GOP Should Nominate Chief Critic Cruz: Republican Rise Relies on Repentance

Ted Cruz speaks at townhall in New Hampshire in February 2016

No one has been more incisively critical of the Republican Party in Congress than Texas Senator Ted Cruz, though he has not been alone. In many ways, Republican capitulation and cooperation with Big Government forces spawned the Tea Party, and then, the candidacy of Donald Trump (albeit around different issues).

If the RNC and Republicans on Capitol Hill are to regain credibility, repentance must come first. The word means a 180-degree turnaround, and it starts with acknowledging failure. No single action would more clearly signal a GOP about-face than to nominate their chief critic — Ted Cruz. (I’ll explain why that’s better than the alternative in a moment.)

After the punishing 2012 presidential loss, the RNC made a show of performing an “autopsy" on itself — an absurdity of the highest order. Dead men are peculiarly incapable of self-reflection. But good intentions, and diagnostic white papers, are not the same as good medicine.

The Republican Party now stands on the edge of night. Only an obscurantist would continue whistling past the graveyard. The question remains what to do about it.

In 2013, Democrats shut down the federal government from October 1st-to-16th when they refused to pass a continuing budget resolution that defunded Obamacare. Of course, the mainstream media remembers this as the time when then-freshman Sen. Ted Cruz shut down the government. Indeed, Cruz was among the most vocal conservatives on Capitol Hill aiming to fulfill campaign promises to defund the ironically titled Affordable Care Act. GOP colleagues decried and mocked Cruz, calling him naïve. In hindsight, I’m sure Cruz agrees he was naïve to believe Republican senators meant what they told voters.

Republican leaders caved to Democrats mid-month, acknowledged defeat, and laid it at the feet of Cruz and his ilk. Obamacare blundered on its tragic way, bending the cost curve upward, driving medical professionals into retirement, and stripping people of family doctors.

Of course, Republican senators were right that the shutdown was a bad tactic, because the plan Cruz passionately advocated depended upon Republicans to stand against Obamacare in a more-than-symbolic fashion.