Rich Lowry wrote a great article today about the Democrats’ enormous frustration with Ted Cruz: Cruz ought to be one of them, since he’s manifestly brilliant and hyper-educated . . . except that he refuses to be one of them. I especially liked this bit:
Democrats and liberal pundits would surely dislike Cruz no matter where he went to school, but his pedigree adds an extra element of shocked disbelief to the disdain. “Princeton and Harvard should be disgraced,” former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell exclaimed on MSNBC, as if graduating a constitutionalist conservative who rises to national prominence is a violation of the schools’ mission statements.
It almost is. Princeton and Harvard aren’t quite the École Nationale d’Administration, the French school that trains that country’s political class, but they are close.
Andrew Stiles assembled a list of quotations from Democrats anxious to destroy Cruz before he gets a solid footing as a national candidate. They realize that he’s Obama’s mirror image — Ivy League-educated, intelligent, a minority, and appealing to the masses — except that in Cruz’s case, he actually is intelligent and has the Ivy League grades and the work resume to prove it. More than that, Cruz has a great deal of experience with the federal government, something Obama lacked.
Cruz is, in other words, the un-Sarah Palin. He cannot be demeaned in order to be destroyed. Because Cruz’s credentials hold up to scrutiny, and because he’s been very careful about making his life an open book, unlike the secretive Obama, Democrats are left with two lines of attack: Cruz isn’t really a minority (because he doesn’t support Democrat policies, which is the litmus test for all minorities) and he must be insane or evil:
The liberal media are obsessed with Texas’s freshman senator Ted Cruz. The most recent outbreak includes a Daily Beast hit piece about his “creepy” college years at Princeton, as well as a flurry of articles about whether his Canadian-American dual citizenship could complicate a potential run for the White House in 2016.
“I don’t think he should be defined as a Hispanic,” former governor Bill Richardson (D., N.M.) said in response to a question about Cruz’s view on immigration. Richardson later said his remarks were “misinterpreted.”
I’m not just relying on pundits, of course. From everything I’ve seen of Cruz, he is admirable: He’s personable; able to articulate conservative principles in clear, accessible language; consistent; funny; and just all around an appealing candidate, at least for true-believers.
Having said all that, here’s the one thing that worries me about Cruz — he seems to be a bit of a hot-head, who likes to make waves but doesn’t always think through those wave’s consequences. Here’s Lowry again:
None of this is to endorse all of Cruz’s tactical judgments or to deny he can irk his own side of the aisle at times.
His push to defund Obamacare this fall is a grass roots-pleasing slogan in search of a realistic path to legislative fruition. Cruz never explains how a government shutdown fight would bring about the desired end. The strategy seems tantamount to believing that if Republican politicians clicked their wing tips together and wished it so, President Barack Obama would collapse in a heap and surrender on his party’s most cherished accomplishment.
In a field dominated with exciting, fairly young conservatives — Cruz, Mike Lee, Allen West (and even Rand Paul) — I think Cruz is someone to watch, admire, and appreciate. Can’t you just imagine heads exploding all over if there were a Cruz/West ticket? Having said that, though, I’m not inclined to manufacture a ticket this early in the game, nor do I like the idea of putting a ticket together just to watch Progressive heads explode. I want to wait a year or two, and then hope (devoutly) that the media hasn’t destroyed every viable conservative candidate by nitpicking over bullying incidents in pre-school or silly spoonerisms on the campaign trail. And then, since I’m assuming a Biden versus Hillary fight on the Left, I want to throw my wholehearted support behind any candidate who can defeat either of those two.