Ted Cruz on the Senate floor: Mitch McConnell's a liar and our new majority is a cronyist fraud

I’m not going to excerpt it for you, despite the length. You need to watch it all; if you can’t spare 20 minutes, at least watch the middle third where he gets into corporate cooptation of the one-party state. This is one of the most brutal attacks — not incorrect, mind you, just brutal — you’ll ever see by a senator on his colleagues, starting with his own majority leader. Sample quote: “[This majority] does get things done, but it listens to one and only one voice: That is, the voice of the Washington cartel, of the lobbyists on K Street, of the big money and big corporations.” This guy is talking about his own caucus.

Nominally, this speech is about McConnell’s betrayal of opponents of the Ex-Im bank and his Reid-esque procedural scam to block conservative amendments that could have jeopardized the Iran deal. What it really is, of course, is a campaign commercial for Cruz 2016 aimed at all the Trump voters he covets but who prefer someone (for the moment) who stands outside the political class. This is Cruz’s way of showing them that not only is he willing to throw punches at the establishment too, he hits much harder than Trump does. The unspoken point is, “If you detest Washington and its endless corrupt excrescences, why would you support him instead of me?” Good question. I have no idea.

I wonder what Cruz is planning to do career-wise if his presidential campaign falls short. It’s hard to imagine him hanging around the Senate for decades, as it’ll be an even lonelier place for him after this than it already was. I assume he has his eye on a seat on an appellate court somewhere, either at the circuit level or SCOTUS itself, once a Republican’s back in the White House. Alienating the people who vote to confirm federal judges is an … interesting strategy, but maybe Cruz figures that a Senate Republican majority would be too scared of the base to reject him. Even if you dislike his style politically, there’s no question he’d be a staunch conservative as a judge. You deny the right another Scalia on the bench at your peril.