A day late on this post, in which I lay out why Ted Cruz is the right’s new darling.
The emergence of Rafael Edward Cruz (Ted to you) as a political force on the right is the latest complication for a Republican Party that’s supposed to be on the mend.
In some ways, Cruz is the anti-Marco Rubio (which of course is bad news for Florida’s ambitious senator, and the reason he’s scrambling to become Cruz’s sidekick when it comes to tilting at the “government shutdown to kill Obamacare” windmill.)
Both men are the sons of Cuban fathers who left the island nation around the time of the Castro takeover. Of course, for Rubio, it turns out his parents weren’t exactly “exiles” since they emigrated before the revolution — while, in Cruz’s case, Rafael Sr. says he fought with Castro’s forces against the U.S.-backed Batista dictatorship, only to escape Batista’s wrath by snagging a student visa to the University of Texas.
Neither man has a family background that helps them relate to the DREAM Act kids, whose parents brought them to the United States out of economic necessity, but without the considerable leniency the American government affords Cuban emigrés.
Both men tout the “started with nothing and built the American dream” story of their families, which for Cruz has translated into a no-holds-barred conservatism that paints any government intervention to help Americans get health insurance or to keep kids from watching their parents get deported as moral weakness.
Cruz is dead set against immigration reform that would legalize the 11 million undocumented migrants of all ethnicities who are already in the United States.
Rubio, who has been severely punished by the Republican base for supporting reform, is just hoping a little government shutdown will help the tea party forgive and forget.
Read the rest at the Miami Herald.