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Liberal Anger Only Makes Ted Cruz Stronger...

 Fox News

Fox News

By Ramesh Ponnuru, Bloomberg

Rude, entitled, arrogant and off- putting: That’s how the conventionally wise in Washington are characterizing Ted Cruz, the conservative new senator from Texas. It’s a better description of the critics themselves, who are inadvertently helping Cruz build his national fan base.

I’ll admit to being biased about Cruz, who has been a friend for almost half my life. But you don’t need to like Cruz or his politics to see how weightless some of the criticisms are.

The New York Times columnist David Brooks delivered a common critique of Cruz in a recent public appearance: “If you mention the name Ted Cruz to other senators, you just get titanic oceans of eye rolling. Because you’re a freshman, you don’t go in and take over hearings, you, like, hang around and learn how it’s done,” he said. “It doesn’t help that he has a face that looks a little like Joe McCarthy, actually. I just -- I find him a little off-putting.”

So, in short: You’re trashing the fine traditions of this great and storied chamber. Plus we don’t like your face.

Dana Milbank, who showcases his snark in the Washington Post, criticized the senator for microphone-hogging bad manners in a column that started, “Is there nobody who can tell Ted Cruz to shut up?”

Maybe a quieter Cruz would have better relationships with his colleagues, who would then do more to advance his legislative goals. If so, that’s more an indictment of the culture of the Senate than of Cruz. The people of Texas didn’t vote for him because he promised to keep his head down in deference to his colleagues. No senator wins election that way. Presumably voters want senators who will be as effective as they can be in advocating for the views they campaigned on.

Violating Decorum

Of all the possible critiques of Cruz, this one -- that his colleagues resent all the attention he’s getting -- has the least resonance outside the Beltway. Oh wait, except for another one: He has violated Senate protocol.

Last week, the New York Times reported that in a breach of the Senate’s “rules of decorum,” Cruz had given a public gathering his account of how some closed-door conversations among unidentified Republican colleagues had gone. (He said they were “squishes.”) The paper mentioned that it had already reported on those conversations with an account less flattering to Cruz.

Read the full story via Bloomberg News...

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