The inmates have taken over the asylum. At least that’s the analysis of Stuart Rothenberg, who writes in Roll Call
, “It is increasingly apparent the GOP needs to nominate Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for president next year.” Yet Rothenberg’s case for nominating Cruz has nothing to do with electability. In fact, it’s just the opposite.
The Republican Party has been hijacked by intractable ideologues with zero appetite for governing, and Cruz is the posterboy of this movement. From shutting down the government to repealing the Affordable Care Act, driving a radical position on immigration, and on and on, Cruz has pulled his party – and fellow presidential aspirants – to uncompromising positions that are more suited for email fundraising appeals than running our country. As long as Cruz serves as the North Star of the GOP, congressional chaos will continue. So hey, why not? Make him the nominee and on November 8th of next year the GOP will finally know how wildly out-of-touch they are with the American people.
It’s time to make the anti-establishment wing of the GOP put up or shut up.
Even the government shutdown of two years ago didn’t convince tea party conservatives in Congress that their strategy was unwise and backfired dramatically.
So, the GOP has been and remains a political party at war with itself. And because of that, the congressional wing of the party will remain paralyzed, with as few as a three or four dozen conservatives (sometimes many more) making it impossible for the party’s leadership to lead.
As a spokesman for the no compromise, anti-establishment wing of his party, Cruz would be the ideal presidential nominee for conservatives tired of Republican leaders. He could ask a like-minded governor, possibly Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal, to join his ticket, giving voters the clear choice that conservatives claim they never have.
So why should the GOP nominate Cruz if it entails so much risk? Because a clear and convincing defeat is the only thing in the foreseeable future that has any chance of convincing Freedom Caucus types in the Republican Party that their strategy is flawed and they have helped damage the Republican brand. (Alas, even a crushing defeat wouldn’t convince everyone.)
Until that happens, Republicans, and the country in general, seem destined to suffer through more months of legislative shutdowns and gridlock that will further weaken the country.
Published: Oct 13, 2015