January 26, 2016

MAKING THE PIE SMALLER:

What Ted Cruz Values : The Texan is repelling millions who believe in an America of the future, not the past. (BRET STEPHENS, Jan. 25, 2016, WSJ)

[M]aybe I wouldn't be quite so nauseated by the junior senator from Texas if the cynicism with which he mounted his attack last week on "New York values" weren't so wholly matched by the sinister taint of an ambitious sophist who takes his audience for fools. Ted Cruz is the guy who made Donald Trump look tolerant and statesmanlike. That's saying something.

Already it has been widely mentioned that Mr. Cruz's wife, Heidi, is a senior executive with Goldman Sachs, which isn't exactly an Iowa values kind of institution, and that Mr. Cruz's 2012 run for Senate was financed with the help of $1 million in low-interest loans from Goldman. Also noted is that Mr. Cruz owes his political career to the backing of billionaire Peter Thiel, who is libertarian, gay, and perhaps wondering what he was thinking.

And it goes without saying that most of us would prefer the values of the lowliest New York Fire Department cadet over the cleverest Harvard Law graduate any day we need to get out of trouble that isn't of our own making.

But the deeper problem with Mr. Cruz's assault on the Big Apple isn't his personal hypocrisy, or his two-bit stereotypes, or in biting the hands that fed him. That's what we expect of politicians; the priced-in rate of running for high office. It's the full-frontal assault on millions of GOP voters who, on one issue or another, share some of those dreaded New York values. The senator is trying to do to socially moderate Republicans what Democrats did to their own social conservatives when they barred pro-life Pennsylvania Gov. Bob Casey from speaking at the 1992 Democratic Convention. Yes, kids, there used to be Democrats who didn't march in lockstep with Emily's List.

There also used to be a theory of politics that, in two-party systems, it was in both parties' interests to pitch the broadest possible tent; to have, as the great Si Kenen once put it, "no enemies, only friends and potential friends."

But that's not Mr. Cruz's theory. 

Posted by at January 26, 2016 3:55 PM

  

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