Better Red Than Ted
Freshman senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is really starting to work my nerves and not in a good way. In a slow news cycle dominated by gridlock over fiscal things that none of us are expected to understand, a loudmouthed, showboating Senate newbie is as good as a train wreck to the media. I, myself, recently posted on Cruz and didn’t expect to be following up so soon, but, as the say in MSM “this is a developing story.”
As a result of the media’s comprehensive and exhaustive coverage of “Shit My Senator Says,” my first impression of Sen. Cruz is that he is an over-achiever with a ‘tude and an adolescent boy’s dedication to shock value. And, at a time in American politics that the bar for shock value has been set almost impossibly high, Cruz’s flamboyant debut has upped the ante.
I find people like Ted Cruz pretty fascinating. The combination of quantifiable intellectual talent cohabiting with mind-numbing idealogical orthodoxy is an enigma wrapped in a paradox and shrouded in a conundrum, to my mind. And so, I set out to find out a little bit more about what makes Senator Ted Cruz tick. And, frankly, I’m scared.
The most recent bit of Cruz political burlesque to come to light involves his claim that Harvard Law School is a sleeper cell of Old School communists dedicated to the overthrow of the US government.
Granted, the statement was made two and a half years ago when a younger, and perhaps less wise, Cruz was flirting with the Koch Brothers in a speech at an Americans For Prosperity conference, in Texas, dubbed “Defending the American Dream.” This was the speech in which Cruz famously characterized President Obama as “the most radical” President “ever to occupy the Oval Office.”
He then went on to assert that Obama, who attended Harvard Law School four years ahead of him, “would have made a perfect president of Harvard Law School.” The reason?
There were fewer declared Republicans in the faculty when we were there than Communists! There was one Republican. But there were twelve who would say they were Marxists who believed in the Communists overthrowing the United States government.
Harvard Law’s anticlimactic response to that charge?
We are puzzled by the Senator’s assertions, as we are unaware of any basis for them. We applaud the fact that he has pursued public service, as so many of our graduates have done. We are also proud of our longstanding tradition of freedom of speech and the robust range of views and debates on our campus.
We are puzzled, too, Harvard. That’s a breathtakingly stupid and incendiary statement for a sane man to make if for no other reason than . . . . WTF ARE THEY WAITING FOR???
If, during the twenty years since Cruz left Harvard, a gang of dedicated Bolshie Brainiacs, with all the right political connections, can’t manage to overthrow the bumbling US government that can’t get out of its own way, on a good day—well, I don’t think they represent much of a threat.
Furthermore, if Cruz believes his own story, why the hell hasn’t he turned these traitors in like the Patriot, Esq. he says he is?
Meanwhile, Harvard Law’s slimy Commie underpinnings didn’t stop Cruz from calling up misty water-colored memories of his time there to promote a reunion of Latino alumni.
So, what does Cruz do when faced with this nonsense? What any good demagogue does—he doubles-down, by gum.
Because as idiotic as Cruz’s statement is, it will, nonetheless, positively sing to the Texas base. Cruz doesn’t need Harvard Law anymore but he does need to make a name for himself with a regional electorate that is so disaffected by the current administration that they are semi-serious about secession. Having a JD from Harvard Law doesn’t get you squat from Texans but publicly sticking it to rich, smug East Coast “lie-bral” Harvard Law for being a hotbed of Communist sympathizers, like the Socialist in the White House, can get you a big leg-up in Texas.
In some circles, that is - so its a gamble. Another school of thought is that Texas is about to get “purple,” especially if Hillary Clinton were to run for president in 2016.
But as fond as Ted Cruz is of portraying his victory as a groundswell from the grassroots—
I have the honor of standing before you this evening for one reason, because thousands upon thousands of grassroots activists stood united, not for a candidate, but for the sake of restoring liberty.
in actual fact, 67% of Cruz support was from large donations, 16% from small donations and 6% from Ted Cruz.
That’s important because, right now, in post-election America big money donors who mostly live in the real world, are getting noticeably tetchy about the return-on-investment of TEA Party theatrics. Here’s a “real world” observation, from the Texas Observer, reporting live from “the belly of the beast”:
Ideologically and rhetorically Cruz passes the tea party screen test: He’s paranoid and conspiratorial, whispering nonsense about Shariah law and Agenda 21. Cruz routinely calls President Obama “the most radical president this country has ever seen.” During the last debate, Cruz challenged Dewhurst about his views on socialized medicine. To me, this was an obscure, but defining moment for these two men. Dewhurst is very conservative but he still has an attachment to objective reality and is unwilling to just lie through his teeth to indulge the worst tendencies of The Base. Cruz, despite his coronation as a “tea party intellectual,” is a thoroughbred wingnut.
That’s a good intro to the scary bits. Last year at the conservative Values Voter Summit, Cruz proclaimed that:
Sharia Law is an enormous problem facing Americans, today.
Sharia Law is no such thing and Ted Cruz damn well knows it. As Reason magazine’s Cathy Young puts it:
. . . a Shariah takeover in America is about as likely as a zombie apocalypse.
Meanwhile, while the media focuses on the shiny object of Cruz’s wingnut pandering, Sen. Cruz quietly works away at something that is, indeed, a much greater threat to law and order as we know it.
Ted Cruz is a full-blown Religious Right candidate. Appearing at CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference), the Values Voter Summit, where he touted his record as Texas solicitor general in church-state cases, and the Awakening conference, where he told participants “we are engaged in spiritual warfare every day.” His list of endorsements included James Dobson, Rick Santorum, David Barton, and Michael Farris, as well as Sarah Palin and Sen. Jim DeMint.
And Cruz has himself well-positioned to do something about it. Cruz sits on the “National Board of Reference” for a new Religious Right law school that is being created at Louisiana College with the help of the Alliance Defense Fund. The Paul Pressler School of Law is designed to join law schools at Liberty and Regent in turning out lawyers committed to transforming American law to conform to the Religious Right’s worldview.
As Sarah Posner notes:
. . . such law schools intend to “teach the ‘biblical’ foundations of the law” and create “lawyers unafraid to inject their particular Christian beliefs, not only into the public square, but quite deliberately into legislation, policy, and jurisprudence.
Some of Cruz’s fellow board members include Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, the Southern Baptists’ Richard Land, and Tim and Beverly LaHaye. Louisiana College claims it “seeks to view all areas of knowledge from a distinctively Christian perspective and integrate Biblical truth thoroughly with each academic discipline” and believes “academic freedom of a Christian professor is limited by the preeminence of Jesus Christ, the authoritative nature of the Holy Scriptures, and the mission of the institution.”
Tony Perkins’ more homespun description of the law school’s mission:
This law school’s not going to be pumping out ambulance chasers, this is going to be pumping out liberal chasers, I mean we’re gonna track them down, wherever they are and we’re gonna defeat them, and if we can’t defeat them in the policy realm we’re gonna defeat them in the courts. This law school is gonna be pumping out God-fearing, American-loving, family-defending attorneys.
As I said, scary stuff . . .