Here’s the one thing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has in common with the average middle-class American: Ted Cruz (R-TX) is his worst nightmare.
Not that McConnell disagrees with Cruz’s billionaire-coddling, revanchist paranoid fantasies that pit anyone who doesn’t agree with Dick Cheney 100 percent of the time as a UN-brainwashed, disloyal “Friend of Hamas.”
What terrifies McConnell as he attempts to saw logs is just how easily Senator Ted Cruz could destroy his political career.
Cruz crushed Texas lieutenant governor David Dewhurst in the Lone Star State’s 2012 U.S. Senate GOP primary by running against the “establishment.” Unlike Sharron Angle, Richard Mourdock or Christine O’Donnell—Tea Partiers who all won GOP primaries in purple states—Cruz’s primary win in blood-red Texas was a ticket straight to the upper house of Congress, where he has instantly replaced Jim DeMint (R-SC) as the Republican who sounds the most like Glenn Beck, if Beck had ever left puberty.
With one endorsement, one press release or even one wink in the right direction, Cruz could turn some lucky Tea Partier into a serious candidate to defeat Mitch McConnell, the man who has led Senate Republicans since they became the minority in 2007.
Usually a new senator spends his first few years keeping a low profile and kissing up to the leadership. Cruz has effectively reversed this process. Every time a microphone gets near his face, he creates excruciating headlines for the GOP. And the Republican leadership is all puckered up and dying to plant one on Cruz’s nether regions, according to National Review Online.
“He’s ready for primetime on day one, which is pretty unusual for somebody who just got sworn in,” McConnell says. “He’s a deadly weapon.” He is also “good company,” according to McConnell, who recently accompanied Cruz on a delegation to Israel and Afghanistan.
Cruz — the perfect representative of dive-bombing GOP primary voters who would rather flame out trying to destroy Obama than actually govern — has Mitch McConnell on a leash. And because Republicans have used the filibuster to hijack control of lawmaking and appointments in this country, this means that the farthest right of the GOP now effectively has control of the Senate and much of the government.
Thus Senate Republicans — who have already set records for obstruction — are already sinking to new depths just months into the 113th Congress.