Longtime example of everything awful about the U.S. Senate says a colleague is ruining everything by being rude
The Senate runs, as the wise old men who make up the majority of that institution would tell you, on comity. Recently, Sen. Ted Cruz, who has been in the Senate for about 10 minutes,has been accused of disrespecting the Senate’s tradition of comity. He has been accused of “engaging in innuendo” by repeatedly insinuating that Chuck Hagel is somehow in the pocket of evil foreign powers, and he is also said to have engaged in the even worse crime of talking too much even though he’s just a freshman.
Behind closed doors, some Republican senators report that Cruz, in his stone-cold serious prosecutorial style, speaks at length when it’s far more common for freshmen to wait before asserting themselves — particularly ones who were just sworn in.
Absolutely appalling, how he insists on acting as self-impressed as his more senior colleagues. Politico also reports that Cruz was rude to Chuck Schumer on a Sunday show,which just isn’t done. After Cruz’s hostile questioning of Hagel, McCain publicly rebuked the Texas senator, something McCain only does to practically everyone who annoys him in any fashion. “All I can say is that the appropriate way to treat Senator Hagel is to be as tough as you want to be, but don’t be disrespectful or malign his character,” Mr. McCain told the New York Times.
Yes, Ted Cruz has obviously not yet learned that the Senate runs on comity. Except the problem is the Senate isn’t running at all, and hasn’t been for some time now. It was not running before Cruz got there. His arrival changed nothing.
Ted Cruz has indeed been acting horribly, lobbying McCarthyite smears and generally playing it up for the rubes back home. Last week, stories and columns ran, effectively simultaneously, in Politico, the Times and the Washington Post, all with the same basic message: Ted Cruz is being a dick. It was almost as if someone was trying to send him a message!
But Ted Cruz being a dick isn’t what has prevented the Senate from accomplishing anything.