Cruz: I didn’t come to the Senate to get 99 new friends

posted at 10:01 am on October 18, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

An old adage (misattributed to Harry Truman by Maureen Dowd) advises newcomers to Washington that if they want to make a friend, they should buy a dog.  Ted Cruz echoes that advice in a new interview with ABC News, in which he says that his ambitions in Washington didn’t involve becoming a beloved member of the clubbiest club in the world:

“There’s an old saying that, ‘Politics, it ain’t beanbag.’ And, you know, I’m not serving in office because I desperately needed 99 new friends in the U.S. Senate,” Cruz told ABC News’ Jon Karl in his first on-camera interview after the shutdown came to an end Wednesday night. …

And he made it clear that he thinks his Republican colleagues in the Senate are responsible for sabotaging his effort to tie funding for the government to an effort to defund or delay the health care law.

“I will say that the reason this deal, the lousy deal was reached last night, is because, unfortunately, Senate Republicans made the choice not to support House Republicans,” Cruz told ABC News. “I wish Senate Republicans had united, I tried to do everything I could to urge Senate Republicans to come together and stand with House Republicans.”

Cruz laid the blame on Senate Republicans attacking House Republicans during the shutdown:

“I think it was unfortunate that you saw multiple members of the Senate Republicans going on television attacking House conservatives, attacking the effort to defund Obamacare, saying, ‘It cannot win, It’s a fools error and we will lose, this must fail,’” Cruz said.

“That is a recipe for losing the fight, and it’s a shame.”

Well, the attacks went both ways, and that started before the shutdown. When Cruz and Mike Lee pushed hard for the defunding strategy and the shutdown tactics, their allies attacked Republicans who opposed those strategic choices as “voting for ObamaCare,” a charge that FreedomWorks continued this week. At the same time, Peter King and John McCain rushed to television to call conservatives crazy, stupid, or both. Both sides seemed intent on ignoring the fact that opposition to ObamaCare is one of the few issues that unites the GOP, and has for four years, and that opposition to strategy is not the same thing as opposition to end goals.

The only way to dismantle ObamaCare is to win elections.  Democrats won’t just fold on ObamaCare because they don’t have to do so as long as they control the Senate and the White House; this is a lifetime achievement for them.  That means that Republicans and conservatives have to stop attacking each other’s integrity over choices in tactics, and focus on winning elections that replace Democratic incumbents in the Senate with solid Republican candidates, and building the argument to eliminate ObamaCare altogether after the 2016 elections.  And that means that conservatives and moderates within the party need to aim their rhetorical guns outward rather than inward, and activists need to focus on Democratic Senate seats rather than embark on purity campaigns within the GOP caucus.

What we have now is a recipe for losing the long-term fight, and it’s going to be a lot worse than a “shame” if that happens.

Update: Moe Lane creates a very handy flow chart on this topic.

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So what, Moron? Reid’s play was meaningless. The bill that Reid got passed was meaningless. It didn’t mean a thing. The House could have passed the bill and refused to ever pass anything else. Then Reid would have been forced to choose between passing that bill or keeping the government shut down forever.

But Reid knew that he could count on surrender idiots just like you to attack and pressure Republicans into bending over again.

blink on October 21, 2013 at 1:39 AM

And when forced to make that choice Reid chose to keep the government shut down because the public didn’t want the shutdown and the GOP got the blame for it. That’s what I’ve been trying to beat into that apparently very thick skull of yours. We took a relatively popular position and chose to advance it using a tactic more unpopular than the thing we were trying to get accomplished. We, the GOP and Ted Cruz in particular, turned the people against ourselves because of a poor choice of tactics. Some low-thought process conservatives can’t seem to get their brains wrapped around that fact, and that’s making our self-inflicted wound that much worse.

alchemist19 on October 21, 2013 at 4:48 PM

Norbitz on October 21, 2013 at 12:13 PM

Doubly hard to find unity when in just the last week alone. By my supposed side of the isle, R, I have been called an insurgent , taliban, radical, terrorist, destroyer.etc,etc. The list seem to go on for ever. The faction of the party calling me these things make up the old withering wing of the R party. I don’t wish to engage their good for nothing asses at this point for a reason. Nope. Fire the lot of them and start over with normal Conservative Men and Women. I will support the new blood. The old blood reeks. Then again,…….I’m an Insurgent,……..

Bmore on October 21, 2013 at 10:22 PM

Hey, Loser, I don’t care if the position was popular or not, and I don’t care if the tactic was popular or not. IT WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO! Congress needs to do the right thing regardless of its popularity.

Have you EVER heard of a concept known as leadership?

blink on October 22, 2013 at 12:41 AM

What you’re advocating is governing against the will of the people in a democracy. That’s a one way ticket to another overwhelming Democrat majority that will be able to finish Obama’s dreams of changing America into a socialist utopia with a carbon tax, union intimidation and single-payer health care. Wise leadership doesn’t lead you off a cliff, and that’s where you would have us go.

alchemist19 on October 22, 2013 at 4:48 PM