It's not every day -- in fact, it's pretty much never -- that a Daily Kos blogger writes, "I don't hate Ted Cruz—I love him." Nonetheless, it happened Thursday.
Jed Lewison, the Senior Policy Editor at Daily Kos and a former spokesman for Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), started by quoting National Review editor Rich Lowry's assertion that Cruz irritates liberals not only because of his forthrightly stated beliefs but also because his Ivy League background and obvious brainpower put the lie to "one of the left’s deepest prejudices": that conservatives are dumb.
Lewison concedes that Cruz is bright, but his main point is that not even the talented Texan can make "teahadist" conservatism acceptable to a majority of Americans:
I don't hate Ted Cruz—I love him...I love him because he's hilarious, from start to finish. I love Ted Cruz because he's a rare Republican who gives his own party more heartburn than he gives the Democratic Party. And most of all I love Ted Cruz because he's utterly and completely ineffective—and proud of it.
Hardline conservatives couldn't ask for anything more than Ted Cruz. Unlike most of the clowns on the far right, he's intelligent, he's articulate, he's passionate, and he's [a] true believer. But even despite all that, Cruz is still a sideshow, which makes him the exception that proves the rule. If someone with all the strengths of Ted Cruz can't turn teahadist dreams into reality, then nobody can.
I probably don't love Ted Cruz in the way that Rich Lowry would like. But I don't hate him either. There's a difference between laughter and fury.