Ted Cruz has his sights set on the White House. Anyone who gets in his way will find themselves thrown under the Cruz campaign bus. Anyone! That includes his party caucus.
The Ted Cruz Self Promotion Tour rolled into Washington D.C. last Friday. Party leaders had just agreed to postpone until Monday a vote on the government spending bill. (You see senators don’t work on weekends.) The senate chamber recessed for the weekend; the senators headed for home. Senator McConnell waved off reporters as he headed for the exit. “See you Monday!” he said.
But Ted Cruz had a final act to play. As the lights dimmed and the final curtain fell Ted Cruz called for an encore. Using the powers vested in him by the constitution, Cruz defied leadership and called for a procedural vote to debate the constitutional legality of the president’s executive orders on immigration.
Senators were forced to scurry back to the chamber. Many had already left for the airport. To say there were a few pissed off lawmakers would be an understatement.
Cruz made his impassioned case. It fell on deaf ears. One half of the Cruz’ GOP caucus joined Democrats in voting “No” to his grandstanding motion. Afterward several GOP lawmakers sought out reporters to excoriate the senator’s theatrics. Their anger was not simply a matter of inconvenience. Ted Cruz’ had dealt his party to a significant political setback; one that they would feel for years to come.
You see by entering his motion Cruz in effect re-opened the session. With Democrats still holding the majority, Majority Leader Harry Reid realized that Cruz had given Democrats an opportunity to use the rare weekend session to their advantage. Reid and his caucus used their majority to ram through 24 presidential nominations. Some of these appointments had been sitting in limbo for years. Well qualified candidates whose approval had been blocked by Republicans for purely partisan political reasons. Those approved included six critical federal judgeships. Cruz’ grandstanding had handed the Democrats and the president a huge victory.
Cruz didn’t care. Ever the narcissist, Cruz had gotten everything he wanted out of his little charade. If you want to win the White House you have to first win your party’s nomination. Cruz had successfully auditioned for that nomination by appealing to the GOP base. He had made the case that he was the only Republican willing to stand in the way of “this imperialist president.”
Ted Cruz has his sights set on the White House. Anyone who gets in his way will find themselves thrown under the Cruz Campaign bus. Anyone! That includes his party caucus.