An Observation Worth Pondering

I really did not intend to dignify Ted Cruz’ ambition by paying any attention to him; the man is by all accounts (Republican, Democrat, human) a consummate asshole. (Andy Borowitz, who has been on something of a roll lately, tweeted “Poll: 80% of Americans given a choice between Ted Cruz and Scott Walker choose suicide.”)

But when I read this paragraph at Political Animal, I decided it was worth sharing:

[A]bove all, one particular position should disqualify Cruz—or anyone else who holds it—from the presidency: using the debt ceiling as a hostage device. Breaching the debt ceiling would be disastrous. It’s hard to forecast exactly what would happen, but we can somewhat forecast day one after default. The government would have to prioritize its payments. Do you withhold food stamps from low-income Americans? Delay Social Security checks? Maybe we should stop payments on infrastructure projects. Those missed payments would harm millions of Americans and cause mass disruptions around the country as cash flow problems cause companies to become insolvent. Over the long term, it would permanently raise our borrowing costs, making our interest payments more expensive. In short, it would be self-inflicted economic Armageddon. Cruz considers his willingness to risk that catastrophe a selling point, touting his role in opposing the debt ceiling hikes on his website.

Nothing says “I’m totally ignorant of the way the real world works, and I don’t care who gets hurt, because it’s all about ME” like playing political games with the debt ceiling.


  1. We’ve always known that there are Ted Cruz’s in our population. What’s new is the fact that now there are quite a few of us ignorant enough of the operation of the country to think that such ineptitude would be able to play a starring role in running it, as well as those able to write big checks who believe that his favor is worth buying.

    This is a serious problem that deserves scholarly analysis and understanding for the fact of it could define serious limitations to democracy. It says that there are conditions under which democracy can, at least potentially, fail we the people. And if that’s true, what are we left with? If we are not capable of self governance what can we fall back to?

    Or, perhaps, the real truth is that democracy is still the best but only on the long term and mistakes are not avoided but are self correcting over time. We survived Bush. We survived Reagan. Israel survived (so far) Neytanyahu. There is no ebidence that we would have survived a Palin Vice Presidency. But is it even possible to fall as far as Cruz and recover? I can’t imagine it.

    Perhaps on the other hand power does corrupt the people. Our success has bred entitlement. Too many of us are so far out of touch with reality that the evolution of culture is dictating extinction. We are no longer an asset to our species.

    That’s the explanation that I’m most comfortable with. Democracy will prevail as the gold standard. Our present culture however will be an example of a failed evolutionary experiment which like dinosaurs just ultimately didn’t prove advantageous in the real world environment.

    Perhaps a comfortable explanation for what is likely to be an uncomfortable transition experience.

  2. I am a middle right conservative….. and Cruz scares the hell out of me. I vehemently dislike Obama, and I would do the same for Cruz on the opposite end of the spectrum.

    Where are all the “centrists”? Like Jim Webb and Joe Manchin? I would love to see them step up on the Democratic side so I am not forced to vote Republican.

  3. Gary; voters reasons for their choices are not always well thought out or wise. I do not like being “forced” to vote straight Democratic ticket after being an Independent for so many years. Of course, the Republican options today are not viable options.

    After serving, and serving well, four terms as Mayor of Indianapolis, Mayor Bill Hudnut made a bid for Governor which he lost. This came as a total surprise due to his years of service and continuing popularity. From a source close to Mayor Hudnut I was told that he was “stunned and heart-broken over this loss”. He talked to a number of voters who actually said they voted against him hoping he would lose and then run for a fifth term as Mayor. They voted against the best public servant this city – and this state – has seen for a foolish reason and we lost him from this city and this state. Lord knows we could use him here today.

  4. A major threat to this country is the level of narcissism. The more there are with this characteristic, the greater likelihood one or more of them will become very powerful and cause a disaster. Many of the in office trip themselves up with the idea that they are just too smart to be caught engaging in outrageous behavior, like the recent resignation and ongoing mess with the representative from Peoria. But they just keep on coming.

  5. Stuart; is it narcissism or money keeping Moen in office after his sexting was make public. What exactly did he sext? Was it so impressive the GOP decided to keep him in office? Was his vote needed on SB 101? Why and how can an Indiana sexual exhibitionist retain his elected position but Wiener lost his position with Wienergate and, was it Senator Hale a few years ago sending sexual messages to an underage Page who lost his elected position? Some of his messages were made pubic; his apologies fell on deaf ears – but then he wasn’t from Indiana where these antics are swept under the rug. Boys will be boys! What happens if an elected woman official got caught doing these same things? This is playing political games the same as playing with the debt ceiling. Pence’s latest political game with religion primarily vs sexual orientation is more than likely backed by money from the businesses who supported SB 101. The continuing game of not telling the public which businesses support and will use this law is again backed by money – not knowing where those of us against the law do not want to spend our money will continue enriching these businesses. Everything is always…follow the money, be it the national debt ceiing or neighborhood shopping and/or seeking a service.

  6. Just think of all the unintended Comedy there will be when the Republican Candidates are lined up for a debate. Rick Perry, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Jindal, Santorum, Huckabee, Rand Paul, etc. Throw Sarah Palin into the mix as being coveted by all of the above for an endorsement. Who has the biggest Bible and who can Thump that Bible the hardest?? Who will bomb Iran the first?? Who will promise to be first to repeal Obama Care, privatize Social Security, Medicare and the VA??

    The Democrats should be able to win the Presidential Election in 2016, if they find a Candidate with a proven track record of eloquence, opposition to the Wall Street-Security-Military-Industrial Complex and protecting the 99% from depredations of the Multi-National Corporations. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren come to mind – Hillary does not.

  7. Gary;

    unless you are rich, an inheritor, practice in a professionally unionized service, ( Doctor, Dentist, Lawyer, Firefighter, Law Enforcement. etc) I challenge you to give me one reason you would ever vote with the GOP. Please don’t’ stumble on the problem. Adage: A person is a fool to ask a question he doesn’t know the answer to.) For I know the answer.

  8. Louis, reminds me of a recent David Letterman monologue, in which he was commenting on the recent NY snowstorm. He said that here were more flakes in the snowstorm than there were Republican candidates for presidency.

    This is actually pretty scary for a number of reasons. This could open the field to a sane and smart, but flawed, dark horse candidate who might talk sense to a broad range of people. He might lose the crazy states (e.g. Indiana, Arkansas, Mississippi), but there are some states hungry for a smart business-oriented candidate where the electorate are hungry for such a candidate who would excuse a number of impediments.

    In the Washington Post, there was an article that mentioned SB101 as being the divisive element in the Republican party. There are the staid and fairly sane business types vs. the usual suspects who will pander to evangelicals who are not-so-smart but who can vote and make a stink. Who will win out? Meanwhile, the number of hard right evangelicals are dying out (albeit not fast enough) while the “nones” are increasing. Time is running out.

  9. Stuart; I got the spelling of the name incorrect but not thename, it was Indiana Rep. Justin Moed, Democrat, who was evidently exchanging sext messages with Sydney Leathers, the woman involved with the Wienergate Scandal. The Aaron Shock scandal was going on at the same time Moed was baring his soul in cyber space. Easy to get these political scandals confused when they are headlines at the same time. Moed probably (I hope) didn’t vote for SB 101. Incidently; I just saw a post on Facebook that, due to Pence signing “Religious Freedom” into law, Angie’s List has withdrawn their plans for expansion. Now; this can be looked upon as a loss or a gain depending on how you prefer our tax dollars be spent. It is hard to keep up with the players without a scorecard. What is sad is that the world is watching this country and these fiascos lower our esteem in the eyes of world leaders as well as embarrassing most Americans.

  10. So, Mr. Pence, how’s that “Bringing Jobs to Indiana” thing working out for you? Maybe you are going to need that “right to work for nothing” bill to attract someone.

    I see that John Greg may do another run (See Just in time to announce. Maybe Mike Pence can respond to Greg between his wise comments about education and Glenda Ritz, and his amazement at world reaction to his “religious freedom” bill. Does he still have a Pravda organization to help him with that?

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