Ted Cruz, "the Republican new man of the moment," according to Fox News' Chris Wallace, has his own gifts as a wordsmith: less sugary, more to be compared with a boxing glove. In the runoff for U. S. senator from the great state of Texas, the previously unknown Cruz whammed the well-known David Dewhurst, talking hard-edge language that seemed right, to many, for the necessities of the moment. Like Dr. Samuel Johnson, he "talked for victory." Victory, it turned out, was what Cruz voters yearned for after three years of imposition by the Obama administration, as well as Congress, on their liberties and prosperity.
No more "clubs" filled with "career politicians" is Cruz's watchword. "We need to kick in the doors of the club, ring down the shades, and auction off the silverware," the former Supreme Court clerk and state solicitor general declared during the campaign. Pretty vivid stuff. No sugar, no trans fats.
Reverse populism, it might be called: populism less at ease with government power than in the bad, old Huey Long days is hugely disquieted at the notion that government seems to be taking over everything. "There are twin worlds," he told Chris Wallace. "There is the world of Washington and the Beltway, and then there is the rest of the country." In that "rest of the country," people are looking at Washington and saying, "What's wrong with you people?"
Or maybe not. Somebody elected Obama. Somebody keeps his poll ratings elevated slightly over Mitt Romney's -- for now at least. The idea that Americans, as a body, reject the impositions of government, hate our counterproductive tax system and don't blame Wall Street and George W. Bush for every present ill -- well, such an idea is bosh. Plenty of Americans welcome the impositions of government, wish there were more and can't wait to squeeze the rich like a dirty washrag. These folks are, by and large, Obama's constituency, not Cruz's.