After Sarah Palin mentioned that senators like Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT) were already essentially in a third party of “good guys” against Washington’s bipartisan permanent political class, The Atlantic Wire observed that Cruz is leading that movement in Congress.
Author Philip Bump writes, “the idea that Congress is now operating as a three-party system has gained informal traction recently.” He then names Cruz as a Minority Leader in the Senate and an “Honorary” Minority Leader in the House.
The exercise is “only partly facetious,” the Bump writes, because there are reliable conservative votes that stand in the way of the agendas of the House and Senate leadership, meaning that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) really only has about 30 GOP members with him, while House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has a bit over 200 because conservative members in the House seem intent on following Cruz’s lead on the budget and Obamacare.
The Atlantic Wire states that though this “ad hoc political group could be short-term,” the “idea that there exists a block of hard-right Republicans willing to stand in the way” of the objectives of establishment Republicans is “long-standing, and Cruz has learned this week that his forays into independence will be rewarded” by voters, especially conservative voters.
The most recent Public Policy Polling poll found that Cruz was leading the 2016 GOP presidential field and was viewed as the Republican leader in Congress.