How Ted Cruz screwed over Senate Republicans

The decision by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) to organize 10 more Senate colleagues to also announce on Saturday that they also planned to object to the results is way, way worse.

See, Hawley’s objection — if he was the lone voice among GOP senators doing so — could be written off as the strategy of an ambitious young pol who wants to make a name for himself before the 2024 GOP primary.

But when Cruz, who also wants to run for president (again) in 2024, and 10 other Republican senators announced they, too, would oppose the Electoral College results, then it became an un-ignorable and un-dismissible issue for Republicans.

Because now almost 25% of the 52 sitting Republican senators are planning to go on record to object to the results, which have been certified in all 50 states and to which no serious objections can be raised.

Wrote the editorial board of the conservative National Review on Cruz’s gambit:

“The Cruz eleven realize that their effort isn’t going anywhere. Both houses of Congress would have to vote to uphold objections to electors. Neither will, and neither should. If all they want to do is signal that they are upset that Biden won, this isn’t the manner or the forum to do it.”

What Cruz’s gambit will do is make it impossible for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Kentucky) to cast this vote as anything other than a pure loyalty test vis a vis Trump.

And that’s a problem for people like Sens. Rob Portman (Ohio), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Roy Blunt (Missouri) who a) have said they won’t support the objection and b) are up for reelection in 2022.

That trio is now ripe for Trump-backed primary challenges by candidates who can point to Wednesday’s vote as a moment of choosing between “real” Republicans and RINOs (Republicans In Name Only).

The Point: Ted Cruz has never been terribly popular among his Senate colleagues. And this won’t help.

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