Hey, Look at Me Fail: Isn’t it obvious that Ted Cruz is in it for Ted Cruz? The man had a choice–he could fight the Senate’s push for “amnesty first” immigration legislation, which he had a very good chance of killing
Because he has a Spanish surname, which presumably lets him do things politicians without Spanish surnames are not allowed to do (see the Constitution's Hidden Amendment for details)
, or he could stage a showy fight against funding Obamacare that he’d certainly lose. The first course would annoy the business backers who fund Senate and presidential campaigns. The latter course would gin up and channel conservative anger, boosting Cruz’s profile in the caucuses and primaries,without doing anyone much damage at all (since it would fail). The choice seems to have been a no-brainer for the senator.
I originally thought Cruz opposed amnesty and took a dive on the issue, doing the minimum possible to maintain his credibility. I now don’t think his behavior was that bad. It was worse–his very opposition to amnesty was fake. Evidence: The New York Times, in a bit of Anticipatory Strange New Respect, recently ran a piece on Cruz’s attempt to stake out “middle ground on immigration.” The middle ground seems to be support for legalization that stops short of citizenship:
“A path to legal status, but not to citizenship. A green card with no right to naturalization."
This is the ideal outcome for Republican politicians. Their big donors get to pound down wages some more immediately, while the impact on elections is pushed back to the next generation. What's not to love? (Assuming you aren't, say, an average American.)
Karl Rove was always pushing this sort of thing, too. But the Democrats have the upper hand in rhetoric because "a path to citizenship" sounds better than "lifelong helotry."