The Corner

Economy & Business

Voters Have Spoken in Iowa, and They Will Not Stand for Cronyism

Several of us have remarked that on the issue of cronyism Senator Ted Cruz has been more principled and courageous than any other candidates in this race as he continued to stick to his opposition to the ethanol mandate even while campaigning in Iowa. I was particularly curious to see what voters in the state would do and how they would judge his firmly anti-cronyism stance. 

I thought the stakes were high. A few weeks ago I wrote: “If Cruz ends up winning in Iowa without having either supported the standard or made accommodations to the demands of America’s Renewable Future, it will signal to all the other candidates that you do not necessarily need to cater to cronyism to win there.”

And last night Cruz won. And because he won in Iowa of all places, this is a big deal. For years, it was believed that to win there, a support for cronyism was neccesary. Not so much it turns out.

I certainly hope that the establishment that threw us under the bus during the Ex-Im bank fight (they allowed an Ex-Im amendment to be attached to the transportation bill in the Senate and allowed the House to take on that version instead of its own Ex-Im free bill) is taking notice. I also hope that all those who are complaining about the disruption created in Congress by those who oppose cronyism and big government policies are starting to notice that the American people may actually be on the side of those who fight for their interests rather than cater to interest groups. Some congressmen may not like Cruz but voters may prefer him. What does it say about how voters view their constant compromising and embracing of big government policies, I wonder?

Veronique de Rugy is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

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