Last Sunday, Ted Cruz wrote an op-ed for USA Today about “ten critical priorities for the 2015 Congress,” that clearly disqualifies him from public office. In his op-ed, he claims Republicans need to repeal Obamacare, abolish the IRS, pass a balanced budget amendment, repeal Common Core, go to war with Iran, etc. You get the idea. Business as usual.
Cruz closed his op-ed by saying:
We should lead boldly. No Washington games. We will either pass a serious agenda to address the real priorities of the American people — protecting our constitutional rights and pulling us back from the fiscal and economic cliff — or the Democrats will filibuster or veto these bills. And, if they do so, we will have transparency and accountability for the very next election.
John Feehery wrote yesterday in the Christian Science Monitor of Cruz’s “Ten Points,” saying that while he is a conservative himself, he believes the Texas Republican is “not being straight with voters.”
And this while Cruz is claiming he is all about transparency.
A good idea is to go to USA Today and read Cruz’s op-ed. Then go to CSMonitor and read Feehery’s critique. I’ll settle here for a quick recap here of Feehery’s high points:
Ted Cruz says Republicans should be bold, should be fully transparent, shouldn’t play any games, and should pass a serious agenda that resonates with the American people.
I am all for that. But the agenda he lays out is not serious, not transparent, won’t necessarily resonate with the everyday concerns of voters, and on many levels, is completely disingenuous.
The intent here of Cruz is to fire up the base, to stoke fears of the federal government, and of Obama in particular. These are Fox News-style talking points he is putting forward in USA Today, not realistic (or even helpful) proposals.
Feehery makes this latter point rather well:
Republicans aren’t going to get rid of the IRS. They aren’t going to pass term limits. They aren’t going to pass a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. They aren’t going (nor should they) pass a life-time ban on lobbying for members of Congress. They aren’t going to repeal Common Core. They aren’t going to mess with the judicial branch. There’s no such thing as illegal amnesty. They aren’t going to prod the president into declaring war on Iran. They aren’t going to get rid of Export-Import Bank.
How do you take seriously a politician who proposes to repeal something (Common Core) that is not even a federal, but rather a state, program? Surely Cruz knows he can’t repeal Common Core. But he is counting on the voters – kept deliberately ignorant by Fox News – to not know this.
But this isn’t all. A couple of other Cruz-related events went down this week which go further to show that Cruz is not fit to hold public office. Let’s take these in reverse order:
His senior advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff, Nick Muzin, tweeted Thursday that Obamacare was to blame for Ebola’s presence in the United States:
“Before Obamacare, there had never been a confirmed case of Ebola in the U.S.”
Muzin later deleted the tweet and called it a “bad joke.” But it wasn’t a bad joke. It was much worse than that.
I could have easily have written here that before Bush was elected, a hurricane had never destroyed New Orleans. But I wouldn’t. Because the two have nothing to do with each other. Bush didn’t cause Katrina; Obama did not cause Ebola.
What Muzin said is just more of this:
And surely, at this point, you understand the reason for that.
The second event I’d like to cite came last Sunday, in an interview on CNN, where Ted Cruz said,
Look, of course we should have a surgeon general in place. And we don’t have one because President Obama, instead of nominating a health professional, he nominated someone who is an anti-gun activist (for surgeon general).
The problem here is that Obama’s nominee for surgeon general is a doctor. Dr. Vivek Murthy was nominated way back in November 2013 – an entire year ago.
CNN’s Candy Crowley got Cruz to admit Murthy is a doctor but even then Cruz seemed to think being a gun-control advocate somehow made his medical background irrelevant:
“He is a doctor, but where he’s made his name is as a crusader against Second Amendment rights.”
Politifact was not having any of this, saying Thursday – the same day Muzin upped the dishonesty with his tweet,
But it’s bogus for Cruz to imply that Murthy — a graduate of Yale School of Medicine — is not primarily a health professional. It’s also a bit of a stretch to call Murthy an “anti-gun activist.”
So apparently, Murthy is not a doctor because he supports Obama, like climate scientists aren’t really scientists because they support science, and this despite his credentials, which Politifact gleaned from Murthy’s handy LinkedIn profile:
- Received his doctor of medicine degree in 2003 from the Yale School of Medicine;
- Is a physician and Harvard Medical School instructor at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, one of the best hospitals in the country;
- Has contributed to vaccine development and cancer research published in several medical journals, including the Journal of the American Medical Association, Science, and the Journal of the National Cancer Institute;
- Co-founded TrialNetworks, which provides medical researchers with information technology systems for managing clinical trials;
- Member of the U.S. Presidential Advisory Council on Prevention, Health Promotion and Integrative and Public Health.
Sounds like a doctor to me. Politifiact agreed, and rated Cruz’s claim “false.”
What we need from holders of public office are people who want to serve the voters, not just piss them off by rattling off lists of lies and then following them up with lists of agenda-items you aren’t serious about implementing.
When Obama ran for office in 2008, he had a list of things he wanted to do. Some of them he was able to do, some he was not. But they were at least realistic goals. Even Republicans see that Cruz can’t do most of the things he has put on his agenda for 2015.
So rather than being a list of things he seriously thinks Republicans can do in 2015, Cruz’s op-ed is a list of things he thinks can get Republicans elected in 2014. There is a difference.
Cruz’s op-ed is not a serious agenda, and because Cruz has lied about that, he has also made a mockery of his own claim to transparency.
Cruz is not a reformer. You can’t be a reformer when you are a champion of the status quo. Cruz isn’t even really a politician, but an anarchist demagogue. He doesn’t want to create, but rather to destroy.
He has, like McCarthy in the 1950s, created an enemy – Obama – and turned himself into the “remedy” to the problem he created, casting himself as the ultimate anti-Obama crusader.
But to cite the Monty Python critique of Arthurian government, if “strange women lyin’ in ponds distributin’ swords is no basis for a system of government!” neither is making a straw-man list of fake problems to oppose that you’re not really serious about opposing, the basis of a political platform.
In the end, Ted Cruz isn’t serious about trying to help anybody but himself – to power. And his unscrupulous abuse of facts is the ultimate proof of that agenda.
America can do better. America must do better.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.