Young Guns: An Army of DeMinters

Be afraid, be very afraid. Redstate‘s Erick Erickson is extremely pleased that Ted Cruz won the Republican senate primary in Texas:

Despite all the barbs and lies and dirty tricks, including phone calls to Cruz voters during yesterday’s primary telling them to vote today, Ted Cruz won.

It is a very satisfying victory. Ted has spoken at every RedState Gathering and will be the first speaker at this year’s Gathering too. He will make a fine Senator.

A lot of people are going to give lots of credit to lots of people for Ted Cruz’s win. Success has many fathers. A lot of people will also make a lot of wild claims about what it means for the GOP and its supposed radical drift right — a drift right that in 2010 saw it pick up more electoral victories than any time since the late 1800′s.

One thing a lot of people will fail to comment on is that the Tea Party victories of 2010 have morphed into anti-establishment victories in 2012. On both the left and right, the base hates its leaders. It has moved beyond distrust to contempt…

Should Ted Cruz win the general election, and the odds are in his favor, he will join Mike Lee, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Pat Toomey, and Ron Johnson as yet another Senator who owed his nomination more to Jim DeMint than the Republican leaders in Congress…

Dave Weigel at Slate explicates the “Strike Force” excitement:

… Sen. Jim DeMint endorsed Cruz more than one year ago, when Rick Perry was entering the presidential race and looked like a possible presidential candidate — it was a kind of brave, early stance. The Club for Growth spent $4.8 million on behalf of Cruz, who never caught up to Dewhurst in fundraising.

The goal, as DeMint and Clubbers have said many times, is to create a conservative wing inside the Senate GOP — an army of DeMints. When Cruz gets to Washington (he just has to roll over a token Democratic opponent), he joins Rand Paul (age 49), Marco Rubio (age 41), Mike Lee (age 41), Pat Toomey (age 50), and Ron Johnson (age 57). There’s a good chance he’ll join Rep. Jeff Flake, who turns 50 this year. That’s a sizable caucus of obstinate conservatives who have, respectively, threatened to filibuster spending deal compromises, called for quicker action in Syria, called the president’s move on the Libya NFZ unconstitutional, argued that the government could operate without raising the debt limit, and… well, threatened more filibusters. This is a rising generation of conservatives who just added to their number with a candidate who argued that Rick Perry’s candidate was too left-wing.

Ed Kilgore at Washington Monthly‘s Political Animal blog adds:

…As Dave Weigel explains, there is virtually no legitimate ideological reason for the national movement conservative prefererence for Cruz over Dewhurst. It is all about his age (42) and ethnicity. Republicans understand the demographic trap they are in, which they might escape this year and in 2014 by revving up white-identity resentment of Barack Obama to a high-pitch chattering whine, but can’t forestall forever. They can appeal to minority voters by changing the ideology, or just finding minority candidates who will speak and vote like an angry 75-year-old white man from Alabama. The former strategy is not an option for them.

So conservatives need some possibilities other than Marco Rubio to become Latino poster persons going forward: Rubio is Cuban-American, which is not helpful with many Spanish speaking constituencies, and also has some potential ethics issues in his background. Dewhurst was entirely expendable. So expect Ted Cruz to get a lot of attention beginning at the Republican Convention in Tampa, and continuing at next year’s CPAC conference.

And yet, what with ratfvcking each other in Texas and vociferously defending Romney’s “No Apologies, Only Insults and Gaffes” World Tour, there doesn’t seem to have been much reaction on the right to the news that, per NYMag‘s Daily Intel, Castro Will Deliver the DNC Keynote Address.

San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro, that is.

60 replies
  1. 1
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    I get the feeling this is going to be the core mistake of Republicans going forward in two ways: first of all, while there are many socially conservative minorities, neither black or Latino Democrats (now the majority of both groups) are economically conservative. But they think that appeals to abortion, homosexuality, and family values will make up for the other racist and classist appeals-they do in Alabama where resentment and nostalgia over lost status in whites makes for an electoral majority. But Latinos and blacks have never had status in this country, so there’s no cultural resentiment to play.

    Simply nominating a Latino who will be expected to stay silent in the face of this will not change the numbers at all. I predict that the fall election could well be an upset as white Republicans don’t turn out for Cruz, and Obama gets his well-oiled machine out for Democrats.

  2. 2
    c u n d gulag says:

    And another turd is sh*t into the punchbowl.

    And we wonder why we can’t have nice things?

  3. 3
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    Secondly, there’s no way to take back the torrent of simply mind-boggling racism that’s already been spewed by anyone even marginally important to the party. And where are the practical benefits of being Republican? Lower wages and benefits, harder law enforcement for minor infractions, and general all around bully crap is going to feel better when it has a Latino face in front?

  4. 4
    Baud says:


    I predict that the fall election could well be an upset as white Republicans don’t turn out for Cruz, and Obama gets his well-oiled machine out for Democrats.

    Enough White Republicans turned out for Cruz to help him win the primary. I don’t think modern Republicans are opposed to minority leaders that do not stray from narrow, far right ideological lines.

    I would love to see an upset in Texas, however. Even if the polls make it close, Romney will have to spend some of his precious millions there, rather than in the swing states he needs to win.

  5. 5
    Baud says:

    Young Guns: An Army of DeMinters Dementors


  6. 6
    Mino says:

    Cruz is Cuban, not Mexican-American.

  7. 7
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @Baud: But that’s the Tea Party tiny minority-that works in a primary. But what about the rest of the Republican electorate?

  8. 8
    Valdivia says:

    Also, too. Think Progress yesterday had a list of must know things about Cruz and one is that he bragged about killing a Mexican. So. That latino outreach is not going to work that well if this is how he goes about it. The name alone will do nothing!

    The Castro news is really wonderful, when we hear him speak we will know exactly why they chose him.

  9. 9
    Baud says:


    I don’t know enough about the Texas GOP to know the answer. I hope the stars align, but I think it’ll be a long shot.

  10. 10
    Baud says:


    The Castro news is really wonderful, when we hear him speak we will know exactly why they chose him.

    Promise me he won’t ruin a promising career by speaking out in favor of private equity.

  11. 11
    Omnes Omnibus says:


    one is that he bragged about killing a Mexican.

    In an “I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die” sort of way or what?

  12. 12
    SteveM says:

    Ted Cruz Believes George Soros Leads A United Nations Conspiracy To Eliminate Golf

    … and other fun facts about Cruz can be found at Think Progress.

  13. 13
    Valdivia says:


    I am pretty sure he won’t. He seems very much in Obama’s mold. (which I think is a great thing)

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    ha! see SteveM comment below you for the list.

  14. 14
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Valdivia: Aha. Cruz seems like a lovely man, by which, of course, I mean a sociopathic nutjob.

  15. 15
    Valdivia says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    exactly! they really know how to pick ’em eh?

  16. 16
    Baud says:


    He seems very much in Obama’s mold. (which I think is a great thing)

    I do too. I’m looking forward to the convention.

  17. 17
    peorgietirebiter says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I heard it was out in the west texas town of el paso after he fell on love wtha Mexican squirrel. I could be wrong. Dewhurst got so desperate at the end, he was running Muy Macho Border Security spots 24/7. The man is loathsome.

  18. 18
    peorgietirebiter says:

    so much for the edit function.

  19. 19
    Mino says:

    I voted against Castro the first time he ran because we had a very good mayor running for re-election and because I thought Castro too young at the time. I don’t regret my vote.

    He’s probably fairly progressive on social issues, but so/so otherwise. By nature, Texas Hispanics are not raving progressives. But I think B0oker was a warning to a lot of young politicos not to expose that element.

  20. 20
    RoonieRoo says:

    @CarolDuhart2: if you think that, then you do not know Texas at all. He will steamroll any Democrat put forth. It just is the nature of the beast down here. Wish it was different but Texas has been abandoned by the DNC. Plus Texas might have its flavors of racism but elections are not driven by it in the same way as it is in the deep south of Georgia and such.

  21. 21
    Valdivia says:


    It’s good to hear from someone on the ground. I think the calculus on a national stage is young hispanic, charismatic, democrat from Texas. I saw the video he recorded for Obama and he sounds committed to the things we talk about here all the time. I also loved they announced by giving the story to Univision!

  22. 22
    peorgietirebiter says:

    @Mino: I understand, I voted Bush for Gov. the second time because he’d done a reasonable job and we cynically ran a transparent tool thinking hispanic folks wouldn’t notice and flock to polls. Apparently the Garza cache was not strong.

  23. 23
    Mino says:

    @Valdivia: He’s big on education as I would expect him to be. And while he would vote to increase the minimum wage, he wouldn’t vote to end right-to-work. That’s a decent Hispanic Texas Dem, but then you have the Ciro’s. Charle Gonzalez is a rare treasure. Castro is no Charlie, I think.

  24. 24
    Mino says:

    @peorgietirebiter: The Dem party in Texas is a disgrace. An intrenched, moribund disgrace.

  25. 25
    hueyplong says:

    Since when did Erickson begin to think that it’s a “dirty trick” to call voters and misinform them about the voting day?

    That’s been in the GOP playbook for years.

  26. 26
    peorgietirebiter says:

    @RoonieRoo: That’s a fact, not to mention all their other shenanigans come elecrion day. But the tide is inevitable, there was an interesting interview with a State GOP op in TX Monthly awhile back, they are not unaware. I give pretty consistently to the State Democraric Party and always suggest they don’t spend it on any current candidates. Better to focus on the farm team for now.

  27. 27
    peorgietirebiter says:

    @Mino: If only I could argue the point. I may not live to see it but the tide is inevitable imho.

  28. 28
    Mino says:

    @peorgietirebiter: Entrenched.

    That Democratic party platform was enough to make a cat laugh. Who do they think they’re fooling? They couldn’t even get enough publicity to stop vaginal ultrasounds from passing. Most Texas women only found out about it because of Virginia women. Disgraceful.

  29. 29
    RoonieRoo says:

    @peorgietirebiter: I am with you! I give to the state level only. I do think the tide is slowly turning our way especially if you look at all the purple counties in the southern part and all major cities from the 2008 election.

    I just wish the national Democrats would realize that the opportunity is coming if they would just participate. But I’m not holding my breath.

  30. 30
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    I’m pissed that Cruz got the nomination as well. I wrote a letter to the editor at the Dallas Morning News and called him a traitor.

  31. 31
    NotMax says:

    Texas. It’s a whole ‘nother ……… dimension.

  32. 32
    RoonieRoo says:

    @NotMax: Darn tootin’

  33. 33
    Jay in Oregon says:

    Because it’s being done to his candidate, it’s skulduggery of the lowest order.

  34. 34
    PeakVT says:

    Cruz was born to a Cuban-American father and an American mother in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, where his parents were working in the petroleum business.[1] His father was imprisoned and tortured in Cuba until he escaped to freedom in Texas in 1957.[6] Cruz attended high school at Faith West Academy in Katy, Texas,[7] and then graduated from Second Baptist High School in Houston. Cruz earned his Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University and his J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

    So I guess some Christianist schools do a good job at educating.

  35. 35
    LosGatosCA says:

    The nihilism is strong with this one.

    Why do these people hate America, it’s principals and ideals? They are grotesque intellectual caricatures of rabid dogs posing as human beings. It’s a very sad commentary on the state of humanity in America today.

  36. 36
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    So the GOP continues to purify itself to its most extreme with nothing but positive consequences. And we’re stuck with fucking Blue Dogs forever.


  37. 37
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    So the GOP continues to purify itself to its most extreme with nothing but positive consequences. And we’re stuck with fucking Blue Dogs forever.


  38. 38
    RaflW says:

    They want quicker action on Syria but the Libyan move was unconstitutional.

    I suppose there’s two things at play, perhaps non mutually exclusive: 1) Obama made the Libya decision so he looks presidential, decisive, and not a Democrat surrender monkey so that has to be opposed; 2) Syria is close to Israel so it might bring the end times along a bit faster, Libya was way far away from blessed Israel.

    Now, if a Republican president had engaged Libya and seen Qaddafi killed, it would have been all about finally avenging Lockerbie, promoting freedom and supporting freedom fighters, etc.

    They really, really can’t stand it when a Democratic president spits in the face of the “weak on defense/military” meme. Hah!

  39. 39
    redshirt says:

    Semi relatedly, Palin responds to Darth Cheney:

    ““Seeing as how Dick – excuse me, Vice President Cheney – never misfires, then evidently he’s quite convinced that what he had evidently read about me by the lamestream media, having been written, what I believe is a false narrative over the last four years, evidently Dick Cheney believed that stuff and that’s a shame,” Palin said.”

    That’s some good Palin right there.

  40. 40
    wenchacha says:

    So Erick the Erickson believes that “success has many fathers.”

    Sounds sorta like “you didn’t build this,” doesn’t it?

  41. 41
    Mino says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik: Win, win for the oligarchs.

  42. 42
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:


    I was saying to RoonieRoo this morning that we’re our own little special ball of fucked-up down here. I know people like to lump TX in with “The South”, but that culture is pretty limited to East Texas. You won’t see that many Confederate flags west of Beaumont or Marshall.

    I’m a little surprised that Dewhurst got stomped as badly as he did. He hasn’t been all that effective as Lite Guv, but it’s not like he was a total loser. I’ve only been watching regular TV for the Olympics, and it seemed like the Dewhurst ads ran 4 to 1 over Cruz’s, and they were nasty. But the anti-Washington Tea Party fever has thoroughly taken hold down here (evidenced by Perry’s increasingly addled noggin).

    I’m not saying race isn’t an issue down here (it is), but for this election Cruz is plenty white enough for Texas Republicans. I’d like to see Sadler win the general, but odds are low.

    Like RoonieRoo says, it feels like the DNC has completely given up on TX, which, given the size of the TX congressional delegation (and number of electoral votes) seems forehead-thwackingly stupid. They’d have to radically adjust their messaging and avoid any mention of organized labor, gay marriage, abortion, etc., but I think they could make headway on personal economics issues like universal health coverage, tax policy, etc.

    But then I have an optimistically high opinion of many of my fellow Texans.

    Make no mistake, Romney will win Texas by virtue of not having a (D) behind his name. At this point, that’s all it will take. And Cruz will have a relatively easy victory. There will not be an upset this year, nor in 2016.

    2020? Maybe.

  43. 43
    Mino says:

    @RoonieRoo: What possesses them to try and run General Sanchez (of Abu Ghraib fame)for the Senate, with the help of the DNCC I might mention? And then when he crashed, they had no one. Idiots.

  44. 44
    Kane says:

    Yesterday, Chris Matthews asked Michael Steele if he thinks it’s possible for the moderates of the party to take back the GOP from the extremists. Steele said yes, pointing to (Mr. end Medicare) Paul Ryan and (governor ultrasound) Bob McDonnell as the Republican moderates that would lead the way.

  45. 45
    Mino says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey: You don’t think Hillary would take Texas? I think she might, but she’s the only one I could see. And it would be totally sexual politics, too.

  46. 46
    Mino says:

    @Kane: I think Steele has been a better surrogate since he has left the RNC. He’s one slick character.

  47. 47
    catclub says:

    @PeakVT: What I noticed was the
    “escaped in 1957”, which means his father was imprisoned and tortured by Batista, not Fidel. So his father is presumptively a communist.

  48. 48
    NotMax says:

    @Grumpy Code MonkeyTexas state legislature, now with even more loons per square foot.

    The tea party movement continued to strengthen its influence in the Republican-controlled Texas Legislature on Tuesday with the ouster of a longtime moderate state senator and two House leaders.
    Emergency room physician Donna Campbell defeated 19-year Sen. Jeff Wentworth of San Antonio in one of the toughest campaigns in the primary season. Campbell was considered the third-tier candidate before forcing her way into a runoff, then swamped Wentworth in a runoff dominated by tea party activists.
    In the House, Republican committee chairmen Rep. Sid Miller of Stephenville and Chuck Hopson of Jacksonville were defeated by challengers, dealing another blow to House Speaker Joe Straus, who has had to fight off tea party critics to key his position.
    Campbell appeared to ride the crest of the tea party wave that dominated the top of the ballot where Ted Cruz defeated Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate.
    “This is a God thing,” Campbell told The Associated Press by phone from her election night party in New Braunfels. “The political pundits would not have even put me here in the runoff. I have the fiscal and social conservative values voters want. It proved to be successful.”  Source

  49. 49
    NotMax says:


    Hillary turns 69 in 2016.

    She’s not gonna run. That boat has sailed.

  50. 50
    Gordon, the Big Express Engine says:

    @PeakVT: Second Baptist is more of a toney rich kids school than a christianist school.

  51. 51
    Mino says:

    Well it’s gonna be an interesting two years being ruled by the Koch brothers down here in Texas.

    Gonna be fracking right up to the Alamo, probably.

    And Texas will be the first state to require a marriage license for voter ID.

  52. 52
    Mino says:

    @NotMax: Probably not, but wouldn’t you agree she’s the only Dem with any kind of shot in deep Red states?

  53. 53
    NotMax says:


    Don’t see her as having a shot at those states to begin with. Bill is an albatross around her neck among the evangelical/tea party set and she worked with and under Obama the near, among other things.

  54. 54
    Amanda in the South Bay says:


    Why should Dems be so focused on winning the deep south? Isn’t that the formula for not-success? Leave the deep south to the Republicans, win everywhere else. Isnt that the legacy of Obama/Dean’s 50 state strategy? The Dems need to stop thinking the key to winning is winning the south/nominating southerners.

  55. 55
    Mino says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay: They shouldn’t, at this point. Just hypothesizing.

  56. 56
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay: I agree, but it’s ridiculous that the Dems should let those congressional seats and state legislature seats go. That hurts the national agenda. Letting the South turn back into a 3rd world hell hole may be satisfying on some level to some Northerners but does not actually benefit progressive policies in the long run.

  57. 57
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:


    You don’t think Hillary would take Texas?

    Only in the goatee universe, and even then it’s questionable.

    The party dynamics are such that no serious Democratic presidential candidate is going to take Texas before 2024 at best. And Hills, by virtue of being Hills, would get stomped in the general. That’s not a slight against her, that’s just how it would come down. The number of people who’d be willing to vote for her are greatly outnumbered by the number of people who consider the Clintons to be evil incarnate. Oh, she’d take Austin and the Valley and parts of Houston, and maybe parts of San Antonio, but that’s not enough. DFW? The Panhandle? Fuggedaboutit.

    And to beat my favorite drum, we need to quit focusing so goddamned much on the White House and work on Congress and the state legislatures. It doesn’t help for Texas to elect a Democratic President and send a Tea Party delegation to Congress, which is what you’re going to get for at least another decade. It’s not just Cruz. It’s not just Cornyn. It’s McCaul and every other Republican congresscritter that we send to Washington.

  58. 58
    Mino says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey: Hells bells, our state party isn’t organized enough to even run a candidate in a lot of the races. Esp. judicial! The worst one to ignore.

  59. 59
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    Exactly. Texas now has 36 Congressional districts; that’s over 8% of the seats in the House. You think an 8% margin isn’t significant? Hell, winning half those seats would be a major step forward.

    Again, I think the Democrats could make some headway in Texas if they change their messaging to focus on personal economics (the taxes you pay, the benefits you receive) and leave everything else (gay rights, abortion, organized labor, etc.) at the door (I don’t work in politics, though, so I could be dead wrong on that). You’re not going to get an honest-to-God Progressive agenda going down here, not at first, but you can start taking the first steps towards doing so.

    You’re not going to kick in the door and have everyone suddenly see the light. It’s going to take a long and concerted effort, it has to start small, and it has to be couched in very careful language. The GOP has very successfully used the language of fear to drive wedges between groups who actually have common interests; every year we let them get away with it makes it harder to pull those wedges back out.

    The 50-state strategy is the right strategy, it just takes a lot of time and effort and money to implement properly, but it’s the only way we’re going prevent the GOP from turning this country into a third-world nation. It will start in the South, but it will spread through the rest of the country.

  60. 60
    peorgietirebiter says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey: Absolutely. I moved here in from L.A. in ’91 and was appalled by some of the yokels in grocery lines loudly making truly ugly remarks about Chelsea, a little girl fer chrissakes. Pretty uncomfortable calling them out but…
    I really enjoyed my three years in Houston but I’ll never forget the visceral reaction so many had to the name Clinton. I have many good friends here in rural North Texas but I’ve learned some doors just aren’t meant to be opened.
    I also agree about first focusing on congressional seats where folks are open to genuine Democratic values. take the aeats and hold them and build from there. In the long term, no one is happy with Faux Dems. Be smart with the messaging but not too clever by half. When the tide does turn I wouldn’t want a bunch of Blue Dogs entrenched with all the benefits of encumbancy. I’m not a purist by any means but we don’t do disengenuous well. You don’t have to be radical to have some core convictions. I’m not ready to give up on trying to shape opinion over time. That doesn’t mean I still believe in playing nice with Republican opponents.

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