May 15, 2013

President Cruz?

“Every parent was horrified by what happened [in Newtown, Connecticut]. It takes your breath away. But within minutes, we saw politicians run out and try to exploit this tragedy, try to push their political agenda of gun control. I do not support their gun control agenda.”

~ Senator Ted Cruz on Fox Noise

Ted Cruz is against any legislation that would prevent the next massacre of innocent children? That’s fine. I wouldn’t expect a reactionary individual like Ted to do the right thing in the wake of such unspeakable carnage. What could you possibly hope for from someone who recently stated that he wants all of America to be more like his beloved Texas—a state that (with the merciful exception of Mississippi) every survey shows to be the worst place in this dying nation in which to live. Gosh, these surely are weird and wonderful times to be alive, aren’t they?

Imagine this: Let’s say—just for the sake of a really stupid argument—that Barack Obama had really not been born in the United States. Not only that, let’s say that his father had fought in Fidel Castro’s army back in the Fabulous Fifties and that he could take credit for helping the bearded one overthrow the Batista regime, handing the island-nation of Cuba over to the Commies in the process. Can you even imagine the field day that the Tea Party loonies and the Birthers would have had with that bit of Obama family history? Well here’s something for you to ponder: that is the undeniable truth concerning the background of their latest savior, Texas senator, Ted Cruz!

Rafael Cruz, Ted’s dad, says that he didn’t realize that Castro was a Communist when he fought by his side all those years ago—a perfectly acceptable explanation. Even the Eisenhower Administration didn’t know what to make of Fidel when he visited the United States in 1959. Ted’s many fans among the extreme right wing need not fear any serious backlash. No one in their right mind is going to make an issue out of Papa Cruz’s past—it’ll be a different story during the 2016 GOP primaries. Besides, we who lean left have no reason to exploit that fact. Ted is so burdened with liabilities of his own, the thought of his dad charging up San Juan Hill with Fidel Castro’s Rough Riders is pocket change by comparison. The very presence of Ted Cruz on the American political stage is a Progressive’s dream come true. He’s the gift that keeps giving.

Joe McCarthy

The thing about Cruz that tickles me more than anything is his obvious idolization of the late Joe McCarthy. Although Tail Gunner Joe had been in the grave for almost 14 years when Ted was born in December of 1970, the legacy of McCarthyism is alive and well in the man’s persona. It is quite apparent that the senator from Texas has been channeling the long-dead senator from Wisconsin. He has so many Joe-like mannerisms that it’s just a tad unsettling—such as the way he hunches over the microphone and tilts his head to the side. It really is something to behold. The weirdest thing about the times we live in is that in 1953 there was only one Joe McCarthy. Sixty years later it’s a different story. Today the halls of Congress are polluted with scores of Joe-wannabes. As I said before, these sure are interesting times.

In the four short months since arriving in Washington, this freshman senator has earned himself quite the poor reputation as the bloviating politician in town. He’s even disliked by members of his own party—which is impressive when you think about it. As you might be aware the Republicans have set the bar pretty low when it comes to what is or isn’t considered “statesmanlike” behavior. Show me a politician whose antics are too weird for the GOP and I’ll show you a politician who really should be be watched—if for no other reason than our own amusement.

It astonishes me that Cruz is considered by the talking heads to be an intelligent man for no other reason than the fact that he graduated (with honors) from Harvard Law School. Pardon me for pointing this out but some of the most ruthless dingbats in our recent history attended that insanely overrated college. Unless they’re Theodore or Franklin Roosevelt or Jack Kennedy, Harvard men don’t impress me too much. George W. Bush was a student there. He was turned down by the University of Texas Law School but was accepted by Harvard. What does that tell you about the joint? I’m much more likely to respect the opinion of a person who graduated from CCNY. In my experience they tend to have a lot more substance.

“No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President….”

~ Section One, Article Two of the United States Constitution

Attention Birthers:

I’m gonna need your help here. I know you’ll come through.

It is also apparent that Ted Cruz was inspired by a newly elected senator from Illinois named Barack Obama who, after only two years in office, sought—and won—the presidency. The fact that Obama was an African American must have made old Ted drool with longing. Sure enough, Ted is already on the move. He plans on throwing his hat in the ring in the 2016 presidential primaries. His Tea Party base are beside themselves with ecstasy.

Unfortunately for them their glee is somewhat presumptuous. You see, Ted is constitutionally ineligible to hold the office of president of the United States. He wasn’t born here. He was born in Canada—at least that’s similar to the rationale that was made by those who challenged the president’s eligibility to serve. As we all know, he was born in Kenya!

I wonder how these “birthers” would react if Cruz did indeed get the nomination? Would they scream bloody murder, demanding to see his birth certificate in the same way they howled for Obama’s? The only thing that made John McCain eligible to be elected to the presidency was that—or so their reasoning went—although he was born in Panama, he came into this world in a hospital that was located on a US military base. This was the argument they used to defend their hypocrisy. I’ve got a funny feeling that what applied to the president of the United States will not apply to the senator from Texas. Call it “an educated guess.”

It has always been my opinion that Section one, Article Two was a really bad idea. It was probably inserted in there because someone did not want the habitually-controversial Alexander Hamilton (who was born in the British West Indies) to ever serve as chief-executive. I hope that someday it is repealed. We are, after all, a nation of immigrants, aren’t we?

I’ll even go out on a limb here: I hope it’s repealed in time to make Ted Cruz’s idiotic quest for the White House nice ‘n’ constitutional – without a molecule of room for misinterpretation. I want him to be nominated as the GOP standard-bearer three years from now so badly that I can almost taste it. What a gift that would be, huh?

Of course it’s not going to be repealed by then. There are enough Republican legislators astute enough to understand that having someone as extreme as Ted as their nominee would mean their party’s certain doom. But as I said before, the Constitution doesn’t mean a damned thing to Ted Cruz. He’s hellbent on running regardless of whatever that document mandates. You can bet the farm that his opponents in the primaries will make an issue out of his “foreignness.” I never dreamed that a political year could ever get weirder than 2012. I was wrong about that. 2016 is going to be a laugh riot. Just you wait.

Ted Cruz as the Republican party’s nominee in 2016? Oh, please, fate! Oh, please! Oh, please! Oh, please!

Suggested Listening:

The Progressive Union:

A very cool internet radio program by my new Facebook pal, Doreen DiLeonardo, and her husband, Tony:


Have a listen when you can. Highly recommended!


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Ed: Brianna Bemel

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