As the saying goes, success has many fathers but failure is an orphan. Ted Cruz may find few willing to adopt him at this rate. After a couple of quieter days more or less out the Klieg lights, conservatives are refocusing their angst on the junior Senator from Texas. They’re not happy that he stirred up this hornet’s nest for political profit, presumably knowing he couldn’t deliver.
But what really has them pissed, Cruz is raising large sums of money to fund his Senate Conservatives Fund, and using it to run oppo hits against fellow conservatives. Some of Cruz’s victims are lining up for the kill shot anonymously and some are willing to pitch in by name. :
Politico — At the Wednesday lunch, Cruz was asked what he would have done had GOP senators united to filibuster the House bill. “He kept trying to change the subject because he never could answer the question,” the senator said. “It’s pretty evident it’s never been about a strategy – it’s been about him. That’s unfortunate. I think he’s done our country a major disservice. I think he’s done Republicans a major disservice.”
In the run-up to the Tuesday deadline to fund the government, Cruz continued to press the anti-Obamcare fight, lobbying House conservatives to stiffen Boehner’s spine despite the prospects of a government shutdown. The speaker responded with bill after bill taking aim at pieces of the health care law. But Senate Democrats rejected each one up until the final hours of Monday night, prompting the first government shutdown since 1996.
Many Senate Republicans publicly and privately scoffed at the Cruz tactics, arguing that he was making a false and politically damaging promise that he could use the funding bill to gut Obamacare. … “The entire effort has been totally disingenuous,” the senator said.
Cruz was instrumental in selling the Teaparty base on the idea that not only could they win and get Obamacare shutdown with a government shutdown, but that they would win. Now, thanks to Cruz, they fully expect to pull it off and they think the nation is on their side, when in fact the reverse is true on both issues in a major way: Obamacare is already enrolling people via dozens of websites staggering under enormous traffic, and crushing majorities say they don’t want the government shut down over defunding Obamacare. House and Senate Republicans returning home to gerrymandered hyper-conservative districts will eventually have to answer to a segment of the electorate that’s not interested in legislative nuance or factual explanations, especially when it contradicts their cherished delusions.
Cruz is a predatory sociopath. One who has developed an unquenchable thirst for easy money and growing power, one who is cunning enough to realize his biggest competition for wingnut welfare and hero worship are fellow conservatives bilking the same crowd. One who is ruthless enough to eliminate members of his own caucus at the drop of a hat. Mainstream Republicans should be afraid of Cruz, he’s out-grifting them by an order of magnitude and sucking up grass-roots contributions they think should be theirs, he’s hijacked the carefully crafted misinformation apparatus they built up over two generations and enlisted it to serve his interests only, and he’s wrecking it for the rest of them in the process.
Grover Norquist is much more of a realist, he seeks legislative results. He’s also fairly single-mined and passionate about his sole issue, cutting taxes, especially for the rich and grateful. Since there’s little in the way of tax cuts here and potential for a huge political setback for the guys that do most of the tax cutting, Norquist is not amused by Cruz’s shenanigans:
TPM — “He said if the House would simply pass the bill with defunding he would force the Senate to act. He would lead this grass-roots movement that would get Democrats to change their mind. So the House passed it, it went to the Senate, and Ted Cruz said, oh, we don’t have the votes over here.”
“And I can’t find the e-mails or ads targeting Democrats to support it,” Norquist added. “Cruz said he would deliver the votes and he didn’t deliver any Democratic votes. He pushed House Republicans into traffic and wandered away.”