Sunday, July 26, 2015

“Washington Cartel” Savaged By Ted Cruz

Is it true that Ted Cruz refrained from criticizing Donald Trump after the firestorm over his comments belittling John McCain’s war record to pick up some of The Donald’s support should he drop out of the race for president? 

In an interview with Bloomberg Politics Cruz said, "My view on John McCain is explicit and unambiguous. He's an American hero and he's a friend.  I'm not going to just take a stick to fellow Republicans or for that matter to Democrats.  In my time in the Senate I haven't impugned the character of Republicans or Democrats and I don't intend to start today."

In his March 23, 2015 presidential announcement speech, Cruz cited Ronald Reagan who popularized the Eleventh Commandment:  Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.

On Friday, however, the gloves came off.  He accused Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of lying to his colleagues.

Elected to the Senate in 1984, McConnell has been labeled “one of the most corrupt members of Congress” by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). 

Cruz’s broadside of McConnell came after he set up votes on the controversial issues of the repeal of Obamacare and the reauthorization of the Export-Import bank. Though McConnell has personally spoken against the Ex-Im Bank’s reauthorization, Democrats said in June that he had agreed to schedule a vote on the bank in order to get highly divisive trade legislation passed.

“I asked the majority leader very directly: What was the deal that was just cut? The majority leader was visibly angry with me that I would ask such a question, and the majority leader looked at me and said, ‘There is no deal, there is no deal, there is no deal.’ Like Saint Peter, he repeated it three times,” said Cruz.

The bank’s reauthorization expired on May 31, 2015.  Ex-Im subsidizes innumerable export transactions with guaranteed loans to make exports cheaper for American products.  In March, two months before the reauthorization expired, the bank’s $100M cap had been reached.

Critics of the bank call it “Boeing’s Bank” because of its interventions in financial assistance to the aircraft manufacturer in selling planes to China, India and other nations thus allowing U.S. trade policies to be set by market-distorting foreign governments. The bank is only lightly constrained by the law that supposedly leashes it.

As Sallie James of the Cato Institute notes, government favors flow to the politically connected.  Favor-dispensing institutions such as the Export-Import Bank are dispensing incentives for private interests to develop lucrative political connections.

Are charges by Cruz that McConnell is “running the Senate in much the same manner” as Harry Reid did when he was Majority Leader true?  Hell yes.

“There is a profound disappointment among the American people because we keep winning elections, and then we keep getting leaders who don’t do anything they promised,” Cruz said. “We’ve had a Republican majority in both houses of Congress now for about six months…This Senate operates exactly the same, the same priorities.”

According to published reports, McConnell was not on the floor of the Senate during Cruz’s “outburst”.  When he learned about it McConnell barred Cruz from discussions regarding the National Defense Authorization Act in the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The full speech is here.

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