I've been on the road the last two days. In finally getting to emails this morning, I see a lot of people have emailed about Joe Scarborough taking on Ted Cruz. The Senator's crime? Daring to explain to his Texas constituents that there are a number of Republicans in Washington who aren’t too pleased with Mike Lee, Rand Paul, and him.
Cruz had gone back to Texas and told some activists at a Freedomworks conference that Mike, Rand and Ted were constantly being yelled at by fellow Republicans. It's a true statement verified by other Senators. These Republican conference meetings leak all the time. Reporters hover outside the door waiting to talk to these Senators. But Ted dared tell just how scared some of his colleagues are that they are being exposed as not quite the conservatives they campaigned as being.
In the Senate Republican Conference, one is seemingly only allowed to leak when bashing the conservative trio.
Cruz's statement is newsworthy. Does anyone doubt that? There have been dozens of articles, shows, and blog posts attacking these guys — especially by self-annointed “conservatives” in the media. Heck, even the Wall Street Journal editorial board was aghast that Cruz, Lee and Paul would take on the blind hawks over drones, or dare to say the F-word -- “filibuster” -- of legislation attacking gun rights.
The anger generated over Ted Cruz's statement to Freedomworks is straight forward. The Senate Republican Conference wants to be able to attack conservatives and opposes those same conservatives responding. They just aren't used to having more than one Jim DeMint willing to fight back. And now they have three with Ted Cruz more and more filling the void Jim DeMint left with his departure.
Jennifer Rubin, in the Washington Post, called Senator Cruz a “jerk.” Maybe if he's willing to release that traitor she's a fan of, she'll like him. She hated Jim DeMint too.
Joe Scarborough said, “I can’t believe those Republicans are going to allow the entire Republican Party to be the party that basically put rapists’ rights over parents’ rights to keep their kids safe when they go to school." Joe, I think he would agree, has significantly evolved on the issue over the years. And Rubin is hardly a fountain of conservative thought. Then there's David Brooks who isn't even worth linking to.
I would submit that Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and Rand Paul are not the problem, but the solution. And I would further submit that those on the right who attack and assail them for daring to fight for their beliefs while in the Gomorrah that is our nation's capital are the problem. The American people's anger at Washington is at an all time high. These three are the three most likely to fight Washington on all fronts. They are as easily caricatured now as being on the wrong side of history, reactionary, and fringe as Ronald Reagan was back in the 1980's fighting commies. But they are, as Reagan was, right.
Since the election of George W. Bush, there has been a serious tension between establishment Republicans who just want to have a majority of Republicans in power to enact “better” government programs and constitutional conservatives who question the wisdom of massively expanded government. Medicare Part D, No Child Left Behind, trillions of dollars of debt, the corrupting force of earmarks and the rapid acceleration of the regulatory state.
The simple fact of the matter is the establishment doesn’t want to fight. What exactly have House Republicans accomplished this year? They kicked off the new Congress with a massive tax hike, they adopted a $60 billion Sandy “emergency” appropriation that was loaded with unrelated spending, they passed a budget balanced on the back of higher Obamacare and fiscal cliff taxes, and they passed a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which violates states' jurisdiction over criminal law.
But it’s far worse than that. John Boehner, Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy won’t even pretend to fight. Boehner basically plays a game of chicken by stepping aside and saying “you win.” And, he has publicly said he won’t shut the government down. The House “leadership” is running scared from the debt ceiling… and was dead set against Obamacare de-funding. Today, the House “leadership” is telling folks on the Hill it won’t fight the Farm bill. And on immigration – forget it… everyone is running around listening to consultants saying this is the way to win Hispanic votes.
The fact of the matters is that the gun bill would be law if Lee, Cruz and Paul had not made a fight out of the issue. It's an invaluable lesson in what can happen when even just a few people with backbone stand up and do the right thing. The leadership had no plan and was hoping to win by offering a substitute. We needed time over recess to gain "no" votes. And absent forcing a tough 60 vote threshold vote on the motion to proceed to identify the 31 no votes – and thus, the 10 votes needed to block – we wouldn’t have been able to get there.
Rand, Mike and Ted have been changing the conversation – giving real hope to full repeal of Obamacare, standing up against the hawks and the establishment with the filibuster, and taking the fight to them on guns. We can turn back the tide of destruction in Washington, coming from both President Obama and some Republicans, but we need more of the likes of Cruz, Paul and Lee, not less. We need more Republicans willing to fight to hold the line…and we can't be deceived by those who've moved left and proclaim themselves planted on solid ground.
Republicans in the United States Senate have yelled at and berated Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and Ted Cruz behind closed doors only to wrap arms around them in public. Instead of these three Senators backing down, we should be sending them reinforcements. Until then, you might want to pick up the phone, dial (202) 224-5922, and tell Ted Cruz thanks for standing up for America.