At two this afternoon the Senate convenes to address morning business, which right off should indicate a dysfunctional government.  Majority leader Harry Reid is expected to open the House-approved budget bill for debate, and it is expected that there will be a debate, perhaps behind closed doors and on late night phone calls – for the future of the Republican Party.

Ina poll taken last week by GOP pollster David Winston, 53 percent of Republicans think a government shutdown is a bad idea, and 37 percent approve of standing on principle at the risk of bringing the U.S. economy to its knees.  Read between the lines and you’ll see that 20 percent of Republicans don’t know what to think.  If firebrand and de facto Tea Party leader Texas Senator Ted Cruz is able to convince that 20 percent of the correctness of his vision, then he has a 57 percent majority and will completely redirect the Republican Party’s trajectory.

There are several people in Texas that would like to see that happen.

Robert Gonzales is the chairman of the Clear Lake Tea Party.  He tells  KTRH News, “I think for once the House is listening to its constituency.  I give kudos to Senator Ted Cruz because he’s the one that’s pushing this and I think a lot of people have jumped on.”

John Griffing is the V.P. of Media Relations for Houston Young Republicans, and tells KTRH News, “The John Boehner-Karl Rove-RINO approach in the Republican Party of putting everything on a white board and seeing what sticks – I don’t agree with that or endorse that.  I think Republicans need to stand on principle, government shutdown notwithstanding.  When shutdowns occur they are opportunities to do big things together.  Both parties are forced to work together.  I don’t see shutdowns as a negative; I see them as an opportunity.  So I’d rather have Republicans stand on principle.”   And though it is a cliché to say so, at least in demographic terms, John Griffing is the future of the Republican Party.

Ted Cruz is urging his Senate colleagues to reject the vote for cloture Senator Reid will probably call for.  Passage will assure that a Democratic-supported measure will be sent back to the House because the bill would only require a 51 vote majority.  And there will either be compromise or a shutdown.

On the heels of the continuing resolution will come a vote to increase the debt ceiling, and one supposes Senator Cruz will have something to say about that.  And he will likely have supporters in his Texas constituency that will tell pollsters they approve.