Friday, December 19, 2014

Cruz' Bumpy Moves

US Senator Ted Cruz

US Senator Ted Cruz' tactic to force a vote on Homeland Security funding did not go as planned:

But the strategy backfired: Not only did Congress clear the $1.1-trillion spending bill without restrictions on immigration policy, but Democrats used the rare Saturday session to speed up the confirmation process for nearly two dozen nominations that would have otherwise languished.

If Cruz and Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) let the issue go, and a simple up-or-down vote passed the CRomnibus, the Senate would not have voted the twenty Obama nominees waiting in the wings. Forcing a vote allowed the soon-to-be-Minority Leader Harry Reid one last Majority agenda, and advance a vote on those nominations.

The long-term game is just as important as the smart, short-term plays. Senator Cruz seems to be forgetting this political reality.

When pulling together the final elements of HR 83, House Majority Leader McCarthy's office suggested that partial funding would place the Republican-controlled Congress in a position of strength against the President. There was some good as well as bad in the CRomnibus, as well. While Senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee have advanced principled and effective alliances on the Senate floor, Senator Cruz' solo ventures are not accomplishing anything.

No conservative in the US Senate will effect real change attacking other Republicans. Consensus for comprehensive reforms is essential. Bold measures should have bold consequences. Otherwise, celebrity grandstanding is just show, and provides little relief for Americans fed up with a Washington political class promoting their interests foremost.

US Senator Rand Paul

US Senator Rand Paul filibusters against CIA Director Brennan because he did not get a satisfactory answer from the Attorney General about drone strikes. US Senator Ted Cruz did not give a filibuster, as much as a twenty-two hour talk-a-thon. Did it accomplish anything?

Yes: Cruz established conservative credentials with a fired-up base. Where were the other US Senators to oppose the measure? How did he intend to bring Democratic Senators to join his cause to limit, reform, and repeal the Affordable Care Act? Senatorial antics are entertaining, but are they accomplishing anything?

Where is the unity among concerted members of the House as well as the US Senate? The lower chamber passed legislation without funding Obamacare. Great, but the Majority Leader was willing to sit on the legislation, and force the House to provide proper spending bills. Did anyone think through the shut-down? What did the Republicans want to accomplish?

The good news is that more Republicans at the local level are outlining plans for growth, expansion, and influence. Working in the background with key interest groups, gaining the confidence of frustrated independents, and commanding influence on the values, local candidates are gaining ground, and getting the attention of the national political class.

The last thing this country needs is another political grand-stander. For all of Cruz' convictions, and the concerns for his constituents, ideology and enthusiasm are not enough. If he has nothing else but to make a show of his fearless nature, Senator Cruz may have little to offer this country sitting the White House, where he would have to govern with stubborn majorities in both Chambers, whether controlled by Republicans or Democrats.

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