Ted Cruz likes to think of himself as Ronald Reagan in the 1970’s. Back then Reagan, especially after he narrowly lost to President Ford in the 1976 GOP primary, was the leader of a growing populist-conservative movement that would first defeat the party establishment and then take the White House in a landslide election.
Yet, actually Cruz may be much closer to Newt Gingrich in the mid 1990’s. Like Newt, Cruz is not leading an outsiders revolt but is trying to use support of the grassroots take over the party inside Capitol Hill. You can ask John Boehner about that one.
Also like Newt, Cruz is a smart man who says pretty dumb things. Remember Newt in 1995 talking about things like men hunting giraffes, the connection between murder Susan Smith and Democratic control of Congress and women getting infections if they served in a ditch for 30 days? Good times.
It seems Cruz has a bit of that problem himself. He compared people who think Obamacare can’t be stopped to appeasers of Hitler and his own 21 hour filibuster to the Bataan Death March.
Plus, like Newt’s mom, who called then-First Lady Hillary Clinton a bitch on tv, Ted has a parent who likes to speak his mind. Recently, Ted’s dad openly called for challenging any Republicans who compromise on the shutdown to face a primary. Just wait to see what he’ll say during the heat of a presidential campaign.
We all know how Newt’s story needed? Will Cruz face a similar fate? Will he eventually alienate his party’s moderate and conservative factions and be forced out after electoral defeat? Considering he is not in the Senate leadership I doubt that is his fate. However this story ends we just at the start of it. Hang on tight, it’s going to be a crazy ride.