There is a real and genuine disconnect between grassroots conservatives and many in Washington. Let’s first concede that, like with many politicians, a cult of personality has started developing around Ted Cruz, though from my vantage point it is not nearly as virulent as among some. But, there are some who, should Cruz fall flat on his face, would declare it all part of the plan and attack anyone who pointed out he wasn’t supposed to do that.
Cruz, in his filibuster, quoted Teddy Roosevelt’s “Man in the Arena” speech. He noted that credit belongs to the man in the arena “who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming.”
Cruz isn’t infallible. He admits it. But then his critics are not infallible either. Cruz, for all the flaws of his strategy, has articulated one. Other Republicans have not. They’ve only declared Cruz’s strategy, which is an actual strategy, isn’t really one because they don’t like it. John McCain, following Cruz on the floor of the Senate, declared surrender on Obamacare. Much of the base believes that privately the bulk of the GOP has given up.
There is also a Cult of Destruction intent on stamping out Ted Cruz as quickly as possible — often on the pretty lame grounds that he just isn’t honoring the well established rules of the Senate that never favor the bold or those willing to lead. Cruz is unwilling to play the game the way others have played it. The Establishment likes to punish that sort. In ages past, there was no twitter or Facebook to defend the boat rockers.
The base looks at Democrats after 2004 and don’t see a party that gave up, but doubled down against George W. Bush. They see a Republican Party that, after 2012, walked off the field. They walked off too.
Many of the pundits and analysts know how unlikely Cruz’s strategy is. They’re right. But the problem here is not that so many are convinced Cruz’s strategy won’t work, but that they either don’t want to try it in the first place or want to attack it with no real plan of their own.
The activists who support Cruz and Lee recognize their strategy might not work, but they also see it as the only strategy and the one that will, even if not successful, yield a better ending hand than the Republican Leadership would otherwise settle for. Their proof lies in Cut, Cap, and Balance, but for which the activists are convinced the GOP would never have even gotten sequestration cuts.
Special Report on Fox News has a very cool interactive feature. While watching the show, on Bing, viewers can follow along and track their agreement or disapproval of what was said.
Last night, at 6:53 p.m., Charles Krauthammer spoke. His statement, dismissive of Ted Cruz’s efforts, registered negatively across the board regardless of party or gender, and with great intensity in the opposition to his statement.
And therein lies a visible demonstration of the disconnect.