How to Label Ted Cruz

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Filed Under Uncategorized on Nov 7 

The Washington Examiner needs to decide what to call Tea Party Republicans. With the GOP victory now in the history books, they have already fired warning shots across the party’s bow on how civil war within the Republican party must be avoided at all cost in oder to build a solid and, yes, unified platform for 2016 and face up in a “clear eyed” fashion to what will certainly be a wounded lame-duck president’s divisive tactics in his final two years in office. An editorial calling for unity described TP GOPers as conservative, while another article focusing on, who else, Ted Cruz, labelled him far-right and warned of his willingness to “use all procedural means necessary” to repeal Obamacare and block any attempt by Obama to offer illegal immigrants amnesty. Already, Mitch McConnell is having to reign in the renegade longhorn, so goes the media spin. According to this spin, no one in America wants another government shutdown and what is needed is cautious reforms that contains Obama’s remaining agenda.

Here’s another label for Ted Cruz. How about off-the-charts? As in brilliant. That would be from a comment by his former professor Alan Dershowitz, hardly a conservative. Maybe Ted Cruz realizes that real change to the US government, in terms of scope and cost, will never come about by baby step reforms. So the question is, do his bare knuckle tactics work? Not in terms of the polls taken during any government shutdown, but in terms of the size of the US government, and just as importantly, the limits to federal powers, when they intrude on state powers. US government spending as a percentage of GDP has steadily risen – aside from WWII when it shot up under FDR’s presidency – despite a few periods of modest declines during the first years of Eisenhower’s terms, the middle and latter part of Reagan’s terms, and during both terms of, yes, Bill Clinton’s presidency. Neither Bush presidency lowered spending to any statistically significant degree and HW in fact increased it. The most marked decline in government spending was during Clinton’s 2 terms. And what happened back around 95? Newt Gingrich played hardball with the White House, both in the previous midterms and with the government shutdown. And he had a clear plan. And he had an economy that was showing the fruits of Reagan’s liberating tax changes that rewarded rather than punished innovation. Changes that took more than a presidential cycle to work their way through the economy. And the policy wonk from Little Rock got to ride that wave. Further, aside from government shutdowns, the only lasting way to control federal spending is to devolve power, education is an obvious area, back to the states. Ted Cruz needs to explain clearly why he’s ready to do battle with Obama – who by the way, couldn’t get into Dershowitz’s class while at Harvard – and maybe listening a little to establish GOP consultants could help. But those consultants need to listen to the off-the-charts mind from Texas. If those beltway GOP pundits are in fact serious about reducing government. If not, Mitch McConnell will preside over a Congress that prioritizes good governance. And nothing will change.

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