In her column today, New York Times author Gail Collins launched into a tirade against Ted Cruz, the Tea Party, and Republican (especially Texas) voters in general. While Collins’ disdain for conservatives is no surprise — her February 8 column against the Catholic Church’s position on the contraception/abortifacient/sterilization mandate was similarly caustic — this piece is just asking for a full rebuttal.
First, Cruz served Texas as its Solicitor General, and clerked for the Supreme Court. Which means he knows the Constitution pretty darn well. Collins, of course, barely gave this a glance in her dismissal of Cruz, writing “Also, he memorized the Constitution in high school.” Give me a break.
Second, Collins mocks Cruz and the Tea Party by writing that “we don’t really need to go over his basic agenda because you can pretty much guess it. (Hint: cutspendingshrinkgovernmentrepealObamacare.)” This is true, and is as it should be. Cutting spending, shrinking government, and repealing the health care law are three of the four top things all federal politicians should be focused on right now. But perhaps Collins prefers Obama’s basic agenda of “Hopeychangeyblamebushblameeveryonebutmyselfraisetaxes?”
Collins’ take on the Senate Republican caucus is particularly entertaining. To wit:
Cruz’s victory was the latest in a number of Tea Party triumphs in Republican primaries, and it certainly does suggest that next year the Republican Senate contingent will be composed almost entirely of right-wing purists and people who are afraid they’re going to be primaried by a right-wing purist.
Of course, this isn’t even close to true. Less than two-thirds of Republican senators opposed the recent farm bill, and the Senate GOP leadership isn’t exactly jumping behind the Tea Party Caucus or its budget proposal. Additionally, even conservative Members such as Coburn and Pat Toomey have been willing to significantly compromise when it came to proposals to balance the budget, and Rubio garnered significant controversy recently when he put forth a modified DREAM Act proposal.
Next, of course, Collins calls for bipartisanship:
It’s so ironic, people. The national electorate is totally turned off by partisan standoffs. You can almost hear the public imploring, will you guys please just make some back-room deals? And, at that same moment, the Republican candidates are being pushed into being more and more intractable.
I don’t know where Collins is getting her information, but back-room deals are exactly why the Tea Party movement and the basically-defunct Occupy “movement” exist in the first place. And when it comes to being intractable, nobody is better at that than Reid, who has decided to break the law regarding a federal budget for the fourth fiscal year in a row.
Nothing excites liberals like a little racial insensitivity (but only if it’s against Republicans!), so Collins’ next point fits right in with the liberal meme:
Take that, Republicans! We’ll see you one Cuban-American Harvard Law graduate who memorized the Constitution when he was in high school and raise you Mexican-American twins who went to Harvard Law and got elected mayor and state representative! The race for the Hispanic vote goes on, and we will try to avoid mentioning that virtually the only thing all three of these people have in common is an inability to speak fluent Spanish.
Finally, Collins completely misses the boat on what’s wrong with the Republican Party.
Maybe the real answer to this and all the other Tea Party-over-establishment upsets is that the traditional Republican party is just burned out, and devoid of fresh faces.
Yeah, the upsets are because the GOP is burned out and devoid of fresh faces. Or it’s because the last GOP President and many of his congressional counterparts grew government, ran then-massive deficits, passed TARP, raised the cost and number of earmarks, and ran two wars badly. Or it’s because the Republican Party has generally become both more liberal and more corrupt.
Collins apparently threw her opinion into the mix on “Morning Joe” today, and was immediately ripped apart by Coburn for making similar criticisms of the Tea Party. The senator told her she ought to go and actually meet some Tea Partiers, but given that her opinions seem to be inside the liberal cocoon typical of NY Times columnists, I think Collins would prefer to sit back and lob unsubstantiated, uneducated attacks. It’s a lot easier than doing the work of actual research, or meeting one of the unwashed masses Collins clearly disdains.