Quotes of the day

posted at 8:31 pm on February 16, 2013 by Allahpundit

Whispers has learned that Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas will be the closing speaker at the Conservative Political Action Conference this March, an annual political conference that draws more conservatives than any other event in the country.

Last year, former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin won the coveted speaking spot. Tea party favorite Allen West closed the conference in 2011, and conservative commentator Glenn Beck spoke last in 2010…

“In just a few months, Ted Cruz has become a strong, independent conservative voice in the Senate,” ACU Chairman Al Cardenas said in a press release Thursday. “Senator Cruz personifies the theme of this year’s CPAC—America’s Future: The Next Generation of Conservatives.”

***

Cruz’s ambition and no-holds-barred style have made him a hero among conservative activists and raised talk that Cruz – like Florida Senator Marco Rubio, another Hispanic rising star among Republicans – might run for president as soon as 2016.

“He’s a political phenomenon, and he has managed to become a national figure in a very short period of time,” said Steve Munisteri, chairman of the Texas Republican Party. “I have no doubt that a year from now, virtually every Republican activist in the country will know who Ted Cruz is.”…

“In the modern, cable television-talk radio media age, the more outrageous you are, the more attention you get,” [AEI analyst Norm] Ornstein said. “And Cruz is no dummy. He’s a smart, articulate guy. You’ll be seeing and hearing him a lot.”…

Cruz accompanied McConnell on a congressional visit to Israel and Afghanistan last month and won an admirer in the process. McConnell told the National Review Online afterward that Cruz was “ready for prime time on day one, which is pretty unusual for somebody who just got sworn in.”

***

“I love the guy,” said conservative Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), another “no” vote against Kerry who also opposes Hagel. “And he’s got the tenacity to stand for something and not back down. That means he’s my kind of guy.”

“I think he’s going to be a superstar,” said Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a fellow Cuban-American and another rising star on the right. “You’re already starting to see some of that. He’s just smart as a whip.”

Cruz declined a request for an interview, citing his lost voice after suffering from a cold. But in response to written questions, Cruz was unapologetic.

“I made promises to the people of Texas that I would come to Washington to shake up the status quo, to fight for conservative principles and to lead a concerted and meaningful effort to end the unsustainable spending, deficits and debt that have been propagated, unfortunately, by members of both parties,” Cruz said.

***

“I think he’s got unlimited potential,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told Manu Raju of Politico. “But the one thing I will say to any new senator — you’re going to be respected if you can throw a punch but you also have to prove you can do a deal.”

Sure, the people of Texas sent Cruz to Washington to shake things up. But once here, the need to govern (read, putting what’s right for the nation ahead of what’s right for one’s image back home) ought to trump all other considerations. Great senators are the ones whose influence reaches far beyond their home states because they (usually) put country above party, ideology and politics when it is needed most. Looks like it’s going to take a while for Cruz to learn this, assuming that’s possible.

***

Cruz has taken the wear-their-scorn-as-a-badge-of-honor approach with his liberal critics. As he told Glenn Beck last month, “I view all of that as a sign that maybe we’re doing something right.”

Behind the scenes, Cruz has rankled even Republican colleagues, who think he lectures too much at private party sessions — “pontificates” is one word used — and listens too little, especially for a newbie.

One Republican senator described Cruz to me as “Jim De­Mint without the charm,” referring to the rigidly conservative South Carolina Republican who left the Senate to head the Heritage Foundation — and who was not exactly renowned for being warm and fuzzy. Cruz is said to have a frosty relationship with his state’s senior senator, John Cornyn (R), dating to Cruz’s surprising decision, as Senate candidate, not to endorse his fellow Texan’s bid for party whip…

What reasonable inference is there to draw about this brash new senator? That there’s little he won’t do in pursuit of his prey.

***

He’s an ornery, swaggering piece of work. Just six weeks since his arrival on Capitol Hill, he’s already known for his naysaying, his nit-picking and his itch to upbraid lawmakers who are vastly senior to him, who have sacrificed more than he has and who deserve a measure of respect, or at least an iota of courtesy. Courtesy isn’t Cruz’s métier. Grandstanding and browbeating are…

Note in particular a Republican pollster’s recent interviews with Ohio voters. When the pollster asks them to play word association with “Republican,” the answers indeed include a few descriptions that the profiles of Rubio and Cruz push back against: “rich,” “white.” But the adjectives “rigid” and “polarizing” also come up, along with a lament about an “all-or-nothing” approach. These descriptions fit Cruz like a glove…

Indeed, the challenge for Republicans now — a challenge that, to limited and varying degrees, Rubio and even Eric Cantor are beginning to grasp — is to be seen and to act as a constructive force, as a party that’s for things, that wants to be inclusive and that operates with a generosity of spirit, not an overflow of spite. With his votes and his vitriol, Cruz undermines that. He brings himself plenty of attention. He’ll bring Republicans nothing but grief.

***

“Comity does not mean avoiding the truth,” [Cruz] added. “And it would be wrong to avoid speaking the truth about someone’s record and past policy positions, even if doing so inevitably subjects me to personal criticism from Democrats and the media.”

To the growing core of ardent conservatives in the Senate, Mr. Cruz has offered a jolt of positive energy.

“If you don’t ruffle any feathers, you’re not doing anything right,” said Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, who garnered similar attention in his opening weeks in the Senate two years ago…

After she raised the specter of McCarthyism, Ms. McCaskill was asked if she had spoken to Mr. Cruz about her concerns.

“I’m not sure it would do any good,” she said. “Do you?”

***

At times, the meeting slipped into an unusually accusatory and bitter back-and-forth, with Republicans like Ted Cruz, a freshman senator from Texas, going as far as to suggest that Mr. Hagel had accepted money from nations that oppose American interests.

Saying that he had serious doubts about the source of payments that Mr. Hagel had accepted for speaking engagements, Mr. Cruz declared, “It is at a minimum relevant to know if that $200,000 that he deposited in his bank account came directly from Saudi Arabia, came directly from North Korea.”

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I can’t speak to those old threads. But during the 2011/2012 time, there were many, many trolls on HA. Then up thru the Primaries until the Nomination of Romney they were still here. Then they dropped off and I haven’t seen any. Their job was done, they received their pay and now they are off somewhere else. Sure, some of them were banned, but I doubt there were that many that would account for their absence. That’s what I’ve seen anyway. Maybe others think something else.

bluefox on February 17, 2013 at 12:42 PM

I’ve always tended to be skeptical of the idea of paid trolls. It’s certainly possible and I’m sure it happens somewhere. But I doubt it’s as common as it often seems.

First off, I think the only way a candidate could get any mileage out of that kind of strategy would be to have people doing it all over the web – just working a few websites, even high traffic ones like hotair, would probably not really make a dent in people’s opinions. So the candidate would have to hire a substantial number of people. But that’s extremely risky – the more people involved in seething like this, the more likely it becomes that someone will get disgruntled and decide to play whistleblower.

The second thing is that weird, fanatical behavior is normal online – and politics in particular brings that out in people. So that isn’t necessarily much of an indicator of astroturfing.

Lastly, there’s another explanation that is very similar to the “paid troll” theory, and that’s the “enthusiastic activist” theory: you have people doing more or less all the disingenuous behavior that seems like it would come from a paid troll, but they do it for free. After the election, the battle is either won, or lost, and people don’t feel really impassioned enough to do their ridiculous online shenanigans until politics gets exciting again.

I tend to think the “enthusiastic activist” is more likely than the “paid troll”, simply because the former doesn’t require any organized malfeasance.

But really, I’m just speculating on all of this, so who knows?

As for the very first posters, I certainly don’t think they were mobys. I think they all just eventually moved on – some of them may have migrated over to Michelle Malkin’s own blog when she left, or to other blogs that they came to identify with more over time.

RINO in Name Only on February 17, 2013 at 1:14 PM

Well lookie here…

I’M THE KING OF THE WORLD!!!!!

RINO in Name Only on February 17, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Bump!!!..:)

Dire Straits on February 17, 2013 at 1:12 PM

And I owe it all to you. Thanks for the set-up:)

RINO in Name Only on February 17, 2013 at 1:22 PM

Bump!!!..:)

Dire Straits on February 17, 2013 at 1:12 PM

Lol!

Bmore on February 17, 2013 at 1:26 PM

Ick! What am I saying.

Bmore on February 17, 2013 at 1:08 PM

LOL, we’ll let our imagination suffice. Hatred, envy and jealousy would not make a pretty picture tho.

bluefox on February 17, 2013 at 1:56 PM

Wow!..What are you doing posting this early in the day my friend!!!..:)

PS..Beautiful piano..:)

Dire Straits on February 17, 2013 at 12:40 PM

Morning Mr. Dire. Outstanding song, love it, then and now. I usually post on and off all day. It is usually Dire that shows up vewy late. You must live in HI., or not sleep much. ;)

arnold ziffel on February 17, 2013 at 2:04 PM

People I would never support in the primary season: Sarah Palin, the fat Charlie Crist known as Chris Christie.

bluegill on February 17, 2013 at 7:55 AM

IMHO, people that put CONSERVATIVE Sarah Palin in the same paragraph as Abortion lovin, Romneycare supporting Christie REALLY need to BUY A CLUE!

Sarah Palin was named as King Maker from her successes in the 2010 election cycle. What have you done lately?

DannoJyd on February 17, 2013 at 2:10 PM

Blue Buddha!

Bmore on February 17, 2013 at 2:10 PM

RINO in Name Only on February 17, 2013 at 1:14 PM

PLEASE DO educate us all on what a MOBY is.

Is that someone who doesn’t bs us about how things like Romneycare [where is the freedom in ANY Mandate?]are conservative accomplishment? Is that one of the people that lets the GOP Elitists pick my candidate for me? I think everyone knows today how DISASTEROUSLY that always seems to work out.

Maybe a MOBY is one of the people that REFUSES to stand by and allow the corrupt-o-crats make up our minds for us.

Please, let’s do be relevant for a change.

DannoJyd on February 17, 2013 at 2:19 PM

DannoJyd on February 17, 2013 at 2:10 PM

DannoJyd on February 17, 2013 at 2:19 PM

…bout time you got fired up!…who told you…you could take time off?
…there’s too many union contracts at this site!

KOOLAID2 on February 17, 2013 at 2:30 PM

…bout time you got fired up!

KOOLAID2 on February 17, 2013 at 2:30 PM

So solly, but I’ve BEEN FIRED UP! Over the past 2 weeks I managed to get elected by my fellow delegates to go to the MIGOP Convention and I’ve been working to dig up dirt on the corrupt-o-crats running for re-election to leadership posts in the MIGOP, so now my gun is loaded and I’m ready for the hunt.

Mine is a relentless effort to take back the fine state of Michigan from the elitists who bow and scrape before the GOP establishment. I have no time to be picking up splinters.

I’ve recently left quite a few posts here in H.A. hoping to get more people involved in the fight. Did you miss all of those?

DannoJyd on February 17, 2013 at 2:53 PM

arnold ziffel on February 17, 2013 at 2:04 PM

lolz..Just trying t do my best..:)

Dire Straits on February 17, 2013 at 2:58 PM

PLEASE DO educate us all on what a MOBY is.

Um, I thought it was a relatively commonly used term referring to leftist concern trolls pretending to be conservative – the terminology “Moby” referring to an attempt by the musician “Moby” to incite said trolling.

Is that someone who doesn’t bs us about how things like Romneycare [where is the freedom in ANY Mandate?]are conservative accomplishment?

Actually, Mobys, assuming they even exist (I’m not convinced they do in any significant numbers), almost certainly will BS you about all sorts of things – it’s kind of built into the definition.

Is that one of the people that lets the GOP Elitists pick my candidate for me? I think everyone knows today how DISASTEROUSLY that always seems to work out.

Why on earth would you do such a thing? I hope you’ve never done this before. Your primary ballot is there for a reason, you know.

Why not just do what I and most conservatives do: announce to the world at large that you will happily give consideration to any candidate who chooses to run in the republican primary, regardless of whether the establishment backs them or not, and then pick the best candidate from that group? Granted, sometimes I get some lousy choices because candidates who might have been more appealing either don’t run, or worse, decide to give me and the rest of the GOP primary voters the finger by going third party, when they know (or should know) that the whole point of a primary is to have a way to democratically choose a single candidate to coalesce around, for the purpose of avoiding the spoiler effect. But sometimes, life just doesn’t give you a lot of good options, and you have to make the best out of a bad situation.

Maybe a MOBY is one of the people that REFUSES to stand by and allow the corrupt-o-crats make up our minds for us.

No, I’m pretty sure that’s not what “Moby” means.

Please, let’s do be relevant for a change.

To be honest, given that I never mentioned you, or the establishment, and never implied you or anyone else was a Moby, and given that my entire argument was based on my assertion that if said people existed at all, they were likely rare, or at least not paid astroturfers, and the only sentence in which I even used the word “Moby” was one where I expressed doubt that any of the commenters from 7 years ago were Mobys, I’d say its not me who has relevance issues.

RINO in Name Only on February 17, 2013 at 3:33 PM

Hopped up on goofballs.

Bmore on February 17, 2013 at 3:45 PM

I saw that. Someone clicked a link. It woke me up from my slumber. ; )

Bmore on February 17, 2013 at 10:29 AM

When I saw this earlier I was very impressed. I thought to myself “wow, this Bmore fellow really sees all.”

Alas, my faith is broken.

RINO in Name Only on February 17, 2013 at 3:57 PM

Forgot the link:

http://hotair.com/archives/2006/04/24/321/comment-page-2/#comment-6732546

RINO in Name Only on February 17, 2013 at 3:59 PM

I’ve recently left quite a few posts here in H.A. hoping to get more people involved in the fight. Did you miss all of those?

DannoJyd on February 17, 2013 at 2:53 PM

…sporadic doesn’t count! (:-<)
…didn't realize you were from my state…we need all the help we can get!…Levin…Stabenaw…Conyers…Dingel…

KOOLAID2 on February 17, 2013 at 4:35 PM

RINO in Name Only on February 17, 2013 at 1:14 PM

Well, the paid trolls mostly come out during a Presidential Primary and the pending Election itself. They don’t skip the mid-terms or any Senate or House Race tho. Since you are skeptical, doing a Search on Paid Trolls may change your mind. They are on Select websites and don’t try to cover the entire Web, which would be impossible to do anyway:-) And if their lies/distortions/smears didn’t work or benefit a cause or a Candidate, they wouldn’t do it. They get paid by each response they get. HA .didn’t/doesn’t have as many due to the Open Registration Policy. Other websites where you can Register at will is different.

The Paid trolls for political purposes surfaced in 2007 from my experience being online at many Conservative and Democratic websites. Those that were moderated were able to control them better, but those that didn’t suffered. They became a platform of troll discussions and not the topic of the threads at all. Less talk about real issues and more talk about the trolls; mission accomplished. Intelligent commenters were disgusted and left, so truth was sacrificed. Guess who benefits? The Candidate that couldn’t get his message out and in most cases, it was the Conservative/Republican and now Tea Party Candidates.

The unpaid trolls and concerned trolls have the same objective. I’m not lumping into those categories those that simply have strong differences of opinion. However, if lies/distortions/smears are part of their “opinions” then it would apply.

We can agree to disagree however:-) This has been my experience.

bluefox on February 17, 2013 at 6:38 PM

Since you are skeptical, doing a Search on Paid Trolls may change your mind.

Interesting. I just did that, and at first I was still unconvinced – a lot of the places discussing the “paid troll” theory were conspiracy theory websites.

But then I saw one where someone mentioned some marketing corporation, and then it occurred to me that plenty of companies and organizations, including political ones, use spam-bots, as well as telemarketers, and anyone who’s willing to put money into that probably wouldn’t shy away from paid trolls, if it could be done profitably. Of course, I’m sure they don’t think of it as trolling, and I bet the trolls don’t either – you’d be amazed at what people can rationalize to avoid cognitive dissonance.

I’d still tend to think most of the trolls we see are unpaid – never underestimate the capacity for weirdness, obnoxiousness, and stupidity of unpaid people with too much time on their hands.

But looking back, there are at least a few very likely were paid according to some system, either by the post, or by the reply.

Lib4life was probably a textbook example of this – she basically only posted talking points, and didn’t engage with other commenters more or less ever. It’s really that kind of commenter that I think you can make the best argument for them being a troll; the people who engage in back-and-forth, or who post slightly more complex thoughts (even very stupid ones), are probably less likely.

I doubt bluegill is paid, or at least not right now. Pathological Palin-derangement is a much more plausible phenomenon. But she could have been paid at some earlier time. I suppose it is also often going to be the case that a paid troll is someone who already is a supporter who is inclined to post, but they decide “why not get paid for my time, since I’m going to do it anyway?”. Then, once you start getting paid by the post or reply or whatever, you gradually find yourself moving away from the goal of genuinely winning an argument and towards that of meeting your quota or whatever.

But yeah, anyway, I think you may have convinced me on this one.

RINO in Name Only on February 18, 2013 at 12:06 AM

I’d still tend to think most of the trolls we see are unpaid – never underestimate the capacity for weirdness, obnoxiousness, and stupidity of unpaid people with too much time on their hands.RINO in Name Only on February 18, 2013 at 12:06 AM

Yes, we’ve seen some here and I’ve seen many on other sites:-)

I doubt bluegill is paid, or at least not right now. Pathological Palin-derangement is a much more plausible phenomenon.

I’m not sure what the term is, but unbalanced is one. Hating Palin when most supported her and loving Romney when most opposed him.
By my definition of a troll, whether paid or unpaid is lying/distorting/smearing is what bluegill has done. A lot of concerned troll with this one as well. Bi-trolling? LOL

Thanks for your reply.

bluefox on February 18, 2013 at 1:06 AM

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