Tag Archives: Ted Cruz

Theocrats or Panderers? It Doesn’t Really Matter…

Politicians at all levels keep giving God a bad name. God doesn’t want LGBT folks to have equal rights, and certainly doesn’t want them to get married, at least to each other. God doesn’t want women controlling our own reproduction. God doesn’t like immigrants, or refugees, or Muslims (wrong God). In Indiana, just ask Mike Pence. Or Marlin Stutzman.

As a recurring Facebook meme puts it, “Isn’t it nice that God hates all the same people you do?”

The Republican presidential contenders are, if anything, worse. Herb Silverman has a great commentary up at Huffington Post.

Recently I wrote about presidential candidate Marco Rubio’s comment that “all the answers are in the Bible” and his remarks to an atheist that our rights could only come from a creator. A number of readers agreed that Rubio’s view made no sense, but they also mentioned that religious views of other candidates are just as bad, or worse. I agree. Rubio has never claimed that God told him to run for president. That alone distinguishes him from current candidates Ted Cruz and John Kasich, and dropout candidates Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, and Scott Walker.

Of those who dropped out, despite God’s support, Ben Carson remains the most active politically. He is the new national chairman of My Faith Votes, an organization that wants Christians to decide who will be the next president and all national and local leaders.

What’s so ironic about these posturing theocrats is that they also go to great lengths to present themselves as constitutional “originalists” and “strict constructionists,” a facade that requires them to ignore pretty much everything the Founders said and wrote about religion and the meaning of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.

Ted Cruz is by far the smartest–and creepiest–of the GOP field. A graduate of Harvard Law, he should know both the history and operation of the First Amendment, but either he missed those classes or he chooses to ignore both the Founders’ own words and 200+ years of constitutional jurisprudence. As Silverman writes,

Fittingly, Cruz launched his campaign at Liberty University, founded by Jerry Falwell. At a National Religious Liberties Conference, Cruz said, “Any president who doesn’t begin every day on his knees isn’t fit to be commander in chief.” In addition to eliminating atheists from presidential consideration, Cruz apparently would also like a prayer test for all candidates. His Religious Liberty Council seems to equate religious liberty with a God-given right to discriminate against gays. Pastor Rafael Cruz, Ted’s father, has served as a surrogate for Ted’s campaign. Pastor Cruz says that there is no such thing as separation of church and state, America is a Christian nation, and the Ten Commandments are the foundation of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence.

No wonder America is seeing the “rise of the nones.” Who in her right mind would believe in or worship the sanctimonious, repellent and vindictive God who motivates these people?

 

 

An Observation Worth Pondering

I really did not intend to dignify Ted Cruz’ ambition by paying any attention to him; the man is by all accounts (Republican, Democrat, human) a consummate asshole. (Andy Borowitz, who has been on something of a roll lately, tweeted “Poll: 80% of Americans given a choice between Ted Cruz and Scott Walker choose suicide.”)

But when I read this paragraph at Political Animal, I decided it was worth sharing:

[A]bove all, one particular position should disqualify Cruz—or anyone else who holds it—from the presidency: using the debt ceiling as a hostage device. Breaching the debt ceiling would be disastrous. It’s hard to forecast exactly what would happen, but we can somewhat forecast day one after default. The government would have to prioritize its payments. Do you withhold food stamps from low-income Americans? Delay Social Security checks? Maybe we should stop payments on infrastructure projects. Those missed payments would harm millions of Americans and cause mass disruptions around the country as cash flow problems cause companies to become insolvent. Over the long term, it would permanently raise our borrowing costs, making our interest payments more expensive. In short, it would be self-inflicted economic Armageddon. Cruz considers his willingness to risk that catastrophe a selling point, touting his role in opposing the debt ceiling hikes on his website.

Nothing says “I’m totally ignorant of the way the real world works, and I don’t care who gets hurt, because it’s all about ME” like playing political games with the debt ceiling.

 

Oh Those Pesky Fact-Checkers…

As the practice of traditional journalism has slowly evaporated, a few websites have tried to fill the “gatekeeper” gap–fact-checking assertions, and verifying or debunking the urban legends and memes that travel so quickly in our connected, social media age.

We have Snopes.com and Factcheck.org and Politifact.com–all of which are helpful, if ultimately inadequate, resources for those of us who want to check the “facts” in crazy Uncle Ray’s latest email before forwarding it on to other unsuspecting folks.

The more mendacious members of our political class are less than enthusiastic about these resources. I recently stumbled across this description of Ted Cruz’ reaction to Politifact.

In fact, Ted Cruz has an absolutely abysmal record on Politifact for telling the truth. Out of the 36 comments they’ve fact-checked on Cruz, an astonishing 67 percent of them have been rated as “Mostly False” all the way down to “Pants on Fire.” And out of all 36 of those comments, only one has been rated as “True.” That lone statement was one he made where he was trying to fear-monger about government regulations being so bad that they regulate toilet seats.

Yes, the only 100% true statement Ted Cruz has made out of the 36 that have been fact-checked by Politifact was about toilet seats.

Politifact also recently fact-checked a bit on the Daily Show, in which Jon Stewart ran a too-fast-to-read stream he identified as 50 recent lies from Fox News. If you are interested in slowing down the stream, in order to see what it was that Fox said and the results of Politifact’s research, click on the link. If you don’t have time, I’ll just tell you that (surprise!) all 50 of the Fox assertions ranged from “false” to “pants on fire.”

Whatever the hell Fox is, it isn’t “news.” It isn’t even legitimate commentary.

The problem is, we’re losing real news. We have propaganda outlets like Fox, and we have pathetic remnants of traditional journalism like the Star, ignoring the watchdog function in favor of “reporting” focused upon sports and where to buy craft beer.

Without real reporters doing real journalism, our elected officials make deals in the dark, and politicians–and propaganda outlets– feel free to lie.

 

 

 

It’s Inherited, Evidently

While I was hanging around my favorite beauty parlor–Juanita Jean’s, the World’s Most Dangerous Beauty Salon, Inc.–I came across a description of a sermon delivered by Ted Cruz’s father, a pastor and a Dominionist.

It explains a lot.

In a sermon last year at an Irving, Texas, megachurch that helped elect Ted Cruz to the United States Senate, Cruz’ father Rafael Cruz indicated that his son was among the evangelical Christians who are anointed as “kings” to take control of all sectors of society, an agenda commonly referred to as the “Seven Mountains” mandate, and “bring the spoils of war to the priests”, thus helping to bring about a prophesied “great transfer of wealth”, from the “wicked” to righteous gentile believers. There is a link to the video of Rafael Cruz describing the “great transfer of wealth” and the role of anointed “kings” in various sectors of society, including government, who are to “bring the spoils of war to the priests”.

Dominionists get their name from their theology: they believe that conservative Christians should have dominion over all others. In other words, they’re theocrats.

Not being one of those “righteous gentile believers” over whom Cruz Junior is evidently anointed to rule, I find this worldview pretty alarming–not to mention inconsistent with the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, modernity and sanity.

Apples evidently don’t fall far from the trees they grow on…..