Let me tell you a story. There was this Senator. He had only been in office less than four years and before that had held no other elected offices of note. His legislative achievements were… scant, to say the least. But he was well educated, well spoken, and elicited a passionate following from certain parts of his party due to his intelligent and credible arguments for what he - and they - believed in. His family history was checkered, the son of an immigrant with communist ties from which his opponents questioned his citizenship, as he was foreign born. Despite this, he saw the presidential field in front of him and decided to throw his hat in the ring, challenging the relative of a past president that many in the establishment had anointed the favorite.
If it sounds familiar, it’s because it is. Though his partisans would deny it, Ted Cruz is the Republican Barack Obama.
Both men were (are) legislative non-entities in the Senate. Then-Senator Obama sponsored a total of two bills that became law. Senator Cruz has sponsored no bills that have become law. Senator Cruz’s biggest claim to Senatorial fame is shutting down the government to prevent a budget bill from become law that eventually became law anyway.
Both men are Ivy League educated lawyers best known for their fiery speaking style that arouses passionate responses from their respective ends of the spectrum. Barack Obama announced his political arrival with a rousing speech at the 2004 Democratic National convention. Ted Cruz regularly sets CPAC on fire with his impassioned speeches.
Both men have what their critics say is an “eligibility” problem due to (alleged) foreign birth. But let’s be honest, for both men, it is a crack-pot theory.
Both men are seeking to wrest the nomination from the relative of the former president: Obama, successfully from former first lady Hillary Clinton; Cruz from Gov. Jeb Bush, the son and brother of TWO former Presidents.
Those reading this who are Cruz partisans would shrug off the comparison and point out that Barack Obama is in fact, no longer a Senator. That he is, in fact the President. Those that would use that as your argument for Ted Cruz I ask - Dear God, why?
The truth is, every criticism that we lobbed at Barack Obama in 2008 (that he was inexperienced, that he was an empty suit peddling slogans but not solutions, that he was, to borrow a phrase from Sen. Cruz’s homeland, all hat and no cattle) can credibly be lobbed back at Senator Cruz.
As the process for our party’s nomination begins in earnest, it is important to keep these comparisons are in mind. To fix our nation’s problems (paying off the national debt, solving the immigration problem, curbing entitlements, solving the looming social security debacle, among many others) we’re going to need someone who can get results, not just paint pretty rhetorical pictures. After six years of empty hope and change from our lecturer-in-chief, our nation deserves a leader who can give us actual solutions. Can we really expect that from the Republican Barack Obama? The Republican party deserves better and should expect more of its future standard bearer.
(Editor's Note - Matthew Fairley, Esq. is a regular contributor to Behind Enemy Lines on air and on this blog, is a civil litigator, General Counsel of the Brooklyn Young Republicans and Vice-Chairman of the Law Committee for the Brooklyn Republican Party. Follow Matthew on Twitter @fairleym1999. Or not. See if he cares. No, but really, you should follow him. For real.