Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who spent his first year on Capitol Hill stomping around in his always-mentioned-in-profiles cowboy boots without a care in the world about who he stepped on, has suddenly decided that being hated isn't that fun and maybe isn't great politics. Republicans are welcoming him — especially those eager to coddle Cruz's conservative fans.
Politico reports that the junior senator is finally starting to make some friends in Washington. "After battling with Senate Republicans for much of 2013, prompting tense confrontations and occasional shouting matches," it writes, "Cruz is starting to achieve what once seemed unthinkable: He’s getting along reasonably well with most of his GOP colleagues." It's like the awkward kid that finally finds a welcoming table in the lunchroom. Or, really, more like the loud kid that insists he doesn't care about where he sits at lunch and then discovers that having no one to talk to every day isn't that great.
That's sort of what actually happened. Cruz's chastening began shortly after the government shutdown in October, an event that Cruz still insists wasn't his fault, even though it basically was. Cruz demanded that the House force the Senate to consider a government funding bill that excluded Obamacare. It did. He then gave a 21-hour speech insisting that Obamacare be defunded. Democrats ignored him; Republican poll numbers fell through the floor; the party capitulated. It was a disaster that was only alleviated by the equivalent disaster of the Obamacare website.