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Is This Guy the Biggest GOP Jerk in Congress?

April 30, 2013 in Blogs

By Alex Pareene, Salon

Ted Cruz has nothing to lose and everything to win by opposing any reasonable policy and generally acting like a jack-ass. Our system is truly broken.

Here’s Sen. Ted Cruz, Ted Cruzing it up, taking practically sole credit for killing gun background checks and trashing all his colleagues:


The New York Times charitably says that “Friday’s speech was not the first time Mr. Cruz may have acted counter to some of the Senate’s norms,” before bringing up Cruz’s decidedly McCarthyite take on Chuck Hagel.

Cruz is at the FreedomWorks Texas Summit, and the news here is that he calls most of his colleagues “squishes” and gives a (quite self-aggrandizing) account of off-the-record Senate Republican caucus luncheons, which apparently involved a lot of people yelling at Cruz and Rand Paul and the other guy who also promised to filibuster the entire gun deal from start to finish. In this version of events, the three filibustering amigos were responsible for the failure of the entire proposal. As Dave Weigel points out, that’s not really how it happened. The bill failed — and was probably doomed to begin with — because a lot more than three senators opposed it, and the Cruz/Paul filibuster threat was worse politics for the party than allowing debate to proceed and then watching red-state Democrats cave. Which is what actually happened.

This unbecoming display of narcissism and lack of team spirit led Washington Post blogger and former uncompensated Mitt Romney flack Jennifer Rubin to call Cruz a jerk. Which he undoubtedly is!

For starters, it’s just not smart to annoy colleagues whose cooperation and support you’ll need in the future. Second, as a conservative he should understand humility and grace are not incompatible with “standing on principle”; the absence of these qualities doesn’t make him more principled or more effective. Third, for a guy who lacks manners (see his condescending questioning of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) he comes across as whiny. They yelled at me! Boo hoo, senator.

Basically all of this analysis is dead wrong. At least it’s wrong in the specific case of Ted Cruz, who will not need anyone’s …read more


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