The Cruz Congress

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Ted Cruz is, loosely speaking, a man of his word.

No, he’s not in Washington fighting for you, or for the Constitution. He made the clear for the umpteenth time this week by pledging to make opposition to Obama’s executive immigration actions the immediate top priority for the GOP-led Senate. When Cruz makes specific plans, he presents them clearly. He has certainly delivered on his campaign promise to be an unmistakable thorn in Washington, and is he is running for president. Less than two years into his first elected office, Cruz is already looking for campaign office space.

It’s hard to miss that the Republican sweep on Tuesday reads smoothly as a prologue to Cruz 2016. He pledged this week to hold hearings on pressing issues like the fake IRS scandal and the fake Benghazi scandal. He even declined to say whether he’d support Mitch McConnell for Senate Majority Leader.

It’s unlikely but irrelevant. Somehow not surprisingly, McConnell is considered a moderate Republican in his own party. The mainstream media buys into this completely, even spending hours Wednesday and Thursday praising and believing his statement about being open to bipartisanship. This is the man who announced in 2009 that his only goal was limiting President Obama to one term. Nonetheless, there’s an opening to McConnell’s right.

Cruz has certainly bullied the GOP leaders before. Arguably the defining event of President Obama’s second term so far came directly from Ted Cruz’s badgering. The government shutdown was both damaging and a perfect media spectacle. Mainstream news loves extremes, and the shutdown contained three developing extremes as the complements to worry about the shutdown itself. First, Ted Cruz began saying publicly they would accept a shutdown if that’s what it took to dismantle Obamacare. Initially, this put him in opposition to “mainstream” Republicans like McConnell and Boehner. After House Republicans followed the freshman senator’s lead and he appeared to have abandoned them, he was the traitor. Then, Cruz pushed his party again and the government shut down. Americans stayed up late to watch Ted Cruz drone on in the middle of the night. In the mainstream media’s narrative, Cruz went from rebel to outcast to hero. The superficial coverage surrounding the shutdown kept citizens distracted when they needed to be cogent. If the mainstream media were on the side of its consumers, they would have reported mostly on what actually impacts Americans during a shutdown. Instead of the fourth estate, the media is a collective instrument of the powerful.

Ted Cruz, master violinist. The Most Conservative Politician in America will be in the news constantly, and will definitely win many of his disagreements with McConnell and President Obama. The 72-year-old McConnell is a strong politician in many respects, but not in dealing with even-more-extreme young Republicans. President Obama is a strong politician in few respects, and faces a more formidable challenge in the Cruz Congress than ever before.

In addition to everything else, the freshman senator is likely to become the next chair of the Senate’s important Subcommittee on Science and Space, which handles proposed bills about NASA, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the National Science Foundation. Think about just NASA for a second. As climate change continues to worsen, is NASA’s atmospheric expertise a crucial tool? Ted Cruz has no interest in that shed.

The Cruz Congress will be President Obama’s last. As the mainstream narrative agrees, it will be a grand finale to six years of political stalemate in which Americans have mostly lost, somewhere in the background behind all that noise.


About Author

Ben Sherman

Ben Sherman has been a BOR staff writer since 2011. A graduate of the University of Texas, Ben has worked on campaigns, in political consulting, and has written for other news outlets like Think Progress. Ben considers campaign finance reform the fundamental challenge of our time because it distorts almost every other issue in American politics.

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