On Real Time, Bill Maher labeled Ted Cruz the Miley Cyrus of politics. Maher said, ‘I really think that a filibuster is the political version of twerking.’
Maher said, “I was thinking the other night. He reminds me of Miley Cyrus, Ted Cruz. Because he is not afraid to incur the wrath of even some of his fans for the greater good of drawing attention to himself. I really think that a filibuster is the political version of twerking. And for those people who say, Ted Cruz he hung himself, no. Just like Miley Cyrus, she came out the winner in that. Everybody said, oh, she ruined her career. She’s on the cover of Rolling Stone. Her records are outselling everyone else’s. I think Ted Cruz will be the winner too.”
Bill Maher has a bad habit of jumping on the hot Republican flavor of the moment and proclaiming them the new leader. He did it with Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry in 2012, and he is doing it with Cruz. There is one big difference between Cyrus and Cruz. Cyrus timed her publicity stunt to promote her new album. Cruz staged a publicity stunt years before the next election. Outside of the right, Cruz’s filibuster bounce has already faded.
Within the Republican Party leadership, Cruz is toast. While Rand Paul has been cutting deals with Mitch McConnell to open doors for him to the establishment in 2016, Ted Cruz is burning bridges. People talk about the power of the tea party, but the reality is that the Republican establishment controls the nominating process. Ask Rick Santorum how easy it is to win the Republican nomination without the money and support of the party establishment. 2012 was an example of the weakness of the tea party, and it will be even more difficult in 2016 because the RNC has rigged their nominating process to favor an establishment candidate.
Ted Cruz and Rand Paul are angling for the same 2016 voters. If Cruz and Paul both run, they could easily cancel each other out. This would leave someone like Chris Christie as the nominee. Cruz’s filibuster was an attempt to counter Rand Paul’s filibuster. Cruz and Paul need the same primary voters, and they are jockeying for position in the 2016 Republican field. Neither one of them would win a general election contest against Hillary Clinton, so it would be a dream come true for Democrats if Cruz and Paul end up being the top two choices for the Republican nomination.
Maher did have one thing right. Cruz and Miley Cyrus are both out for attention. They don’t care about anything else. The difference is that Miley is a former Disney kid who wants to show the world that she’s all grown up. Cruz is a United States Senator whose activities might collapse the entire economy. The VMA’s aren’t the Senate. Unlike twerking, what Ted Cruz is doing could harm millions of Americans.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association