Senator Ted Cruz: Doing what he was sent to Washington to do
And apparently, this is too much for some - especially liberal writers at the Washington Poste and New York Times.
Ruth Marcus at WaPo:
The traditional stance for a freshman senator is to hold back a bit. Being reticent and deferential are not qualities that come naturally to those who manage to win Senate seats, but most new senators choose, as much as it clashes with their instincts, to tamp down.
Since being sworn in fewer than two months ago, the 42-year-old tea party darling has:
●been one of three senators to vote against confirming fellow Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) as secretary of state.
●expressed "deep concerns" with a bipartisan immigration-reform blueprint crafted by, among others, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla).
●introduced his first bill, to "repeal every last word of Obamacare."
●tangled with Rahm Emanuel over the Chicago mayor's "bullying campaign" to have the city's pension funds divest their investments in gun manufacturers.
Most notably, Cruz - a Princeton debating champion, Harvard Law School graduate, law clerk to the late Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Texas solicitor general - trained his formidable rhetorical skills on two targets: gun-control proposals and President Obama's nominee for defense secretary, former senator Chuck Hagel, a Republican.
Cruz has taken the wear-their-scorn-as-a-badge-of-honor approach with his liberal critics. As he told Glenn Beck last month, "I view all of that as a sign that maybe we're doing something right."
Behind the scenes, Cruz has rankled even Republican colleagues, who think he lectures too much at private party sessions - "pontificates" is one word used - and listens too little, especially for a newbie.
Oh dear...he expressed "deep concerns" about an issue. Better call the home folks and start a recall drive.
And I'm sorry, but when a big city mayor uses his considerable influence to ask banks not to extend credit to a private company because he disagrees with the products they sell, what other word besides "bullying" is apt?
And so it goes. The New York Times:
In just two months, Mr. Cruz, 42, has made his presence felt in an institution where new arrivals are usually not heard from for months, if not years. Besides suggesting that Mr. Hagel might have received compensation from foreign enemies, he has tangled with the mayor of Chicago, challenged the Senate's third-ranking Democrat on national television, voted against virtually everything before him - including the confirmation of John Kerry as secretary of state - and raised the hackles of colleagues from both parties.
He could not be more pleased. Washington's new bad boy feels good.
"I made promises to the people of Texas that I would come to Washington to shake up the status quo," he said in e-mailed answers to questions, in lieu of speaking. "That is what I intend to do, and it is what I have done in every way possible in the responsibilities that have been granted to me."
In a body known for comity, Mr. Cruz is taking confrontational Tea Party sensibilities to new heights - or lows, depending on one's perspective. Wowed conservatives hail him as a hero, but even some Republican colleagues are growing publicly frustrated with a man who has taken the zeal of the prosecutor and applied it to the decorous quarters of the Senate.
Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said that some of the demands Mr. Cruz made of Mr. Hagel were "out of bounds, quite frankly." Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, issued a public rebuke after Mr. Cruz suggested, with no evidence, that Mr. Hagel had accepted honorariums from North Korea.
What both publications seem to be miffed about is that Cruz isn't playing by the rules for freshmen Senators. Like little children, they should apparently be seen, but not heard.
As Cruz points out, he made it quite clear in his campaign that he would go to Washington to shake things up. So be it. He may end up alone and friendless in the Senate as well as being without much influence. But he doesn't have to please his colleagues, only the folks back home.