I’ve made no secret of the fact that I support Ted Cruz. I realize he’s not perfect, but no candidate is. What matters to me is that his political values most closely align with mine, that he’s not scared of a fight (and, especially, he’s not scared of the media), and that he is truly smarter than just about everyone else out there. I learned yesterday, though, that Kimberley Strassel at the Wall Street Journal most definitely does not like Cruz. She wrote a savage hit piece on him essentially blaming him for ISIS’s ability to spread throughout the United States. (That spread, of course, has nothing to do with Obama’s open borders policy and the contempt he shows for every person and idea that suggests that Islam might have a problem.)
But before honing in on her perception about Cruz’s alleged security failures, Strassel first lambastes him as a rank opportunist who cares only about self-aggrandizement and refuses to take care of the GOP’s needs:
The senator’s supporters adore him because they see him in those moments when he has positioned himself as the hero. To them he is the stalwart forcing a government shutdown over ObamaCare. He’s the brave soul calling to filibuster in defense of gun rights. He’s the one keeping the Senate in lame-duck session to protest Mr. Obama’s unlawful immigration orders.
Mr. Cruz’s detractors see a man who engineers moments to aggrandize himself at the expense of fellow conservatives. And they see the consequences. They wonder what, exactly, Mr. Cruz has accomplished.
ObamaCare is still on the books. It took the GOP a year to recover its approval ratings after the shutdown, which helped deny Senate seats to Ed Gillespie in Virginia and Scott Brown in New Hampshire. Mr. Obama’s immigration orders are still on the books. The courts gained a dozen liberal judges, all with lifetime tenure, because the lame-duck maneuver gave Democrats time to cram confirmationvotes through. Mr. Cruz’s opportunism tends to benefit one cause: Mr. Cruz.
So it’s Cruz’s fault we have Obamacare and it’s his fault because . . . he took a principled stand against it? (I admired that stand when he tookit and I still do.) The fact is that Cruz is one of the few Republicans in Congress who actually stood by the party planks and actual promises he and other alleged conservatives made to voters since 2008. He is the only one in Congress on the right who shows the slightest bit of spine. So when Strassel writes, “but Obamacare is still on the books,” the real question shouldn’t be “How do we blame Ted Cruz?” Instead, the real question should be “How did this happen when Republicans control Congress and the purse strings?”
Strassel’s claim that, following Cruz’s principled stand, it took Republicans “a year to recover,” is patently ridiculous. Republicans have enjoyed greater electoral success in the past six years than the party ever has — and she is going to blame defeats in Virginia and Massachusetts on Cruz. That is infuriating.
The above insults are just throat-clearing for Strassel’s real issue: Ted Cruz has made us less safe than we should be because he refuses to authorize the government to turn America into even more of a police state with endless spying on citizens:
Mr. Cruz regaled the crowd about how he had opposed a proposal to intervene in Syria and how he doesn’t support “nation building.” To this he could add a few others: He has consistently voted against defense reauthorization bills that enable troop funding. And this spring he ginned up support to pass a law that undercuts the National Security Agency’s ability to use metadata to root out terror plots. Mr. Cruz, citing “privacy rights,” co-sponsored the bill, along with Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin, Al Franken and Barbara Boxer.[snip]
It may have seemed like a good idea to Mr. Cruz at the time. But after Paris, he finds himself with a national security agenda that is increasingly at odds with the public will. Florida’s Marco Rubio (who opposed the NSA bill) had fun this week reminding Americans of the stark foreign-policy differences between himself and the Texan, noting that Mr. Cruz has supported laws that “weaken U.S. intelligence.” Mr. Rubio, who has delivered at least 10 major foreign-policy addresses in the past few years, is running as the unabashed hawk, calling for robust new U.S. world leadership. Mr. Cruz may have walked himself into playing the counterpoint—a Rand Paul stand-in.
Strassel is snide — and she is wrong. Cruz is absolutely right to place limits on the NSA and meta-data. As is developed at some lengthmy post about a talk by Mary Theroux of the Independent Institute, all of us should be deeply suspicious about our government at this point — a government that hoards people’s information like a miser and that is becoming ever more out of control and the master, not the servant, in this country:
The government’s spying on American citizens is so enormous we literally cannot comprehend its scope. The data collection (which is in the multiple zetabytes) grossly violates our inherent Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. NSA employeesbefore Snowden tried to blow the whistle on this beginning around the year 2000, and got ferociously persecuted by the government because of their efforts. Snowden’s spectacular leak broke that log jam.
But here’s the really important thing that Theroux said: The government gets so much data, it’s useless for the stated purpose of crime and terrorism prevention. As it comes in, it’s simply so much white noise. It certainly didn’t stop 9/11 or the Boston bombing. In this regard, think of England, which has more CCTVs per capita than any other country in the 1st world, and maybe in any world. Nevertheless, these cameras do nothing to prevent crime. As the number of cameras has increased, so has the crime rate. The data is useful only after the fact, to help (sometimes) apprehend the criminal.
Well, one can argue that ex post facto apprehension is a good thing — but it’s a good thing only if there’s been a clear violation of a pretty well known law (e.g., don’t beat people to death or don’t rob a jewelry store). We’re looking at something much more sinister here. Think of the volume of law in America and, worse, think of the staggering volumes of rules interpreting those laws.
As Theroux noted, Stalin’s chief of police famously said (and I’m paraphrasing) give me the man and I can find the crime. We Americans have a government that’s sitting on data that can be used to criminalize us after the fact the current government (Republican or Democrat or Third Party) doesn’t like us. It’s like a landmine under every American.
No thinking citizen should trust a government that produces a Lois Lerner and then protects her from indictment, even though at least one of the charges against her is that she released private data the IRS held to Democrats for partisan purposes. Nor are abusiveemployees the only problem. Don’t forget that the government is so dysfunctional that the Office of Personnel Management allowed personal information for millions of employees (including social security numbers and security check information) to get into hackers’ hands. Our government has proven itself to be both corrupt and incompetent, yet Strassel excoriates Cruz for refusing to give it an even longer leash.
A study funded and conducted by UCLA-led political scientists found that The Wall Street Journal’s news pages are the most liberal and that all but two major main stream media favor the left.
thus a rag to relegate to the outhouse
His principled stand has consisted of nothing more than the release of hot air. Name one thing that he has actually accomplished.
Republicans have had majorities in both the House and the Senate for almost a year now. They are, in fact, in a position to do useful things. Apparently they haven’t been able to think of any.
He accomplished nothing Obama didn’t turn right around and do himself… only Cruz would have done it LEGALLY… Constitutionally.
Obama did what Cruz was trying to do and he did it to save his own political butt. He also (not Cruz… not the Republicans) shut the government down over it.
Nothing useful can be done that Obama will not veto because USEFUL goes against his agenda.
@Greg: In private practice in Houston, Ted spent five years as a partner at one of the nation’s largest law firms, where he led the firm’s U.S. Supreme Court and national Appellate Litigation practice. Ted has authored more than 80 U.S. Supreme Court briefs and argued 43 oral arguments, including nine before the U.S. Supreme Court. During Ted’s service as Solicitor General, Texas achieved an unprecedented series of landmark national victories, including successfully defending:
• U.S. sovereignty against the UN and the World Court in Medellin v. Texas;
• The Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms;
• The constitutionality of the Texas Ten Commandments monument;
• The constitutionality of the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance;
• The constitutionality of the Texas Sexually Violent Predator Civil Commitment law; and
• The Texas congressional redistricting plan.
What happened to Barry and
Michelles licenses to practice law?
I know that it isn’t “politically correct” to comment on someone’s appearance, but then again, I’m no fan of political correctness, so I feel like I can point out the thing about Ted Cruz that more than any other thing, will prevent him from occupying the White House:
HE LOOKS CREEPY!
Oh, you want to pretend that you didn’t notice that?
(I’m laughing so hard I’m going to have an accident!)
OK, step back a minute and consider why Bobby Jindal couldn’t get to first base in the polls. HE LOOKS CREEPY TOO!
You need an analysis of these “creepy” looks?
OK, Jindal has enough eye shadow UNDER his eyes to remind most people of a Zombie or some other sort of ailing sub-human life-form… on at the very least a subconscious level. It’s just an IMPRESSION, and of course it isn’t FAIR to base political choices on “looks,” but that’s how this crap works. Human nature. In Jindal’s case, it’s actually a form of racial discrimination. It is what it is.
In Cruz’s case, the creep-factor isn’t racial. In fact, I’m not sure exactly what causes the gut revulsion that a LOT of people experience when they see him. Is it the fact that he usually looks like he’s smeared his face with KY Jelly? He just looks so WRONG on so many levels… I’ve heard people say that he doesn’t LOOK like a “man’s man,” that they’d not feel good about their daughter going out with him, and that sooner or later he’d get caught tapping his feet under a stall divider in a public restroom. I’ve heard this sort of comment enough times to get the impression that other people sense the same creep-factor that I’m calling attention to.
Now please don’t get all uppity about my obvious disregard of whatever political/leadership qualifications Teddy may bring to the current Republican Primary contest. I’m not addressing that. I AM pointing out why most Americans aren’t excited about his candidacy. HE LOOKS CREEPY.
Kind of makes my wonder how these two politicians ever got elected in the first place – evidently their Democratic opponents were at LEAST as creepy as they were!
This creepy thing was started by his roommate in college A liberal underachiever, in the most liberal of industries, who wasted a Princeton education, and kisses other men in public. His biggest complaint was Ted liked girls. I admit I don’t like when he forces a smile (you can tell). But when he is with his beautiful wife his smile is genuine and he is rather handsome. His record is conservative straight down the line. He may be too descrete to pose shirtless with tigers or an the back of a horse but you guys looking for a mans man will get over it.
I would love to see a Trump/Cruz ticket. Eight years of President Trump beating the entrenched federal beaurocracies into submission, followed by eight years of President Cruz refining them into the government that would be best for the USA.
@Petercat: Dream team?
I can’t see the personalities mixing well, but one of them on the others cabinet, I would love to see Trump clean out the lazy minions, renegotiate a few bloated contracts. Cruz restore nearly non-existant constitutional rights.
It may cause a severe increase in progressive suicide rates.
“It may cause a severe increase in progressive suicide rates. ”
Good. Reduce the welfare rolls and make room in our universities for students who want to learn useful things.
@Petercat: Just listing the upsides 😉
OK, you may find this shocking (maybe even counterintuitive, for an Obama voter) but some people vote for substance, not shallow observations, celebrity or a narrow, focused, self-service.
Not at all. We all have our reasons for voting the way we do, and it is arguably one of the more valuable freedoms we have that we are not forced to vote based on one single, over-riding criterion. Wouldn’t be much of a contest if we were, and there’d be a good excuse to execute anyone who made a mistake.
The problem is that there are WAY too many voters who DON’T vote with their brains.
No, my point wasn’t that Cruz isn’t qualified – he’s certainly at least as qualified as Obama was in 2008. My point was that, SADLY, on average, we DON’T usually vote intelligently. And in case you haven’t noticed, our collective intelligence hasn’t exactly been picking us good presidents lately. More Democrats refused to vote for Al Gore because they hated to listen to him talk, not because they disagreed with his opinion on Global Warming. More Republicans voted for G.W. Bush because they could imagine themselves having a beer with him, not because they agreed with his foreign policy fantasies. I don’t have to explain to you why Obama got elected, because you already know how low on that list his professional experience fell, and I shouldn’t have to remind you that in spite of Trump’s own increasingly desperate attempts to sabotage his own candidacy, Republicans continue to support him for reasons that have nothing to do with rational thought.
The reason why voters won’t elect Cruz isn’t rational either. He’s just creepy. Like Jindal. We’re busy eliminating qualified candidates (creepy or not) and inflating fools and paper tigers, as if either would serve us well in the White House. We will reap what we sow.
@George Wells: Sorry, I disagree. I don’t find him “creepy”. I worry more about the candidates I find “corrupt” and “dishonest”. Qualified has to be a judgement call, since there is NO job like the Leader of the Free World to compare to, but someone that promises everything to everyone (even when the promises conflict), offers nothing more substantial than a slogan AND has no real-world experience is pretty much a deal-killer for me. Turns out, in regards to Obama, I could not have been more right, though Stevie Wonder should have been able to make that call.
By the way, what WERE Bush’s foreign policy objectives prior to 9/11?
@Bill: Hey good news Cruz is surging in the Polls 23%, its early yet in this seemingly endless political process, people may be catching on.