Coping with the Fear of Their Own Shadow Caucus

Last Sunday evening, after watching video of Ted Cruz that morning battling David Gregory on Meet the Press, I realized I was looking at the future—or at least the potential future—of how to win this thing.

Not the budget battle or Obamacare, per se, but this thing.

This battle between limited, constitutional government and the overwhelming firepower of entrenched progressivist thinking that pervades government, journalism, culture, education—and the water cooler.

For a surprising number of my friends, Cruz is the problem, not the solution. And the idea of him being the future of anything other than electoral comeuppance gives them nightmares.

But here he is on Meet the Press, going toe to toe with David Gregory.

I really enjoy Gregory in this one, because there’s no pretence—at least not very long—of “Your critics say…” You can tell as their discussion goes on that these are two intelligent, savvy, guys arguing their best arguments from conviction and integrity.

Playing well on the other guy’s turf

I don’t think either of them wins.

But for Cruz—and for people who believe as Cruz does—a tie on the other guy’s turf is a win.

Because with the Fear of Their Own Shadow Caucus that hardly ever happens.

Take a look at it yourself:


Is Cruz hurting the Republican brand?

I’ve been having this ongoing conversation with David Freddoso about Cruz. Probably not very illuminating to anyone reading it—filled as it is with such insights as Yes he is and No he’s not—

Somehow, though, we know what each of us means.

David believes that Cruz is blowing up any chances Republicans have of undoing Obamacare and rolling back the other Obama overreaches.

And that he’s hurting the Republican brand in the process.

Last night he linked to that Politico piece featuring The Senators Who Shall Not Be Named.

I responded:

David is as conservative as I am, but I think his focus right now is on winning the skirmishes. Cruz’s is on winning the whole war. The Senators Who Shall Not Be Named are preserving their place in the wheeling-dealing cosmos, the go-to guys for journalists looking for intramural (and anonymous) poop-slinging. Invitees to White House dinners, whispering their wisdom into the ear of the most powerful man on earth.

Johnson vs. Landry

Cruz is a little like an NFL head coach/gm inheriting a losing team with some talent in key positions, but lots and lots of holes—and a loser’s mindset.

He has to rebuild. He has to play the young guys who will grow into champions. He has to install a better system. And he will lose some games in the process. But he’ll be setting up for a string of long-term wins in the not-so-distant future.

Jimmy Johnson vs. an aging Tom Landry.

Republicans have been too accepting of the progressivist New Normal. They just want to slow things down. Keep things in order. Minimize the collateral damage. Get reelected. Make sure their C-level buddies live the good life while remembering the politicians who made it all possible. Enjoy the comfort and conveniences of their very exclusive club.

Cruz and Lee and their allies and acolytes believe we are in the Third Revolutionary War.

So they’re acting like it.

And the establishment—on Left and Right—is having fits.

Cross-Posted from Thinking Out Loud