Belated Texas Senate Race Analysis
I did not pay much attention to this uncompetitive race, but when I saw a non-partisan prognosticator claiming Ted Cruz is a future superstar in national politics, I decided to check out some of the debates between Cruz and his Democratic opponent Paul Sadler. Before I checked out these debates, I knew the election result. Cruz won 56.6% to Sadler’s 40.5% vote share. I thought, hmm, a Tea Partier winning well, but not impressively, a state where Romney won with 57% of the vote. Coming into the debate, I had heard Cruz was an expert debater. What I found did not quite conform to that view. He is methodical and premise oriented, which creates clear logical arguments, but in debate, premised arguments rely on factual efficacy. Much of what Cruz claimed throughout the debate were simply ordered talking points that mirror the Tea Party (and nowadays, GOP) mantras. Cruz’s delivery is understated, unoffensive, and yet, the crux of his policies would leave many people who might have voted for him in a worse position. He is an intelligent, educated man, but that begs the question, why does he hold his extreme views?
However, the revelation of these debates, and my belated viewing of them, was actually the sincere and effective manner in which Cruz’s opponent discussed issues. Even though Sadler would often admit, “maybe I am not explaining this as well as I need to,” the fact is, Sadler was more honest and straight with the voters of Texas. Where Cruz would avoid addressing what to do with current undocumented immigrants, or the DREAM Act, or balancing the budget, Sadler pinned himself to clear policy positions that he could work toward from day one. Now I do not know the baggage Sadler has, and I have been aware that he was not a first tier candidate, (as that candidate, former Army Lieutenant General Richardo Sanchez, dropped out), but his truthful and sincere approach very much impressed me. I could see him working to fix problems. Now for Texas, he may a liberal, but in national politics he would be a firm moderate, and the Senate needs many more of them to forge a new bipartisan way.
Too bad Sadler lost. I guess one of the Castro brothers will face Cruz in 2018, which by then, Texas will be an embryonic swing state.
Also, a word about Cruz. He now joins the extreme right faction of the Senate, and he and Mike Lee will construct a plethora of reactionary bills that most GOP voters would not even support. However, given Cruz’s education and background, I wonder if he, and possibly Marco Rubio, may change their tune at some point and move toward the middle. If these two Senators did that, they might contribute to the GOP becoming a next generation party, and thus ensure the GOP maintains its place in our two-party system. Cruz is the kind of politician who may never change, and may simply dig his heels in, but if he sees the light, he may be “a future superstar in national politics.”