Cruz Infuriates Colleagues With Political Posturing. Again.

Ted Cruz may be loved by the Tea Party, but he is absolutely loathed by most of his fellow Republicans senators, including most of the really far-right ones. On Friday night, he demonstrated why by once again engaging in a Quixotic floor fight that allowed him to posture as taking a tough stand while actually hurting his party’s position in every substantive way.

Cruz, along with Utah Sen. Mike Lee, took to the floor Friday night to demand Republicans stop President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration and scuttled a bipartisan agreement to push back votes until Monday, effectively forcing the Senate to return for a rare weekend session and cast a marathon series of procedural votes.

Senior Republicans say there’s a problem with Cruz’s strategy: The GOP lacks the votes to stop Obama on immigration now, the $1.1 trillion spending package was speeding to passage, and they won’t resort to shutting down the government to mount their objections. Plus, the weekend session could allow Obama to get even more of his nominees confirmed.

So while Cruz and Lee argue they’re taking a hard stand against Obama, the result might allow Democrats to end the year with more of their priorities advanced — and the two conservatives getting nothing.

“I think this is ridiculous,” Ayotte said in an interview.

The fiasco has turned many of Cruz’s colleagues openly against him, a dynamic that might bolster his cred with the tea party wing of the party if he makes a run for the GOP’s presidential nomination in 2016, but could also leave him vulnerable to attacks that he’s more troublemaker than leader — able to shutdown the government or stall votes — but unable to advance a proactive agenda.

On Saturday, GOP senator after GOP senator teed off on Cruz, arguing that his strategy had blindsided the caucus, forced them to return to Washington and even strengthened Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s ability to exploit the Senate rules and push through 24 of Obama’s stalled nominees. Several senators had to abruptly change plans, including Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, who had to cancel his official trip to Iraq and Turkey this weekend.

On the floor, angry GOP senators pressed Cruz over whether he was fundraising off of his tactics, sources said, and Maine Sen. Susan Collins ripped him in a private conversation. Several Republicans were discussing whether to mount a protest vote against Cruz: Unite in opposition to his point-of-order challenging the constitutionality of the spending bill’s funding of Obama’s immigration move.

And 20 Republicans, including incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, ultimately opposed the Texas Republican. Cruz and Lee won the backing of 22 GOP senators total, including potential 2016 rivals Marco Rubio of Florida and Rand Paul of Kentucky.

The frustration was abundantly clear in the hallways of the Capitol. Asked if he thought the Cruz-Lee plan was effective, Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch said: “The answer is no.”

“I don’t see how conservative ends are achieved,” said Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, a fiscal hardliner. “I think it’s counterproductive. Some of the nominations that we had issues with, like the surgeon general, were not going to move forward. Now they’re going to move forward.”

This is the very essence of the Tea Party temperament: Do something, anything, to show how pure you are in your ideology, even if in reality it actually hurts you both politically and substantively. Compromise is, by definition, betrayal, and any acceptance of the reality of a situation or thinking strategically is treason. Strike a pose, there’s nothing to it.

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  • D. C. Sessions

    But it might help him get the nomination next year. In which case it’s all worth while.

  • raven

    Ted Cruz doesn’t want to be liked.

    He wants power.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Aaaaaaand every one of those people will get primaried. Even the ones that aren’t running again (Susan Collins says she is retiring. Send Gus Spirtnick to Congress to tell her ‘No!’ and also burn it down. Burn it all down. Down down down, burn burn burn. “Hi, I’m Gus Spirtnick and I approve this message.” [This message brought to you by Freedom Americans for Patriotism])

  • gshelley

    It seems especially amusing that in his ridiculous posturing, he inadvertently harmed their efforts to block nominees and actually helped the Obama administration

  • caseloweraz

    On Friday night, he demonstrated why by once again engaging in a Quixotic floor fight that allowed him to posture as taking a tough stand while actually hurting his party’s position in every substantive way.

    Dare we hope that his disgruntled colleagues will start referring to him as the Quixotic Quisling?

  • Michael Heath

    Ed concludes:

    This is the very essence of the Tea Party temperament: Do something, anything, to show how pure you are in your ideology, even if in reality it actually hurts you both politically and substantively. Compromise is, by definition, betrayal, and any acceptance of the reality of a situation or thinking strategically is treason.

    It’s not merely the essence of the Tea Party to not compromise, but the GOP in general. A current illustration is even noted in the blog post above. Sen. Cruz’s actions reduced the ability of Republicans in the Senate to continue to successfully obstruct voting on presidential nominations.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Michael Heath “Sen. Cruz’s actions reduced the ability of Republicans in the Senate to continue to successfully obstruct voting on presidential nominations.”

    Thanks, Obama!

  • John Pieret

    including potential 2016 rivals Marco Rubio of Florida and Rand Paul of Kentucky.

    Who were probably just protecting their own right flanks and also think Cruz is nothing but a bomb thrower who will hurt the party to advance himself.

  • http://mostlyrational.net tacitus

    It’s almost bizarre to say it, but between Paul and Cruz, it’s been Rand Paul who’s been trying to act the grown-up, something I would have found hard to believe while they were both still running for the Senate.

    Neither candidate is remotely acceptable as president, of course, and neither will win the Republican nomination. Cruz probably had a chance before he went to Washington, but he’s already blown it, and in a big way.

  • John Pieret

    I hope Cruz will enjoy his assignments to the the most obscure (and, therefore, least publicity-generating) and least lobbied (and, therefore, least contribution-generating) committees the party leadership can find.

  • busterggi

    Damned Canadian!

  • grumpyoldfart

    Are the politicians complaining because they disagree with Cruz’s ideas about immigration, or because he messed up their weekend?

  • Al Dente

    grumpyoldfart @12

    The answer is: (c) all of the above.

  • chilidog99

    Quixotic Quisling from Quebec?

    Yeah, I know he’s actually from Calgary.

    The “Craptastic Cruzader from Calgary?”

  • felidae

    Some advice for Teddy from on high:

    And the Lord sayeth: He who shitteth in thine own nest shall complaineth no about the smell

  • vereverum

    Instead of Quixotic, perhaps Pyrrhic would be a better description.

    Maybe he’s a double agent?

  • macallan

    I knew he’s a deep cover liberal who’s been trolling the crap out of the GOP!

  • lorn

    Cruz is building the his story, his legend if you will.

    The GOP has stories. Stories about discrimination against Christians and conservatives, of “urban” (spelled urban but pronounced brown) populations living off the sweat of “real” (white) Americans, as liberal/communist/homos wage war against the “American” (white Christian conservative) way of life. Democrats have facts. Point to the GOP.

    Cruz knows that the best story, legend, wins:

    Ransom Stoddard: You’re not going to use the story, Mr. Scott?

    Maxwell Scott: No, sir. This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.

    If he has to cripple the portion of the GOP that wants to get things done and hold back things that need to get done, causing additional suffering for millions, so be it.

  • dingojack

    There was a certain Australian Federal Senator from Queensland (with a rather unfortunate resemblance to a Cane Toad) who although elected as a member of one party, stepped down and sat as an independent on the cross-benches (in fact voting with the other party) , depriving the government of one crucial vote in the Upper House, who was described (by Tom Uren*, I think) as:

    “That quisling Quasimodo from Queensland”.

    Cruel — but accurate.

    Dingo

    ———-

    * He later expressed regret he’d said it.

  • Crimson Clupeidae

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    Message from the Freedom Patriots for America: Splitters!!