Ted Cruz, Mitch McConnell and the power of Republican surrender

Ted Cruz has sent the Republican Establishment into hysterical shock because he won't support preemptive surrender. Photo: AP Photos

WASHINGTON,  September 25, 2013 — Texas Senator Ted Cruz took Washington by storm with his filibuster against Obamacare. Utah Senator Mike Lee, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions and Florida Senator Marco Rubio helped out.

Unfortunately for both Cruz and America, Ted Cruz’s filibuster was doomed before it started. 

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell along with Texas Senator John Cornyn, Arizona Senator John McCain and other members of the Republican Establishment had already moved to the position of preemptive Republican surrender. McConnell and Cornyn were whipping votes to vote for cloture or, in other words, stop Cruz’s filibuster.

McConnell claimed in a press release that he wanted to stop Obamacare; he just disagreed on Cruz’s strategy of a filibuster.

Yet McConnell provided no details on his own strategy.

In baseball terms, it is the bottom of the ninth. The American people are trailing, there are two outs and our batter has two strikes. Ted Cruz at least wants to swing for the fences.

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At best, Mitch McConnell wants to take the pitch and hope it is a ball. 

In March, Rand Paul electrified the conservative movement with his filibuster.  That filibuster wwas over drones.

Drones were not, and still are not, a hot button issue with the vast majority in the conservative movement. Yet Rand Paul lit everyone up.


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Because the conservative movement has been begging the Republican Party to stand and fight for four years. 

Ted Cruz is standing and fighting. That is a position so unusual for Republicans that the establishment leadership may need treatment for hysterical shock.

Cruz’s fight is revealing to the public the civil war that is now going on in the Republican Party and may split the party. The conservative wing of the party is sick and tired of the establishment wing. 

Two weeks ago, conservatives in the House of Representatives revolted when Eric Cantor pushed another establishment trick that would have sent the continuing resolution bill that Cruz filibustered to the Senate.  However, it would have had a provision that would have allowed the Senate to strip out the Obamacare defunding provision.  he bill could have then been sent to Barack Obama for signature, without it having to go back to the House of Representatives for reconciliation. 

Conservatives fought back and would not stand for yet another meaningless vote.

Conservatives are tired of the Republican establishment being satisfied with symbolic votes that never achieve victory for the conservative cause.

When Rand Paul or Ted Cruz stands to fight, conservatives follow. That is because conservatives want to fight. Conservatives are tired of the Republican Party simply being the party of surrender. 

The rift has grown to the point where some conservative leaders are now rethinking their endorsements of Mitch McConnell for reelection.

There is a battle going on for the heart and soul of the Republican Party. Ted Cruz represents the future of the GOP. Mitch McConnell has a choice. He can go with the future or he can be left in the past. 


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More from Judson Phillips: Cold, Hard Truth
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Judson Phillips

Judson Phillips is the founder of Tea Party Nation, one of the largest Tea Party Groups in the country and the number one national tea party site on the Internet.

A lawyer by profession, Judson has been involved in politics since his teens. “Ronald Reagan inspired me,” he says.

Judson became involved in the Tea Party movement in February 2009 after hearing Rick Santelli’s rant on CNBC.   “I heard there was going to be a Tea Party in Chicago inspired by Santelli, but didn’t know if anyone was doing a rally in Nashville where I was based.  Finally I emailed Michelle Malkin and asked her if there was a Tea Party in Nashville.  Malkin sent an email back saying, ‘No, why don’t you organize one?’  I did.”

The first Tea Party in Nashville was held late February 2009 which drew a crowd of about 600. Judson then organized the Tax Day Tea Party in Nashville, which drew over 10,000 people into downtown.   It was at this time that Tea Party Nation was formed.  Later that year, Judson decided to bring activists from across the country together, so he organized the first National Tea Party Convention in February 2010, which featured Alaska’s former Governor and Republican Vice Presidential Nominee, Sarah Palin as it’s keynote speaker.

He currently manages the Tea Party Nation website, writes several daily columns and is working on more projects than any one person should.  He is a frequent guest on cable and broadcast news shows, including on Fox, MSNBC, CNN and others.

Contact Judson Phillips


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