The Corner

Re: In Cruz’s Defense, He Never Said It Would Work

A House aide e-mails in making the entirely correct point that while Cruz never said his “plan” would work, he harshly denounced anyone who pointed out that it wouldn’t work (when skeptics said it wouldn’t have the votes in the Senate, they were part of the “surrender caucus”):

. . .one thing to keep in mind, from the perspective of our members — for months now, our members have been branded as establishment RINOs, quitters, squishes and everything else AND, with the outside groups joining in on the Ted Cruz/Mike Lee bandwagon, threatened with primaries if we didn’t FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT. What we heard time and again was the message that it’s better to strike out swinging than hit a good single or double. So when members saw the Cruz/Lee press release that basically said, “The House is now awesome, but it’s not our fight in the Senate,” what other reaction were they going to have?

Yesterday the House passed a major reform to our food stamp program that reinstates the workfare programs that we know are good policy, get people off the welfare rolls and would reduce discretionary spending. But in the months we’ve been working on this conservative proposal, Heritage, Club for Growth, etc. never said one word a support. They didn’t score the bill, they didn’t tweet on it. For a lot of people in the House, it appears that because Republicans were not divided on the issue — or outside groups could not decide to label members a good Republican or a bad Republican — legislation that the Heritage Foundation would have helped craft 5 years ago — wasn’t worth their time. And our Senate conservative friends haven’t led on this issue either. . . .

Rich Lowry — Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: 

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