When Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) spoke on Friday at Iowa's Reagan Dinner, a Republican fundraiser, he rallied support for his Tea Party movement and worked to raise money.
But that wasn't the surprising part. It's what happened next: Republican Steve Scheffler, a Christian conservative activist who is president of the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition, stated that the GOP needs Republicans who are "Basically willing to be crucified for their beliefs." Scheffler went on to state that Cruz was willing to take "arrows to the back of his head" for his beliefs.
What those beliefs constitute no one knows, since Cruz's standoff to defund the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was confusing and self-defeating. Comparing a senator to the sacrifices of Jesus is quite the use of language. Let's bring the rhetoric back to reality.
It is concerning to see where the language is heading within this movement. New Republic writer John Judis has covered it quite extensively, examining what may be the last days of the GOP. Employing the tactics of nullification once used by John Calhoun, Cruz and his followers are using language to raise money and cement their place in midterm elections.
Cruz has admitted to using the government standoff for his personal political gain by building fund raising lists and creating internal political strife among Senate Republicans to garner support within the Tea Party.
While Scheffler's comparing Cruz to Jesus won't deflate Cruz's ego, the chance for bipartisan compromise on future negotiations will.