Rachel Maddow called out the “brass” of Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz for claiming that decorated veterans Senator John Kerry (D-MA) and former Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) don’t support the military. Why? Because Senator Cruz has never served in the military.
Senator John Kerry has been nominated and now confirmed as the new Secretary of State and former Senator Chuck Hagel has been nominated as the Secretary of Defense. Republicans have been reaching deep to try to block both nominations (it’s what they do).
Kerry, the son of an Army Air Corps veteran, is the recipient of the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts earned while serving in Vietnam. Hagel is the recipient of two Purple Hearts while an infantry squad leader in the Vietnam War.
Whereas, Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz is a junior tea party Senator from Texas who never served in the military. Ted Cruz was born in Canada to a Cuban immigrant (his father) to the U.S., he did very well at Princeton and then went to Harvard Law School. Good for him. Naturally, given his expertise on the matter and his junior status in the Senate, he had no problem saying that two decorated war veterans don’t support the military.
Rachel didn’t take to that too well. She said, “It was therefore pretty breathtaking when Senator Ted Cruz voiced his opposition to Senator Kerry’s nomination to the State Department and to the nomination of Chuck Hagel to the Defense Department. Chuck Hagel received two purple hearts in Vietnam and walks around every day with shrapnel in his chest.
It was pretty remarkable when we heard the reason that Senator Ted Cruz said that those two wounded combat veterans are not going to get his vote in the Senate.”
Ms. Maddow then rolled a clip of Ted Cruz speaking at what appears to be a National Institute Review event.
Cruz lectured, “We’ve got two pending nominations, John Kerry and Chuck Hagel. Both of whom are very prominently —”
An audience member yelled out, “Anti-us!”
Cruz is very amused with himself. He might be doing stand up comedy, the set-up is that great.
Cruz preened, “— less than ardent fans of the U.S. military.”
Rachel deadpaned, “They don’t love the military, not like he does. He’s the junior Senator from Texas. Ah, there are no medals for a declaration like that, but technically speaking, I think what we’re supposed to say is, ‘That’s some brass, Senator.'”
It seems there’s nothing a tea party representative does better than self-aggrandizingly elevate their own stature while heaping clueless scorn on others who have earned their positions through merit and bravery.
Cruz hasn’t let his freshman status stop him from making a tea fool of himself. Fresh in the Senate, Cruz accused gun safety advocates of exploiting the Connecticut school massacre. This, of course, endeared him to tea partiers who can’t stop talking about what a great presidential candidate he’d be. The only problem is that he might not be eligible — that is, if we go by tea party standards, since he was born in Canada and his father is Cuban. When Politico pointed this out, Fox News claimed Politico had gone “birther” on Cruz.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.