Let Me Sum Up
Obama in Austin offers perfect contrast to Cruz in Wackjob, USA
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about something that local curmudgeologists Jim Schutze and Jeff Siegel mentioned on Schutz’s radio show this week: how people in power still act like it’s 1983, not 2013.
We see proof of this in many ways in North Texas. (In fact, I’ll write tomorrow — probably, don’t hold me to it — a little bit about how we see this in Dallas ISD debates and backroom dealings.) One way we view it in our politics is by watching U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz carry out his anti-Obama game plan.
Cruz is, as I’ve mentioned many times, insane in a highly entertaining way. He rejects everything that the last election told us — that the folks who see the world through a fearful, us-versus-them lens are increasingly marginalized — and suggests his party needs to double down on hate-mongering, fear-mongering and obstructionist policies.
This sort of thing used to work, as recently as the early aughts. A politician like Cruz — someone who has not actually constructed a bill that builds, achieves or a accomplishes anything — could sell himself to a vocal minority, gather mainstream media support, and through inertia gather an angry mob to support his or her ridiculous worldview.
That doesn’t work anymore, for many reasons. One, the people who subscribe to that worldview are dying. Two, social media and the age of instant accountability combine to quickly expose such empty foolishness to politically neutral types (the only ones who really matter).
I don’t think Ted Cruz has learned that lesson, but if he’s really going to run for president in 2016, he’ll learn it fast. The person who is giving him a Texas-sized lesson in how to communicate in the modern era is the one person we know won’t be running: President Barack Obama.
This is an excellent column from the Dallas Morning News’ Wayne Slater on why Obama is in Austin today, and how he’s thwarting his opponents’ attempts to paint him as a do-nothing politician by flying to Texas and telling us (and, by extension, everyone outside of D.C.) what he would like to do if obstructionists like Cruz would stop fighting political battles from times past. It’s the sort of clear-eyed, direct take you don’t often read on the paper’s website.
I really have little to add except this: Please run in 2016, Ted Cruz. I hope to still be writing columns then. Crazy people make for good copy, now even more so than in 1983.
I missed JFloyd’s column from Monday. I should have linked to it when I wrote about Miles and DISD on Tuesday. There is a lot of overlap in the points I made, and I would have complimented her on preemptively agreeing with me.
And Steve Blow has a good column on Texas education reform. What the hell is going on here?
Home sales are up in DFW! Seriously, what world am I in?
A few hours after I wrote about how the biz community is abandoning Mike Miles, some members of the biz community rose up in support of Mike Miles. Why make my life harder, guys?
Well. Isn’t that special?
Among contributors to GW Bush Library: Sheldon Adelson's charitable trust, which gave $500K, IRS records show ow.ly/kShpz— Dave Levinthal (@davelevinthal) May 9, 2013