Derek Hunter

I have to preface this column with a disclaimer: I’m a big fan of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. His policy goals are my policy goals. But here comes the traditional “but.”

But although his goals are admirable and shared by conservatives across the country, he has no idea how to achieve them. In fact, his actions in the Senate, which are bringing him praise from conservative groups and grassroots activists, are harming the cause.

It’s an unpopular statement to make on the pages of Townhall. My column Thursday didn’t mention Cruz because it was written before he forced a cloture vote in the Senate on a debt limit increase. Yet, the comments, tweets and emails I received overwhelmingly cited his actions as its inspiration.

If I had that kind of foresight, I’d be a multibillionaire from lottery winnings. As it’s Friday and I’m writing another of these columns, this clearly is not the case.

But since his name was thrown around so frequently by people upset by my being a “sell-out,” a “closet Democrat,” a “squish” and much more, I think it’s important to revisit the subject of electoral strategy and the junior senator from Texas.

I would love it if Ted Cruz were president. But he’s not. He’s one of 45 Republicans in the 100-member Senate. If the other 44 were Cruz clones, and all were in the Senate, he/they still wouldn’t have enough votes to advance their agenda.

Sure, he could filibuster everything and shut down the government again, but the only thing that would accomplish would be to ensure there would be a lot of people referred to as “former Sen. Cruz” after the election this fall.

How can I say that and say I’m a fan? Because it’s true.

I fully support the limited government, Constitutional conservatism Ted Cruz desires, but I also recognize he has no strategy to achieve it.

Cruz is a brilliant man, but that doesn’t make him a brilliant leader.

After his move on the debt ceiling vote, he went on the Mark Levin Show to explain it. I know Mark a little from having interviewed and emailed him quite a bit, have enormous respect for him and consider him the best in the business. But he’s not exactly an impartial jurist.

In defense of his debt ceiling move, Cruz said, “If 41 Republicans had stood together and just voted ‘no,’ the clean debt ceiling, the blank check that President Obama and Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi wanted, would have been denied.” (The quote starts around 6:17.)

Yes, technically true. But then what? What is the next move?


Derek Hunter

Derek Hunter is Washington, DC based writer, radio host and political strategist. You can also stalk his thoughts 140 characters at a time on Twitter.