Foreign Policy magazine has made a stark pronouncement about Texas Senator Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). According to FP’s Erica Grieder, Cruz is “the most hated man in the U.S. Senate.”
In a March 29 piece, Grieder made this extreme judgment based on the new Senator’s outspoken positions on many issues, as well as on how irksome he is to old guard Senators who imagine that first-year colleagues should be seen and not heard.
Grieder starts her piece with several gratuitous insults. Right off, she says that Cruz is “the human equivalent of one of those flower-squirters that clowns wear on their lapels.” She then calls his initiatives and ideas “non-sequiturs” and says they are “self-defeating.” This was all just the first paragraph.
Next we learn that Cruz has “irritated” Democrats like Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and been a “headache for GOP leaders.” This all because he stands up strongly for his principles and the positions that got him elected.
Does this really make him “hated,” though? He may elicit distaste in these old guard Senators and in those Senators that stand squarely against his principles, but “hated”? That is quite a subjective assessment.
Grieder’s piece isn’t all attack. She correctly points out that Senator Cruz often focuses on economics, putting “economic liberalism” at the center of many of his positions. Cruz calls his ideas a sort of small-government-based “opportunity conservatism.”
However, “Beyond economics, his approach is a bit more idiosyncratic,” Grieder claims. “He’s ideological, even compulsive, with regard to the Constitution.”
“Compulsive” with the Constitution? How is one “compulsive” with the Constitution? Do Senators need to give the Constitution short shrift from time to time to be considered effective? One would be excused to imagine that Grieder thinks so.
The FP writer next calls Cruz’s interest in principles a “preoccupation.”
The final knock on Cruz in this Foreign Policy piece is that he is gauche for being a “spot jumper” back home in Texas. This because he found a way to soar ahead of a long list of Texas Republicans patiently waiting for their turn to take the next spot up from their current positions of power.
Is that what we should want from our leaders? Politicians that sit around waiting their turn instead of politicians that put themselves up for election based on their ideas and principles?
Grieder’s piece does end on a salutary note, however. Noting that his “compulsive” positions have not “caused him any personal trouble,” Grieder says that Cruz may have a bright future in national electoral politics.
Grieder finishes her piece saying, “in January, Public Policy Polling found that he had a higher net approval rating than either Perry or Cornyn. If he wants to have a greater role in national politics, which seems likely, there’s clearly an audience.”
So, despite all the negative characterizations FP’s Erica Grieder casts upon Senator Ted Cruz, she does acknowledge that, in the end, Cruz in on a winning track and that his constituents–both back home in Texas and nationally–are obviously on board.
Winning is one of the best markers, after all.