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'Why Ted Cruz Drives Them Crazy'

7:44 AM, Sep 27, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Matthew Continetti, writing for the Washington Free Beacon:

How fitting that Senator Ted Cruz’s 21-hour anti-Obamacare speech on the Senate floor in Washington, D.C., happened to coincide with the opening of the U.N. General Assembly and the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City. Rarely is the distance separating the caste that rules our world from its few, heavily despised critics so literal.

At the midpoint of the Acela corridor, heads of state, foreign ministers, and assorted luminaries from around the world gathered to toast themselves, make new friends, snub the president of the United States, and recycle platitudes on climate change, gun control, global poverty, the health care cost curve, and the Global South, all while clogging Midtown traffic, occupying posh hotels, fooling gullible media personalities, and enjoying the best of Manhattan’s entertainment, nightlife, culture, and cuisine.

At the other end of the tracks the freshman conservative from Texas stood on the floor of the Senate and spoke for close to a day in an effort to deny money to President Barack Obama’s chief legacy—a misbegotten and unpopular law whose unintended consequences are already being felt in labor and insurance markets. Digressive, flamboyant, ideological, earnest, theatrical, self-promotional, at times touching and at other times goofy, Cruz deserved applause for his commitment and, at least, for his stamina. He established himself as the leader of the anti-Obamacare forces, forced the Democrats to defend their misbegotten law, and pulled the public discourse rightward. And while one might disagree with his strategy—neither Cruz nor his supporters have fully answered, in my view, the question of what they will do after this plan fails—one cannot help admiring the boldness and tenacity with which Cruz pursues his goal.

But that’s just me. Many other people, reasonable people, Republicans, Democrats, conservatives, and liberals, have been more than able to resist Cruz’s charms, such as they are. And their resistance has been so visceral, so virulent, so out of proportion to the reaction to earlier marathon floor speeches and filibusters that explanations seem necessary.

Whole thing here.

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