Wow. In an interview with the Dallas News, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) was asked repeatedly what he’s learned. He danced around the question like his feet were on fire, but reporter Todd J. Gillman stuck to it. Finally, Cruz admitted that he was teaching those veteran Republicans a thing or two.
Sure, he’s only been there for ten weeks, and while he may have picked the wrong battles and there may be very few left who will support legislation he wants to advance (should he ever actually do what he’s actually being paid to do, that is), chances are slim that he’ll get the backers. He’s already left scorched earth behind him and based on this interview, he hasn’t learned a thing yet.
After Cruz repeatedly ignored the reporter’s question about how he was going to get anything done after burning so many bridges, the Dallas News reporter asked him if he’d learned anything yet, to which Cruz responded that he has learned how defeatist Republicans are (handy that he has learned nothing about his own behavior, but plenty about others):
Q. This defeatism is among incumbent senators?
A. Yes. I’m referring to those who have been here a long time and have suffered some difficult election results and who I think were discouraged about being able to get anything done.
Q. So it sounds like you’ve been teaching them a few lessons. Is there anything that you’ve learned on the job yet?
A. What I think all of us have learned together is the power of leaders standing for principle. You asked what I learned. I can tell you the most inspirational moment since I’ve been here has been Rand Paul’s filibuster.
Yada, yada. Cruz droned on about Rand’s filibuster over his inability to understand the White Papers which had already answered Rand’s question. Cruz finds this kind of ignorance super inspiring, yada yada… But nothing more about what he’s learned.
After being asked ‘How do you get things done?’ after you’ve burned so many bridges, Cruz took refuge in “I can’t control what they do” answers and then pivoted. Pivot, pivot, pivot.
He deflected so much that he forced the reporter to ask the same question over and over again (kudos to Gillman for persistence and refusal to get thrown off course with talking points). At one point, Gillman rebutted, “That’s not what I’m asking. I’m asking how you’re positioning yourself to be effective not only on things like stopping the assault weapons ban but on things you can’t foresee, that might require building a coalition.”
When there was still no comprehension by Ted, Gillman repeated, “What I’m trying to get at is your role.”
Gillman’s point was lost in the dense matter wherein Cruz keeps his McCarthyism. Nothing is about him. He can do and say anything, no matter how inflammatory. But if anyone responds, well, gosh, he has no control over that. He is basically ineffective and impotent as an alleged legislator, by his own admission. But that doesn’t stop him from stepping up to the tea plate.
Ted’s role is to teach Republicans how to do things in DC! Don’t you get it? It’s not him, with his ten weeks of experience, who needs to stop and learn anything! There is nothing to learn. Give Cruz a scalpel next and let him run into the nearest operating room. He needs no lessons. He “doesn’t surrender” (never mind that our government was designed by our founders to disempower extremists who won’t compromise). All he needs to do his job is to know how to cut into others while escaping the knife himself.
Cruz later claimed he had asked for advice from other Senators, but refused to share what they said to him. He was very excited about repeating the Palin doctrine: How he is being persecuted by the liberal media because he is a conservative (not because throwing McCarthy bombs is dangerous and inappropriate) and this means he is successful. Ted Cruz’s pugnacious, indefatigably yapping ego has officially outgrown Texas.
Veteran Republicans must want to wipe the smug hubris off of Ted Cruz’ face, but they can’t. This is the type of guy who brought their party to the dance. He’s the only reason they’re still in even remote power. And he’s also the reason they can’t get the White House again.
The saddest thing is that Ted Cruz will never learn just how wrong he is, because he will never actually try to get something done for the American people. He’s not there to build a consensus or cross a bridge. He’s there to throw Republican flames until all decent legislation goes up in smoke. So far, hell of a job Brownie.
If Cruz were smart, he’d check out how his pal-in-demagoguery is doing up in Minnesota, but the Republican Party’s shills are carefully cultivated to include only those whose egos are big enough to drown out any common sense. Cruz is yet another Palin, sacrificing any chance of a national career in order to serve as the GOP’s mascot of dirty bombs.
The Tea Party loves him, but the Tea Party is the only breathing segment of the Republican Party and both are dead on arrival for national office.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.