Cruz, Winning By Losing, and the Panic of the ‘Centrists’

One of the remarkable things about the looming governmental shutdown and potential default on the global reserve currency is that milquetoast pundits are very hesitantly (and some not so hesitantly) beginning to admit what we few, we Dirty Fucking Hippies have known all along: that the Republican Party is overrun by Palinists, that the covert (and not-so covert) bigotry that animated the Southern Strategy has transformed into something even more horrifying, and that the Republican Party does not reconsider and rethink, but only regroups and rearms.

What’s puzzling is why all of the sudden concern? It’s not like the Republicans haven’t played chicken with the full faith and credit of the U.S. before. Batshitloonitarianism has been running full throtle for some years now. Well, consider this analysis of Sen. Ted Cruz (boldface mine):

…Cruz’s effort reminds me of nothing more than the political aftermath of the Easter Rising in Ireland in 1916 which, as a military action, looked as doomed and useless as Cruz’s extended speech will look as soon as the Senate votes through whatever Harry Reid comes up with in the next couple of days. In Ireland, after all the drumhead courts-martial and the summary executions, which succeeded only in turning Irish political opinion almost 180 degrees and permanently in favor of the Rising, in the elections of 1918, Sinn Fein, the political entity that arose from the Rising, won 73 of Ireland’s 105 seats in the British Parliament. Those elected then refused to go to London, and they formed themselves into Dail Eireann, the Irish parliament, and declared themselves the elected representatives of the Irish Republic declared from the steps of the General Post Office two years earlier. In doing so, they declared themselves loyal to no institutions but their own, no government but their own. In Neil Jordan’s movie Michael Collins, Jordan has the imprisoned Eamon de Valera explain this in a letter to Collins as a strategy of “defeating the British Empire by ignoring it.”

That, dear friends, is the principle by what Ted Cruz is doing. He is loyal to no institutions but his own, no governmental and political imperatives but his own. He is defeating the institutional opposition of the Senate by ignoring it. He recognizes no limits on his freedom of action. This is a truly revolutionary act, and I say this as someone without an ounce of a smidge of a scintilla of sympathy for any of Cruz’s stated political goals, and as someone who finds his approach to his job distasteful. But he already has accomplished much. He’s made the leadership of his own party look like squeaking eunuchs, and he has made the idea of self-government look like at best a ruse, and at most a sham, which has been the central goal of conservative politics since Ronald Reagan made it explicit in his first inaugural address. (He’s also made a further hash of the public’s understanding of the Affordable Care Act, which is a bonus.) The institutions to which he has remained loyal are part of the galaxy of powerful conservative institutions that exist independent of the political institutions of the Republican party. (Who’s a more influential Republican right now? David Koch or Reince Priebus?) They will support him in his efforts regardless of what Mitch McConnell and John McCain think of him. They will support him no matter how loudly Lawrence O’Donnell laughs at him.

To dismiss this as a dog-and-pony show just because its immediate goals will not be achieved is to miss a very important point. What Ted Cruz is doing is showing the country what the future of American conservatism looks like. That is a future that has been rendered inevitable by the Republican party’s shameless refusal to control the wildness at the party’s heart, and by the Democratic party’s pathetic inability to make the Republican party pay for that refusal.

I think the Very Serious People are starting realize, if but dimly, that the Palinist wing of the Republican Party is getting away from them, that they can’t be cowed, and that they have built a durable and influential infrastructure while the Establishment infrastructure is waning. The fear is nearly palpable. Too little, too late.

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1 Response to Cruz, Winning By Losing, and the Panic of the ‘Centrists’

  1. Pingback: On Blind Rage, Government By John Bircher, and the Absence of Consequences | Mike the Mad Biologist

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