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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

 
The most dangerous demagogue in politics? I nominate Ted Cruz

by digby

Man, Ted Cruz is a real piece of work isn't he? This interview shows him to be a very nimble liar. For instance:

[The Democrats’ budget] does nothing to solve the enormous challenges facing Social Security and Medicare. Every one of us would like to see those critical bulwarks of our society strengthened, and right now those programs are careening toward bankruptcy.

1. Republicans do not want them "strengthened. This is not just a matter of semantics. You only have to look at what these people have been saying since these programs were enacted to understand that they do not believe that the government should administer these programs at all. In fact, Ted Cruz has called SS a ponzi scheme. He basically supports the Ryan dystopian nightmare plan.

2. These programs are not careening towards bankruptcy. Social Security is funded as long as there are people working in this country. The only question is whether there is enough money in the dedicated funding stream to pay out the benefits that are currently mandated. Like everyone else who makes this specious claim, he's saying that the only way to deal with a projected shortfall in the dedicated funding stream is to make it official immediately and prepare everyone but the well-off to live in penury in their old age. Raising the money to ensure these already meager benefits aren't cut is simply off the table.

This guy is very smart and very creepy. Pray they stick with Rubio as the great Republican Hispanic hope because he's a lot dumber and when it comes to the Tea party contingent, that's preferable. A smart Tea Partier is, by definition, a dangerous demagogue, even if he's smooth as silk. Especially if he's smooth as silk:


Q. In hindsight would you have taken a different tack with Sen. Feinstein [in the hearing over assault weapons]? Steam was coming out of her ears. It wasn’t just that you had boxed her out on the legal points; she felt that you were being condescending.

A. I can’t control her reaction. It seems to me that for too long, questions about the constitutionality of what Congress is doing have not even been considered in the US Senate. One of the most common questions that I’ve heard from Texans all over the state is, Why don’t politicians in Washington follow the Constitution? And on a day to day basis, a great many Democrats and even some Republicans don’t even ask, where in the Constitution do we get the authority for some particular piece of legislation? …One of the principle responsibilities that I take most seriously in this position is the responsibility to respectfully but forcibly raise serious questions about the constitutionality of legislation before this body.

Q. You’re 10 weeks on the job. What have you learned? Has anything surprised you? Is there anything that you’ve needed to retool in your approach?

A. The biggest surprise has been the defeatist attitude of many Republicans in Washington. A lot of Republicans felt beaten down, and that there was nothing they could do to stop the erosion of liberty in this country. I have been encouraged that the last several weeks have demonstrated that there is a great deal we can do to turn things around. Indeed, if you look at the vote on sequester, the filibuster on drone strikes and the vote on defunding Obamacare, for three weeks in a row, Republicans have stood together for principle. And in doing so I believe we are winning the argument. We are doing what the American people expect us to be doing, which is standing for principle, defending liberty and defending the Constitution. I am hopeful the pattern of the last three weeks will prove a recurring pattern going forward. I believe that’s the direction Republicans need to go.

Q. This defeatism is among incumbent senators?

A. Yes. I’m referring to those who have been here a long time and have suffered some difficult election results and who I think were discouraged about being able to get anything done.

And I think this indicates just exactly how serious he is about all that:

Ted Cruz, the Tea Party darling who believes that Medicaid is unconstitutional, has taken a moment from spouting paranoid conspiracy theories about a secret George Soros plan to ban the game of golf to produce his first campaign ad. The ad is not subtle, asserting that Cruz can be relied upon as an uncompromising conservative because he once fought to ensure than an undocumented immigrant would be killed:

When the UN and World Court overruled a Texas jury’s verdict to execute an illegal alien for raping and murdering two teenage girls, Ted Cruz fought all the way to the Supreme Court, and he delivered. . . . Politicians cut deals, principled conservatives deliver.
This marks the second time the United Nations has played a starring role on Cruz’s list of America’s enemies — Cruz claims that the UN is Soros’ co-conspirator in his supposed socialist plot to eliminate golf courses — and, indeed, Cruz’s decision to tout his role in this case says as much about his belligerent approach to foreign policy as it does about his passion for state-sponsored killings.

Contrary to Cruz’s implication, the case that he touts in his ad, a 2008 case called Medellín v. Texas, has nothing whatsoever to do with whether Texas may execute anyone. Rather, Medellín presented the very narrow question of whether Texas must comply with America’s then-existing treaty obligations under the Vienna Convention to inform foreign nationals who are arrested in the United States of their right “to request assistance from the consul of his own state.” Texas flouted this obligation before sentencing a Mexican national to die, but no one in that case questioned Texas’ power to execute someone who had been tried in full compliance with America’s treaty obligations.

It’s worth noting that Cruz’s belief that Texas should simply ignore this treaty places him in very lonely company. Even North Korea honored the Vienna Convention when it took two American journalists captive in 2009..

He won that case.



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