I've read some interesting stuff about Ted Cruz, lately. Some of it was first person accounts of classmates, nearly all of whom agreed on two things: he's very, very smart; and he's an arrogant prick. I guess it changes my opinion somewhat. I'd known he'd attended Princeton and Harvard, but, given his legislative idiocy, I reminded myself that George Bush followed a similar path, and he's proudly a C student, and was a D- president. But, okay, I accept that Ted Cruz is a smart guy. So what's he up to?
He was elected on his promise to "shake up Washington," and he's certainly doing that. In the way that Gary Ridgway shook up the area around Green River in our other Washington. Plus, it's Texas. There's no amount of crazy that could hurt his reelection chances there. So it seems to me it can only be about building a base for what some consider higher office. And if that base consists of people like Iowa teabaggers, then the crazier the better. And here's an article that would seem to confirm that:
Simply put: When you’ve reduced your entire movement to saying “no” to Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi, is it any surprise that whoever shouts “NO” the loudest will wind up defining what counts as “conservative”?
Indeed, if you happen to be a demagogue running for president on the platform that you are the only True Conservative and everyone else is a squish or a RINO or a secret liberal, then the best plan is to find the most convoluted, self-destructive, but nevertheless very loud way of saying “no.” Which is basically what Ted Cruz and his allies have done with the demand that Republicans tie keeping the government open to defunding the ACA.
One wonders: does there remain any hope at all that the Republican Party will return to the playing field instead of hanging in the locker room welding everyone's doors shut? Will things get so bad that voters finally reject such tactics, or will they recede into the former Confederacy and seethe forever, dealing with their fears and hates and sense of inadequacy by ruining things for everyone else? Is Ted Cruz smart and crazy, smart and cynical, or does he really think what he's doing serves any purposes but his own?