Artwork by SABO
When Ted Cruz announced his presidency, he said: “It’s time to reclaim the constitution.” The New Yorker’s Jeffrey Toobin discusses the strict legal philosophy that has shaped Cruz’s political agenda. MORE
NEW YORKER: Ted Cruz’s ascendancy reflects the dilemma of the modern Republican Party, because his popularity within the Party is based largely on an act that was reviled in the broader national community. Last fall, Cruz’s strident opposition to Obamacare led in a significant way to the shutdown of the federal government. “It was not a productive enterprise,” John McCain told me. “We needed sixty-seven votes in the Senate to stop Obamacare, and we didn’t have it. It was a fool’s errand, and it hurt the Republican Party and it hurt my state. I think Ted has learned his lesson.” But Cruz has learned no such lesson. As he travels the country, he has hardened his positions, delighting the base of his party but moving farther from the positions of most Americans on most issues. He denies the existence of man-made climate change, opposes comprehensive immigration reform, rejects marriage equality, and, of course, demands the repeal of “every blessed word of Obamacare.” (Cruz gets his own health-care coverage from Goldman Sachs, where his wife is a vice-president.) MORE
NEW YORKER: If the election that followed Smith’s remarks, in 1964, and the career of Barry Goldwater indicate anything, it is that what are seen as constraints on Cruz’s rise—radical positions, unpopularity within his own party, near buffoonery—don’t always keep a candidate down, even at the highest levels. This leads to a third conclusion: that Ted Cruz might actually get on the national ticket. Like Cruz, Goldwater was extreme, and as he said, in one of his best-known speeches, he didn’t consider this a vice. His extremism was not simply of the small-government variety, although that is what those who venerate him tend to invoke. He mused about letting NATO commanders use atomic weapons on the battlefield according to their own judgement. In May, 1964, when the American presence in Vietnam was a fraction of what it would become, he was asked how he’d handle the problem of Vietnamese supply lines in the jungle, which were hard to see. There had been several suggestions, he said, that probably wouldn’t be pursued, “but defoliation of the forests by low-grade atomic weapons could well be done.” That was a few months before his party handed him the nomination. MORE
THINK PROGRESS: Newly-minted presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) admitted that he would grudgingly sign up for health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act on Tuesday, just one day after announcing that he intends to repeal “every word of Obamacare” if elected president. Cruz framed the decision as one of inevitability. After all, a provision of the law requires members of Congress and some of their staff to purchase coverage through the law’s marketplace in DC and since his wife and current coverage provider is giving up her employer-sponsored plan to work on his presidential campaign, the family needed to enroll in a new policy. […] Cruz should consider the law more closely. The Affordable Care Act does not compel members of Congress to enroll in DC’s health care exchange; it simply cuts off the government contribution to their insurance plans if they buy their policies elsewhere. “The final rule extends a Government contribution towards health benefits plans for Members of Congress and designated congressional staff so long as the health benefits plans are purchased via the appropriate SHOP as determined by the Director,” a summary of the final rule says. “Nothing in the final rule or the law prevents a Member of Congress or designated congressional staff from declining a Government contribution for him or herself by choosing a different option for their health insurance coverage.” MORE
BUSINESS INSIDER: Donald Trump is keeping the birther movement alive and has taken aim at Canadian born Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). Cruz announced on Monday that he will run for president and Trump, who is also considering a presidential bid, wondered if the Texan was even eligible to become commander-in-chief. “It’s a hurdle, somebody could certainly look at it very seriously,” Trump told My Fox New York on Monday, about Cruz’s foreign birthplace. The senator was born in Alberta to an American mother and a Cuban born father. Cruz’s Canadian roots have caused some questions about his presidential bid, though many experts say they don’t affect his eligibility due to his mother’s citizenship. He was born in Canada. If you know and when we all studied our history lessons, you are supposed to be born in this country, so I just don’t know how the courts would rule on it. It’s an additional hurdle that he has,” Trump added, hinting that Cruz wouldn’t qualify as a “natural born citizen,” one of the constitutional requirements for a U.S. president. MORE
FORBES: There is no shortage of Cruz supporters who are prepared to argue that he is a natural born American, despite being born in Canada. Why? Because his mother was, unquestionably, an American citizen at the time of Cruz’s birth. But is being born to an American mother in a foreign land enough to meet the constitutional requirements to hold the office? The United States Constitution requires that a candidate for the office of the president be a “natural-born” citizen. While what constitutes a natural born citizen is not defined in the text of the Constitution and has never been directly addressed by the Supreme Court, we do know that there have been laws promulgated that defines the status of a child born outside of the United States to parents where either one or both are American citizens. MORE
WASHINGTON POST: For the few in the birther community, they see hypocrisy. Why are the media not denouncing those who question Cruz’s eligibility in the same way they have denounced the so-called “birthers” who continue to question Obama’s? The reason? Because about the only thing these two situations have in common is that they involve a birth certificate and a presidential candidate. Questions about Cruz’s eligibility have everything to do with interpretation of the law; the questions about Obama’s eligibility had everything to do with a dispute over the underlying facts — more specifically, conspiracy theories about whether the president was actually born in the United States, as he claimed, and whether he somehow forged a birth certificate that said he was born in Hawaii. In Cruz’s case, nobody is disputing the underlying facts of the case — that Cruz was born in Canada to a Cuban father and a mother who was a United States citizen. As we wrote back in March (2013), that makes him a U.S. citizen himself, but it’s not 100 percent clear that that is the same thing as a “natural born citizen” — the requirement for becoming president. MORE
TECHDIRT: While Congress likes to pretend that Republicans are against net neutrality while Democrats are for it, the reality is that net neutrality is a non-partisan issue with voters of both parties overwhelmingly supporting net neutrality. Rather than recognize this fact, Cruz has decided to double down on it with a rambling and misguided opinion piece in the Washington Post that repeats the “Obamacare for the internet” line, and lumps in a variety of other tech issues in a confusing (and often self-contradictory) jumble. He warns against taxing internet access (good), but then joins in the total overreaction to the Commerce Department’s decision to officially relinquish its (barely existent) control over ICANN, falsely claiming that this will allow the Russians, Chinese and the Iranians to control the internet. This is not true. In fact, by giving up the Commerce Department’s link to ICANN, it helps cut off the path the Russians, Chinese and Iranians are trying to use to do an end run around ICANN, by giving more power to the ITU. In other words, Senator Cruz (once again) seems to not understand this policy issue at all, and is recommending a policy that is more likely to lead to the world he fears.
Then he gets back around to net neutrality, once again showing he doesn’t understand it:
In short, net neutrality is Obamacare for the Internet. It would put the government in charge of determining Internet pricing, terms of service and what types of products and services can be delivered, leading to fewer choices, fewer opportunities and higher prices.
Not a single part of that is accurate. Under the proposed plan, the government would not be in charge of determining any of those. Rather, it would make it so that no one (including the internet access providers) could block what types of products and services can be delivered. It takes a special kind of wrongness to look at a plan that is focused on making sure that no one can be blocked and argue that it means the government gets to pick what services can be delivered. MORE
THINK PROGRESS: Speaking to the Texas Tribune on Tuesday, Cruz said that contemporary “global warming alarmists are the equivalent of the flat-Earthers.” “You know it used to be it is accepted scientific wisdom the Earth is flat, and this heretic named Galileo was branded a denier,” he said.In Cruz’s opinion, when it comes to climate change, his denier position places him alongside 17th Century scientist Galileo Galilei, who was also considered to be denying the mainstream knowledge of his day. According to Cruz’s logic, he is taking the minority view that human-caused climate change is not happening, just as Galileo took the minority view that the scientific method should be trusted over the Catholic Church. Galileo, who helped perpetuate the notion that the Earth rotates around the sun, was eventually excommunicated from the Church for his views. In the centuries since he has come to be known as the “father of modern physics” and “the father of modern science.” […] As the website Skeptical Science points out, “the comparison is exactly backwards…Modern scientists follow the evidence-based scientific method that Galileo pioneered,” the website reads. “Skeptics who oppose scientific findings that threaten their world view are far closer to Galileo’s belief-based critics in the Catholic Church.” MORE
Somehow 9/11 ruined rock n’ roll for Ted Cruz.