All Red has to do is sit back and let the Washington Post take up the cudgel and repeatedly whack Sen. Cruz (TP – Texas) several times up side of the head. This time it involves Cruz’s utterly spineless flip-flop on fast track trade authority. But let others do the heavy lifting.
In the space of a week he voted for fast-track authority, heard cries from the far right and then reversed himself — and still had the nerve to denounce GOP leaders with whom he voted the first time around. Politico explains:
The Texas firebrand and Republican 2016 presidential hopeful had been a vocal supporter of trade legislation, even co-authoring a Wall Street Journal op-ed in April saying that the fast-track bill, known as Trade Promotion Authority, is a “fair deal” for the American worker. In May, he voted to advance the TPA bill, which also included a worker aid package favored by Democrats.
But just hours before a decisive Tuesday vote, Cruz [changed] his tune. . . . Cruz, who has long aligned himself with the tea party wing of the party, has taken some flak from the right for backing the trade bill initially — so voting “no” now could insulate himself from some of that criticism. Yet it could further alienate himself from big business and deep-pocketed donors who are staunch proponents of expanded markets.
Now, even before this latest jaw-dropper, Cruz was in no danger of getting mainstream support. There are not too many non-tea partyers who appreciate him after orchestrating the shutdown, going whole-hog on anti-immigration reform, whipping up support for an anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment and advancing a frankly incoherent worldview (yes on destroying the Islamic state, no on the NSA and on anymore troops). He’s in single digits in most state and national polls, overshadowed at this stage by the likes of Ben Carson and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee — whose supporters he appears to be chasing after.
Cruz likes to fancy himself as the only principled man inside the Beltway, but with stunts like the trade flip-flop he makes crystal clear that his only deeply held belief is self-promotion. Coverage in Texas media of his about-face was stinging, painting him as a political coward. (“For months, Sen. Ted Cruz backed a critical part of President Barack Obama’s trade agenda. But after weeks of taking heat from conservatives, Cruz abandoned his support for Trade Promotion Authority on Tuesday.”) And the Wall Street Journal editorial board observed, “Much of the opposition [on the far right] has been pure opportunism, an attempt to parlay distrust of all-things-Obama into talk-show rating points or Internet clicks. The hucksters make up false accusations and spread them like Elizabeth Warren. Top prize for such opportunism goes to Ted Cruz, who turned against the trade bill at the last minute.”
In his spinelessness (and oddly on both trade and the Islamic State, not to mention Syria, where both celebrated the refusal to enforce the red line) he most closely resembles Hillary Clinton.
Resembles Hillary Clinton? Them’s fighting words in Texas!
And if that weren’t enough, Politico reports in detail on how Cruz threw Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Clueless-Kentucky) under the Tea Party Bus.
Cruz, who has long aligned himself with the tea party wing of the party, has taken some flak from the right for backing the trade bill initially — so voting “no” now could insulate himself from some of that criticism. Yet it could further alienate himself from big business and deep-pocketed donors who are staunch proponents of expanded markets.
Cruz cites a deal cut on the Senate floor last month between McConnell and Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) that would give Congress a vote to extend the charter of the expiring Ex-Im Bank, an entity that Cruz says is riddled with “corporate welfare.”
Cruz suggests that McConnell misled him last month on the day of the trade vote.
“At lunch that day, I asked Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell what precise deal had been cut to pass TPA,” Cruz wrote. “Visibly irritated, he told me and all my Republican colleagues that there was no deal whatsoever; rather, he simply told them they could use the ordinary rules to offer whatever amendments they wanted on future legislation. “
He added: “Taking McConnell at his word that there was no deal on Ex-Im, I voted yes on TPA because I believe the U.S. generally benefits from free trade, and without TPA historically there have been no free-trade agreements.”
Cruz may soon learn that hell hath no fury like that of a droopy-faced, drawling politician who has real power in his hands and wants to punish a grand-standing, shameless self-promoter.