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Oct 09 2013

Cruz Still Serving Up the Koolaid

Public opinion may be strongly against him and even most of his Republican colleagues may be furious at him, but Ted Cruz is still serving up the Koolaid to the true believers. Speaking to a conservative group in Virginia on Saturday, Cruz is still trying to play the populist card.

“How do we win?” he asked. “If you trust the media, if you trust the voices in Washington, if you even trust, god forbid, some of the elected Republicans in Washington, they say we can’t win this fight. The only way to win this fight is the way we won every other fight throughout the history of the republic, which is solutions don’t come from Washington, D.C., they come from the people.”

“Career politicians in both parties have gotten us into this mess,” he said. “But it’s going to be the American people who get us out.”

Populism is the first refuge of demagogues, who claim to be on the side of the “will of the people” even when they clearly are not. Polls show that Americans oppose the government shutdown by a 3-1 margin and most of them blame the Republicans for it. And the very agenda that he claims such populist support for got hammered at the ballot box less than a year ago. But as always, the narrative is all that matters and the facts must be ignored or distorted in the service of ideology.

17 comments

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  1. 1
    eric

    The only way to win this fight is the way we won every other fight throughout the history of the republic, which is solutions don’t come from Washington, D.C., they come from the people.”

    Nice, empty, rhetoric. When the problem is “the legislative branch won’t pass a bill,” the solution does indeed come from Washington D.C.

  2. 2
    Dunc

    Yeah, damn those “careerist politicians”! Now, send me money to finance my run for President…

  3. 3
    raven

    The only way to win this fight is the way we won every other fight throughout the history of the republic, which is solutions don’t come from Washington, D.C., they come from the people.”

    As Ed Brayton pointed out, the people just voted a year ago. They reelected Obama by 5 million votes. It’s called democracy.

    “Career politicians in both parties have gotten us into this mess,”

    Completely false.

    Career GOP politicians and amateurs from the Tea Party faction got us into this mess. We are still picking up the pieces from the Bush Disaster and trying to put the USA back together. As a priest just said, they would rather see America destroyed than Obama succeed.

  4. 4
    Jay Hoskins

    I’m wondering if this situation will extinguish Cruz’s chances at the presidency, or fuel it. I’m hoping for the former.

  5. 5
    John Pieret

    I’m wondering if this situation will extinguish Cruz’s chances at the presidency, or fuel it.

    If demagoguery plus stupid could get Michelle Bachmann considered for the Republican nomination, then demagoguery minus stupid (no one has accused Cruz of that) should make him a viable Looney Right candidate for the nomination.

    But, if he gets it, how convincingly can he then run to the center in the general election when McCain couldn’t manage it after he sold his soul in the primaries?

    Hillary would love to oppose Cruz.

  6. 6
    colnago80

    Re John Pieret @ #5

    Cruz combines a facility for demagoguery that would make Huey Long green with envy together with is very high level of intelligence. Cruz has a frightening facility of making idiotic statements like this sound almost reasonable. Liberals would ignore him at their peril.

  7. 7
    scienceavenger

    I’m wondering if this situation will extinguish Cruz’s chances at the presidency, or fuel it. I’m hoping for the former.

    If Ken Cuccinelli’s recent avoidance of Cruz like the plague at a mutually attended event is any indication, I’d say no. Bachmann may have gotten some support, but she was never a real threat to get the nomination. I’m going to miss her. No one brings the loony with more condescension.

    stupid (no one has accused Cruz of that)

    Lawrence O’Donnell has.

  8. 8
    colnago80

    Re scienceavenger @ #7

    If Lawrence O’Donnell says that Cruz is stupid, he’s a schmuck. Read the article on Cruz at Gentleman’s Quarterly or comments by Alan Dershowitz, (who, unlike O’Donnell, actually interacted with him in a class on constitutional law) who say that Cruz is very smart.

  9. 9
    DaveL

    Populism is the first refuge of demagogues, who claim to be on the side of the “will of the people” even when they clearly are not.

    If they really believed they were, they could simply wait to repeal the ACA until after they swept Congress in the 2014 midterm elections.

  10. 10
    Reginald Selkirk

    RE #8: Stupid is as stupid does.

  11. 11
    scienceavenger

    @10 That’s essentially O’Donnell’s argument

    @8 I didn’t say I agreed with him. I think Cruz is smart precisely because I don’t think he believes half of what he says. He’s just playing the role of presidential candidate and savior of us all.

  12. 12
    colnago80

    Re scilenceavenger @ #11

    Actually, IMHO, he is just pandering to the tea party morons who think he’s great because he sounds like he knows what he’s talking about.

  13. 13
    exdrone

    When he said, “the American people”, did he mean a minority extremist sub-set of the American people?

  14. 14
    Michael Heath

    Cruz demonstrates stupidity, especially if he actually cares about his progeny. He meets that standard merely be denying what climate scientists assert. That alone is sufficient to determine he’s stupid though we have lots of other examples, like his demonstrating determined ignorance towards what economists understand.

    I think it’s also stupid to continually depend on false premises for one’s positions; even when there’s a short-term incentive to lie.

  15. 15
    colnago80

    Re Michael Heath @ #14

    To borrow from Richard Dawkins commenting on a lecture by David Berlinski, one who denies global warming is either ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked (but I don’t want to consider that). Cruz, is neither ignorant, stupid, or insane.

  16. 16
    Rutee Katreya

    To borrow from Richard Dawkins commenting on a lecture by David Berlinski, one who denies global warming is either ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked (but I don’t want to consider that). Cruz, is neither ignorant, stupid, or insane.

    So you assert that in spite of witnessing a very intelligent physicist, praised for his intelligence, get the facts on AGW wrong and proclaim it impossible, Cruz must understand the reality on what grounds?

    You also assert that, because as a kid he was smart in his constitutional law class, he must still be acting in full awareness of reality now?

  17. 17
    colnago80

    You also assert that, because as a kid he was smart in his constitutional law class, he must still be acting in full awareness of reality now?

    I’m not asserting anything of the sort. I don’t know whether Cruz understands the reality of the situation relative to global warming; I am asserting that, if he does, he is prevaricating to pander to the tea party clowns. Since Cruz is not a scientist and has no scientific background, it would not be at all surprising if he did not understand the reality behind global climate change. Most of the laymen on both sides of the issue, including myself, are in the same boat. What most of us who accept the reality of global climate change are reacting to is the scientific consensus, which heavily endorses the concept. I would cite “not so famous physicist” Bob Park who admits that he is not competent to make an independent judgment on the issue but is relying on the views of experts for whom he has respect.

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