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Roger L. Simon

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It’s hard to believe but Ted Cruz and Barack Obama do have one thing in common.  Both have now won awards more for their potential than for their achievements.  In Obama’s case, it was the Nobel Peace Prize, an award given to the likes of Yasser Arafat for bringing “peace to the Middle East” and, yes, Al Gore for his maunderings about the weather.  In Cruz’s case, it was the Claremont Institute’s Statesmanship Award, previously given to the likes of Milton Friedman and Margaret Thatcher.

I leave it to you to decide which is the greater honor, but I was in attendance Saturday night at Claremont’s annual Churchill dinner at the Beverly Wilshire to see Cruz receive his award and, more importantly, deliver a speech.  I was anxious to go because the Texas senator is one of the men of the Republican hour and a darling of the militant wing of the party.  He is also quite clearly a bright fellow, a cum laude graduate of Princeton where he was a national debating champion, then a magnum cum laude grad of Harvard Law where he was called “off-the-charts brilliant” by none other than Alan Dershowitz, who, to my knowledge, has never said quite the same thing  about Obama.  From there the future Texas senator went on to clerk for Chief Justice Rehnquist.

Perhaps even more impressive about Cruz is that he was already studying such free-market economists as Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek, Frederic Bastiat and Ludwig Mises in high school.  Not too many of us could say that.   But if we had, I suspect this country would be a lot different.

My problem with the Texas senator, as I have written previously, has been one of tactics, not ideology.  I was put off, as were a significant portion of the electorate, if we can believe the polls, by his effort to shut down the government over Obamacare, even though that same electorate disdained Obama’s absurd healthcare legislation — or should I say prevarication?  Nevertheless, for a moment, the Republican brand was damaged.  I was worried that it might be fatal.  I was dead wrong.

I wanted to hear Cruz speak at the Churchill dinner to see if I was dead wrong about him as well.  I think I probably was.  The man delivered a fine speech.  He was personable.  He was funny. (He made father-in-law jokes rather than mother-in-law jokes.) He hit his ideological marks and he also spent time defending his tactical position.

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The Republicans did not shut down the government. Or even a portion of it. The House had passed spending bills. Harry Reid did not bring them to a vote in the Senate. It was Harry Reid who partially shut down the government. It was Barack Obama who barricaded the WWII Memorial. Please use facts.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Roger, the tactic Ted Cruz used did not succeed. Republicans took the blame. Both of those statements are true.

However, there is a saying in football that a coach who listens to the fans about which plays to call will be sitting with them next year.

It is easy to malign a strategy or tactic Monday morning, after the fact. It is also easy to suggest "great wisdom" from the sidelines. That's what we do. But a Cruz vs McCain debate is like watching a cat with a ball of yarn.

McCain graduated at the bottom of the class and his father was an admiral. He got himself captured. A man who endured torture without sacrificing honor deserves respect for that, but not a pass on weakness in his arguments and behavior thereafter.

How different would the public reaction be if the corrupt media didn't propagandize the truth out of the information stream? That is NOT a "liberal" debate. It is hard core totalitarian abuse of the people's right to know.

How different would the public reaction have been, if frightened Republicans had stood together and stayed on message.

Am I also part of the "militant" wing against treason, totalitarianism and tyranny? I don't think you can stand against the overthrow by radical leftism...and be "mild" about it any longer.

In fact, the halting, hesitant, "off message", circular firing squad behavior has the Republicans making a close match out of what should be a rout. Obama, despite a Democratic Party that has uniformly disgraced itself, has thrown away every ounce of honor, has acted in criminal and treasonous fashion...has seen his poll number crater. In fact, even a corrupt media is not able to save him...yet.

Cruz, Jeff Sessions and Lee have carved out a stand. The fact that they don't particularly like McCain is one thing. The fact that they don't like Rand Paul is more telling. They are not backing down and they are making the argument that needs to be made. I have watched and listened. They are not crackpots, not the "mirrors" of Alan Grayson.

They are intelligent, strong debaters, articulate and NOT hesitant, halting or timid.

Isn't that what we have been asking for...for years?

If they are calling plays with a weak supporting cast around them, prima Donna players who don't have the team's best interests at heart, against a cheap shot opponent who will break any rule and rigged refs...I will continue to comment on the game on Monday morning. That's what we do.

But Cruz, Lee and Sessions should have those of us who admire skill, tenacity and honor...applauding the effort.

I don't get my opinions from the corrupt media. Nor from the bar stool fan who spouts loud invective without an ounce of coherence.

Maybe Cruz deserved that award more than we realize. He lit a beacon for the path forward. He doesn't like Obama and this lawless cabal. He doesn't like McCain and his reckless instability. He doesn't like Rand Paul and his "hidden" messages.

Cruz, Lee and Sessions may be the makings of a winning team. Maybe we ought to take a closer look at what they really stand for...and against. It is a tough road to fight the slanders, the rigged refs, a cheating opponent...and ...your own teammates unworthiness.

I would give them an award just for having the guts to try.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
" I was anxious to go because the Texas senator is one of the men of the Republican hour and a darling of the militant wing"

Militant wing? Why use a pejorative word? I can see Obama or McCain doing that against Cruz, but et tu Mr. Simon?

"by his effort to shut down the government over Obamacare"

The government wasn't shut down and Cruz never tried to shut it down. That's democrat mendacity.

Just yesterday a hit piece on Rand Paul at PJM and now one on Ted Cruz. Has this web site been bought by Karl Rove?
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (100)
All Comments   (100)
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My senator is no one's darling.
15 weeks ago
15 weeks ago Link To Comment
I read several of those authors as well as several others touting socialism and communism and so forth. The basic ideas of economics have a number of contributions from these gentlemen and others, but the issue of the different set of causes and effects between micro and macro economics is not addressed or not adequately addressed. Ted Cruz is another one that started and ended with the folks you listed. Their work is framed around the ideas that debt is bad and too much debt means you go broke. That's the micro economics view and it's different for countries, particularly for countries issuing their own currency and having productive assets.

Cruz has to use the same old arguments for his economics as have been used by debt weenies. I'll put it this way, I can well remember over 60 years of several political issues, and debt is one of those. When I was a kid I remember the speeches and ads, et cetra and the claims that we were leaving our children (that would be me) an unbearable burden of debt and that they would end up slaves of Soviet masters. Sixty years of hearing those words and watching the dollar go up and down or watching gold go up and down, surviving the Japanese tsunami of the 1980s and the Reagan tax rewrite and now my grandson is the child that is being discussed in the wails about debt. Well, I quit worrying about him when I figured out there is no time the debt has to be paid off, if ever and with all our debt denominated in dollars, what keeps us from paying it? Nothing, because of our productive capacity and our ability to print all the dollars we want. Sixty years and nothing's happened yet, even though I've been promised it's (whatever it is) about to happen soon.

None of the austerity economists have addressed the differences properly, if at all. Cruz is full of it. He gives a good speech and I believe he's a pretty smart guy, but he lets ideology and religion get in the way of logic and reason. (Thanks for your support Dad!)
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Until the rest of the world doesn't need to accept the US dollar. Then poof.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
"I figured out there is no time the debt has to be paid off, if ever and with all our debt denominated in dollars, what keeps us from paying it? Nothing, because of our productive capacity and our ability to print all the dollars we want."

This has occurred to me as well. Nothing better illustrates the idea that money can be created out of thin air than those "derivatives" which were a part of the financial debacle of 2008. Human behavior, not money, seems to drive these things. Another illustration: the stock market which goes up & down on investors' whims.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
But if you try to pay off an overburdened debt by prining money you end up with rampant inflation. Germany learned that lesson from Weimar days, Argentina should have learned that lesson, but has not. The only think keeping us from a debt fueled crash is that it has not yet gotten to completely unsiustainable levels, and some other nations are doing even worse, but that wont last forever. But the real problem is not debt, but excessive gov spending, which sucks money from the productive private economy to less productive gov.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Cruz will scare the crap out of the Russians and the Chinos. He believes in God which in their mind makes him certifiably insane. They will blink when up against a man of God.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
I was in D.C the night the government shut down. They were already putting up barricades and hanging "closed signs" that night around our war memorials. Its was planned from the start of the budget process because nothing in Washington happens that fast!
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
One may not always agree with Cruz, but there is no question that he "resonates" with the American people (the ones who favor liberty and reject the welfare state). My recollection is that Reagan met a lot of resistance also, and sneers about him being just an actor, yet he had a vision for America, a mindset that both inspired and demanded allegiance -- and Ted Cruz reminds me of that. He has my vote, in any election that he enters, until the savior of our country clearly is identified as someone else -- and nobody, not even Hillary (raucous laughter), meets that criterion.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
He won for the best imitation of Joseph "tail gunner" McCarthy.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
McCarthy went overboard however the treat was real and has only grown.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have high hopes for Ted Cruz, but Ted Cruz will not be successful unless he can replace the John Cornyns and Pete Sessions with the Dewayne Stovalls and Katrina Piersons. If Matt bevins fails to beat McConnell then there is very little improvement of Ted Cruz's cohorts in the congress. which will leave him in a less than enviable position as regards advancing his agenda.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Cornyn, McConnell, Boehner, Sessions are perfect examples of the 'go along to get along/make as much $$$$ as you can for yourself and your homies' attitude all too many career politicians embrace. We the People are at a distinct disadvantage as we ponder...how to rid ourselves of such men. Cruz, Lee, Paul and too many others will be tempted...$$$$. Can they be bought? Seriously? Look at DC. GOD help us please.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
On the theme of "militant" vs. "mild": mild won't even buy a cup of coffee in the messy times ahead. Many R's are resigned to simpering and whimpering from the armchair and dripping into Depends. Well, screw 'em. The debate is for the rest of us. Simon, to his credit, may just be poking around in the hornet's nest, which is no bad thing in itself.

One or two shapes are now visible in the fog.

McCain will be dead or drooling soon and even the slowest country-club R's can do themselves and the country a favor by sending him and all front-bench geriatrics home without delay. Those who caused and tolerate today's nightmares are to be entrusted with the solution? Hell, no.

Rand Paul is a good man of many talents, no surprise there, and a valuable source if ideas to challenge conventional wisdom. God knows, the GOP needs new ideas if it's to ditch its death wish, but that doesn't make Paul a good candidate (yet? ever? -- dunno).

Cruz, however.... The biggest problem I have with Cruz is just the reflex worry about every challenger who seems to really, really want the job. Yes, ambition is fine and all that, but the entire political process is now so deformed that running for the WH often appeals only to those unfit for the job. On the other hand, run a flip-flop like Romney, who didn't want the job, and you get a result that's also predictable -- the ostriches on this site were wrong, serially and repeatedly.

Fortunately, it is clear that Cruz is no Romney. Also encouraging is the lineup that's emerging. The old farts are SOL.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
We are all weary of...career politicians. They are almost always a disappointment. Sad no?
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
BTW, love the picture.
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
Blaming Cruz for the shutdown is like blaming the victim for the thug hitting him. Its like criticizing someone for yelling after the bully stomps on his foot. Man, has the establishment got you trained or what?
19 weeks ago
19 weeks ago Link To Comment
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