I marvel at the soft bigotry within the Republican Party.
No, I’m not talking about racism – I’m talking about Cruzism – the hatred of Ted Cruz simply because he is Ted Cruz.
This bigotry can’t be based on Cruz’s ability to derail the GOP legislative agenda – because that would imply that the GOP actually has a legislative agenda. American voters just handed the GOP the largest majority in the House since before FDR’s New Deal and it has a commanding margin in the Senate. More state legislatures and governorships are now in the hands of the GOP than in recent memory and yet, have we heard what they plan to do with this majority?
Someone tell me if you have heard an agenda articulated – because I have no idea what they are planning to do.
Where are the fiery speeches against the Obama agenda? Where are the local events where the GOP members are educating the public on what Obama’s move to a true unitary executive really means? Who is leading the GOP offensive against the rise of what Jonathan Turley called the “fourth branch” of government?
Will a “Do Nothing” Congress be replaced by a “We Would Rather Not Do Anything About It” Congress?
One thing that the Democrats do well – and it is something that the GOP seems pathologically incapable of – is public incitement. I don’t mean that to be a pejorative term, that it is necessarily a violent stirring of the populace, what I mean is that the Donks are far better at stirring the pot to get their base engaged – perfect examples are Occupy Wall Street (something that Lieawatha Warren claimed to be the mother of), “Hands up, don’t shoot.”, “I can’t breathe” and the fictitious “rape culture” on college campuses (fueled by the false Duke rape case and now the fake UVa fraternity gang rape article in Rolling Stone).
I have to draw the conclusion that the GOP is still an elite “parlor party”, comfortable in the country clubs and salons of Washington and the major cities of the progressive Northeast and the Left Coast – not so much with the folks with dirt under their fingernails.
When I was growing up in Mississippi, one of the marques of success was to be a member of the local country club. That’s where the powerful of the town congregated to recreate in various forms…and to drink. I grew up in a “dry” county – alcoholic beverages were not allowed in Union County but the country club was a law enforcement free zone where you could play golf with the Chief of Police with a cooler of beer strapped to your cart. Every so often they would have a guest day when the kids could invite a friend to come swim in the pool and generally experience what was otherwise off limits to them.
After I worked my way through college, my wife and I returned to our hometown to start our careers and our family and as we integrated into the local societal flow, our material successes provided the opportunity to join the country club – there were two options: a full membership with all the trimmings or an associate membership with access to a lesser slate of privileges. The full membership was awarded based on your individual application and the associate was available if a parent or grandparent was already a member.
The GOP “establishment” desires so much for a full membership in the DC Country Club – but what they don’t realize is that they will never be more than an associate member.
The problem the GOP has with Ted Cruz is that while he could easily join the Club – he has all the street cred: Princeton undergrad and Harvard Law grad, serving as a primary editor of the Harvard Law Review – but he doesn’t want to join…and they can’t believe it. GOPers like John Boehner (Xavier University – 1977) desire nothing more than to be accepted by the cool kids who run Washington because that invitation would assuage their feelings of inferiority.
Even “libertarian” Rand Paul is beginning to succumb to the pull to join up.
Like Sally Field when she won her Oscar, all the GOP leadership wants to do is to scream, “I haven’t had an orthodox career, and I’ve wanted more than anything to have your respect. The first time I didn’t feel it, but this time I feel it, and I can’t deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me!”
To their shock and amazement, Ted Cruz is having none of it. Like the old Tareyton cigarette commercials, he would rather fight than switch.
That makes it very easy for the GOP establishment to join with the Democrats in conjoined hate for someone who reminds them that their collective stamp of approval is meaningless to him.
FDR once said “I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made.”
When measured by that standard, I think Ted Cruz stands in pretty good stead.