Patterico's Pontifications


Does Ted Cruz’s Legislative Record Show Him to Be Confrontational?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:42 am

Noah Rothman at Hot Air:

Cruz’s approach to legislating since he took a seat in the Senate 26 months ago has been confrontational, self-aggrandizing, and alienating to adversaries and allies alike.

Is that borne out by objective fact, or simply an impression fostered by Big Media and repeated by Rothman? The Hill cites an objective study of Cruz’s legislative record and shows that, applying a measure of bills introduced and votes cast, Cruz is hardly the loner that Big Media and Rothman claim:

Let’s look at bills passed by this Republican Senator in a Democrat-controlled Senate, comparing his record to other Senators:

Cruz has sponsored only one bill that was passed by the House and Senate and signed into law by President Obama.

In April 2014, Cruz introduced legislation to prevent representatives to the United Nations who are believed to be spies or terrorists from entering the country. It was approved unanimously by the House and Senate and signed into law only weeks after having been introduced.

The legislation was provoked by Iran’s pick of Hamid Aboutalebi to act as ambassador to the U.S. In the late 1970s, Aboutalebi was a member of a group that seized the U.S. embassy in Tehran and held dozens of Americans hostage for more than a year.

. . . .

While it’s just one bill, Cruz is no outlier here. Only four Republican Senators in the 113th Congress had more than one bill signed into law, and another 16, like Cruz, had just a singular bill signed into law.

The piece also says that Cruz “has a history of breaking with GOP leadership on votes, although it’s not as extreme as one might suppose.”

In 684 votes spanning his entire time in the Senate, Cruz has bucked party leadership 73 times. His 82.8 percent rate of voting with the party in the 113th Congress ranks him 29th out of 45 Republicans.

Similarly: “The 65 amendments Cruz put forth in the 113th Congress ranks him 12th in his party and 13th overall.”

As a constitutionalist, I would measure Cruz’s success as a legislator more by what he can repeal than by what he can pass. And of course, with Barack Obama in the White House, he can’t pass a law to repeal much of anything. But he can lead an effort to try to repeal the worst legislation passed during Obama’s tenure. And he has — an effort that gave Republicans a black eye that led to their huge losses in 2014. (Eye roll.)

And it is this area and this area alone, as far as I can tell, where Cruz is seen as such a troublesome meddler. He has had friction with party leadership over his desire to repeal ObamaCare. He has risked his political reputation over his desire to repeal ObamaCare.

Or, you may think, he has taken these steps to stake out a position as the main opponent of ObamaCare. In other words, he isn’t being principled but rather opportunistic.

Let’s pretend that view is right. So what?

I don’t really care what Cruz’s internal motivations are, although he does a damned good job articulating them as flowing from a principled constitutionalist view. I just want him to act like a principled constitutionalist. It would be nice if that flowed from actual principle, as I suspect it does. But as long as he keeps acting that way, I don’t much care why he does it.

As for Rothman’s citation of “insiders” who say Cruz can’t win: I’m perfectly happy to listen to people’s electoral predictions. Please show me proof that they predicted Obama would win when he first announced, and I’ll listen to them even more closely. If you can’t show me that proof, then their predictions are just guesses, like anyone else’s.

17 Responses to “Does Ted Cruz’s Legislative Record Show Him to Be Confrontational?”

  1. I skip all of Rothman’s posts. He’s a sad specimen.

    robinintn (82d761)

  2. So Cruz identifies legislation he supports and opposes legislation he can’t? Sounds like he is governing according to the wishes of his constituents.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  3. 1. Prior to Jan 19, 2015, the Senate was controlled by Harry Reid. So for the first two year of his term, legislation that got to the floor of the Senate was in the hands of a penny ante dictator who was more than happy to punish Republicans in general, and Conservatives in particular. 2015 is the only year that Cruz’s legislation proposals have much of a chance of being considered. Maybe he’s doing pretty good in that department.

    2. Cruz breaks with Republican leadership. That seems like a feature, not a bug. Republican leadership is pretty squishy. Maybe Rothman has missed the fact that conservatives do not trust Republican leadership any more than they trust Democrat.

    Rothman apparently advocates the “go along to get along” practices of too many Republicans. So what is the point of the Republican party if they are basically mirrors of the Democrats?

    Scott (8d64c0)

  4. Rothman is a leftist. He hates conservatives and takes the time to mock them on twitter. There are much worse things I can say about him, but this is your site.

    If insiders want someone, who cares. They only get 1 vote like the rest of us.

    NJRob (d36337)

  5. So in many words Cruz promised and didn’t deliver, and really has no record that can be held against him, cause well, he didn’t achieve anything.

    EPWJ (992ed5)

  6. The nuggetz of numb hath spaken ^^^

    Icy (ba224f)

  7. Sponsoring one bill that passed actually is an achievement.

    That doesn’t make Ted Cruz, in many places, uselessly confrontational.

    Sammy Finkelman (302bdd)

  8. so many nights i sit by my window waiting for Ted Cruz to sing me his song

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  9. I’m a regular HotAir reader. None of the primary authors at that site are especially conservative. All seem willing to recite articles of establishment faith if it serves their purposes. I would argue that Rothman is, in fact, no less evenhanded than the others at HotAir and, particularly, Allahpundit. They have others in mind for the nomination and are willing to put a thumb on the scale to advance their agenda – that’s how everyone seems to work these days. I also think there is an echo-chamber phenomenon at work in the Republican blogosphere. You can often see the same dynamic at work at PowerLine too. It is unfortunate. When I am in a more forgiving mood, I remind myself that these guys blog on a schedule and need to fill blog space even when they lack the time to think through their posts.

    ThOR (a52560)

  10. Also – to a “go along to get along” Republican in the congress, that’s exactly how Cruz would appear. In an article I read recently, a fellow Republican Senator who wished to remain anonymous, in regard to Cruz’ electability, was quoted as saying:

    “Hey brother, you’re just movin’ too fast
    You’re screwin’ up the quota
    You’re doin’ your piece work too fast”
    “Now you get off your mustang, Sally
    You ain’t goin’ nowhere, you ain’t goin’ nowhere”

    ThOR (a52560)

  11. OMG, Rush is reporting that Univision has found TWO Hispanics that support Cruz for President.

    Is this a plot by the Cartels?/s

    askeptic (efcf22)

  12. All republicans that dont vote lock stock and barrel with the democrats are confrontational.

    joe (debac0)

  13. The best predictor of success is winning. Cruz is at least willing to fight the good fight as he tries to win. I’m still trying to figure out JEB’s strategy of winning the nomination without “winning the primaries.” I guess JEB’s pinning his hopes on open primary and caucus states.

    crazy (cde091)

  14. the hotairs have devolved into juvenile clickbait anymores

    after Erika left it’s been all downhill

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  15. Read the article. They aren’t Rothman’s “insiders,” he’s relating a Politico article. It was they who gave anonymity, and for all you or I know they made up the whole thing.

    Cruz has not shown leadership. He’s antagonized more in his own party than he’s won over. That’s just the way it is.

    Estragon (ada867)

  16. ThOR,

    I like Hot Air and read it regularly. Noah Rothman is far too establishment for my tastes so I tend to take his opinions with a grain of salt. I think Ed is hard-working and sincere, but he could use a few more years of experience to widen his perspectives.

    I think Allahpundit is a treasure. Do I agree with everything he says? No, but conservatives rarely agree about everything. Allahpundit has a delightful turn of phrase, is entertaining, and seems very practical to me. I think it’s a better online world with Allahpundit in it.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  17. From the post:

    As for Rothman’s citation of “insiders” who say Cruz can’t win: I’m perfectly happy to listen to people’s electoral predictions.

    Perhaps you’re the one who needs to re-read things, Estragon. Patterico never said they were Rothman’s “insiders.”

    DRJ (e80d46)

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