Are Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul a couple of wacko birds?

The first thing conservatives should look at when they attempt to define the freshman Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz, are his enemies.  Harry Reid appears to despise him, recently calling him a “schoolyard bully”.  John McCain further enhances Cruz’s conservative bona fides by calling him a “wacko bird”.  Status quo Republicans whisper that Cruz is “too confrontational, extreme and almost boorish.”  Who said that?  Republicans?  Which Republicans?  Those that voted for much of the legislation that has led us to the point of having a near $17 trillion dollar debt.  The Republicans that Cruz calls “squishes” are the ones whispering these things about him.

“This idea that a Senator cannot tell his constituents what his colleagues are doing behind closed doors in Washington is ridiculous.  If they don’t want anyone to know they are squishes, then they should stop being squishes,” said Matt Hoskins, executive director of the Senate Conservatives Fund, in response to the flak Cruz took after the gun-control debate.

Kentucky’s Senator Rand Paul, the other wacko bird according to John McCain, and Cruz have shaken the Republican party up in a relatively short period of time.  Paul has taken to the floor to engage in an old fashioned filibuster that embarrasses and angers status quo, establishment Republicans like Lindsey Graham and John McCain, and Paul and Cruz have lived up to their campaign promises to fight the Democrats with everything they have, they’re taking on their own (when their own act like squishes), and they’re causing those that have earned their comfortable seats in the Senate to be more than a little uncomfortable when they take those seats.

“Here (in Washington) people don’t like you to break the status quo, but out across the country people know that our country is in trouble and they want some people who will stand up against the status quo,” former Senator Jim DeMint (SC-R) said.

“I’ve been in about 25 cities in the last few months.  All I have to do is bring up Ted Cruz’s name and people stand up and applaud,” DeMint furthered. “What people want outside of Washington is totally different of what you hear on the inside of Washington.{1}

Chip Saltsman, who managed former Gov. Mike Huckabee’s 2008 presidential campaign, said of Cruz:

“As a conservative messenger, he certainly knows exactly what he believes.  He obviously won a pretty tough primary on that message.  He has certainly got a following around the country.”

Some have said that Cruz’s extreme positions could “McGovern” the Republican party, a term that is used to describe a candidate, George McGovern (SD-D), that takes his party too far in one direction.  In the 1972 presidential election, McGovern took the Democrat party to a liberal influence that some say cost the Democrats four of the next five presidential elections.

“If you look back at political history we’re on the same glide path as the Democrats in the late ’60s and the ’70s,” said the GOP strategist. “We could have a McGovern-type candidate we need to get out of our system.  Ted Cruz would be at the top of that list.  He can win the nomination and that’s alarming.”

Democrats say that they would love for Cruz to take the 2016 plunge:

“I’m all for it,” said Joe Trippi, who managed former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign. “If he can get the nomination, it would help Democratic prospects for winning.  If that side emerges in the GOP primary, it will be a long, tough rebranding mission for the party.”

Most conservative Republicans had a lot of hope invested in New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Florida Senator Marc Rubio, but both of them have done things that have disappointed them in recent years, as the two of them appear to have moderated their stances to get along with Democrats to “get things done”.  The general question most conservatives have for those that are moderating their election positions to get things done is: “What are you getting done?  We’re on the cusp of a $17 trillion dollar debt?  We’re on the cusp of total amnesty?  We’re on the cusp of a financial disaster that could make The Depression look like an economic downturn?  What’s the point of going along to get along if these are the results of it?”

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and Cruz have not moderated their positions to get things done, and they’re stubbornly insisting that we return to our country’s first principles and adhere to a stricter interpretation of the Constitution, and as DeMint suggests, conservatives are leaping to their feet in applause because of it.

Even opponents are starting to tip their cap to Cruz’s unflinching conservatism:

“I think he is the most talented and fearless Republican politician I’ve seen in the last 30 years,” James Carville said. “I further think that he’s going to run for president and he is going to create something.  I’m not sitting here saying he’s going to win, and I think Senator DeMint is right.  I’ve listened to excerpts of his speech in South Carolina.  He touches every button, and this guy has no fear.  He just keeps plowing ahead.  And he is going to be something to watch.”

“And a lot of Republicans feel this way, George, and you hear this a lot,” Carville said to moderator George Stephanopoulos, himself a former Clinton adviser. “’If we only got someone who was articulate and was for what we were for, we would win elections.  And we get these John McCains and these Mitt Romneys and these squishy guys that can’t do anything.’ Well, there’s one thing (Ted Cruz) is not – he ain’t squishy, not in the least.”

Carville continued, predicting a very rough battle ahead for possible 2016 candidates Sens. Marco Rubio and Rand Paul.

“Ted Cruz is going to eat their lunch,” Carville said. “That guy, I’m telling you, he will out debate.  I am just saying, he is a talent.  I’m not rooting.  I’m really sincere here.  We watch him, he does things, I mean when he started talking about William Travis in South Carolina and the Alamo, this is a guy, and you go, “This guy is something.”

“Now I don’t agree with him.  I think he’s out there.  But I’m telling you, he’s more talented than all of these other guys.”{2}

Republicans can’t help but listen to Democrats (other than the more honest Carville) when we line ourselves up for an election.  When Democrats tell us that they only want to help Republicans get elected, and that’s the reason we should not consider a couple of “wacko birds” like Cruz and Paul, some Republicans actually listen.  They listen when Democrats tell them that these two are too extreme and outside the thinking of mainstream Americans.  Democrats tell Republicans that they only want to help them win elections when they tell us to moderate our positions on gun control and immigration reform, and if Republicans would only listen to their leadership we could beat them more often.  They also warned us against nominating Ronald Reagan, for his positions were too extreme, and out there, and outside the mainstream, and I’m sure they were as delighted as Joe Trippi will be if we make the mistake of nominating a “wacko bird” like Ted Cruz, or Rand Paul, in 2016.  Some of us aren’t listening, and we’re switching our loyalties to the “wacko birds”, because we’re not looking as far into the future as these political analysts.  We just love what these “wacko birds” are doing to the Republican establishment, and the establishment in general, right now.




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