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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Cruz and Lee Alienate Republicans and Conservatives

Powerline reports:
The Senate has approved the so-called Cromnibus bill. It did so in a rare Saturday session. According to the Washington Post, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee forced the Saturday session:
Prolonged debate on the spending bill, which passed on a 56-to-40 bipartisan vote, came after Cruz and Lee late Friday night derailed a carefully crafted plan between party leaders to allow senators to go home for the weekend and return Monday to approve the spending agreement. The pair had sought to force a vote that essentially would block federal agencies from implementing the immigration policy changes ordered by Obama last month.
Cruz and Lee accomplished nothing in terms of the spending bill or the executive amnesty. But, again according to the Post, their maneuvering enabled Harry Reid to confirm around 20 of President Obama’s nominations. Here’s how:
Reid blocked the Cruz-Reid request for a vote on blocking Obama’s executive amnesty and angrily clashed with them on the Senate floor, ensuring that debate on the spending bill would spill into Saturday. Then, come Saturday, Reid used the session to begin consideration of around 20 of Obama’s nominees, almost half of whom Republicans had been blocking. Consequently, votes on the nominees will take place on Monday morning.
...
 Ted Cruz’s heart is in the right place, but once again, his judgment must be questioned.
The Washington Examiner editorializes:
Every army has disagreements among its leaders, but they must agree on tactics to effect their strategy. Every football team must agree on the next play if it is to work. In the Senate, caucus leaders are chosen precisely to make such decisions. The weekend's events demonstrate that some Republicans are not playing on the same team. This was not a simple, common occurrence of senatorial independence, but rather open defiance of caucus strategy — a decision by junior officers that their own tactical decisions take precedence over those of generals who were chosen for the job.
When this happens, games and battles are lost. Before Republicans take the majority in the Senate next month, they should make up their minds about who is in charge. Otherwise, they face the prospect of losing again and again.
At The Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin writes:
Cruz remains the odd man out in the Senate, justifiably hated by his peers. Among those openly disparaging Cruz and his antics were Republican Sens. Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), Orrin Hatch (Utah), Johnny Isakson (Ga.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Susan Collins (Maine), Bob Corker (Tenn.) and John Cornyn (Tex.).
Cruz likes to say he is “leading”; he seems not to know the difference between leading and preening. A fatuous tweet from a Cruz flack (“GOP [senators] should quit complaining about Cruz and Lee and start working with us to stop amnesty”) was par for the course: dishonest (they all will fight the executive action in the new Senate), self-serving and insulting.

In the new Senate, Cruz can expect less and less indulgence from fellow Republicans. That only 22 senators joined him in his constitutional point of order suggests he is neither feared nor respected. In reminding everyone — in case they forgot the 2013 shutdown — Cruz cannot even get along with members of his own party, he reminds responsible Republicans how ludicrous it would be to put him in the White House. The man who has come to define the dysfunction and nastiness voters loathe about Beltway politicians is going to have quite a tough time convincing voters he is the answer to the strife and incompetence of the Obama years.