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I note the big front page headline in the Huffington Post this morning: WAR: GOP LYNCH MOB AGAINST TED CRUZ.
Clicking on that headline gets you to an article entitled, Mitch McConnell Rails Against Ted Cruz
The article addresses how some Republican senators have lost patience with Cruz, who has led a failed strategy to defund the Affordable Care Act. From the HP article:
“It was very evident to everyone in the room that Cruz doesn’t have a strategy -– he never had a strategy, and could never answer a question about what the end-game was,” one senator told Politico. “I just wish the 35 House members that have bought the snake oil that was sold could witness what was witnessed today at lunch.”
Conservatives outside the Senate have taken swings at Cruz as well. Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said Cruz "pushed House Republicans into traffic and wandered away." Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) accused the "Ted Cruz wing" of trying to "hijack" the Republican Party.
This does not surprise me. In my working career at a major company I encountered many bullies. Some of them had smarts to back them up and some didn't. Many rose quickly in the organization as that seemed to be an admired trait for some...much like Bill O'Reilly attracts a certain audience that likes bullies and follows bullies.
Ted Cruz is a bully. A bunch of Texans elected him because they like his bully style.
But the problem with bullies, and it doesn't matter how intellectually smart they are, is that they all rise to their level of incompetence. Ted Cruz rose to be a Senator by appealing to a certain segment of the voting public...perhaps a Senator McCarthy type style where smugness, aggressiveness, and certitude are admired. Once in the Senate he somehow got a whole bunch of Tea Party members in the House of Representatives to follow him and that's not surprising as they all are authoritarian followers.
For leaders like Ted Cruz to be effective in pursuit of their ideologies, they need followers and lots of them...people who need a "father figure." These followers are also classified as authoritarians. Robert Altemeyer in his book , The Authoritarians
, makes this clear distinction between authoritarian followers and authoritarian leaders. According to Altemeyer, authoritarian followers have "a high degree of submission to the established, legitimate authorities in their society; high levels of aggression in the name of their authorities; and a high level of conventionalism." "People who submit to the established authorities to extraordinary degrees often turn out to be political conservatives, so you can call them “right-wingers.”" I would call them Tea Partiers, but their authorities in this case are not the established government figures, but rather Rush Limbaugh bully types in the media and corporations.
The personal traits of an authoritarian follower differ in many respects from authoritarian leader, which Altemeyer calls Social Dominators. The stereotype of the Social Dominator, the authoritarian leader, is one of "they love power, including the power to hurt in their drive to the top." They lack empathy and scorn charity, kindness, and forgiving. They can be intimidating, ruthless, mean and vengeful, and would rather be feared than loved. That kind of describes Ted Cruz.
While Ted Cruz has enomored the Tea Party segment in the House of Representatives, he has in the process neglected to build relationships with his fellow Senate colleagues. Big mistake. Ted Cruz is not capable of learning by that mistake. He is too arrogant for that. But he has risen to his level of incompetence. When the Affordable Care Act moves forward in the next few years, and people look back at the folly of the Government Shutdown, they will remember one name: Ted Cruz...oh and maybe John Boehner who is one of Cruz's authoritarian followers.
Incompetency in both houses of Congress.
That's the problem with bullies.