Wannabe Republican presidential nominee Ted Cruz is possibly the most hated man in the U.S. Senate. That’s among his own party. His aloofness and hubris didn’t come from his years as a lawyer. It’s a part of his persona right back to his Ivy League days. His implosion is spectacular. No less than a wacko-bird from Texas, according to Jason Zengerle’s article in GQ Magazine. It’s funny, the Republicans hammered then-candidate Barack Obama as an elitist during the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, when that was further from the truth.
As a law student at Harvard, he refused to study with anyone who hadn’t been an undergrad at Harvard, Princeton, or Yale. Says Damon Watson, one of Cruz’s law-school roommates: “He said he didn’t want anybody from ‘minor Ivies’ like Penn or Brown.”
What struck me as particularly hypocritical about Ted Cruz is his spiel that his father pulled himself up by the bootstraps to achieve the American dream. But he did fall flat on his face once he achieved that dream after his business went bust and he was forced to declare bankruptcy and his marriage eventually crumbled. This is the story Ted Cruz wants to ignore. That’s a story that’s known all too well by millions of Americans struggling to make ends meet. Ted Cruz acts as though he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth.
But there’s one part of Rafael’s story that Cruz purposefully omits, and it might be the most affecting—and offers perhaps the most revealing window into Ted’s own youthful determination. Cruz’s father had started an oil and gas exploration business, then moved with his wife to Calgary, where Ted was born. (Cruz’s supporters say—and most legal experts agree—that his Canadian birth would not be an obstacle should he ever run for the White House, since, by dint of his mother’s American citizenship, he qualifies as a natural-born American citizen.) In 1974 the family followed the oil business to the Houston suburbs, where Ted would enjoy a typical American adolescence. But then, in the ’80s, when Ted was in high school, the oil industry briefly cratered, and his father’s business tumbled down with it. He went bankrupt. Eventually his marriage crumbled as well.
When I brought up the bankruptcy one afternoon in Cruz’s office—I had learned about it from one of his college friends—his face fell and he grew quiet. After a moment, he let out a long sigh and acknowledged that this was true. “My father poured all of my parents’ personal assets into the company, and demand for oil and gas exploration just disappeared, because oil prices dropped so low. There’s a whole generation of people in the energy industry at that time that just lost everything.”
Yeah, the self-proclaimed ‘wacko-bird’ is a humongous fake and phony whose presidential aspirations should be welcomed by Democrats since he will literally go nowhere. Jonathan Chait slams Ted Cruz as a self-aware ego-maniac who turned the Obamacare defunding plan into an utter fiasco:
[T]he new stop-Obamacare plan now entails filibustering the defunders’ own bill. They can do this with just 41 votes in the Senate, if they can get them. But consider how terrible this situation is for the Republicans. If they fail, it will be because a handful of Republicans joined with Democrats to break the filibuster, betraying the defunders. This means the full force of the defund-Obamacare movement – which is itself very well funded by rabid grassroots conservatives eager to save the country from the final socialistic blow of Obamacare — will come down on the handful of Senate Republicans who hold its fate in their hands. The old plan at least let angry conservatives blame Democrats for blocking their goal of defunding Obamacare. Now the defunders can turn their rage against fellow Republicans, creating a fratricidal, revolution-eats-its-own bloodletting.
Even Fox News is skeptical of Ted Cruz. On Fox News Monday, Brit Hume accused Senator Cruz and his Congressional allies of “improvising a high-stakes strategy to defund Obamacare that would either fail or wind up getting the GOP blamed for a government shutdown,” Mediaite reports:
Hume noted that the only way Cruz and others in the Senate could use the Senate’s sixty-vote threshold to their advantage is by filibustering their own bill, “which would be a very peculiar position to be in,” and predicted the resolution would be amended to include ObamaCare funding and then passed through the House with some Republican votes.
“But there would be hell to pay among some factions within the Republican Party, that this would amount to betrayal, which is what Ted Cruz and his House allies are counting on,” Hume said. “My guess is this effort will fail.”
Paul Waldman writes “the knives are coming out for him:”
[R]unning for president (which Cruz would plainly like to do one day) means getting a whole lot of people to like you. Fundraisers, reporters, other politicians who might endorse you, power brokers from the highest party pooh-bah down to every block captain in Des Moines—you’ve got to court them and make them love you so they’ll work their hearts out. Politicians like Bill Clinton and George W. Bush who excel at that personal side of politics have an immense leg up.
It’s one thing to be personally awkward, like Al Gore or Mitt Romney—that makes it harder, but not impossible. But if you’re someone who inspires this kind of venom, that’s another matter entirely.
Get the popcorn ready for the 2016 presidential election season. The infighting in the GOP will only intensify as we inch closer to the 2016 presidential election. I would venture to say, if there’s a government shutdown come October 1, Ted Cruz and the Republican Party will be blamed.