Take a good look. The three freshmen senators, all of whom
think they could be the next president of the United States.
But the story of the present is three freshmen senators who were there that morning. Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. All are part of a political party that does not actually exist, except in ideology. The Tea Party, and all are on the far right, and might be running for president in the coming months. Cruz has already announced he is, and is off and running. Paul has a special announcement on the 7th of next month, and it is a pretty sure bet he will be announcing a presidential bid. And Rubio is “still thinking about it.” He has an announcement on the 13th, himself. In his book American Son, he mentions more than once that his wife does want him to be in politics forever, and this could be the reason he had not made anything final yet.
But these three, who seem to agree with each other on most issues, if not how to tackle immigration and how much money to give defense, have always seemed to work well together, or at least, “done no harm” and, although they will willingly rip apart just about anybody anywhere at any time, they don’t usually rip each other’s faces off.
But with the presidential campaign coming up, this could change, drastically. In Republican Primaries, (make that just about any primary, even primary school) things get nasty. Sometimes out of desperation to win, sometimes out of a feeling your opponent is evil, sometimes out of almost petty slight, mud is slung, names destroyed, attacks ads aired, and war breaks loose across the party.
And here is the thing: Of these three, assuming all do end up running, only one, or possibly none of them, will be president come election night, and the losers will have to go back to the senate and work with the one that is, or work with each other with someone else who becomes president.
And during the budget battles, this was on display, just a little bit, with Paul and Rubio both putting up amendments to the budget, and each voting against the others one’s. Both amendments failed, but Cruz backed Rubio.
Paul attacked those who didn’t vote with him, including of course, Rubio and Cruz, saying they had been “reckless” and “irresponsible,” saying they “courage” and conviction to lower the deficit and debt. He ended with saying there are two groups in the Republican party, those who care about lowering the debt, (presumably himself) and those who don’t.
Paul, Cruz, and Rubio need to be careful. Very, very careful. Of course they have to debate, they have to speak their minds, they have to say what they think on the campaign trail, and let the issues out, but they can’t become enemies. They cannot come out of the elections hating each other with a passion, and unable to work together. If they do, they’re sunk, the three titans of the Tea Party and the far right are dead in the water, and like a scattered navy of old, when the ships of the line were separated, they were picked off by the enemy, one by single one.
Andrew C. Abbott