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Ted Cruz Unites Both Parties in Belief Ted Cruz a Jerk

Ted Cruz has alienated his colleagues in record time.

Ted Cruz

Atlantic Wire (“Senate Reaches Rare Bipartisan Agreement on Ted Cruz“):

Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, has only been a U.S. Senator for 43 days, but he’s already accomplished the amazing feat of uniting both sides of the aisle. Less than six weeks into his term, a remarkable number of both Republicans and Democrats have come forward to say that they think Cruz is kind of a jerk. In a steady stream of reports from his new colleagues, Cruz’s rudeness comes in both public and private, and it’s not just the words he uses but also how many of them he uses.

“Behind closed doors, some Republican senators report that Cruz, in his stone-cold serious prosecutorial style, speaks at length when it’s far more common for freshmen to wait before asserting themselves — particularly ones who were just sworn in,” Politico’s Manu Raju reports. An unnamed Republican senator told The Washington Post‘s Ruth Marcus that Cruz was “Jim De­Mint without the charm.” Marcus says Cruz’s relationship with fellow Texas Sen. John Cornyn is “frosty.” And his performance in recent hearings appears to have annoyed many. Cruz was rebuked by Republican Lindsey Graham and Democrat Bill Nelson for questioning Chuck Hagel’s patriotism in hearings on his Secretary of Defense nomination. Democrat Claire McCaskill told Politico, “He was engaging in innuendo, and it was terribly unfair.” (Cruz says he wasn’t impugning Hagel’s character.) He defied Armed Services Committee chair Carl Levin, who told Cruz not to play audio of a call-in show during Hagel’s hearing. Levin also noted Cruz was trying change committee rules by demanding five years of financial disclosures from Hagel, instead of the customary two. He annoyed Democrat Chuck Schumer on a Sunday talk show by being extra aggressive.

I’m not all that sympathetic to the notion that rookie Senators should know their place; their constituents deserve the same representation as anyone else. But being an unmitigated jerk is not conducive to being an effective legislator, either.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    I have zero problem with Cruz’s desire to be the face of the modern GOP.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 58 Thumb down 12

  2. wr says:

    But this is what passes for being a bold truthteller in today’s Republican party — being a loud bully. The Republicans have been promoting these creeps for years. But now they find they can’t control them, suddenly it’s a problem.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 68 Thumb down 3

  3. Tea Party guy is a rude, selfish jerk. More on the 11 O’Clock news.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 54 Thumb down 3

  4. Rob in CT says:

    There’s basically nothing of substance here.

    I don’t care if Ted Cruz is a jerk (actually, I’m glad he is). See: Ryan, Paul, who apparently has a modicum of charm, which helps advance his harmful agenda.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 30 Thumb down 5

  5. legion says:

    Are there any Tea Party sweethearts that _aren’t_ colossal douchebags?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 46 Thumb down 3

  6. edmondo says:

    Looks like we’ve found Marco Rubio’s running mate in 2016!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 5

  7. G.A.Phillips says:

    Are there any Tea Party sweethearts that _aren’t_ colossal douchebags?

    lol, you know what? **** you!

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 51

  8. C. Clavin says:

    The future of the GOP personified.
    Loud, rude, and really f’ing stupid.
    A homophobe, xenophobe, and world-class conspiracy theorist.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 44 Thumb down 5

  9. Septimius says:

    “He annoyed Democrat Chuck Schumer on a Sunday talk show by being extra aggressive.”

    That’s one in the plus column.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 22

  10. CSK says:

    This is a trivial observation, to be sure, but he looks astonishingly like a younger Bill Murray.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  11. Davebo says:

    McCain’s admonishment of Cruz during the hearing itself carried all the weight of his comments that torture is unacceptable.

    Absolutely none. As shown by McCain’s pro torture senate vote.

    Don’t kid yourself James. It would be great if this really represented a push back from “mainstream” Republicans but we both know what BS that is. Hence the “unnamed” Republicans commenting on it.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  12. Scott says:

    Yes, we are so proud here in Texas. I remember listening to him “debate” during his Senate campaign. The debate was structured as a table top conversation with an interviewer and the two candidates. His arguments primarily consisted of standard talking points. His Democratic opponent discussed thoughtfully the issues with side bars on the complexity of the issues. As it turned out, Cruz is showing himself to be pretty shallow. He’ll continue winning for a long time.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 0

  13. legion says:

    @G.A.Phillips: Uh, I guess that’s a “no” then?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  14. josh says:

    I watched one of the Hagel hearings (or meetings of the committee) linked to by James Fallows here: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/02/separated-at-birth/273157/. Cruz’s point was remarkable and really doesn’t follow his claim of not impugning Hagel’s patriotism. Would love to find a transcript, but Cruz says something like, “How do we know Hagel’s income didn’t come from Iran, North Korea or Saudi Arabia?” Crazy. I mean, how do we know Cruz’s law school education wasn’t funded by NAMBLA?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 1

  15. That Other Mike says:

    @G.A.Phillips: You just had to prove the point, didn’t you?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  16. bandit says:

    I remember both Politico and Ruth Marcus writing the same columns about Harry Reid when he lied his ass off about being told that Mitt Romney never paid taxes. No questions about the lying POS integrity, character. What a great job, just wait for the DNC to tell you how much water to carry today.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 43

  17. SoWhat says:

    If “unnamed Republican senators” say it’s true “behind closed doors” and it’s in Politico—you take it to the bank! And Ruth Marcus! She is obviously a GOP insider so everything she says must be true!

    This stuff just slays me!

    As we have seen with the establishment press beating Rubio’s “watergate” moiment to death, it is clear that Media Poobahs have decided it is Hillary’s turn to be POTUS in ’16 if for no other reason than to atone for all the nasty stuff they said about her in order to get Obama out of the Dem primary. So the press must puff up and protect Hillary and trash Rubio, Cruz, Jindal and any GOPer that isn’t an old white guy, which they do an a regular basis anyway.

    The national press is about as subtle as a Mack truck—if you’re a minority and a GOPer you must be marginalized, mocked and destroyed.

    Axelrod says so. lol

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 37

  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I remember both Politico and Ruth Marcus writing the same columns about Harry Reid when he lied his ass off about being told that Mitt Romney never paid taxes.

    How do you know he lied? Or did some one just tell you he lied? Or are you lying about whether he lied or not now?

    Inquiring minds want to know….

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 2

  19. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @SoWhat:

    The national press is about as subtle as a Mack truck—if you’re a minority and a GOPer you must be marginalized, mocked and destroyed.

    Hey, you want some cheese with that whine?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 1

  20. OzarkHillbilly says:

    If you think Ted Cruz is a colossal asshat, just wait until Christie gets going for real.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 4

  21. C. Clavin says:

    @ Bandit…

    “…Harry Reid when he lied his ass off about being told that Mitt Romney never paid taxes…”

    1). Harry Reid didn’t say that…and 2). Romney never released all the tax returns he said he would…so we don’t really know…ipso facto your claim is bunk per usual.
    How’s the back end of that lead dog smell??

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 3

  22. grumpy realist says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yes, but at least Christie every now and when erupts on the side of the angels. (Witness his support for a prospective Arab-American judge.) Cruz, as far has I know, has produced nothing but…..whining.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  23. Rob in CT says:

    That’s one in the plus column.

    Good of you to come along and prove the point:

    The base loves it when ignorant aholes act like ignorant aholes, so long as they annoy a liberal.

    This has been going on a long time now. Some of us keep waiting, in vain, for peak wingnut.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 1

  24. Rafer Janders says:

    I first met Ted about 20 or so years ago, and even back then I thought he had something seriously wrong with him. Nice to see that he hasn’t changed much — he was a weird, rude, cold jerk, and he seems to still be one now.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

  25. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Yes, but at least Christie every now and when erupts on the side of the angels.

    Yeah, this is true. But then again, even a broken clock is right twice a day.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  26. john personna says:

    @bandit:

    Well, Romney could still release those taxes, to put these rumors to rest.

    (I’d say it is hear-say battling hear-say, as it has been for the last year or two. Romney did not campaign on his tax record, though. He ran on “none of your business.”)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  27. SoWhat says:

    Ozarkhillbilly, if you think Ted Cruz and Chris Christie are “colossal asshat(s)” just wait until LIzzie “Fauxcahontas” Warren gets going.

    Leftwingers like Matt Tiabbi are already saying she’s gonna be POTUS.

    Let the asshatttery begin and may the best asshat win!

    We deserve no less.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 37

  28. wr says:

    @SoWhat: “Ozarkhillbilly, if you think Ted Cruz and Chris Christie are “colossal asshat(s)” just wait until LIzzie “Fauxcahontas” Warren gets going.”

    She “got going” yesterday:

    “Elizabeth Warren grilled top banking regulators in her inaugural appearance as a member of the Senate Banking Committee — something she had once experienced on the other side, during her tenure as a regulator. Senator Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts who helped create the new consumer protection agency, pressed officials to justify how they police big banks. “If they can break the law and drag in billions in profits and then turn around and settle paying out of those profits, then they don’t have much incentive to follow the law,” she said. “The question I really want to ask is about how tough you are.” ”

    http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/02/15/big-deals-are-back/

    I’d vote for her for president.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 1

  29. SoWhat says:

    If the no-spin NYTimes says it, it must be true!

    And isn’t it interesting how the establishment media spin “toughness” for Warren but Cruz asks tough questions, he’s an unmitigated jerk that nobody likes.

    Yes, it’s true; depending on which political party you belong, you can either be described as “tough” or a jerk—for doing the exact same thing.

    Yet the press can’t understand why 60% don’t trust them to tell the truth, the whole truth and be fair. Astounding!

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 39

  30. CB says:

    @SoWhat:

    Warren is carrying out her job, to the letter.

    Cruz essentially called Hagel a terrorist sympathizer.

    I know youre a troll, but try to keep up.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 39 Thumb down 1

  31. legion says:

    @SoWhat:

    depending on which political party you belong, you can either be described as “tough” or a jerk—for doing the exact same thing.

    And yet, as the article points out, it’s _how_ you do things as much as _what_ you do. Warren is asking tough questions, that are directly related to the subject at hand, in a firm but respectful manner. Cruz is going off on his own, without anything other than bluster to back him up, and doing so in a decidedly immature and unprofessional manner. In politics – which is all about interpersonal relationships and influence – that’s a critical difference. If you want your government run by a bunch of unbalanced children, by all means – continue to vote Republican.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 0

  32. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Liberal media 101.

    Unnamed and unquoted “Republican senators” allegedly tell a Politico (i.e., DNC) hack about Cruz’s foibles and it’s reported as fact and of course accepted as gospel by liberal Websites, other elements of the chattering classes, and other categories suffering from Republican Derangement Syndrome.

    An “unnamed Republican senator” to a WaPO (i.e., DNC) hack compares Cruz to Jim DeMint and like Pavlov’s dogs the loopy chattering classes grit their teeth and begin foaming at their mouths.

    The remainder of the anti-Cruz bashing in that hack article comes, duh, from Democrats. Dog bites man.

    What’s amazing about this sort of thing is that even educated people continue to fall for it, like rube marks getting cleaned five times over at games of three card monty.

    Newsflash: Articles in the liberal media about conservative Republicans need to be taken with giant grains of salt. Such articles are pushing their partisan agendas, not necessarily reporting actual facts. Fake but accurate, much? Deceptive edit, much?

    And articles in the liberal media about a young conservative Latino Republican (gasp) need to be taken with a monumental grain of salt. For colossally obvious reasons.

    That’s not to say Cruz is the greatest thing since sliced bread. He’s not. But come on, clue in. Again, the guy is a newly-minted statewide office holder from a large-population and fast-growing state. And to make matters worse for liberal idiots in the media Cruz is well-spoken, extremely well educated (JD, Harvard) and, hello, he’s Latino. The left-wing media and the Democrat Party aparatus (BIRM) are going to have and forever will continue to have out the long knives. QED.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 36

  33. Rafer Janders says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    And to make matters worse for liberal idiots in the media Cruz is well-spoken, extremely well educated (JD, Harvard)

    So, wait, I’m confused —is a JD from Harvard a sign that one is extremely well educated (Cruz) or that one is an out of touch liberal elitist (Obama)?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 40 Thumb down 0

  34. David M says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    Liberal media 101.

    No such thing.

    …Politico (i.e., DNC)….

    Can you really not see a difference between Politico and the DNC? If you need help, the DNC does not publish articles by Joe Scarborough or John Thune.

    …a WaPO (i.e., DNC)…

    Again, the DNC does not publish articles by Mark Kirk or Bobby Jindal.

    …compares Cruz to Jim DeMint…

    Isn’t that a compliment for Cruz? I’m confused why that’s bad.

    Newsflash:…the liberal media [does not exist]

    Fixed it for you.

    Democrat Party

    I am unfamiliar with that party. Here in the USA the two major parties are the Republican Party and the Democratic Party.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  35. wr says:

    @SoWhat: “If the no-spin NYTimes says it, it must be true!”

    I posted a direct quote from Warren in a Senate hearing as published in the Times, and this is what you come back with?

    Are you so far gone into dementia that you believe the eeeevil media will manufacture transcripts for Senate hearings? And that no one will notice, because we’re all brainwashed?

    I realize that being a Republican these days requires you to accept all sorts of garbage, but you’re not really stupid enough to believe this, are you?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 0

  36. An Interested Party says:

    I knew that the Victimhood Tour was going strong, but SoWhat and Tsar Nicholas manage to deliver the suffering to new lows with their ridiculous conspiracy theories about the supposed “liberal” media cabal…how do these poor innocent waifs manage to go on, one wonders…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  37. al-Ameda says:

    Ted is a retrograde McCarthyite whom no doubt will be re-elected in Texas for years to come.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  38. Andre Kenji says:

    @SoWhat:

    And Ruth Marcus! She is obviously a GOP insider so everything she says must be true!

    She worked for twenty years as a reporter for the Post, she knows plenty of people in the GOP, even if she is a liberal columnist.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  39. wr says:

    @Andre Kenji: Ruth Marcus is about as liberal as David Brooks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  40. Unsympathetic says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    WaPo is R, not D.

    Cruz is by definition not well-spoken.. if he was, he wouldn’t have pulled the stunts he did.

    I know this is shocking to dittoheads, but Cruz is getting slammed purely for his actions – not because busy professionals have a vendetta against people whose names they don’t know.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  41. somewhatamused says:

    @edmondo: Actually, he’s canadian-born. Never going to happen. But it sounded entertaining.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  42. somewhatamused says:

    @somewhatamused: more actually, george romney was born in mexico and ran for president and mccain is panama canal zone born, though it was under u.s. control. bottom line, he probably could run. its never been challenged in court. i stand corrected.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  43. beth says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Actually, since Cruz is Hispanic, we’ll need to see his college transcripts to prove he wasn’t an affirmative action student. Where are the transcripts? Why aren’t his college professors speaking up for him?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  44. bill says:

    so he’s supposed to join the party and be silent (while getting paid) for a few years? not what he ran on and was elected to do.
    meanwhile pocahontas is doing some faux blasting of wall st., good stunt but little substance.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 11

  45. 11B40 says:

    Greetings:

    Maybe the Republicans should ask New Jersey’s Senator Menendez or Illinois’ Reresentative Jackson, Jr. to do some mentoring ???

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 12

  46. Jeff Mathis says:

    Cruz is going to be fun to watch but I have serious doubts about his career as a senator. This is the kind of person that is going to continue to damage the Republican Brand. He has even ticked off Republican Senators. Maybe he should ask Chuck Hagle how that works out. Like it or not he got elected and has the right to represent his constituency in the manner he sees fit. Do it again Teddy, Do it again?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  47. cleverboots says:

    I saw his performance at the hearing and it WAS a performance. Cruz was more interested in achieving his Gotcha! moments than in truly contributing to the serious work of the hearing. If he is ever going to be taken seriously, he needs to grow up and stop treating the US Senate as his personal stage. No one was favorably impressed by his arrogance.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  48. An Interested Party says:

    meanwhile pocahontas is doing some faux blasting of wall st., good stunt but little substance.

    Sorry sweetie, but the “both sides do it” argument isn’t going to work…and here’s betting that Warren has a significantly stronger impact on the Senate than Cruz ever will…

    Maybe the Republicans should ask New Jersey’s Senator Menendez or Illinois’ Reresentative Jackson, Jr. to do some mentoring ???

    Really? Cruz would do much better to check with Louisiana’s Senator “Diapers” Vitter or South Carolina’s “Butters” Graham, although he better hurry, as Graham may not be around much longer after next year…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  49. bill says:

    @An Interested Party: warrens a shill, all talk and no substance. no wonder you like her.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  50. grumpy realist says:

    @bill: Professor and lawyer at Harvard, wrote the book on US bankruptcies…

    Yeah, I see how you would consider her “all talk and no substance.” Warren actually worries about the effect of our financial system on consumers and does the research to back up her theories. What have you done that has been half as effective or as useful to the average American?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  51. bill says:

    @grumpy realist: obama went to harvard and wrote a book too- we won’t bother discussing his achievements. “what have you done……”? really, gimme a break!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  52. An Interested Party says:

    warrens a shill, all talk and no substance. no wonder you like her.

    Yes, it’s a real shame she ain’t a Teabagger because if she were, she would just be so full of substance…by the way, a shill for whom, pray tell…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0