The Senate Gets a Little More Hispanic and a Lot More Conservative

Photo courtesy of
Ted Cruz

The holy crusade that movement conservatives undertook
against Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst concluded with Tuesday’s Senate
runoff, producing his once-unlikely defeat at the hands of his
much-celebrated Tea Party challenger, former state solicitor general Ted
Cruz.* What makes the election so interesting is that Dewhurst, who has
been denounced from one end of the conservative blogosphere to the
other as a “RINO” and as “Dewcrist,” can’t really be accused of any
specific ideological heresies.

Unlike Indiana’s Dick Lugar, he hasn’t
supported any arms control treaties or gun control measures or
“earmarks.” Unlike many of 2010’s Tea Party targets, he can’t be accused
of social-issues moderation; he was staunchly supported by Texas’ main
anti-abortion groups. And unlike Orrin Hatch of Utah, he hasn’t thumbed
his nose at ultra-conservatives; he calls himself a “constitutional
conservative,” says he supported Tea Party policies before there was a
Tea Party, and heavily identifies himself with his most important
backer, Gov. Rick Perry, who can snarl and rant at godless liberals with
the best of them.

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