Ted Cruz for MVP of Democrats!

There’s a good amount of invective headed Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz’s way from inside his own caucus because of his objection to the vote on the debt limit increase. As the Wall Street Journal’sThe Minority Maker” tells it:

Democrats had enough votes to pass the increase with a simple majority, which means they would have owned the debt increase. But then Senator Ted Cruz —the same fellow who planned the GOP’s shutdown fiasco in October—objected on the floor and insisted on a 60-vote majority. This is exactly what Democratic leader Harry Reid wanted because if the bill failed he would have sent the Senate home on recess and returned later this month to join President Obama in flogging the GOP as the debt-ceiling deadline neared.

The 60-vote threshold was reached only after GOP leaders Mitch McConell, John Cornyn and 10 others voted to let the final debt-ceiling vote proceed.
As I already covered this morning, that vote is going to hurt those 12 Republicans when they come up for re-election, this cycle or the next. They’ve spent the better part of the past year getting in front of any camera they could find saying that it would be worth it to default on our debt in order to stop the Obama Debt Juggernaut, but then when the rubber really came to the road, they voted for that very same increase. They’ll try to tell people they voted for the procedural measure to allow debate, and then voted against the measure itself, but you can already see the commercials now, that argument would fall on deaf ears.
All of this, for Cruz, after he was the one who spearheaded the whole “lets shut down the Federal Government and have a hissy-fit until they repeal Obamacare” strategy, which didn’t exactly work out very well for the Republicans. At this point, some are beginning to wonder if Cruz might actually be a sleeper agent for the Democratic party. Thanks to Cruz’s series of blunders, as Ezra Klein put it:

“Going forward, not only will Republicans be afraid to shut down the government or threaten the debt ceiling again during this Congress, but if Republicans somehow end up doing it anyway, Democrats will be unafraid of the fight. As Democrats see it, if Republicans want to give a shutdown or a default another shot closer to the 2014 election, well, that’s great news for Democratic congressional candidates.

Over the last 24 hours I’ve seen some Republicans complaining that President Obama and the Democrats are trying to break them. Their anger is misplaced. They should be angry at Ted Cruz for putting Republicans in a position to be broken.


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