February 20, 2014

The Big Mouth vs. the Stiff Upper Lip

Hatched by Dafydd

Patterico has an interesting pair of responses (part 1, part deux) to a recent pair of Thomas Sowell columns. In Sowell's first column, he lambastes Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-TX, not yet ACU rated) recent antics: the anti-Obamacare filibuster and the pro-debt ceiling quasi-filibuster. But he subsequently drops the hammer on the GOP establishment as well.

Patterico, however, wholeheartedly supports Cruz against the leadership; and he takes Sowell to task for not doing the same.

At the end of Patterico's second post, he writes, "We need people like Ted Cruz." But I just can't hoist myself onto that particular bandwagon... and I may understand Sowell better than does Patterico, at least in this one particular.

What the Sowell Man seems to be saying is that Ted Cruz himself is not one of those people like Ted Cruz. Cruz, man and senator, is a grandstander, an oxygen hoarder who cares far less about the future of America and far more about the future of Ted Cruz.

I believe Sowell is saying that we need someone who is as gutsy as Cruz, but not so self-serving as Cruz... because, as Patterico, Sowell, and Big Lizards agree, the doddering, sclerotic GOP "establishment," like all establishments, is more afraid of changing (or even reexamining!) any policy that has become "precedent" than it is of losing elections. It would rather hang onto what power it has by catering to its familiar constituents than take a chance on positive change and have to accept accountability.

Note that this GOP addiction to changelessness applies even to Democrat policies like Obamacare, limitless borrowing, starving the military to gorge the welfare state, stifling inconvenient speech, capping energy production for fear of some ill-defined "climate change," and a fantasyland foreign policy that presupposes "Everybody thinks just like us!"

If we are ever to overcome the Republican bias in favor of changing only at "an orderly rate" -- that is, at glacial speeds and frequently lurching backwards in dismay -- we must have an avatar who is neither afraid of change nor addicted to change for change's sake; who is futuristic yet credible; who can inspire without becoming a demagogue.

Alas, Ted Cruz is not that avatar.

Thus, Thomas Sowell casts a plague on both their poles, the ossified establishmentarians and the narcissistic and fumble-footed radical Tea Partiers. He begs, can't we find a better savior? One who might actually get, not just headlines, but results.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, February 20, 2014, at the time of 12:35 PM


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