A lot of Republicans griped that the shutdown took away from their idea of the story to harp, on, the failed rollout of the Healthcare.gov site. Once again, the establishment would rather let people suffer than try to help them, which is possibly the exact opposite of what governing should be.
It is only through the efforts of Ted Cruz and Mike Lee that a chance to defund and, thus, try to stop the implementation had a shot. A long shot, but a shot nonetheless. In the void of actual Republicans leadership, these two were voices that filled the narrative on friendly and unfriendly media alike with their message. Their voices were heard, and polling took a turn in their favor.
It is, therefore, no surprise that the otherwise “voiceless” would began to cry for one or both of these men to run for the office of the presidency in 2016. They have found someone who represents them, who works for them. These are not two who serve at the beck and call of Wall Street and K Street. Ted Cruz was already getting vocal support for the 2016 Republican nomination.
However, and I hate to be the cold water on this momentum, 2016 is a very long way away. I know candidates are going to Iowa already, and we are seeing polls that shows the potential of folks ranging from Chris Christie (contain your shudders, friends) to Bobby Jindal to Rand Paul to Ted Cruz. What bothers me is the fact that nominating a guy like Ted Cruz completely undermines what was so vital about his election to the Senate: finally got a crop of conservatives to speak for us. Even if we do manage to take the Senate, there is no reason to so soon afterward get rid of the firmest conservatives already there.
I realize that a lot of strategy relies on the long-term game, and that we have to find a good candidate for 2016, but we should be wary of doing it at the expense of the good guys we’re relying on to keep the Senate from being the Surrender Caucus for much longer. In the event of Cruz running, we are suddenly opening his seat up to other Texas politicians, some of whom have been as establishment as they come, and have shown a disdain for conservative groups.
What we have with the freshmen senators who have filled the void of leadership is a group of potential Senate leaders more in tune with Main Street ideals and less Big Business cronyism. While I like Ted Cruz and what he stands for, I find a lot more strategic value in keeping him in the Senate and taking up a leadership role while we find a conservative governor (there are a number of good choices out there) to run for president.
Now, if Cruz’s personal ambition calls for him to run, all power to him. I would prefer he avoid it for another term or so and really work to help push for a more conservative legislative branch from within. That’s just me, though. I guess.