“If conservatives unite, we win”
On Wednesday, Ted Cruz published an article at Politco that skewered the Republican party’s “politics of surrender.” He writes:
In 2010, we were told that Republicans would stand and fight if only we had a Republican House. In 2014, we were told that Republicans would stand and fight just as soon as we won a majority in the Senate and retired Harry Reid. In both instances, the American people obliged. Now we’re told that we must wait until 2017 when we have a Republican president.
Like Charlie Brown and the football, this disconnect explains the massive frustration with Washington. The American people do not believe Republicans will actually do what we say we will do.
And this, of course, is why 62% of Republican voters feel betrayed by the GOP. Despite historic victories handed to Republicans in 2010 and 2014, the GOP refuses to do what they campaigned they’d do and what voters sent them to Washington to do: stop Obama’s agenda.
These “campaign conservatives,” to use Cruz’s term, continue to have their show votes in Congress, meaningless votes intended to appease conservative voters, but then they quietly rubber stamp Obama’s policies. Cruz explains:
Alas, no. In today’s partisan Washington, there are only two important kinds of votes: show votes on legislation that has no chance of becoming law and votes on legislation that “must pass.” (A third kind of vote—growing government and worsening the deficit—occurs as well. These votes succeed because Democrats and Republican leadership agree that expanding corporate welfare and cronyism helps the reelection of career politicians of both parties.)
The leadership loves show votes. They will schedule a vote on just about anything, confident that Senate Democrats will vote party-line and filibuster over and over again until Republicans retreat. Leadership wants and expects grassroots voters to be satisfied with these meaningless show votes.
The other type of vote is on “must-pass” legislation. Typically, these votes consist of continuing-resolution votes, omnibus appropriations votes and debt-ceiling votes. In short, “must-pass” legislation is where the rubber meets the road.
Cruz goes on to explain how he thinks the Republican Congress can live up to the promises its members made on the campaign trail and that they understand to be the will of the people who elected them (thus the show votes).
The alternative? We actually do what we said we would do. We fight for commonsense conservative principles, and we use the constitutional authority of the power of the purse—which leadership has forsworn—to do so.
On the upcoming continuing resolution, we should fund the entire federal government, but we should decline to fund Planned Parenthood. And we should use our constitutional authority to actually try to stop this catastrophic Iranian nuclear deal.
Specifically, we should prohibit spending federal funds to implement the deal and eliminate the United States’ contributions to the United Nations, until the Obama administration complies with federal law and hands over the “side deals” governing the absurdly weak inspection regime.
Cruz articulates the frustrations of the conservative base well in this article, and his campaign released an ad yesterday that encapsulates his positions. Watch:
Cruz believes that a consistent conservative can unite the party and win the White House in 2016.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) September 25, 2015
Cruz explained the need to unite the party at the Value Voters summit yesterday. There, he asserted that Republican voters are purposefully divided, put into separate boxes labeled “Tea Party,” “social conservatives,” “fiscal conservatives,” “evangelicals,” etc. and then pitted against one another until the establishment candidate emerges at the “top,” trumpeted as the “only electable” candidate, and wins the nomination . . . only to then go on and lose the presidency. (That last part is probably not part of the plan, but it is a result that the GOP seems not yet to have registered or understood.)
Watch Cruz’s full speech at the Value Voters summit:
Although he peppers his speech with humor (seeing the teleprompter, he asks, “What are these things? Is Barack Obama coming?”, and poking fun at Hillary Clinton he jokes about the first presidential debate from Leavenworth), Cruz coherently and comprehensively expresses his distaste for the current Republican politics of surrender and offers a different path for the future of the GOP. And of the country.DONATE
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