Thursday, February 13, 2014

Ted Cruz puts out a hit on Mitch McConnell

Our junior senator is going to remake things in his own image, and nobody -- but nobody -- is going to stand in his way.

The tea party is teeing off on Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell.

Matt Bevin, who is challenging McConnell in the GOP primary in Kentucky, seized on the senator's vote Wednesday to move ahead on legislation to increase the nation's debt limit, describing it as a blank check for President Barack Obama. The tea party-backed businessman and conservative groups signaled they won't let Senate Republican incumbents forget the vote this election year.

"Kentucky and America can literally no longer afford such financially reckless behavior from the likes of Mitch McConnell," Bevin said in a statement.

Minority Mitch may not survive his primary, let alone November

Setting the vote in motion was one of McConnell's Republican colleagues — Texan Ted Cruz, the tea party darling who has caused heartburn for his GOP colleagues in his year in the Senate.

Cruz insisted on a 60-vote threshold for the Senate to proceed to must-pass legislation to allow the government to borrow money to pay its bills. House and Senate Republicans had decided against another round of brinkmanship and let it be known that they were ready to let Democrats deliver the votes on the debt bill after the House had passed it Tuesday.

Not Cruz, who along with Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, precipitated the 16-day government shutdown last October over their demands that Obama gut his health care law.

This is Brutus and Cassius at work against Caesar.

Instead of going along with a simple majority vote, Cruz showed no mercy in forcing Republican leaders to cast a tough vote to clear a filibuster hurdle, exposing them to widespread criticism from primary challengers and outside groups.

After what seemed like an eternity, a grim-faced McConnell finally voted yes. An equally grim-faced Sen. John Cornyn, the party's No. 2 leader and Cruz's Texas colleague, changed his vote from no to yes. Sen. John McCain rallied other Republicans to vote yes, providing a show of political support for the leaders. The 67-31 tally advanced the bill to a final vote.

In that vote, no Republican supported lifting the Treasury's borrowing authority. The bill passed on a party-line 55-43 vote, moving on to Obama.

Cornyn, the Senate's likely minority leader after McConnell is disposed of, has to see the writing on the wall.  With a safe primary to skate through and an ever safer fall election, Corndog's biggest problem next year will be "Norovirus" Cruz.

Pressed after the votes about what he made his leaders do, Cruz was unapologetic.

"It should have been a very easy vote," he told reporters. "In my view, every Senate Republican should have stood together." Whether McConnell remains the leader, Cruz said it "is ultimately a decision ... for the voters in Kentucky."

Either the rest of the Senate's Republicans are going to find a way to take him down, or else Poop Cruz is sailing all the way to the top.  Of the dung heap.

He's making far too many enemies to go any higher than that.

UpdateYou are what you eat, GOP.

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