clint

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz 

Tailgunner Joe may have been an alcoholic loser but that doesn't mean he was wrong about Commie infiltration. The atom bomb secrets were stolen in the US remember? Cruz might not be popular within the Beltway but he's never been more popular in Texas. Look at you with your fat face jibe though. I suggest removing the echo chamber from your abode and adding some mirrors. Good luck!

animas
animas

Translation: " Kay  Bailey is a cougar". (which is the only way that P1 would ever notice her)

dallas_dude
dallas_dude

@Guesty @dingo  

don't waste your breath man.  99% of these tea party morons think Obama is some socialist muslim hell bent on destroying America.   The have this opinon all the while sucking down their social security checks in between medicare visits while supporting an idiot like cruz who gives two shits if our government collapses.

tdkisok
tdkisok

@everlastingphelps


"I think that is the real end game.  The point wasn't to get rid of Obamacare right now.  It was to show that the GOP leadership is in appeasement mode."


Oh fuck me. Are you kidding? The point was to raise money for Cruz's campaign. Bottom line. And it worked, many idiots forked over $800,000 to his "Ted Cruz Victory" fund. 


Guesty
Guesty

@everlastingphelps @Greg820 Kay Bailey Hutchinson didn't lose a primary, she retired.  Had she not, I doubt Cruz would have challenged her, and if he had, she likely would have cleaned the floor with him.  Cruz would not do well in a contest with any woman, particularly among women voters.  

observist
observist topcommenter

@everlastingphelps @Greg820   Yes Please!  By all means, Republicans, purge all the moderates from your party.  Your problem is you're just not conservative enough!  RIghtward Ho!   Enjoy your time in the wilderness, and we'll see you when you get back in 2032.


becoolerifyoudid
becoolerifyoudid

@everlastingphelps @Greg820 That's a good point.  This was really an infight amongst the Tea Party and Old GOP.  The Old GOP has been a part of over spending and not committing to a budget so they can put forward empty rhetoric about being the party for limiting taxes, subsidies, and government.  The Dems now know they can't trust the Old GOP to have enough power to keep the Tea Party in line. 

Not sure what it all really achieves.  But it is more entertaining than TMZ.

tdkisok
tdkisok

@everlastingphelps


"She "retired" to be a failed gubernatorial candidate "

Your point? Either way she didn't "lose" to Ted Cruz. 

Guesty
Guesty

@everlastingphelps @Guesty @Greg820 True, but had she not, Cruz couldn't have handled her.  He lucked out by getting a crowded primary (because she wasn't running) with a very low turnout run-off.  And his demeanor would have killed him with women voters in an election against a well liked female candidate.  

observist
observist topcommenter

@everlastingphelps @observist @Greg820   Phelps, you're so far to the right that from your perspective, the center looks like the distant left.  You act like John Boehner is a dangerous socialist demagogue, so no matter what Democrats I name you'll say they're not moderate.  Instead, why don't you name 3 moderate Democrats who were purged or "primaried" in the past 6 years for not being liberal enough.

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