"The Wacko Birds Take Flight": Nick Gillespie on Ted Cruz's Ongoing Speech

courtesy Benjamin Lee's Twitter feedcourtesy Benjamin Lee's Twitter feedI've got a new column up at The Daily Beast about Sen. Ted Cruz's ongoing speech against Obamacare. Here's some snippets:

So what exactly [is] Cruz doing up there, hogging the limelight on C-SPAN’s low-wattage webstream for a couple of hours, if he wasn’t serious about stopping Obamacare? He was playing his part in a pretty goddamned brilliant strategy to win the future not for himself but for the Republican Party....

The wacko bird caucus overlaps pretty well with the Tea Party. Besides Cruz and [Sen. Rand] Paul [R-Ky.], it includes such characters as Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Reps. Justin Amash (R-MI) and Thomas Massie (R-KY). Despite meaningful differences among them, they all support cutting federal spending and taxes, and reducing regulations on business and other economic activities. Unlike many members of the GOP, they are critical of the national surveillance state and, at least in the cases of Paul and Amash, are principled non-interventionists who arequick to question the Pentagon budget....

There’s no question that these two wacko birds, and the others in that small and growing nest, are pulling in the same direction even as they are courting different audiences. They’ve shown that they can work together, and they’ve shown that they’re not standard-issue Republicans but true believers in limited government. In a country where six of 10 voters already think the government is too big, the wacko bird caucus has got a lot of room to fly.

I argue that Cruz and Paul represent the two wings (conservative and libertarian respectively) of a potential small-government movement that has enormous potential to move the country toward limiting the size, scope, and spending of Washington. The key to remember, especially for those of us who are libertarian, is that these two guys are speaking to vastly different audiences. But to simply write off Cruz as an egomaniacal grandstander who's only in it for the money is to miss what's really driving the ascendance of the wacko bird coalition.

Read the whole thing here.

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  • Snark Plissken||

    +100 Binacas

  • SIV||

    Remember when Nick Gillespie called Ted Cruz a bum?

    While Cruz may be a reliable fiscal conservative, he’s nobody’s idea of a libertarian, with his McCarthyite denunciations of Harvard professors he claims are dedicated to the overthrow of the government and anxieties about creeping “Sharia law.”Despite being an immigrant and Hispanic himself, he has long staked out a hardline position against opening the southern border of the U.S. to more immigrants. That puts him at odds with not only GOP moderates such as Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and former governor Jeb Bush (R-FL), but also figures like Rand Paul, who has told currently illegal immigrants who have come to work, “We will find a place for you.” Palin herself has sneered at immigration reform, dismissing pending Senate legislation as “a pandering, rewarding-the-rule-breakers, still-no-border-security, special-interest-written amnesty bill.”

    Fortunately for libertarian-minded voters, Palin and Cruz are hardly the only fishes in the sea. As the recent report on young voters from the College Republican National Committee pointed out, the GOP is flush with next-generation leaders, among them Chris Christie, Rubio, and Bobby Jindal.

    NEVER FORGET!

  • sam the man||

    I was just going to post this. I find it even more hilarious now that Christie has finally revealed himself to be the fat fucking liberal douche he really is while Ted Cruz has been good on pretty much every bill I've seen him vote on,

  • ||

    It's positively terrifying to think how far gone the country is when Chris fucking Christie is anybody's idea of a libertarian.

  • John||

    The Republican establishment, McCain, Boehner, McConnell and their ilk, if they were honest, don't really object to Obamacare. They only didn't sell out and vote for it in 2010 because the country went into revolt in August 2009 and they were forced to. At the time Obamacare was passed all of the "smart" Washington Republican hacks like David Brooks and Frum said the Republicans had committed suicide by not working with the Dems and getting a better bill and being in line for some of the credit for how great this was going to be.

    Cruz and Paul actually want to change the direction of the country. And that is the last thing the top Republicans want. They like the current system where every few years they get their turn in power of a giant all encompassing government. They don't want some small government replacing that.

  • SIV||

    Now Nick is calling Cruz a "cracker":

    Cruz is the favorite son of an older, whiter America.

  • John||

    The thing with people like Nick is that they believe that the media is so merciless Republicans because Republicans are just old white people worthy of ridicule. Maybe they are, but that is not why the media is so merciless with them. Nick thinks that if Libertarians were the opposition party to the Democrats things would be different. No, the media would go after them just as much if not more than they do Republicans. The major media functions as an immune system in Washington attacking anything that wants to reduce government or question liberal dogma.

    Nick doesn't get that. So he throws around quotes like that thinking that he signaling the media how libertarians are different and thus shouldn't be treated like Republicans.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Hey, I'm a big fan of Nick.

    But the media (and the rest of us liberals see little difference between Neo-Con, Classic-Conservatives, and Conservative-leaning Libertarians). And this is coming from a Big Liberal that voted for Gary Johnson.

    If that makes sense.

  • ||

    Hey, I'm a big fan of Nick.

    Nick, if this indictment doesn't shock you back into coherence, nothing will.

  • John||

    Sure. You let the narrative and the dogma control what is an acceptable thought. Then you wonder why your ideology is so old, bloated and ineffective.

  • Mike M.||

    Hey, I'm a big fan of Nick... And this is coming from a Big Liberal... If that makes sense.

    It absolutely makes 100% perfect sense.

  • Alice Bowie||

    These people look like they are CRAZY.

    What we need to do is make EVERYONE in Congress a temporary part-time employee. Pay them the MEDIAN National Income. And absolutely NO BENEFITS. No Pension, to Healthcare. Perhaps this was they'll understand the thing better.

  • Swiss Servator, Spare a Franc?||

    *sniff, sniff*

    Anyone else smell Stale, musty thought and the earnestly grubby sweat of a dialectic materialism fit?

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    Better yet, hold elections for contracts, not people. Let every candidate propose a contract, or several if they want to test the waters while splitting the vote, and the contract would not only set their pay, but also have legally binding promises, and any voter in their district could sue for violating the contract, with the penalty being fired from the job.

    And then prorate the winner's pay by the percentage of votes they got.

    If they can convince voters to pay them $1M with a fat golden parachute upon completion of their term without being fired, go for it. If they can only get $1K a month, or $10K at the end of every year, or even will pay to be elected, put it in the contract.

  • Cytotoxic||

    This is brilliant.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Alice Bowie,

    These people look like they are CRAZY


    Please, don't blog and drive at the same time. We don't need to know how well people drive their cars around you.

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    I've got a new column up at The Daily Beast ...

    Are we not good enough for The Jacket?

  • SIV||

    "We're too right wing"

  • John||

    And lets not forget, Wendy Davis is a national hero for doing this very thing in Texas. Amazingly, Cruz isn't getting the same sort of media treatment.

  • ||

    HANDS OFF MY UTERUS!

    (Unless you're a health care bureaucrat and I'm filling out the 63rd page of my sexual history. For, uh, my "file"...)

  • NoVAHockey||

    Somewhat related .. yesterday 2 guys in the office mentioned their (not the same) primary care doctors are going boutique. they'll still accept insurance, but only after you pay a (roughly) $1600 annual membership fee. per person. one is going for it, one is on the fence. i told him he'd better pay or start shopping for a doc that is accepting new patients.

  • John||

    I think that is going to be a common work around for Obamacare. Rather than buy overpriced insurance, pay the penaltax and then join what amounts to a doctor's co-op. You pay a upfront fee and in return get discounted or included care from those doctors.

    I can see business doing this for their employees. Instead of paying for health insurance, why not go in with a couple of other business and put a few primary care doctors on retainer for our employees?

  • MJGreen||

    Essentially, the system that existed before the AMA. Lodge doctors and the like.

  • Brett L||

    Whoa. Holy shit.

  • OldMexican||

    In a country where six of 10 voters already think the government is too big, the wacko bird caucus has got a lot of room to fly.


    Yesterday while I was watching Fox News' American Live, I heard talk radio commentator Leslie Marshall (über liberal) saying that the reason people are wary (and weary) of big government is because of all that massive anti-governent propaganda coming from these thousands of amplifier horns, somewhere, which is just confusing the poor and ignorant country folk. Or something.

  • John||

    Don't worry Mexican, Ms. Marshall has a plan for shutting down all that noise.

  • Cytotoxic||

    He was playing his part in a pretty goddamned brilliant strategy to win the future not for himself but for the Republican Party....

    I can't believe Gillespie is Reason's voice of reason on Cruz's stand. Not this place's finest hour.

  • Carolynp||

    I didn't like Cruz before just recently. He looks like a salesman, right? I absolutely adore him now. I love the new generation of conservatives who are ignoring liberals telling them they can't reduce government and trying. Yes, they don't win them all, but they are at least trying.

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