How President Obama gave America Ted Cruz and the Tea Party

A Justice Department attempt to meddle with the Texas GOP sent Ted Cruz, rather than the moderate establishment choice, to the Senate. Photo: AP

HOUSTON, October 18 — Conservatives will be forever indebted to President Obama for helping to elect the most fearless, articulate, intelligent, and outspoken advocate for true constitutional principles to office in Washington since President Ronald Reagan.


SEE RELATED: GOP’s betrayal in the budget deal and why Ted Cruz won


In early 2012, Obama’s Department of Justice sued the state of Texas because of the alleged discrimination of the state’s newly enacted voter I.D. law and the allegedly discriminatory re-districting maps that were drawn and passed by the Texas state legislature. These decisions resulted in pushing back the presidential and senate primary elections from March 6 all the way to May 29.

This accomplished Obama’s goal of diminishing Texas’ conservative influence on the Republican presidential nominee in 2012. By March 6 — Super Tuesday — however, the Republican nominee was already essentially set in stone, so Obama did not gain anything from these lawsuits. The Tea Party sure did, though.

Texas generally holds its primary election for senate and presidential nominations very early in the primary season, and because it is such a highly populated state, it can hold significant influence over the eventual Republican presidential nominee. Texas is a relatively conservative state, and the Obama administration dearly wanted to diminish this conservative influence, as they correctly surmised that the moderate Republican and GOP establishment pick, Mitt Romney, would be the weakest candidate in a general election.

In 2012 the establishment Republicans’ chosen successor for senator from Texas was the moderate sitting lieutenant governor, David Dewhurst. If Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder had not sued Texas and pushed back its primary for two and a half months, the only senator brave enough to take on Obama’s fundamental transformation of this country, Ted Cruz, would never have been in the United States Senate.


SEE RELATED: 2 reasons the Washington establishment fears Ted Cruz


In Texas, in order to avoid a runoff for the presidential and senate nominations, a candidate must receive more than 50 percent of the vote. If no candidate receives this amount, then the top two candidates go to a run-off to determine the nominee.

David Dewhurst, the GOP establishment’s pick for senator, was presumed to have won the nomination before the election even began. He was bolstered by high name recognition, his personal fortune to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, and support from Karl Rove, the Bush family and Rick Perry. It took Cruz a very long time to develop the support needed to overcome Dewhurst’s money and establishment advantages. However many people still believed Dewhurst could avoid the runoff and win the nomination outright.

In February and March, 2012, though, Ted Cruz was surging in the polls. By late May when the primary came around, it was much less apparent that Dewhurst would be able to maintain enough of a lead to win the nomination outright and avoid a runoff.

According to Politico, the May 29 primary resulted in a Dewhurst victory, as expected, but Dewhurst only won 45 percent of the vote to Cruz’s 32 percent. If the vote had occurred two and a half months earlier, as originally scheduled, Dewhurst would have bested the 50 percent threshold and became the Republican nominee. 

In the runoff, Cruz won with 57 percent of the vote. It was a stunning rebuke to the establishment, a great victory for the grassroots, and a future migraine headache for the Obama administration.

The contrast between what Obama was able to achieve during his first term and his complete lack of achievement in his second term is thought provoking.

During his first term, Obama achieved almost all of his policy goals: The stimulus bill passed, he shoved Obamacare through, repealed “dont ask, dont tell,” went to war in Libya, raised tax rates, and maintained yearly deficits in the range of 1.1- 1.6 trillion dollars. Even after the Republicans gained control of the House of Representatives in 2010, the House still authorized spending trillions of dollars more than we take in, raised tax rates for the first time in 40 years, and repeatedly raised the debt ceiling.

Obama’s second term has been a different story: Every gun control measure which seemed destined to pass did not; the conservatives in Congress stood up and won the argument against Obama’s new war in Syria; amnesty has been delayed and possibly forgotten; and now Obamacare will be on the on the table in every negotiation from here on out. Cruz was on the front lines of every one of those fights, often the only member of Congress standing with and fighting for, the American people.

So, the Tea Party and constitutionalists around the world have President Obama to thank for the resurgence of the Tea Party, the first principled opposition to his radical left-wing agenda, and a man who will most likely be a very influential power player in the conservative movement for decades to come.


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James Richard Edwards

James R. Edwards is a medical malpractice defense attorney in Houston, Tx. He obtained a Bachelor’s degree from LSU (Geaux Tigers!) in Psychology and subsequently went on to attend the University of Houston Law Center. James became interested in politics in law school because of the consistent and oppressive disgust and revulsion shown by the staff and Professors for the Constitution and for America in general. He is a tireless advocate for federalism and minimizing the impact the federal government has on all of our lives. 

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