The Delayed-Reaction Victories of Ted Cruz

The Texas senator knows what he's doing.

Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas, has a conversation following a Bloomberg Television interview in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014.

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

As Republicans left Washington, the 113th Congress getting happily smaller in the rear-view, they were at war over a meme. Namely: Conservatives were pushing back, hard, against the idea that Texas Senator Ted Cruz staged a pointless fight and enabled the confirmation of some of Barack Obama's least confirmable nominees. The weekend before the recess, Cruz made a procedural objection -- a protest of the November "executive amnesty," which the spending agreement would not defund -- and senators who expected to skip down were forced to stay. That let Reid start the clock on a crew of Obama nominees, and set them up for weekday votes.

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