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Cruz has some explaining to do

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) appeared on CNN last night, and suggested Americans should look no further than national polling to see how right he is.

"We saw this week President Obama's approval ratings are at 37%, the lowest it has ever been. The Wall Street Journal poll just came out, and Democrats have the lowest support among the middle class they've had in 40 years of polls."

First, the 37% approval rating for Obama came from an online poll that also put Congress' approval rating at 5% -- the "lowest it's ever been." Second, the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll Cruz cited shows support for the Republican Party collapsing to a degree unseen in modern times. And third, every major national poll conducted over the last two weeks shows Americans blaming Republicans for a wildly unpopular shutdown -- including a poll commissioned by a guy named Ted Cruz.

And now the right-wing Texan wants to go on national television to talk about public opinion? Seriously?

At a certain level, I can appreciate Cruz's predicament. He took the lead on shaping his party's strategy for a government shutdown; he told House Republicans to ignore their leaders and follow his advice; and he predicted a "tsunami" of support to ensure his victory. The Republican senator failed to notice the wave might wash away his party, not his rivals'.

I'll be eager to see what Cruz does now, aside from misreading polls. His Senate Republican colleagues seem to hate him; Democrats consider him a joke; he got his way on the shutdown and it's left him humiliated; his House GOP allies probably won't be turning to him for advice again anytime soon; he campaigned recently for Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia, who didn't want any photographs taken of the two of them together; and he has no prospects for passing any legislation anytime in the foreseeable future.

What does he do for an encore?