It is generally known that Ted Cruz can be a demagogue, a quality that makes him immensely disliked by his colleagues. He is also considered to be quite bright and calculating. And so as I have attempted to understand why he did what he did, two distinct scenarios come to mind.
Ted Cruz needs something, badly. He can't rally Tea Party support without it, and he can't, then, win the Oval Office in 2016.
Let's take a look at the Republican lineup to face Hillary Clinton and examine in a "nutshell" (excuse the expression) their respective appeal and chance of making the final cut.
Faced with a large, bipartisan grassroots movement that threatens their big-spending friends, the only arguments that Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz have left are wild accusations, flat-out falsehoods, and outlandish interpretations of the Bill of Rights.
Desperation is the father of bad decisions. At this point in the never-ending saga of immigration reform, mass deportations and the GOP's rabid opposition to immigrants, advocates are pushing Obama to take executive action, bold and sweeping changes to the enforcement of our current ramshackle immigration law. That would be a mistake.
Technology that promised to connect us has instead isolated us, driving us from diversity to safe, homogenized forums and Facebook fan pages.
As a gay man who has spent the last decade working to advance marriage equality, I cheer "yaaaas" with each new marriage victory. And yet, I know that our momentum will quickly be stunted if we sit out the November elections.
Instead of joining with Democrats to expand opportunity for all Americans by fighting for equal pay and a raise for millions of Americans, investing in infrastructure and education, and creating jobs, Republicans like Rubio have recommitted to digging in their heels and causing rampant dysfunction that hurts middle class families.
If Obama does announce immigration changes, Republicans may decide the issue is bigger than any competence issue, and go right ahead and shut the government down. But this doesn't automatically make the issue a winner for Democrats everywhere in the midterms, of course.
Welcome to the 'Dog Days' of summer, at the height of the political Silly Season. This year, one dog did indeed have his day in August, as 7-year-old 'Duke' just won a rather bizarre election to become mayor of Cormorant, Minnesota.
The media, Congress and American workers are talking about raising the minimum wage nationally. So why hasn't an increase been passed? Who opposes raising the minimum wage? Not average Americans. Not even most Republicans. The answer: Republicans in Congress.
The very fact that Republicans were meeting during what was supposed to be a recess means that, despite the fact we've known about the border crisis for some time, a panic switch had been thrown.
Doing nothing is hard work! ...
At first blush, the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street appear as bookends: opposing grass-roots movements on the political right and left, respectively. But a look under the hood of each is instructive.
Although members of Congress and the president are professing to pursue a humanitarian response to the border crisis, the proposed solutions often undercut the very protections that children have in current law in order to have the Border Patrol expedite their deportation back to Central America.
While the course that the Ted Cruz-controlled portion of the GOP is heading down toward is a predictable one, the results are not.