Ted Cruz Was Right
Last Friday, in a two-pronged strategy aimed at challenging the odious status quo of the Establishment GOP and promoting his presidential candidacy, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) "went postal“ on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
"The majority leader looked at me and said there is no deal there is no deal, there is no deal, there is no deal. Like St. Peter, he said it three times,” Cruz thundered, referring to McConnell’s assurance that there was no pact in the works to revive the federal Export-Import Bank, even though there was.
That was the specific bit that set Cruz off. But he far better articulated the essence of what drives millions of American nuts:
“You know, there is a profound disappointment among the American people, because we keep winning elections and then we keep getting leaders who don’t do anything they promised. The American people were told if only we have a Republican majority in the House, things will be different. Well in 2010, the American people showed up in enormous numbers and we got a Republican majority in the House — and very little changed.
"Then the American people were told, ‘You know, the problem is the Senate. If only we get a Republican majority in the Senate, and retire Harry Reid as majority leader, then things will be different.’ Well in 2014 the American people rose up in enormous numbers and voted to do exactly that. We’ve had a Republican majority in both Houses now for about six months.
"What has that majority done? First thing we did is we came back in December and passed a trillion-dollar CRomibus plan, filled with pork and corporate welfare. That was the very first thing we did. Then this Republican majority voted to fund ObamaCare, voted to fund Obama’s unconstitutional executive amnesty and then the leadership rammed through the confirmation of Loretta Lynch as Attorney General. Madam president, which of those decisions would be one iota different if Harry Reid were still the Majority leader?”
Cruz then illuminated why we have a de facto one party system, explaining that both parties listen to “one and only one voice. That is the voice of the Washington cartel, of the lobbyists on K Street, the big money and the big corporations,” he explained.
Over the weekend, McConnell went out of his way to prove everything Cruz said was on point. The Senate voted in favor of renewing the Ex-Im Bank charter, and another show vote to repeal ObamaCare ended in predictable failure. Leadership also squelched an effort by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) to force a vote on defunding the organ-harvesting charnel house known as Planned Parenthood. All of this followed the refusal of Cruz’s Senate colleagues to allow a roll call vote, enabling him to bring amendments to the floor. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), who is a McConnell ally, expressed the kind of juvenile sentiment that substitutes for statesmanship among Republican leadership. "You learn that in kindergarten: You learn to work well together and play by the rules,“ he snarked. "Another thing you learn in kindergarten is to respect one another.”
Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) gave us the “august body” bit, which is all about Senate rules that bar one senator from impugning the integrity of another, especially a senator in a position of leadership. "I think it was a violation of the rules,“ he chirped. "It’s not how you treat a colleague regardless of how you feel.”
How about how the American public feels? As Cruz correctly notes, the GOP was handed a mandate in the 2014 mid-term election. One Obama himself declared was a referendum on his policies. In other words, the message couldn’t have been clearer: Stop the constitutionally contemptuous occupant in the Oval Office from continuing to carry out his agenda. The one that seeks to “fundamentally” change the nation.
Six months later, Establishment GOPers have made a complete mockery of that mandate. And the message to conservative Americans is equally dispiriting: We don’t care what you want, but be sure to show up again in 2016 so we can get a Republican president. Because if we get a Republican president, then things really are going to change. And who’s going to lead that change, if the Establishment GOP gets its way?
Jeb Bush. Or more accurately, pro-amnesty, pro-Common Core, pro-big government “compassionate” faux-conservative Jeb Bush.
Alexander wants to talk about respect? Nearly three out of four Americans think Congress is doing a lousy job, Lamar. Millions of Americans who are sick to death of a surrenderist Establishment GOP, whose only manifestations of genuine backbone are directed against members of their own party. A genuine opposition party would have put Obama in veto hell, sending one principle-defining bill after another to his desk, in what would have been by far the best campaign strategy for the 2016 presidential election. Nothing could have better delineated the ideological differences between the two parties.
Instead, the Establishment sent an even clearer message to the electorate: We have no principles — and our ideology is virtually indistinguishable from the radical leftists who control the Democrat Party. Thus in the space of a single weekend, the Ex-Im Bank, a Democrat-beloved institution that embraces the essence of corporate welfare, had its charter renewed, even as the ostensibly pro-life party blocked any attempt to force Obama and Senate Democrats to let Americans know where they stand on fetal organ harvesting — underwritten by taxpayers.
And let’s not forget national security. As Federalist columnist Ben Domenech aptly explains, “Senate Republicans completely ceded their Constitutional duty regarding the Iran deal.” How they did so was even more galling. First they bought into Obama’s absurd contention that a multi-nation pact dealing with Iran’s military capability does not constitute a treaty. That concession allowed them to toss the constitutional requirement that a treaty be approved by a two-thirds vote of the Senate out the window. They then replaced that constitutional imperative with the Corker bill that requires a two-third vote from both chambers of Congress to disapprove the deal. And make no mistake: They did this with full knowledge that Democrats will ultimately kill any attempt to override a presidential veto, even as that party will allow a phony like Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to vote no, so he can protect his standing with his Jewish constituency.
The title of Domenech’s column asks a very apropos question: “Why does the Republican Party Exist?”
These days the answer to that question is as simple as it is existential: to give the public the illusion they have a choice when they enter the voting booth. Cruz has put the lie to that illusion, as did Mike Lee. Thus, Cruz must be “punished” and Lee ignored, even as GOP leadership sells both smackdowns to the public as protecting the “comity” of the Senate.
And these leaders actually wonder why a carnival barker like Trump is resonating?
The 2016 election may be the clearest referendum this country will see in quite some time — maybe for the last time. We will either pull back from the cultural erosion, the headlong rush to bankruptcy, the embracement of permanent dependency as a way of life, and the cancerous crony capitalism that gives the real thing a bad rep, or we will usher in an age of historically unprecedented societal dystopia, in all its centralized-government, liberty-killing glory.
As of right now, the Republican Establishment is willing to abet the latter destination. They are hell-bent on force-feeding the electorate yet another moderate squish loser, once again laboring under the delusion that they must out-Democrat Democrats to win the Oval Office. Or even worse, and perhaps a lot more accurate, they are willing to never again control both houses of Congress and the presidency at the same time, lest they be forced to actually lead the nation, rather than simply enjoy the perks and privileges of power without the responsibilities of it.
Yet one thing is certain. The public is fed up with voting for the lesser of two evils, and no one symbolizes that disgust — along with an equal amount of public contempt for our mainstream media — than Trump. That discontent runs so deep that the glaring inconsistencies of Trump’s positions are virtually meaningless to an electorate in search of anyone and anything that even hints at a break from the status quo.
Rather than channel that anger, GOP leadership is determined to exacerbate it for exactly the same reason Democrats give black Americans equally short shrift: They believe conservative America has nowhere else to go. It doesn’t get more cynical than that. It is a cynicism this American hopes leads to their ultimate demise and replacement by a genuine opposition party.
It couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of go-along-to get-along, ideologically bereft hacks.
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