The assault on Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) from the left is on, and its motivation is obvious: stop this up-and-coming intellectual powerhouse from making traction on the national scene by painting him as a kook. Cruz, who attended Princeton and then Harvard Law before clerking for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court William Rehnquist, is anything but kooky. That’s what scares the left about him. And the fact that he’s of Hispanic origin scares them even more.
While the press leaves pandering Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) alone, the long knives are out for Cruz. Beyond Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) regularly insulting Cruz for not being kind and gentle with the opposition, the larger left has picked up the torch. With Cruz’s plans to speak at an event in New York, the left announced its intention to push the hashtag #YouCruzYouLose. That backfired dramatically as #CruztoVictory began trending as a backlash.
Now, the left’s most rabid radical, Joan Walsh of Salon, has decided to label Cruz a tool of the rich. At the dinner, Walsh wrote, “Cruz didn’t do his familiar ‘Tailgunner Ted’ routine” – as though Cruz is in any way similar to former Sen. Joe McCarthy (R-WI), originally known as Tailgunner Joe for his World War II service. Instead, Walsh said, Cruz “tried to cast himself as a man of the people, friend to the downtrodden, who thought Mitt Romney’s big mistake in 2012 was his callousness to the so-called 47 percent.”
What’s wrong with that? According to Walsh, Cruz is a tool of the one percent. “It was curious to see the Ivy League, establishment-minted Cruz, whose wife works at Goldman Sachs, paint himself as a man of the people. Sure enough, his prescriptions to help the 47 percent turned out to be more policies to enrich the top 1 percent – abolishing the IRS, repealing Obamacare and eliminating Dodd-Frank restrictions on banks and Wall Street,” she wrote.
This will be the left’s next tactic. They’ve failed at painting Cruz as stupid (he most assuredly isn’t). Now they’ll imply he’s corrupt – or in Walsh’s case, state it outright. The truth is that the left has impoverished more Americans over the past five years than at any time since Jimmy Carter’s term – and Carter impoverished more Americans than anyone since FDR. What frightens the left is that Cruz can articulate why conservative policies benefit all Americans. That’s why they fight him so hard. And it’s why they will likely lose in their fight to marginalize him. Cruz raised $750,000 for the Republicans at that New York dinner.
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).