It’s not easy to attract much attention when you’re just a freshman in the U.S. Senate, but Ted Cruz, a Tea Party conservative from Texas, has managed to do exactly that.

Cruz has become a lightning rod for liberal media and Democrats for keeping his campaign promises, which include insisting on strict fiscal discipline and refusing to rubber stamp the confirmation of popular Washington D.C. political figures, a Fox News report notes.

Cruz cast one of only three votes against Sen. John Kerry, who was confirmed to be Secretary of State.

He voted against the Hurricane Sandy relief bill and has vigorously challenged the nomination of Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense. In expressing his opposition to Hagel, Cruz noted that Iran supported the nominee, and wondered if Hagel ever had received funds from foreign governments.

Cruz is unapologetic.

“I don’t think what Washington needs is more compromise,” Cruz said in an interview with Fox News on Tuesday. “I think what Washington needs is more common sense and more principle.”

Cruz’s gumption has proved too irresistible for the liberal press, not the least of them Chris Matthews of MSNBC, to resist letting go without comment.

“This kind of innuendo and guilt by association reminds us of another senator,” bellowed Matthews, referring to Cruz’s doubts about Hagel, “Sen. Joe McCarthy.”

Supporters wonder whether his ethnicity makes Cruz, a Cuban-American, an especially tempting target for liberals and the Democratic Party. Perhaps, the Fox News report observed, the Democratic Party sees Cruz – a charismatic graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School – as a threat to their lock on minority voters.

Will the liberal backlash and hypercritical treatment of Cruz be a help or hindrance to him?

That remains to be seen.

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