Posted on August 1, 2012
It comes as no shock that the most conservative candidate in the Texas Republican primary won.
It has long been established that if given the choice between a more conservative candidate and a more moderate candidate, Republican primary voters generally go for the more conservative flavor.
There are two addendums to that theory. First, the more conservative candidate has to be sane. Second, the more conservative candidate has to have the resources to complete.
Ted Cruz is clearly sane. So he had that going for him.
And he had enough resources to compete. He threw his own money in, which wasn’t chump change. And he got a bunch of support from folks outside of Texas.
That helped him to position himself as the right-wing candidate. The fact that he had the support of right-wing groups solidified his position as the right-wing candidate.
Cruz also had the great virtue of not having any legislative experience. That means he didn’t have to explain this vote or that vote. He doesn’t have any governing experience, so he didn’t have to explain this deal or that deal.
He could portray himself as ideologically pure, which these days is a huge asset in Texas (and in many other states).
Deal makers aren’t well-loved any more. The last of the great deal makers was Trent Lott. Lott could cut a deal with the best of them. Ted Kennedy was pretty good at cutting deals too.
But those days are over. The people don’t want deal-makers any more, which is why we don’t get any deals any more.
Maybe that is for the best. The American people don’t trust government any more. They want far less of it in their daily lives. They don’t want a nanny state. They don’t want leaders telling them to eat less and exercise more. And they certainly don’t trust all of the politicians who feather their owns nests.
We are in the middle of a period of great cynicism in our national institutions. And it has been a long time coming. It started with LBJ and the Vietnam War and it has stretched right through to Jack Abramoff.
Republicans want conservative leaders who are basically going to do nothing but stand on principle. That is what Ted Cruz promised them. Let’s see if that is what he will deliver for them.