Ted Cruz Was Right, Again
The usual suspects are attacking Ted Cruz for doing his job.
Republicans and a chorus of conservative commentators are dumping on the sole conservative Republican senator from Texas because – the horror! – he dared to force his Senate colleagues to publicly take sides on President Obama's shameful extralegal unilateral immigration amnesty.
Apologists for Republican cowardice claim to be upset with Cruz because, as they claim, his parliamentary maneuvers to stymie the amnesty somehow allowed some objectionable Obama nominees to move forward in the confirmation process.
Of course, they're lying. All Obama nominees are objectionable – remember, our president is a red diaper baby – yet the Senate eventually caves to Obama on more or less all of them. Any Senate that can confirm a full-on racist, pro-terrorist, America-hating, kooky, in-your-face Marxist like Tom Perez as labor secretary is going to give its blessing to just about anyone Obama sends over. Who really cares if a few bureaucrats who will be approved anyway by the incoming Republican Senate in the new year get to work a few weeks or months early?
What really infuriates namby-pamby Republican senators is that Cruz forced them to take a public stand on the president's unilateral amnesty. They know that the Republican Party base is mad as hell over the amnesty, and they don't feel the need to answer to mere hoi polloi. Bought off by the crony capitalist lobby, they support amnesty but don't want to face the electoral consequences for their betrayal of the American people. Just as Democrats don't want to get rid of poverty, Republicans in leadership don't want to stop the amnesty (or get rid of Obamacare, for that matter). They need villains against which to rail.
The country just went through congressional elections that gave lawmakers an undeniable, thunderous mandate to oppose Obama's radical left-wing juggernaut, and in particular, his odious immigration amnesty that will benefit 5 million or more illegal alien lawbreakers. On Nov. 4, the GOP flipped control of the 100-seat U.S. Senate, with a new total of 54 seats. The House GOP increased its majority, totaling at least 246 out of 435 seats. Republicans will be calling the shots in the new Congress that will be seated in January.
Yet when Cruz gave Republican senators, who campaigned against the immigration amnesty, an opportunity to do something about it, 20 Republican senators gave American voters the one-finger salute.
While Congress was considering a spending bill to keep the government funded through the end of the federal fiscal year on Sept. 30, 2015, Cruz objected, raising a constitutional point of order against the $1-trillion-plus monstrosity that, if it had been sustained, would have returned the fiscal legislation to the House to remove amnesty funding.
There was never, after all, a reason to rush an all-encompassing bill funding the federal government before appropriations ran out on Dec. 11. Instead of giving Obama virtually everything he wanted despite his party's historic drubbing at the polls last month, lawmakers could easily have drafted a stopgap spending bill to carry them over to January, when Republicans will control both chambers of Congress and have greater bargaining power in negotiations with the president.
But they didn't. After hours and days of arm-twisting, they rammed an abominable spending bill through Congress that funds Obama's Democrat voter-importation program.
It was an easy vote. A gimme.
But to their everlasting shame, 20 Republicans voted to reject Cruz's point of order, waive the Constitution, and green-light Obama's amnesty.
These quislings are Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), John Barrasso (Wyo.), Dan Coats (Ind.), Thad Cochran (Miss.), Susan Collins (Me.), Bob Corker (Tenn.), John Cornyn (Texas), Mike Enzi (Wyo.), Jeff Flake (Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Orrin Hatch (Utah), Dean Heller (Nev.), Ron Johnson (Wisc.), Mark Kirk (Ill.), John McCain (Ariz.), Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Pat Toomey (Penn.), and Roger Wicker (Miss.).
(Hey, master strategist Ann Coulter: do you still believe that McConnell is opposed to amnesty? Just nine months ago you viciously attacked conservatives for questioning McConnell's bona fides on the issue. You wrote that the senator "may be the only thing standing between us and a scheme to import 30 million new Democratic voters.")
In the end, the bill funds all of the federal government through the fiscal year-end except for the Department of Homeland Security, which enforces immigration laws. DHS funding runs out Feb. 27, 2015.
The idea, according to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), is to revisit the amnesty issue next year when Republicans are in a stronger position. "Without a threat of a government shutdown," Boehner said, "this sets up a direct challenge to the president's unilateral actions on immigration when we have new majorities in both chambers of Congress."
Nobody here in the nation's capital except for the occasional starry-eyed RNC intern believes that Boehner is serious. If he really wanted to fight amnesty, he could have done so in the omnibus spending bill.
Cruz said as much on the Senate floor Friday.
"I would note that a whole lot of citizens across this country feel a little bit like Charlie Brown with Lucy and the football, wherein fight after fight, leadership in Congress says 'we'll fight next time,'" Cruz said. "Not this time, no, no, no."
"There comes a point when Charlie Brown has kicked the football and fallen on his rear end one too many times," he said. "When our leaders say as a commitment we will fight and we will stop President Obama's illegal amnesty, I take them at their word, but I am confident the American people will hold them to their word."
Just about nobody in the conservative punditry seems to be getting the story right. They are regurgitating an easily digested talking point generated by Democrats and the Senate's RINO establishment. If it hadn't been for Cruz, a slew of Obama nominees would still be sucking their thumbs in a state of constitutional limbo, they'd have us believe.
And as usual, they're wrong about Cruz.
Rick Moran of PJ Media went on and on in a column about Cruz, sprinkling it with ugly personal insults. Cruz is a "demagogue" who suffers from a "narcissistic compulsion to make everything about him." He "lacks the judgment and temperament necessary to hold the highest office in the land." Moran sneers that "[h]is is simple, nihilistic obstructionism."
Paul Mirengoff of Powerline also doesn't get it but is much more polite. "Cruz and (Utah Sen. Mike) Lee accomplished nothing in terms of the spending bill or the executive amnesty," he wrote. "Ted Cruz's heart is in the right place, but once again, his judgment must be questioned."
Former Bush 43 speechwriter and anti-conservative Michael Gerson, a man whose rhetorical expertise helped to fuel an orgy of federal overreach, overspending, and fiscal irresponsibility that laid the groundwork for the Obama presidency, smeared Cruz and his supporters on Face the Nation.
Cruz's "wing of the party is writing the book on how to lose friends and alienate people. This is – they got a vote eventually, 22 people supporting it. They're really undermining their own cause. And you can question the reason whether that's fundraising or foolishness."
George Will, an increasingly tedious defender of the GOP establishment, trashed Cruz on Fox News Sunday. "Elizabeth Warren and Ted Cruz together at last. No one knows what they were trying to accomplish, but that doesn't seem to matter to them."
Say what you will about Warren, Democratic senator from Massachusetts, but she knew exactly what she was doing and was abundantly transparent about it. Warren was livid about provisions slipped into the bill repealing Wall Street regulations.
She urged lawmakers to oppose a "deal negotiated behind closed doors that slips in a provision that would let derivatives traders on Wall Street gamble with taxpayer money and get bailed out by the government when their risky bets threaten to blow up our financial system."
That's Warren's privilege, whether Will likes it or not.
In any event, Cruz was right about amnesty, just as he was right about last year's government shutdown. The last shutdown, which the GOP establishment blamed Cruz for, was a resounding success that helped to make last month's electoral bloodbath possible.
Elected Republicans won't acknowledge that the last shutdown in October 2013 was an unmitigated public relations success for Republicans, even though it might not have felt that way at the time. Setting aside the relentless media propaganda that falsely painted the shutdown as a massive Democratic tactical victory, the episode sent the unmistakable message that GOPers were champions of freedom of choice in health care.
The shutdown caused GOP public approval numbers to surge, helped to revive the fight against Obamacare as millions of Americans were having their health insurance policies abruptly canceled, and helped to set the stage for the Republicans’ historic trouncing of the Democrats in congressional elections.
The shutdown was a wonderful civics lesson, an extended, cost-free infomercial for the GOP that reminded Americans that Republicans were on their side on an issue that mattered to them. In other words, it derailed what had seemed like an unstoppable leftist narrative that the always unpopular Obamacare was a done deal and that resistance to it was futile.
Sens. Cruz and Mike Lee of Utah vow to continue the fight against the Obama amnesty in the new year. Let's hope it's not too late.
Matthew Vadum (website) is an investigative journalist in Washington, D.C., and author of the ACORN/Obama exposé, Subversion Inc.: How Obama's ACORN Red Shirts are Still Ripping Off and Terrorizing American Taxpayers. Follow him on Twitter. E-mail him at matthewvadum [at] gmail.com.