Sunday, July 21, 2013

Peter King and Ted Cruz

There's so much to write about, it's difficult to determine an initial post, but I'm going to start right here because it says so much about Washington, Republican "infighting" and the overwelming impulse by those in power - regardless of party - to protect the status quo.

You will soon discover that I am a huge Ted Cruz fan. For starters, he should never have won this seat. In a primary fight with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, he was underfunded, not supported by either establishment Republicans in Texas and certainly not establishment Republicans in Washington, but he managed to force a runoff, became the nominee and won the general election. We're all aware of what's happened since. He's managed to piss off nearly everyone from John McCain (that's a badge of honor these days, I think) to his occasional ally, Marco Rubio. But Peter King is a little more than just pissed off because Cruz had the audacity to cast a "no" vote on the massive Hurricane Sandy relief bill.

Like the storm itself (christened by the media as "superstorm sandy" because only a natural extra-phenomenon could find itself plowing into the elite capital of the world, the TriState Area), the Hurricane Sandy Relief Bill was very poorly named. Its provisions included $150 million for Alaskan fisheries, $2 million for repairs to the Smithsonian, $8 million for Justice and Homeland Security for vehicles and a whopping $17 billion for "community block grants", untethered funds whose allocation can be determined by people like...Peter King. This is precisely the type of insider chicanery that Ted Cruz pledged to oppose and (mirabile dictu) what did he do? HE DID WHAT HE SAID HE WOULD DO.

Prior to this episode, I have generally been an admirer of Peter King. He's solid on intelligence and foreign policy issues, and has opposed most of the Obama-Reid-Pelosi agenda. But like his bud in Jersey, Chris Christie, he has abandoned any sense of propriety with his blind support of this taxpayer fleecing and he's now using it as a barometer to determine who deserves his public support.

This week he reached a new low by announcing that either Rand Paul or Ted Cruz would be demolished by candidate Hillary (what difference does it make) Clinton were they to run in 2016. Let's not forget that King and Clinton spent many years together as part of the New York congressional "delegation". "I think she's very strong on foreign policy," he says. Excuse me? He calls Cruz a member of the "isolationist" wing of the party; that may be somewhat true in Paul's case, but totally erroneous in Cruz's.

Despite my earlier admiration for him, Peter King is moving against the tide. He embraces the status quo and is willing to tar and feather members of his own "party" not because he necessarily disagrees with them ideologically, but because they chose not to support a pork-laden disaster whose ostensible  objective was to support those legitimately damaged by hurricane Sandy. King himself should never have supported that bill, but rather would have been an eloquent and reasonable voice for legislation that was more effectively targeted. He embarrasses himself further by using support or opposition to the measure as a yardstick by which he measures how he will characterize legislators in public.

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