It isn’t often I extend a congratulatory hand to the likes of Texas Senator John Cornyn. But today is a special day, and everyone — left, right or middle — should be prostrating themselves before Cornyn, thanking their lucky stars for his intestinal fortitude. If it weren’t for him, the United States government would have defaulted for the first time in history.
But it didn’t. The debt limit was raised, we paid the bills, and it is back to business as usual. All because Senator John Cornyn of Texas, his grim face belying the apoplectic rage brewing beneath his brow, changed his vote from “no” to “yes”.
Virtually no one — Democrat or Republican — wants the United States to default, so raising the debt limit is par for the course. It should have been an easy vote. With a slim majority in the Senate, the Democrats could all vote “YES” and pass the bill, even with every Republican voting “NO”, if only to placate their austerity-pushing bases. Everyone could have walked away happy.
But I say “virtually no one”, because there is a very vocal some one who doesn’t think defaulting would be all that bad: Ted Motherfucking Cruz.
John Cornyn’s very own simpering junior senator.
See, Ted fucked with the system. He changed the rules so that raising the debt ceiling would require 60 votes to pass, instead of a simple majority, thus forcing his fellow senators to choose between their professed anti-spending ideology, and watching the economy go down like the fucking Titanic. Mitch McConnell, already facing a primary challenger in his reelection bid, bit the bullet and voted “YES”. No doubt his opponent will exploit this; he may very well lose the primary because of it.
With one vote short of the required 60, John Cornyn stepped in and saved the day, not just voting “YES”, but changing his vote. In politics, this is the equivalent of jumping on a fucking hand grenade to save your buddies… a hand grenade thrown by a guy you thought was your fucking friend.
When everything was said and done, Cruz basically told his senatorial collegues they could go forth and heartily fuck themselves.
“In my view, every Senate Republican should have stood together.” He added that the verdict on McConnell “is ultimately a decision … for the voters in Kentucky.”
I’ll bet Cruz thinks he’s pretty fucking clever. Most of the pragmatic types who “foiled” his plan — McCain, McConnell, Cornyn — are old timers anyway. If they lose their primaries to Tea Party candidates, Ted Cruz benefits in two ways: 1) he gets allies, and 2) he becomes more senior.
Obviously, he’s positioning himself to become the Grand High Poobah of a new cockle of Tea Party Senators, but he doesn’t seem to have considered the very realistic possibility his candidates, even if successful in their primary bids against established candidates, might not win a general election. You know what they say about pride coming before the fall…
So, is Ted Cruz an evil idiot or an evil genius? I suppose only time will tell. But I can say one thing for sure: the dude’s a total asshole.