Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Cruz Missal

It's not enough for Ted Cruz to be wrong, because he is. It's not enough that he's offensive, because he is. And it's not enough that he's a hypocrite, because he is. The worst part is that he has the whole package, and he's terribly difficult to listen to. But Ted Cruz represents much more in our era of divided, extremist, conservative government: It's the end of the line. When people like Ted Cruz make speeches that reference Nazi Germany and compare the present administration to it, you know that the GOP has gone gonzo overboard. This is not a governing party anymore--it's a collection of conspiracy theorists who happened to win votes in gerrymandered districts and in states where the majority of uninsured people in the United States live, but who have convinced themselves that getting health insurance amounts to treason.

The conservative movement has reached its apogee and is now in its slow, painful, destructive decline. It will bring a good part of the country down with it, but the good news is that at its worst, it only controls the House of Representatives. If it shuts down the government next week, it will lose that in 2014 and if it runs an ultra-conservative in 2016, it will lose that election too.

I've heard many pundits and political science professors say that we live in a center-right leaning country, and at this time I'm inclined to believe it. The problem for the Republicans is that they are not center-right: They are far right and represent a minority of the country. Most people don't want radical change of the sort that the far right is promoting. Many people oppose the health care law for good reason, but to say that it will drag down the economy and that it's the death knell of our way of life is irresponsible and hyperbolic.

But I guess Ted Cruz had to happen. Even members of his own party are abandoning him. If the shutdown is to be avoided, Democrats in the House will need a bill to support. This is not good for John Boehner or any of the farther rightists.

But it's the best thing to happen to the country in a while. Perhaps things are finally looking up.

For more, go to www.facebook.com/WhereDemocracyLives and on Twitter @rigrundfest

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