We can all agree that the Republican Party is in disarray after the government shutdown and debt ceiling “crisis” and needs a knight in shining armor to come galloping in on a white horse to save it, could that knight be the republican senator from Texas Ted Cruz? According to two polls released this week, Cruz has a rather healthy approval rating among Republicans after his stance on the Obamacare.
In a poll conducted by the Huffington Post and YouGov 60% of Republicans have a favorable view of Cruz with 17% having a negative opinion. Compared to other Republicans such as House Speaker John Boehner (R–OH) who has a 52% favorable and a 34% unfavorable rating and House Minority leader Mitch McConnell (R–KY) with a 37% favorable and 40% unfavorable rating, he might be. In the second poll conducted by Pew Research Cruz had a 44% favorable rating among republicans and republican leaning respondents and not surprisingly a 74% favorable rating among those identified as tea party members, while Boehner had a 43 – 35 rating and McConnell a 31 – 32 rating.
The Republican Party is in trouble, no can argue that. Whether they are fairly being blamed as being responsible for the shut down or not is irrelevant, it should be obvious that in the end they caved to the usual “save your own skin so you can get reelected” strategy so common among all career politicians in the United States. Ted Cruz and a handful of others didn’t cave but stuck to their beliefs.
Take McConnell for example, the supposed hero who struck the deal which ended the shutdown and averted the debt ceiling “crisis”. Stories have come out that part of the deal was for Kentucky and Illinois to each get a large sum of money for the Olmstead Lock and Dam project designed to relieve heavy barge traffic on the Ohio River. Whether or not this is a worthwhile project or not is immaterial, or even if it was in fact part of the deal or not as some claim, it certainly has the appearance of being “blood money.”
Another indication that Cruz might be on the right track is the increase in negative news stories showing up in the mainstream media on him. While not a scientific study by any stretch of the imagination, a Google News search reveals the majority of stories about him do not cast him in a favorable light. Coupled with his very well defined alignment with the tea party movement and their principles of fiscal responsibility, smaller government and strict constitutionality, and therefore by extension all the negative press about the tea party movement, he must be feared by many. After all the left (and yes even the right) will always attack those they fear.
Anyone who is truly honest with themselves knows things in Washington must change. As we wrote earlier this week we cannot continue to keep kicking the can down the road and going from crisis to crisis (a point we actually agree with President Barack Obama on, although we certainly disagree on who is responsible for creating the crises). Could someone like Ted Cruz be the one who affects the change we need? For the sake of the Republican Party let’s hope so.
Commentary by: Paul Roy