Cruz, Cornyn and the Overton Window

Cruz, Cornyn and the Overton Window October 1, 2013

What we’ve seen over the last week or so with Ted Cruz’ very public bid to anoint himself the One True Conservative may well indicate that as far as the Overton window has already slid far to the right, that process may not be done. Just look at the battle between Cruz and his fellow senator from Texas, John Cornyn, who refused to go along with his fake filibuster and calls to shut down the government.

Indeed, over the past several weeks, Cornyn and Cruz found themselves increasingly at odds in a tense public battle over whether to use a potential government shutdown as leverage to defund Obamacare. After initially signing on to Cruz’s effort, Cornyn withdrew his support and became a leading critic of the tactic, helping quash any momentum his colleague hoped to gain on the Senate floor this week.

Cruz, who spent all night on Tuesday using a floor speech to deride the health care overhaul, has attacked his GOP colleagues for cowering in the fight over Obamacare. He’s increasingly alienated from most Senate Republicans, who believe his tactics have hurt their party politically and put them in a weaker negotiating position with the White House.

But he has also made things more personal for Cornyn.

He refuses to publicly endorse Cornyn, the Senate’s No. 2 Republican, in his reelection bid, a highly unusual move for a senator from the same state and party. That has infuriated Cornyn allies who see it as a slight that will come back to haunt Cruz should he run for president in 2016 or need Cornyn’s help in the future.

Cruz again pointledly refused to endorse Cornyn for his 2014 election on Friday. But think about this. For 2012, the National Journal rated him the 2nd most conservative member of the Senate. He has a 100% lifetime rating from the Campaign for Working Families (Gary Bauer’s group), the National Right to Life Committee and the National Rifle Association. But now even that is not enough. The Tea Party crowd in Texas is demanding his scalp and want Louis Gohmert to run against him in the primary next year. So it seems that the Republican party is not done moving to the right. It’s hard to imagine there’s much room to move at this point without turning into the Constitution Party.

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  • Fuck Cruz. Dipshits like him should be allowed to be assistant night managers at the local sun-glass hut in the mall. And fuck the tea party.

  • Mr Ed

    There are only two paths to the Republican nomination; articulate workable conservative policy or be the last, not the first, person to claim the title to One True Conservative. As the first path is purely theoretical the nomination goes to the person with the momentum closest to primary day. Cruz is peaking too early.

  • Chiroptera

    Jesus! How far “right” can one move before the very word itself loses meaning?

  • maudell

    A heartfelt apology from Canada.

  • dickspringer

    We must acknowledge that Cruz is smart, psychopath that he is. In nine months in the Senate he has become the leader in Republican presidential polls. And no one heard of him before he was a senator. He is demagogue with a following that is angry and is armed and dangerous.

  • Trebuchet

    We can only hope that the teapartiers now hate Cornyn so much that they nominate some unelectable wingnut (Gohmert would work) in his place. They’ve done that repeatedly in the past, fortunately, which is the only reason the Dem’s still control the Senate.

  • Maybe they’ll go so far to the right they’ll eventually come out the other side as anti-authoritarian Marxists.

  • daved

    We can only hope that the teapartiers now hate Cornyn so much that they nominate some unelectable wingnut (Gohmert would work) in his place. They’ve done that repeatedly in the past, fortunately, which is the only reason the Dem’s still control the Senate.

    Cruz got elected by running to the right of the Establishment candidate in Texas, who was far from a liberal. I see no reason to assume that Gohmert (for example) couldn’t defeat Cornyn using the same strategy, except that Gohmert is an idiot, whereas Cruz is scary smart.

    Get another Cruz (I hope there isn’t one) to run to the right of Cornyn and he might well be elected. Just what we need.

  • busterggi

    Well the GOP hasn’t adopted the swastika as its symbol.


  • janiceclanfield

    You poor bastards. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any crazier.


    Your friends the Canadians.

  • Artor

    It’s pretty clear that Cruz is posturing for a run at the Presidency in ’16. I hope he keeps this shit up. He’s going to flame out early and provide plenty of damning sound bites for the election cycle.

  • colnago80

    Re janiceclanfield @ #10

    Well, Stephen Harper ain’t no bargain. He appointed a chiropractor and creationist, Gary Goodyear, as the Minister for Science in his cabinet (who, according to Larry Moran has been replaced in that post).

  • bushrat

    “will come back to haunt Cruz should he run for president in 2016”

    Wait one cotton pickin’ minute, wasn’t Cruz born in Calgary Alberta…CANADA!!! After all the birther nonsense the GOP may field a candidate that was born outside the US!

  • bushrat

    @12 You don’t know the half of it, I live in the K-W riding next to Goodyear’s Cambridge riding. The guy’s a buffoon from top to bottom.

  • bahrfeldt

    It’s been a long day and I am too lazy for much. So the following is what I posted as a comment on another blog this morning (slightly revised). Because that “get a job” bull really has me pissed off.

    Aside from blaming the president for everything, totally expected from the con-artist, Cruz’s routine on TV Sunday left me unusually uneasy with regard to one thread. When asked what people who needed health insurance could do without relying on ACA, he replied simply that they should “get a job”. Not even “get a job that provides coverage”. Is he really that far removed from the reality of life for many in his adopted country, as well as from the reality of many American employer’s failing to cover worker’s for health care (and retirement) and the reasons that ACA was passed? Or is his spiel just a damnable bunch of lies?

    I have been brought to understand that he passes on any health insurance coverage that he is eligible for under his Federal job, because he is covered by his spouse’s plan, provided by her employer without charge, whereas he would, like most Federal civilian employees, be paying about 30% to 40% of the cost of a probably inferior plan, subject to the arbitrary and capricious political whims of our politicians regarding both cost and coverage. Unless it’s because he is still fully covered by Canada 😉

  • postwaste

    The Republicans here in Texas could run a ham sandwich and win. We have absolute one party rule here.

  • Only if it’s ham and muenster on Wonder Bread mit ein guter senf.