Ted Cruz is eyeballing 2014 first, not 2016 with shutdown strategySubmitted by Michael Nystrom on Mon, 10/07/2013 - 21:41
That is what this pretty keen analysis from the Sunday NYT says. Can he pick up seats, and actually flip the Senate?
Consider the warnings of many, including some in the conservative establishment, that the shutdown will rebound against the party. As evidence they cite the shutdown of 1995. The winner then was President Bill Clinton, who deftly used the episode to right his wobbly presidency and then coasted to a second term in 1996.
But Ted Cruz, the Texas senator who helped set the stage for the conflict, has offered a different interpretation. Those prophesying ruin “need to go back and read their history books a little more closely” regarding 1995, he said on Laura Ingraham’s radio show in July. “In the next election, 1996, Republicans held on to the majority in the House, the first time Republicans had done that since 1930, in 66 years,” Mr. Cruz pointed out. “We lost a total of nine seats in the House. In the Senate, we gained two seats.”
Mr. Cruz, in other words, was calculating the odds of success in terms of the Congressional, rather than presidential, outcome. This makes sense, since he was born in 1970 and came of age in the years when his party struggled to build national majorities (winning the popular vote only once in the six presidential elections held from 1992 to 2012) and instead flexed its muscles through the legislature.
Changing demographics would seem to weaken the appeal of anti-government figures like Mr. Cruz (who was born in Canada and is of Cuban ancestry). That is why traditional conservatives like the columnist Michael Gerson insist that “pragmatic Republicans” are the party’s salvation, and that Mr. Cruz and his allies are mounting a “revolt against reality.”
But as America becomes more diverse, another population has come more clearly into view: the alienated and disenchanted. These people have embraced a libertarian and anti-government outlook and have little use for what they see as the compromised, impure “big government” conservatism of the Reagan and Bush years.
To this constituency, the Republican who will go as far as he can — taking one last crack at undoing Mr. Obama’s health care reform or voting later this month not to raise the debt ceiling — is not an obstructionist but a politician of principle, a rebel with a cause.
Read the whole thing in theNYT.
What do you think? Can he flip the Senate? How do you think the whole thing will resolve?
For me, this political drama is better than any soap opera, and almost as good as that Broncos - Cowboys game yesterday.