Sunday, February 17, 2013

Cruz Not Helping GOP Re-branding Effort

Frank Bruni thinks new Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is not helping the GOP's attempts to broaden its appeal in The New York Times.

He sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and during its final meeting on Tuesday about Hagel’s nomination, he made such nefarious and hectoring insinuations about Hagel’s possible corruption by foreign influences that McCain, who’d gleefully raked Hagel over the coals himself, more or less told Cruz to cool it. It was an unforgettable moment, and one that Republicans shouldn’t soon forget, because Cruz, 42, isn’t simply the latest overeager beaver to start gnawing his way through the halls of Congress. He’s a prime illustration of what plagues the Republican Party and holds it back.
A fascinating illustration, too. On the surface, he should be part of the solution: young, Latino, with a hardscrabble family story including his father’s imprisonment in Cuba and escape to the United States. But Republicans who look to him and see any kind of savior overlook much of what drags the party down, which isn’t merely or even principally the genealogy of their candidates. It’s the intransigent social conservatism, the whiff of meanness and the showy eruptions. It’s what Cruz, who rode a wave of Tea Party ardor to victory in Texas in November, distills.

UPDATE: The Houston Chronicle, who endorsed Cruz, makes a similar criticism on its editorial page.

His firebrand approach, we would suggest, is counter-productive for Texas and for the Republican party as it seeks to reconnect with the American people.  Cruz can be as impassioned and principled as he is inclined to be, but we still expect him to get things done for Texas, even if it means he has to compromise on occasion, even if it means he has to cooperate with a Democrat.  If the state's junior senator was inclined to ask, his Senate predecessor and fellow Republican could explain how it is done.

No comments: