Sense the tone, Rand.
Outgoing Speaker of the House John Boehner has been, for all intents and purposes, ousted. Like the Shah fleeing or like Nixon resigning, Boehner stepping-down is a face-saving measure designed to avoid the realization of consequences for his failed leadership.
Since the joyous news of Boehner’s expected departure, conservatives have taken but a second to rejoice before wondering, “Who’s next?”
Last year, we successfully ousted former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor when he failed to win his primary. With Boehner now gone, many conservatives are looking to the Senate for their next victory and that means targeting current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Texas Senator and 2016 presidential candidate Ted Cruz has not exactly been bashful about calling McConnell out for his failed leadership. In an astoundingly brazen move not often seen in politics, Sen. Cruz took to the Senate floor to call-out McConnell by name as a liar who lied to the face of his Republican colleagues.
To put it into context, in the olden days, this kind of brazen confrontation would have ended in a duel.
Cruz may have a reputation as being a “bomb-thrower,” but that is only for liberals and RINOs. To others, what is seen as brash, crazy stunts is seen as the very embodiment of true representative democracy where our elected leaders are expected to… well… lead.
However, fellow Senator and 2016 presidential candidate Rand Paul disagrees. The Kentucky Senator who seeks to court the libertarian vote has cozied to his fellow Kentucky Senator, Mitch McConnell. As the divide between Republicans and conservatives becomes deeper and deeper, Sen. Paul has been forced to choose sides and he has chosen poorly.
“Ted has chosen to make this really personal and chosen to call people dishonest in leadership and call them names which really goes against the decorum and also against the rules of the senate, and as a consequence he can’t get anything done legislatively.”
“He is pretty much done for and stifled and it’s really because of personal relationships, or lack of personal relationships, and it is a problem,” Paul continued. “I approach things a little different, I am still just as hardcore in saying what we are doing , I just chose not to call people liars on the senate floor and it’s just a matter of different perspectives on how best to get to the end result.”
It’s true that the Senate is a dignified chamber that should be honored. However, those who understand how a republic functions should consider it a fulfillment of duty to call-out those who are behaving in violation of the principles of representative democracy.
Sen. McConnell is such a man and rather than chastise Sen. Cruz for being one of the only ones to speak-up about this failure of leadership, Sen. Paul and others should be applauding him and wondering why the rest of the Senate appears to possess so few backbones.
We should remember that the unprincipled weasel in this rift is not Sen. Cruz, but Sen. McConnell who has repeatedly lied about his agenda. Calling a liar exactly what he is is not a species of vice, but an affirmation of character.
In case Sen. Paul has not noticed, the political winds are shifting and conservatives are looking to oust turncoat Republicans. If he has even an ounce of sense regarding political survival, Paul would be wise to choose his sides more carefully.