Ted Cruz is too extreme to ignore

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Senator Ted Cruz

Senator Ted Cruz

Special to the Star-Telegram, By Eric Celeste, 01/24/13 – In the glow of Monday’s stirring inauguration, it’s a good idea to focus again on those Texans who can’t understand how the world has passed them by, how governing by fear and cowardice will only speed their party’s dissolution.I’m talking about only one Texan: new U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.

We are not living in an overtly liberal time. President Barack Obama might have mentioned civil rights for all, specifically including people of color and gays, but in 2013 that’s just recognizing the world for the diversity it holds.

He does not adhere to Martin Luther King Jr.’s long-forgotten vision for a world without military arrogance. Drone strikes are still killing innocent people. We’re still spying on our own citizens.

(You want to read a liberal vision? Read FDR’s second inaugural address: “… we have begun to bring private autocratic powers into their proper subordination to the public’s government.”)

No, what we are living in now is an era of pragmatism and data. For example: The president mentions climate change because he must, because the data are staggering and the consequences of ignoring them are catastrophic.

A New Pragmatism has value. It brings with it hope. Hope that legislators can see that hard-line stances on either side will ultimately ostracize reasonable voters, that it is incompatible with an increasingly youthful, smarter, more-engaged electorate. A generation that understands nuance and complexity.

Unless you’re Ted Cruz. As The New York Times noted in a Sunday editorial, Cruz “embodies the rigidity the public grew to loathe in Congress’s last term.”

The editorial explains: “Unlike 85 percent of the Republicans in the Senate, he would have voted against the fiscal cliff deal. He says gun control is unconstitutional. Breaking even with conservative business leaders, he would have no qualms about using the debt ceiling as a hostage because he believes (falsely) that it would produce only a partial government shutdown and not default.”

This is standard operating procedure in Texas. Our rural-fed stubborn cow of a Legislature won’t even let its residents vote on money-raising bills that they favor. But nationally, it’s an embarrassment.

That people like Cruz are not being marginalized but instead are given real power within Congress should make me happy, being a Democrat.

But I’m also a strong believer in the possibility of the federal government to do good, to lead the country, to protect its citizens against corporate malfeasance, and people like Ted Cruz greatly hinder that possibility.

He is not like U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, a Texan with whom I disagree often (always?) but who takes his job seriously.

As a retiring Republican member of Congress recently said of Cruz and his ilk: “These guys are OK when it comes to ideology and dogma, but they don’t have a clue how to participate in the legislative process.”

That was evident last weekend. Cruz, appearing on Meet the Press, spouted only the most canned, Tea Party-lite rhetoric, ignoring the questions asked and decrying the president (and, in turn, Americans) for daring to discuss gun control in the wake of children being murdered.

Cruz wraps himself in a tattered, bloodstained cloak of denial on this issue and others, one that would be laughable if it weren’t so dangerous.

Cruz invited a short honeymoon, coming into Washington with his chest stuck out. I hope the mainstream press in North Texas gives him the attention he craves and doesn’t abdicate such examination to large papers from the Northeast.

The damage Cruz plans on inflicting is too great to ignore.

Eric Celeste is a Dallas-based writer who pens the column “Let Me Sum Up” for CultureMap Dallas. A version of this column first appeared on the CultureMap Dallas website, dallas.culturemap.com.

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/01/23/4570061/ted-cruz-is-too-extreme-to-ignore.html#storylink=cpy

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2 responses

  1. Oh deliver me; from another Democrat Racist Liberal out of touch with the grass roots citizens of the State of Texas. Senator Ted Cruz is exactly the prescription needed by the US Senate, The rino Republicans, and the Socialist order of the Democrat Party which is well over a majority of the Democrat Party. Eric Celeste you are another Idiological fool that has bought off on one of the greatest slight of tongue artists this Great Country has ever had the misfortune to know.

    It is beyond me how loud you liberal journalist scream when a legitamate Conservative tells you what you really are and doesn’t play the Political correctness games. I supported Senator Cruz after I first heard him speak and am glad to see that support actually was not in error. This Senator is a sounding board of how most Americans want to be preceived by the rest of the sane world. He is Pro US and Texas Constitution, He believes in reduced Taxes and a balanced budget all in the same framework. He believes in a gigantic reduction in the Federal Government and a return of power to the States and Local Governments where that power belongs. He believes in the sanctity of life and He actively supports all the US freedoms including freedom of Religion; Unlike Obama, over 50% of the Democrats, and the liberal press who would prefer to see all that go away.

  2. Senator_Blutarsky | Reply

    Jack……….you were in the same meeting I was, after the primaries………….the “good upstanding” Republicans do not want anyone who rocks the boat, lives on the edge, has any fire in the gut or a bit of passion about issues and liberty……………..they only want the “nice country club republicans” who sit dociley at conventions, and meekly vote yes or no.

    And when your candidates , platforms, ideas and planks do not succeed just say “oh fudge………..we will vote the Wascals out in a few years !!! “.

    If the Founding Fathers had the pattycake attitude of todays mainstream R party, we would be bowing and scraping to a Queen as feudal serfs.

    And it has just about come back to that , due to indifference, and pansy party leadership and endorsement of only “proper” candidates and ideas.

    How has that worked out lately ?

    “People can actually be made to LOVE their servitude.”
    Aldous Huxley

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