Ted Cruz Plays Diplomacy: Fall 2014: Cruz Supports Roberts in Kansas

Yesterday the Hill noted that Ted Cruz turned up in Kansas to say a few words on behalf of Pat Roberts (R-KS?) who is fighting for his political life to save a Senate seat that has belonged to the GOP since before I was born:

Tea Party favorite Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) waded into the Kansas Senate race Thursday, touting beleaguered Republican incumbent Pat Roberts as the contest’s only true conservative.

Cruz’s visit follows that of Sarah Palin who came in earlier to buck up the longtime GOP senator who had held off a determined challenge from Tea Party candidate Milton Wolf, a challenge that alienated the tea party base necessary for him to win.

That problem makes it VITAL for Roberts to be able give tea party supporters a reason to vote for him and Ted Cruz had such a reason in his hand:

Cruz noted that when he waged a 21-hour filibuster to protest ObamaCare last year, Roberts was one of only a handful of senators who came to the floor to support him. Roberts, standing next to Cruz behind the podium, reminisced about a Senate attendant reminding him to put on a tie before speaking on the floor in the early hours. 

This was something that I noted at the time:

Cruz started with his 21 hour floor speech something that couldn’t be ignored. First it couldn’t be ignored by republicans in the Senate:

Within hours of Liz Cheney, now a candidate for the Senate in Wyoming, announcing her support of Ted Cruz’s filibuster, Senator Mike Enzi, who Cheney is primarying, took to the floor of the United States Senate and declared he stood with Ted Cruz.

Pat Roberts, the elderly Senator from Kansas who may soon be getting a stiff primary challenge, stiffly stood on the floor of the United States Senate to show he too stood with Ted Cruz.

Rand Paul, after NBC News reported he may disagree with Cruz’s filibuster threat, went to the floor of the Senate and stood with Ted Cruz.

And of course Marco Rubio who had lost favor with the tea party.

That illustrates a point about conventional wisdom, our friends on the left and in the media along with many in the GOP were adamant that Ted Cruz’s moves vis a vis Obamacare which took place one year ago were going to be a disaster for the party

Obmacare’s launch has been a dismal failure so dangerous that if you are a Democrat running for election in 2014 you’re running away from it, fast!

So lets summarize:

Ted Cruz make a fight that the establishment shied away from. He took on a position for principle not popular with the media and public. He made that fight with lots of risks and little upside and pushed the media to the point where that media made absolutely sure that the entire country knew which party wanted to stop Obamacare and which party with one voice was dedicated to protecting Obamacare from repeal and or delay at all costs….

…right up until they weren’t.

and now that move, which gave Pat Roberts a chance to confirm his conservative street cred might just be the move that saves him.

Closing thought, last year I argued that,  contrary to the conventional wisdom,  Ted Cruz was doing the GOP establishment a huge favor by staying out races which involved incumbent Republicans.  Yesterday’s appearance for Pat Roberts is the final piece in the puzzle whereby Ted Cruz, like Rand Paul before him, earns chits with the establishment GOP that he will be in a position to cash in during 2016 if he chooses to do so.

One might argue that this is contrary to the principles of the Tea Party, but one might also argue that the move Cruz support Roberts in Kansas demonstrates that in a room full of people who think they are playing chess with checkers players he is playing Diplomacy instead of chess.