Reportedly Senator Ted Cruz will run for President as an unabashed conservative, presenting himself as an alternative to the “mushy middle.” However, Jeb Bush, who famously said he might have to lose the primary to win the election, recognizes that national elections are won by the party that claims the high ground in the middle.
Cruz’s campaign plan is at odds with Republican Party leadership which increasingly has moved toward the center marginalizing the extreme right faction of the party. Cruz, like Barry Goldwater, might win the Republican nomination only to lose the election.
Congress has increasingly joined with Democrats to pass legislation that Republican leaders consider necessary overriding demands from the extreme right that they hang tough on principle. Here are some examples:
- NDAA–National Defense Authorization Act of 2015
- CRomnibus budget bill
- DHS funding
- Doc fix
One easily sees why–with Republicans claiming “we can lead,” deadlock leading to government shutdown might nix Republican chances in 2016.
It will be interesting to see which issues are solved by compromise. Here are some future challenges for the GOP leadership.
- Education Reform Bill
- Export Import Bank
- TPP Fast Track
- 2016 Budget
Education reform has been tabled; evidently it wasn’t considered essential. Reauthorization of the Export Import Bank might be handled with a Republican compromise on a temporary extension. TPP might be in trouble even with Democratic support. Finally, the budget can’t be ignored; almost certainly a compromise with Democrats will be necessary.
Expect Rep. Reed to vote with the leadership, possibly after casting some non-critical votes to appease the far right.
© William Hungerford – March 2015