Ted Cruz is slipping in the polls with Republican primary voters, but that really doesn’t matter to him. To Ted Cruz, wanting to be the standard-bearer of the Tea Party movement is more important than passing legislation or broadening the appeal of a political party that is quickly losing popularity with American voters.
His presidential campaign is ultimately due to collapse, and Ted Cruz only has himself to blame. I know the title of this article sounds more than a little bit hyperbolic, but hear me out on this on and I think you’ll agree.
I like to compare Ted Cruz to The Joker from Batman, or even the poorly-socialized children of the fundamentalist homeschooling movement which he, Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal have courted vigorously ahead of the Republican primaries. He doesn’t know how to properly function around other adults, he often refuses to cooperate with Republican leadership, and none of this matters to him because he knows that the people of Texas will continue to reelect him as long as he wants to stay in office. Cruz was willing to shut down the federal government over Planned Parenthood to rally support from the evangelical conservative base for his campaign, even though it was a move that would have been politically disastrous for the Republican Party as whole.
As my friend Sean Illing over at Salon points out, Ted Cruz really doesn’t seem to care who he angers or isolates, even if it is members of his own party’s leadership like Mitch McConnell.
The worst thing about Cruz isn’t his obnoxiousness or his undemocratic conservatism or his dreary affectations; it’s his self-promoting nihilism. What he’s doing, and how he’s doing it, feels unprecedented. Threatening to shut down the government or undermine the country’s credit rating in defense of campaign talking point is an act of legislative terror. Cruz represents the very worst of factionalist fervor. He has no regard for the constitution or the general will or the nation’s economy. He sees an opportunity to promote his brand and it doesn’t matter what the costs are, to his party or his country.
Cruz fancies himself a political martyr, the one Republican willing to fight for truth and transparency and conservative principles. He condemns his GOP colleagues as RINO cowards and pseudo-conservatives. But there’s nothing genuinely conservative about Cruz’s brinksmanship. He has no respect for Senatorial tradition or process or majority opinion. Again, he’s a nihilist and, perhaps worse, a fraud. (Source)
Ted Cruz fully embraced this strategy of “going rogue” when Donald Trump surged to the lead in Republican polling as an “outsider” candidate, hoping to pick up his supporters once the charade was up. Now that the media’s fascination with Trump has begun to wane, that strategy hasn’t paid off as Republican primary voters have shunned Cruz in favor of Dr. Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina.
Carson and Fiorina are nearly as extreme as Ted Cruz in their campaign messages, but they deliver that rhetoric in a manner that makes their candidacies appear respectable in comparison to Cruz who doesn’t seem to care who he angers – other than Donald Trump. The fact that he tried to hijack Mike Huckabee’s “religious freedom” rally for his own purposes and had to be physically blocked from climbing onto the stage, demonstrates even to members of his own party that he’s a loose cannon and cannot be controlled. Like The Joker in the Batman series, Ted Cruz is ultimately nothing more than an agent of political chaos.
Ted Cruz really doesn’t have a chance of winning the Republican nomination, or even being a VP pick due to the fact that he’s a political sociopath. Unfortunately for the Republican Party, and our country as a whole, it looks like we’re stuck with Ted Cruz as long as Americans continue to vote against their self interests and for right-wing extremists like him.
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