If I drew a graph to evaluate the competence of a potential GOP Presidential candidate it could have several dimensions in what I’ll call Poli-Space.* For the sake of convenience, we’ll collapse our tensor here down to three dimensions of spin and focus on the intersection of Ideology versus Executability versus Electability. Perhaps the latter two axis could be boiled down to an amalgam named Competence. If we go that route, I would argue Ted Cruz gives us a candidate that flat-out rules the Ideology Axis. His next step is to demonstrate a certain political competence so that he can take on Scott Walker and [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ].
If we define the ideal ideological conservative as an American Nationalist who favors a strong military, a minimal entitlement state and generally light regulatory touch from the Federal Government then Ted Cruz fits that bill. If he also vocally and robustly disavows the current administration’s formulation of what it sees as a “Jewish Problem,” than I’ll give him some bonus points like an extra cherry atop the Conservative Ideology Sundae. On these measures of evaluation; Ted Cruz has maxed out my standards. Ideologically; he’s about as good as the Conservative Movement is going to get this cycle.
But then there comes the other measure of evaluation. Ted Cruz has shown positive signs in this area, but hasn’t produced a long enough track record to convince me that he can sell his ideology to the American Electorate as a corporate whole. The media is already attacking him and attempting to marginalize him as “THE OTHER.” The headline “Ted Cruz scares 3-year-old girl: ‘Your world is on fire’” was the first salvo of what will be an ongoing battlefield preparation effort by the Left to delegitimize Ted Cruz in the mind of the public.
Cruz’s policy stands will not be debated in any honest form. They will be reduced to straw men and set ablaze. If that effort fails, they will be conspicuously ignored in favor of “other aspects” of his portfolio as a candidate. Did you know Ted Cruz was born in !CANADA!? Or perhaps you should be admonished that he has a paranoid style. None of this smacks of any honest desire to engage [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ] in debate.
When [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ] talks about strengthening the military, he will be accused of crypto-fascism or hypocrisy towards fiscal conservatism. When [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ] talks about the disincentives to productive employment and family loyalty caused by the welfare state, he’ll get the same knee-jerk treatment that was afforded to a man far to his left; Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. When he has sheer, unmitigated gall to announce “God is not done with America yet,” we will have an inquisition aimed at ferreting out whether he truly believes Mr. Obama is a Christian and whether those Creationists should be given any say at all regarding our school curriculum. The left will reel in every Red Herring it can find in the ocean.
All of these lines of attack are battle-tested, time-honored and have regrettably succeeded in undermining the public perception regarding the character of potential Republican candidates for office while deflecting necessary debate away from pressing issues that challenge our nation. Liberals may not have a clue how to run our country well, but they are meticulously skilled and professional at slamming The Overton Window down hard on the fingers of anyone who would run the country any differently. It will be a managed perception of truth rather than truth that Ted Cruz will have to wage his battles against. Ted Cruz will have to fight to control even the language terrain of debate before his views can be seen as acceptable entries therein.
That all being caveated upfront; I vigorously welcome Ted Cruz into the debate. We already have a candidate that is far ahead on the Competence Axis in Scott Walker. What Scott Walker wants; Scott Walker gets – even on hostile ideological terrain. With Ted Cruz; we now have a candidate in the GOP Primaries who agrees with far more of my ideological views than anyone heretofore officially declared. I’m seeing nothing but bonus if the two of them end up on the 2016 GOP Presidential Ticket. It’s now up to [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ] to fight his way up to the top of that mountain.
*-An RMJ neologism for Political Space