Wow. Our experiment is off to a great start—let's see if we can finish it off sooner than expected.
The 112th Congress that ended last week as one of the least productive of any Congress in 70 years. The Huffington Post found 219 pieces of legislation that were passed by the last Congress and signed into law, down from 383 during the 2009-2010 session and 460 from 2007-2008. At the same time, a small fraction of Americans—just 18 percent in a December Gallup survey—approve of the way Congress is doing its job.
Yet Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), an tailored suit-wearing tea party favorite and rising star in Republican politics, says the way forward for Congress is less, not more, compromise.
On Sunday, Cruz said on Fox News that bipartisanship and deal-making is not the way forward for Congress. Here's his full comment:
I think the fiscal cliff deal was a lousy one, but moving forward with the debt ceiling and those who believe in limited spending and solving the debt...I don’t think what Washington needs is more compromise, I think what Washington needs is more common sense and more principle.
Cruz's dim view of compromise in Congress clashes with what Americans say they want. A December NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that, on the fight over the so-called "fiscal cliff," 65 percent of respondents wanted Congress to compromise on a deal to stop from going off the cliff. (Cruz said he would've voted against the deal that ultimately passed.) Indeed, Americans have told pollsters over and over and over in recent years that they want more compromise.
Cruz, of course, is no moderate. He is, as Mother Jones reported in October, "the thinking man's tea partier," an authentic conservative with no qualms for gumming up the works in Congress in defense of what he believes to be right and true. With his latest comment, Cruz appears to be well on his way to doing just that.