Here’s a scary thought: Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) could be elected president… if the election were held in an off-year, like 2010 or 2014.
The voters who come out to vote in midterm elections tend to be older, whiter and more costive than the “coalition of the ascendant” that helped Democrats win five out of the last six presidential popular votes. It’s conceivable that a majority of this constituency could vote for somebody with the invigorating demagoguery of a Ted Cruz.
And if that’s true, Cruz could have a serious chance to become the Republican nominee for president in 2016, if he can somehow disqualify Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and become the choice of the evangelicals, observant Christians and Tea Partiers who make up 70 percent of the party.
This should terrify Republicans, and they finally seem to get that.
After Cruz forced an unnecessary vote on the debt ceiling, The Wall Street Journal, the superego of the right, called him “The Minority Maker,” noting that the vote only served to rile up the base in order to help conservatives who are primarying incumbent Republicans. And riling Republicans against Republicans may raise funds for Cruz and the outside groups that have propped him up, but it wastes money from the funders who are averse to blowing millions on a third failed attempt to win the Senate.
With the elegance of an owner forced to put a cone around a dog’s neck to prevent self-mutilation, The National Review‘s Charles C.W. Cooke felt the need to pen a column in praise of the GOP leadership against the “witless” attacks on the “establishment.” He even went so far as to suggest that there was a “touch of Occupy Wall Street” in those who rage against the wisdom of Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), which is like a liberal calling another liberal a “Koch sucher.”
But GOP leaders raised Cruz to near-deity status with the far right by not stopping his attempt to shut down the government. And they’re continuing to create an environment where Cruz’s divisiveness and self-interest will prosper, fueling his belief that he’s Ronald Reagan reincarnated, sent to decapitate a party led by Gerald Fords.
Here’s how the Republican leadership is making it easy for Ted Cruz to rebrand the GOP as the party of Ted Cruz.
Photo: jbouie via Flickr