Thomas Sowell: Ted Cruz is “Looking Out for Himself” But Not So For The Selfless Public Servants We Call the GOP Establishment

Dr. Thomas Sowell, the great economist and political philosopher, says that Senator Ted Cruz is “looking out for himself,” and it’s not good for the only Party that can fix Obama’s disasters. This says to me that career politicians, John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Mitch McConnell and John McCain are selfless public servants by comparison. Surely that’s not what he intended to say, but — he compares the “many things that need to be said” that are said “well” by Cruz, to the sleazy campaign rhetoric of Barack Obama and his many disingenuous promises — promises that we didn’t have to wait to find out were “words, just words.” We knew he was a liar before he was elected. Sowell warns that we believed Obama, and by intimation warns that perhaps we should not believe Cruz, yet admits Cruz is telling the truth, and saying things that ‘need to be said.’ Rocking the boat is clearly not proper. Each of the quotations below are from this article (click here) by Dr. Thomas Sowell.



Anyone understanding Barack Obama’s background, would have known that his stated admiration for the “deeply flawed” U.S. Constitution, combined with his ardent quest to redistribute American worker’s wealth which may be only a pay check, didn’t make sense. It simply did not make sense. The information was out there well before he was a president-elect. Voters should have known.

We could believe Obama when he said our electric bills would skyrocket because his record showed he would do everything in his power to make it happen. At no time did we have proof that Obama admired the Constitution. Community Organizers do not teach the promise of opportunity through hard work. If they believed in the concept, they would have no steam to organize. Obama’s life work was to make the masses angry enough to beat down the doors of City Hall and convince them that the declared “pursuit of happiness” did not include them. It had to be demanded and gotten from others.

There are many things like this that freshman Senator Barack Obama said that the overwhelming majority of Americans — whether liberal or conservative — would agree with. The only problem is that what he has actually done as President has repeatedly turned out to be the direct opposite of what he said as a candidate.

What, about Ted Cruz, leads us to believe he compares to Obama in the way expressed above? I believe the answer is nothing.

Sowell believes that the “freshman” Senator Cruz is a trouble maker. Let’s remember those career guys once again; Boehner, Cantor, McConnell, and McCain. God-forbid a newbie upstart with a background in constitutional law dare believe he can make a change for the good of the country, for the good of liberty, and even worse, have supporters who think he might be right. After all, who are we?

Cruz made promises during his campaign that he intends to keep. He came to Congress and immediately took up that task. We like that whether we live in Texas or not.

Barack Obama made promises during his campaigns and was, and is, hell-bound to keep them, and has even thrown in a few unexpected: just one example is the Defense of Marriage Act, which he now, illegally, refuses to defend.

Those causes are not being served when Senator Cruz undermines the election chances of the only political party that has any chance of undoing the disasters that Barack Obama has already inflicted on the nation — and forestalling new disasters that are visible on the horizon.

“Undermining the election chances” of the GOP must mean (speculating here) getting in the craw of the establishment.  This begs the question: who does Dr. Sowell think can turn-around the disasters the GOP will be left with, should we have a candidate that can get the voter’s attentions in a positive way? I think of the possible candidates and can come up with only a few names that I can believe even slightly capable of having the stomach for walking into the Oval Office and immediately begin undoing what has been done. I think of many that will do a few things, but not big things. Whomever our candidate is, he/she must be willing to make the kind of history that says ‘I am going to lead us out of this mess, including undoing unconstitutional laws passed by Congress.’ If that isn’t begun — and even if it is, if it isn’t supported fully by Republicans in January 2017, this country as a Republic, is finished.

Dr. Sowell says this is not about money (debt). It’s about the “quantum leap” in the abuse of power of the federal government. Look at Paul Ryan’s 14-year voting record. He has been a part of allowing that quantum leap, as has almost everyone in Congress longer than eight years. Paul Ryan is a favorite of the establishment.

Chief Justice Roberts’ decision declaring ObamaCare constitutional essentially repeals the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution, which declares that powers not given to the federal government belong to the states “or to the people.”

That central support of personal freedom has now been removed. The rest of the structure may not last very long, now that the Obama administration is busy quietly dismantling other bulwarks against the unbridled power of the government in general, and the unbridled power of the presidency in particular.

Sowell perfectly states our problems, but doesn’t suggest a strategy for doing something about it. There was no taxing legislation written to enable ObamaCare. We could have attempted to do something about that immediately. We didn’t. Congress is impotent and it disgusts us. Tough leadership is the only hope. I’d appreciate some names from this man who we all have respected for a very long time.

The basic, brutal reality is that the federal government can do whatever it wants to do, if nobody stops them. The Supreme Court’s ObamaCare decision shows that we cannot depend on them to protect our freedom. Nor will Congress, as long as the Democrats control the Senate.

The most charitable interpretation of Ted Cruz and his supporters is that they are willing to see the Republican Party weakened in the short run, in hopes that they will be able to take it over in the long run, and set it on a different path as a more purified conservative party.

Like many political ideas, this one is not new. It represents a political strategy that was tried long ago — and failed long ago.

What snark to say the most “charitable interpretation of Ted Cruz” is that he and his supporters want to weaken the party. The Party has done that without any help from Conservatives. Such a cheap shot. It stuns me.

And if we’re going to compare “failures,” it was the establishment’s vigorous endorsements of John McCain and Mitch Romney that paved the smooth path for Barack Obama. I doubt anyone could have stopped him because it was important that a black man rise to the most powerful office on earth, but you know, we could have tried, because we knew his background. We could have done it without John McCain, who had attached himself to Ted Kennedy’s left hip and tried to bring millions of illegals into the fold, and now has done it again, successfully this time, after promising us that he had learned his lesson.

And then there was the enthusiastic support for Mitt Romney, who was (speaking of “quantum leaps,”) quantum leaps above John McCain in acceptability, but he still had that ‘Massachusetts RomneyCare albatross’ to carry and had not a smidgen of the tenacity of the Obama camp. Refusing to talk about Benghazi was considered an ‘oops!’ and blamed on his handlers. Just what we needed, a president willing to be managed throughout one of the biggest scandals in our memories. We needed a warrior, and by 2012 we knew it. We got a mouse, to fight a Leftist war; a smart mouse who would have done this country immeasurable good compared to what we see today.

Yes, all that and more were failures of the GOP, and Conservatives with at least eight years of trying to turn the tide, need not accept blame for any of it.

After the above quote from Sowell about “strategy” that “failed,” he brought in the Nazis! Hitler could have been stopped rather than party in-fighting, is his point, but the point Conservatives are making is that we must choose a candidate who is willing to fight all the way up the hill, not reach across an aisle that now puts moderates, at least, in the middle seats of the left side. This isn’t your daddy’s Democrat Party.

“Compromising” with socialism and social justice isn’t the way to pump the pulse of a well-heeled Republic.

I want to be clear that I do not know who I will support in 2016. In 2014 I will vote for the most conservative candidates available to me, and in 2014 I will vote for the person I believe has the mental strength to stride boldly through the wake of Obama’s murk. I’m looking for someone every bit as determined to be constitutional, as Obama is determined to be unconstitutional because he believes it is “deeply flawed,” and he he told us that very thing.

What bothers me the most about Sowell’s attitude is the lack of tolerance for those who want to be fearless in changing how laws are made. Remember the GOP’s promise in 2010 that every piece of legislation would first be checked for constitutional authority? I believe they said they would cite the article under which authority was derived. Has that ever happened — at all? Has it happened every time, as promised? If it has, they’ve obviously had to fudge their understanding of the Founder’s intent.

The GOP establishment has an addiction to bad leadership for a good reason, it brings them power. Their problem today is, We the People, know it. We get it. We hope to do something about it and we should not have to fight attacks like this one, below the belt, when the establishment has fully demonstrated they can’t fix the problems they have created. Elitists are like the Left; they can say anything about Republicans and it is fine. The establishment can say anything about Conservatives and it is fine, but let a Conservative fight for what they believe is right and true, and both Democrats and the Left wing of the GOP come down on him/her like a vulture on their own roadkill.

So to get real about this whole conversation, the bottom line is that we MUST take the Senate, and if that doesn’t happen, we MUST take the presidency, and Sowell and others believe the only way to do that is to continue with years of ineffectual governance, and doses of oatmeal from the podium. It was over when Reagan left, yet we all dream of another Reagan among us, except elitists, although they all show proper outward homage. Today, elitists would not accept Reagan, but I digress. Show me a Reagan, just one. Please. A replacement for Reagan is where this conversation should begin, not end.

Others talking about Thomas Sowell’s article, Cruz Control:

Patterico’s Pontifications: Thomas Sowell: Ted Cruz is Somehow Hurting the Cause He Stands For.

The Lonely Conservative: Ted Curz Isn’t In On The Joke

Make an Effort: Hey, Taxed Enough Already?

Primordial Slack: I Take Exception to Mr. Sowell’s Targeting of Ted Cruz


Linked at Si Vis Pacem with additional commentary (Yos is reading Sowell’s 4th edition of “Basic Economics.” Read his take here.

Linked at Tulsa Social Media with news you need to know. Read it here.

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  • Mustang

    Dr. Sowell’s caution is valid and we should consider carefully what he has to say. Why do I think this? I think this because we Americans have a poor track record lately of choosing our national leadership. I do not trust Cruz.

    • Mustang, that’s my point exactly. Sowell is supporting more of the same, unless he intended to speak of Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell. When it comes to presidential leadership, conservatives are not to blame, unless we want to talk about all those not showing up at the polls, exactly for the reason that the GOP failed again (not voting is not acceptable in my view). Sowell should support whom he wants to support without doing what he has done. I am shocked at the cheap shots he took.

      • Yos

        Agreed completely, Maggie. I’m reading Dr. Sowell’s “Basic Economics” (4th edition.) He’s brilliant, but I don’t trust anyone, even him.

        I do not care what’s best for “the GOP” – my concern is the future of the Constitution. If indeed what Cruz is doing is “bad” for the GOP, that’s not the fault of Cruz. If I recall correctly, Reagan was, too, “bad” for the GOP.

        • Yos, well I love your line: “If indeed what Cruz is doing is “bad” for the GOP, that’s not the fault of Cruz. To compare believe Cruz to the idiots believing Obama in 2008 is creepy.

      • Yos

        Linked you.

  • GoneWithTheWind

    I do not “trust” any politician but I can sure as hell judge them by their actions. Even if I “trusted” McCain or Boehner and the other rinos I would sure as hell vote them out because of their deeds and actions which go against conservative principles. Our government cannot pay off our $17.4 trillion national debt, we cannot even pay the interest on the national debt without borrowing more money AND we cannot balance our budget such that we don’t need to continue borrowing money. This is bankruptcy pure and simple. The rinos want to continue kicking this can down the road. Yes, you can trust them they intend to continue kicking the can down the road until the entire economy is in the dumper. Now that’s the kind of “trust” I can live without.

    • GoneWithTheWind, I’m in the same place. We have to eventually choose someone if we are to have a chance at turning things around. I’m watching, listening and fact-checking.

  • Steve

    What a great piece you put together here Maggie! Ted Cruz is a breath of fresh air against the stale stench of the Republican establishment. Excellent points about McCain and especially about Romney. I really think McCain got the nomination to throw the 2004 election. I know how that sounds, but what other reason makes sense?
    Romney on the other hand should have easily won 2012 on Obama’s record alone, but he never really talked about it. I knew early on and said as much back then that if Romney didn’t get serious he’d lose. Case closed.
    Unless we citizens stand up to these bullies and clean their clocks in 2014, (like now) we’ll lose big in 2016 … I shudder to think of a Hillary presidency.

    • Steve, thanks for that! I don’t know if McCain intended to throw the election but others in the party could have engineered it. They were the first to attack Palin. We’re all ready to clean their clocks, just don’t know how to do it. If we don’t show up at the polls, it won’t happen and the only thing that will get people to the polls is the quality of the candidate, who is not more of the same.

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  • Geo

    That is a very shocking piece by Dr Sowell. He really took some cheap shots at Cruz, it kinda makes one wonder where he’s coming from. Sowell has always been a great read and a valued insight.

    I don’t see how it isn’t apparent to everyone how far the republican party has fallen. They have evolved into the dimoCrap lite, especially since this administration has come into office. But it’s been a long and steady slide for the party.

    The entrenched, establishment stalwart icons of the party haven’t been conservative in years. That’s evident just by looking at all the national elections the party has lost. The conservatives are usually only found at the State’s level as Governors and Legislators. The party has rigged the system where the national party options seem only the people who have served their time in the trenches forgotten where they’ve started and have “gotten their party ticket punched” and therefore entitled to the party nomination.

    How has that worked out? Ford, Bush 41, McLame, Dole, Romney and you can include Bush 43. . . . none of them {when they ran for President} were the conservative they proclaimed to be or started out as. We haven’t ran a “conservative for President since Ronald Reagan. It’s the reason we keep getting our ass kicked.

    The most identifiable conservatives out there today that can actually get this Country back on track are mostly Libertarians and can be counted on one hand with some digits leftover.

    The reason the “party base” keeps sitting out elections is because of the choice they are given. It has put the entire Country in dire straights and on the brink of disaster. People are tired of holding their noses and pulling a lever for the “lesser of two evils”.

    I’ll take a Ted Cruz, a Rand Paul or a Mike Lee any day on twice on Sunday. The republican party are destined for the same faith as the Whigs, if they continue on this path.

    • Geo, one look at what would be the “middle” in Congress clearly shows that “long and steady slide” you mention.

  • Rebecca

    Dr. Sowell is still a Libertarian, isn’t he? He used to be a Ron Paul type of guy, and not concerned about rocking the boat, or concerned about getting Republicans elected.

    • Rebecca, I thought he was Libertarian, but whatever he is, this was uncalled for. He doesn’t have a Libertarian who can be elected, so he must have some interest.

      • Rebecca

        Loved you article! So timely! I’m with you, it was uncalled for. The Libertarians where I live will put up candidates to take away votes from the Republicans in close elections, and actually help the Democrats win. They claim to be fiscally conservative and socially liberal. They usually use other tactics to undermine actual conservatives, rather than just come out against them. As you can see, I am not a fan of Libertarians, and I like Ted Cruz. Someone needs to stand up for republican ideals, especially now.

  • ErikEssig

    Maggie and lots of other folks are out defending Cruz, which is fine, but I think it’s short sighted to dismiss the (admittedly snarky) interpretation that “Cruz and his supporters is that they are willing to see the Republican Party weakened in the short run, in hopes that they will be able to take it over in the long run, and set it on a different path as a more purified conservative party.” If that is not what Senator Cruz is doing, what the heck is the rationale for his tactics?

    • ErikEssig, there is nothing short-sighted about an entire movement wanting to point our futures in a different direction — rather than a ‘take-over.’ We’ve already had the take-over by the establishment. We don’t want to purify it as much as constitutionalize it. That’s what Cruz is doing along with numerous others. Why else would there be a TEA Party (taxed enough already). All of the snark comes in, when TEAParty-minded people are told they do not have the right to make a difference, basically saying the current leadership has the only right to continue with more of the same.

      • ErikEssig

        so you agree with sowell, but don’t like his tone? IMHO you are overly sensitive here. and I like your blog and agree with generally. I’m not trying toattack you.

        • ErikEssig, I’m glad we agree most of the time, and thank you so much for visiting here. I may be sensitive (but not overly so imo) because we are rubbed raw by Leadership attacking conservatives telling the truth about what’s happening in Washington. The only thing I agree with Sowell in this particular article of his, is that Cruz “said things that needed to be said” and that he said those things “well.” I also agree with his statement that “the federal government can do anything it wants to do” because SCOTUS and Congress will do nothing to right the ship — but then his very next statement about “the most charitable thing about Cruz” is that he and his supporters have “weakened the party,” is as I said, a stunner. The party, without the help of Cruz weakened us years ago.

          I’ve always been an admirer of Sowell, because he isn’t an attack dog. It makes me wonder what is going on.

          I hope you will return:-)

          • ErikEssig

            I won’t nit pick your response as your take is much more reasonable than many of the others I’ve seen. Let’s move on. Cheers.

            • ErikEssig, I’m happy to hear others are talking about it. I suspected most conservatives would not touch Sowell and that was close to the case at the time I wrote the post. Sending cheers back.

    • Conniption Fitz

      Rationale? What about standing up and speaking out against evil, corruption, cronyism, bad/destructive policy – of both parties?

      That is what Cruz (and Lee and Bachmann) have been doing.

      The Republican party has become the enabler party, just as corrupt and wrong-minded as the Democrat party.

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  • Conniption Fitz

    Sowell is an economist, a pragmatist.

    Maybe some really big $$$$ have come his way if he would trash Cruz.

    Has he trashed the Tea Party too?

    • Conniption Fitz

      Or maybe Dr. Sowell has entered his dotage and needs to retire and be quiet.

    • Conniption Fitz, I think Karl Rove got to Sowell or someone like him. Everyone owes favors. Maybe he had some called in or maybe he’s just been adored for entirely too long, and as for this “dotage,” crankiness seems to have set in.