"I love the guy," said conservative Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.),... "And he's got the tenacity to stand for something and not back down. That means he's my kind of guy."
"I think he's going to be a superstar," said Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a fellow Cuban-American and another rising star on the right. "You're already starting to see some of that. He's just smart as a whip."
Who are Inhofe and Rubio praising here? Newly minted GOP Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz. Harvard educated and yet a true evangelical-Tea Party believer, Ted Cruz "shook things up", as he himself put it, during the Hagel confirmation hearings.
California Senator Barbara Boxer interpreted Cruz's combative questioning of Hagel a different way....
“It was really reminiscent of a different time and place, when you said, ‘I have here in my pocket a speech you made on such and such a date,’ and, of course, nothing was in the pocket,” she said, a reference to Senator Joseph R. McCarthy’s pursuit of Communists in the 1950s. “It was reminiscent of some bad times.”
Even Republican senators, McCain and Graham, had critical words for their new Senate colleague. Lindsey Graham said that some of the demands Cruz made of Hagel were "out of bounds, quite frankly".....while Johnny Mac McCain stated that's it's okay to offer tough questions, "but don't be disrespectful or malign his character."
The popular conservative blog site, Redstate.com, has a different take. In a short screed by daily diarist, Daniel Horowitz, Ted Cruz is showered with high praise for his tough patriotism while Graham and McCain are the senators who are worthy of criticism.....
It’s funny how we all thought a strong national defense was one ideal still universally regarded in the Republican Party, especially by noted “hawks” like Lindsey Graham and John McCain. Yet, in just a matter of a few weeks, Senator Cruz has done more to fight the blame-America-first crowd than the brokeback partnership has done during their respective careers. From his stand against Hagel and Kerry and his strong and articulate defense of the Second Amendment to his leadership against the amnesty circus, Cruz has met and exceeded all our expectations.
"brokeback partnership".....wow. Can't say whether the Redstate blogger was referring to Graham's possible homosexuality.....but the "brokeback partnership" of Graham and McCain? Really?
That said....notice that the Joe McCarthy-ite performance of Ted Cruz during the Hagel hearings "has met and exceeded all our expectations." In other words, McCarthy-style questioning of all things Obama is exactly why Tea Party voters sent Ted Cruz to the Senate. Tea Party conservatives sent Cruz to the Senate so that he would act exactly the way he acted during the Hagel hearings. Disruptive, disrespectful, accusative, and most importantly of all....angry.
Pushed immediately after his election to the teevee circuit by Republicans and the wired-Republican Beltway media, Cruz has sought out controversy, looking for every opportunity to deliver political red meat to the far right. Indeed, the Redstate blogger calls Cruz a role model of true patriotism.....
If we ever hope to restore the strength and character of this Republic, we need to seek out more people like Ted Cruz – patriots who will not wait a single day to begin delivering on their campaign promises.
What the Redstate writer is saying is that behaving like Joe McCarthy did back in the 50's is actually patriotic. Turning the Senate into just another Tea Party Townhall bust-up marked by incivility, accusations, threats and total disrespect....is the very behavior that radical conservatives are looking for in their senators.
I am of the opinion that the U.S. has never really settled the Civil War. In many ways we are still fighting that war. Our red state-blue state dichotomy is real. Senator Ted Cruz was sent to the U.S. Senate to escalate that bloodless civil war. To neo-confederate supporters, Ted Cruz is a hero and a patriot. To everyone else, Cruz is a reminder of an ugly time past when another self-described patriot and angry Republican senator named Joe McCarthy brought dishonor and shame on our proud nation.
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