Ted Cruz is the most dangerous man in Washington… to GOP chances of winning back the Senate in 2014 and the White House in 2016.
For Democrats, Ted Cruz is the goose that keeps laying golden eggs over and over and over.
Cruz, a Republican Senator from Texas, and a Tea Party leader, is really single-handedly responsible for inspiring the US House’s Tea Party fringe to close the government and then attempt to default on the national debt. Only to have the entire thing go down in flames, and the Senate to vote 81 to 18, and the House 285 to 144, to re-open the government and raise the debt ceiling.
As a result of Cruz’s two-week temper tantrum, the American people may hate Republicans as much as they did when George Bush left office, which was quite a lot. According to the latest polls released today, Ted Cruz’s little shutdown drama just made it harder – much harder – for Republicans to win the Senate in 2014.
New PPP polls of 6 key Senate races that will determine control of the body after next year’s election finds voters extremely unhappy about the government shutdown. As a result Republicans trail in 5 of the 6 key races and are tied in the 6th. Republicans need to win 6 seats to take control of the Senate.
We find voters strongly opposed to the shutdown in every state we polled, even though most of them voted for Mitt Romney last year.
In one case anger over the shutdown is helping to put a Republican held seat on the table:…
These polls make it clear that across the country, whether a state voted for Obama by 10 points or voted for Romney by 20, voters are extremely angry about the government shutdown. And it’s going to make Republican hopes of taking back the Senate next year that much harder.
And PEW has a new poll out about the Tea Party. The American people are not amused:
The Tea Party is less popular than ever, with even many Republicans now viewing the movement negatively. Overall, nearly half of the public (49%) has an unfavorable opinion of the Tea Party, while 30% have a favorable opinion.
The balance of opinion toward the Tea Party has turned more negative since June, when 37% viewed it favorably and 45% had an unfavorable opinion. And the Tea Party’s image is much more negative today than it was three years ago, shortly after it emerged as a conservative protest movement against Barack Obama’s policies on health care and the economy.
In February 2010, when the Tea Party was less well known, the balance of opinion toward the movement was positive (33% favorable vs. 25% unfavorable). Unfavorable opinion spiked to 43% in 2011 after Republicans won a House majority and Tea Party members played a leading role in that summer’s debt ceiling debate.
The Tea Party’s favorability rating has fallen across most groups since June, but the decline has been particularly dramatic among moderate and liberal Republicans. In the current survey, just 27% of moderate and liberal Republicans have a favorable impression of the Tea Party, down from 46% in June.
But don’t let that stop Ted Cruz from hogging every microphone he can since he personally, and his party generally, were humiliated today by getting none of their demands.
Earlier today, when GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell went to the Senate floor to comment on the deal brokered between himself and Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid, Ted Cruz waltzed up to the microphones in the hallway at quite literally the same time, and successfully diverted the medica cameras from McConnell to himself.
They used to say that the most dangerous place in Washington was between a camera and NY Senator Chuck Schumer. Well, that changed today.
But Cruz wasn’t done yet.
Tonight Cruz went to the Senate floor and gave a ten minute tirade about how upset the American people are that the government shutdown is ending, and that we’re not going to default on the national debt and risk sending the country into a depression.
Um, no, in fact every single poll shows that the American people wanted this thing to end, and never wanted the shutdown in the first place.
I’ve got the video of Cruz’s bizarre speech tonight, below, courtesy of Jed Lewison over at Daily Kos. But let’s look at a few of the highlights:
- Cruz claims to be fighting for all the young people coming out of school who can’t get a job because of Obamacare. Huh? Cruz went on to claim that Obamacare was the “#1 job killer” in America. Um, not really. Though Ted Cruz is certainly vying for the position of #1 job killer for GOP presidential aspirations.
- Then Cruz brings up the canard that Obamacare is allegedly forcing employers to cut back hours and drop health care. The fact-checkers say that there simply isn’t enough data to reach any conclusion, plus or minus, at this point. Certainly not the one Cruz is asserting.
- Then Cruz alleges that families are getting “massive premium increases” as a result of Obamacare. He alleged that outright. There is zero proof of that. If anything, premiums increases have been reined in since Obamacare passed, and Obamacare mandates that a certain portion of your premium must go towards actually medical care, making it difficult for insurers to raise premiums willy-nilly. But the allegation that premiums have gone up $100s of dollars because of Obamacare? Prove it.
- Cruz then, incredibly, claims that seniors are losing their health care, being kicked off their health plans, because of Obamacare. So seniors are being kicked off of Medicare because of Obamacare? Um, no. Seniors still have Medicare, no thanks to Ted Cruz and the Tea Party. It’s Cruz’s Tea Party Republicans who admitted this week that one of their goals behind the government shutdown was cutting Medicare.
It’s difficult to enumerate all the ways in which Cruz continues to harm the Republican party. First off, a few days ago, even the Tea Partyers started changing their tune, and stopped even mentioning health care reform as the reason behind their government shutdown. They did this because the polls were so bad – people simply didn’t support shutting down the government, even if those same people didn’t like the Affordable Care Act. But not Cruz, he’s back to making it all about Obamacare.
Cruz goes on in his speech tonight to lament that the Senate Republicans didn’t hold together and help the House Republicans keep the government shut down and force a debt default tomorrow.
The man is nuts.
He wants to be president, and that’s why he’s doing this. But he’s nuts. And dangerous. He’s the worst kind of populist. He doesn’t care what damage his policies inflict on people, he simply wants to be president, and he’s willing to curry favor with the worst elements of the GOP Tea Party fringe in the hopes that they’ll give him the edge he needs to get the Republican presidential nomination.
But then what? The guy is a nut. And he seems to have a penchant for showing it. He’s never going to win the general election in 2016 unless the Democrats run Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as their candidate. And while the Democrats sometimes do seem to have a political death wish, they’ve got nothing on Ted Cruz.
Ted Cruz finished his speech tonight by claiming that he’s “inspired” because the American people are rising up.
They sure are.