February 15, 2014

DAVID HARSANYI: Ted Cruz Is Winning. “What’s Cruz’s sin here? That he forced the GOP to be transparent about its position — a position that seems pretty reasonable considering the political realities of the situation. According to Betsy Woodruff’s reporting, most Republicans had no interest in voting for an increase. It’s preposterous to claim, no matter how often the Tea Party does, that moderate GOPers are ‘no better’ than liberals simply because they’re losing on this issue. But if the debt ceiling isn’t a hill worth dying on – and it certainly isn’t – leadership should have explained this explicitly rather than leading on the base. . . . But life’s not fair. McConnell and Boehner don’t lead, they manage. And they’re about to lose the party. Any new conservative ideas in the Senate are coming from Mike Lee, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio (who’s on thin ice, I know). They, like Ted Cruz, and like Senator Barack Obama before him, understand the appeal of idealism over pragmatism to those out of power. Obama voted against what is the now-sacred debt ceiling hike because he had nothing to lose and everything to gain. If you’re going to surrender, at the very least don’t make it look easy. And don’t try to cover up the terms of surrender.”