You can really tell who’s doing his or her job in Washington by the media’s reaction. Ted Cruz, the newly elected Republican senator from Texas, must be doing a superb job. The New York Times and the Democrats are pounding him. If he didn’t threaten them and shake things up, they’d ignore him.
Drudge has a New York Times piece by Jonathan Weisman, published yesterday, at the top of the page. It’s entitled “Texas Senator Goes on Attack and Raises Bipartisan Hackles.” It is priceless, really, in its fatuous disdain.
As the Senate edged toward a divisive filibuster vote on Chuck Hagel’s nomination to be defense secretary, Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, sat silent and satisfied in the corner of the chamber — his voice lost to laryngitis — as he absorbed what he had wrought in his mere seven weeks of Senate service.
Mr. Hagel, a former senator from Mr. Cruz’s own party, was about to be the victim of the first filibuster of a nominee to lead the Pentagon. The blockade was due in no small part to the very junior senator’s relentless pursuit of speeches, financial records or any other documents with Mr. Hagel’s name on them going back at least five years. Some Republicans praised the work of the brash newcomer, but others joined Democrats in saying that Mr. Cruz had gone too far.
Imagine! Cruz was satisfied that he had helped cripple Hagel’s nomination. He was actually happy that someone he considers inept and dangerous might not be confirmed. Even to the point of losing his voice, the Times adds. Clearly, he must be some kind of weird vigilante, eh?
Cruz was “relentless” in finding out information about Hagel from financial records and his actual words as long, long, long ago as five years. (During the primaries time was not so important to the Times and the Washington Post which hounded Rick Perry about going out on land that decades ago had a rock on it with a slur on it, even though he had no connection to it at all.) Maybe the media would like to go back to some of Barack Obama’s speeches and take a look at them. Or at the purchase of his house from criminal Tony Rezko. Nah, that kind of stuff wasn’t important to the future of 300 million Americans’ future.
The next sentence of the article raises the word media love to bandy about: McCarthyism. That’s supposed to send the public into tizzies of fear and loathing. Actually McCarthy has been unfairly maligned in American history if you go back and take an honest look.
The term was thrown at him by California Senator Barbara Boxer. Not that the liberal progressive Democrat would want to finger him for her own purposes.
In just two months, Mr. Cruz, 42, has made his presence felt in an institution where new arrivals are usually not heard from for months, if not years. Besides suggesting that Mr. Hagel might have received compensation from foreign enemies, he has tangled with the mayor of Chicago, challenged the Senate’s third-ranking Democrat on national television, voted against virtually everything before him — including the confirmation of John Kerry as secretary of state — and raised the hackles of colleagues from both parties.
He could not be more pleased. Washington’s new bad boy feels good.
“I made promises to the people of Texas that I would come to Washington to shake up the status quo,” he said in e-mailed answers to questions, in lieu of speaking. “That is what I intend to do, and it is what I have done in every way possible in the responsibilities that have been granted to me.”
How dare Cruz! Making waves? Doesn’t he know his place? As a new senator he should lay low. Like the former Senator Obama? Shouldn’t we know if our future Defense Secretary took money from other nations? Is Mayor Rahm Emanuel unassailable, even when he threatens the second amendment? Should Cruz not engage in debate with Chuck Schumer? The implication is that Schumer is better than Cruz and he should acknowledge it. Why not vote against Kerry? Most normal Americans did once and probably would again.
That makes him a “bad boy.” Could we get some more bad in the Senate like him? Guess his fellow Texans voted him in to relegate that huge state’s voice to a whisper because they are not as worthy of opinions as places like D.C. or Rhode Island.
In a body known for comity, Mr. Cruz is taking confrontational Tea Party sensibilities to new heights — or lows, depending on one’s perspective. Wowed conservatives hail him as a hero, but even some Republican colleagues are growing publicly frustrated with a man who has taken the zeal of the prosecutor and applied it to the decorous quarters of the Senate.
Comity in the Senate? You mean like when Senator Hillary Clinton stood up and said that President Bush knew the 9/11 attack was coming and went all Truther? Or when Harry Reid spews his venom?
They spit out Tea Party like it was cancer. The “some Republican colleagues” are squishes like Senator Lamar Alexander and Senator Corker who don’t want to cause waves – just get reelected. I think the times require someone with the “zeal of a prosecutor,” don’t you?
“He basically came out and made the accusation about money from North Korea or money from our enemies, and he just laid out there all of this accusatory verbiage without a shred of evidence,” said Senator Claire McCaskill, Democrat of Missouri. “In this country we had a terrible experience with innuendo and inference when Joe McCarthy hung out in the United States Senate, and I just think we have to be more careful.”
By repeating Senator Boxer’s charge of McCarthyism, McCaskill is telling us the Democrat line of attack on Cruz. Yawn.
Cruz defends himself:
“Comity does not mean avoiding the truth,” he added. “And it would be wrong to avoid speaking the truth about someone’s record and past policy positions, even if doing so inevitably subjects me to personal criticism from Democrats and the media.”
Mr. Cruz was among the 22 senators who voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, among the 34 who voted against raising the debt ceiling, among the 19 who tried to cut off military sales to Egypt, among the 36 who opposed a relief package for the regions hit by Hurricane Sandy, and among the three senators who voted against Mr. Kerry’s confirmation.
Want to bet most of his fellow Texans would have voted that way themselves? I know I would have.
After she raised the specter of McCarthyism, Ms. McCaskill was asked if she had spoken to Mr. Cruz about her concerns.
“I’m not sure it would do any good,” she said. “Do you?”
That sounds like a man of conviction who respects the truth and won’t be shaken from acknowledging it. Would we had an army of Cruz in the Senate!