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Tuesday, May 03, 2016

What makes Cruz a conservative?

Watching Ted Cruz attempt to steal an election he could not win honestly -- far more Republicans voted "against" him than they did Trump -- I wonder what makes him a conservative?

His memorization of the Constitution at 13?

I once memorized the Gettysburg Address. Does that make me Lincoln?

Cruz talks a pretty good game about conservatism but he sure uses a lot of liberal tactics. Just as Obama gamed the system eight years ago, there is Cruz sending his minions out to get them elected as delegates pledged to Trump. His press flacks call this playing by the rules. I call it wrong. For a man who says he wants limited government, he sure is piling on the rules to stop the will of the voters in the Republican caucuses and primaries.

Just what are his conservative values? He opposes abortion? Everybody does. But the conservative argument against abortion is that as bad as the decisions by women are, having the government make the decision is even worse. I am not saying this is my argument. I am saying that this is a legitimate view, and it may be the reason no one seriously entertains the notion of ratifying an amendment to overturn Roe-Wade. Appointing judges in the hope of overturning Roe-Wade is lame, but that is the only way this will happen. It is a long shot.

He opposes Obamacare? Everybody does. Conservatives and socialists agree it must go, but the argument is what do you replace it with? No matter who is elected, Obamacare changes. And his call to end it from Day One seems to be unconstitutional, unless he means he will sign into law a measure approved by both houses of Congress to repeal Obamacare.

Fiscal conservative? Everybody is. But the funny thing is, the politicians promise to cut taxes or increase spending (in some cases, both) which expands the deficit. And deficits increase the National Debt.

Cruz is a freshman senator with a Harvard law degree who fancies himself an expert on the Constitution. We already have one of those. However, in Cruz's favor, he has held high-profile positions in Washington and has done more with his life than smoke choom and write books.

Nevertheless, I find his behavior since he lost six consecutive primaries -- earning only six of the 273 delegates in those primaries -- to be very disturbing. They are values I associate with liberals, not conservatives.

Thank you.


  1. It is Clintoneque behavior. It isn't illegal, and since some of it has never been done before it isn't by definition unethical, and it certainly smells bad. It's the same kind of thing one would expect of Bill Clinton. Pushing the moral envelope, trying to redefine the bounds of acceptability, and parsing the meaning of what is done to manage how it is reacted to. This is not how a person who exudes religiosity should be trying to win an election.

    1. Disagree on the unethical. By poaching delegates through alternate slates, you're stealing the choices of the people who voted for them.

      Just because it's never been done has no bearing on how ethical it was. Putting people into camps where they were gassed wasn't done before 1942, but most of the world before 1942 would have said it was unethical, at least.

      And, if it isn't illegal, it ought to be.

    2. I wasn't making a value judgement on it per SE, but simply pointing out that when something hasn't been done before and hasn't been defined as being bad, some people will have no problem with doing it as long as it serves an end to their benefit. The Clintons are virtual geniuses at this. Example: forming a billion dollar charitable tax exempt foundation to maintain a stock of campaign operatives and machinery and launder political donations while waiting for the next election. You and I would call this unethical as hell, but it is certainly not illegal, and no ethicist has ever said that no one should do it. I remember years ago before the Clintons ever came on the scene how folks used to talk about avoiding even any appearance of impropriety. Bill and Hillary exploded that.

  2. This has been my point with the Cruzzers. His early Senate votes weren't very Conservative and his conduct in the primaries, starting with the dirty tricks in IA, hasn't been, either.

    There's also all the secrecy of his citizenship and his (and his wife's) resume. Erick Erickson or Ed Driscoll saying he's a Conservative (and you're not if you disagree) doesn't make him one.

    And I have to go with Teapartydoc, his conduct hasn't been very Christian, either.

  3. It makes me wonder. For Cruz to claim to be Mister Conservative, religious, and fair-dealing, he sure is putting a lot of backroom politics, arm twisting, and rancor into the election. I wonder what he wants so bad that he will stoop to tactics that make him look so bad? Power? Avarice? Pent-up narcissism that is emerging only now in Trump's shadow? Or something else? - Elric

  4. I'm not the least bit pro-life, but the fact is that it's the Roe decision -- and not opposition to the Roe decision -- that gives the federal government the exclusive right to determine when life begins.

    Cutting taxes doesn't necessarily expand the deficit; depending on where you are on the Laffler curve it might reduce the deficit by expanding economic activity.

    This was a very simple truth that Ronald Reagan (and to some extent, John F. Kennedy) used to preach. During the Reagan era, anyway, the press simply never "got it". I'm disappointed to see that the message hasn't been received here either, though I'm not sure where we are on the Laffler curve at this point.

    Finally, Trump's latest tactic of swallowing whole a tabloid story associating Cruz's father with Lee Harvey Oswald is bizarre behavior, to say the least.

    In a saner era, I would call it a potential disqualifier, but we are living in insane times and we have universally insane or depraved candidates and have actually already weathered insane and depraved leadership for a number of years.

    So what's one more example of it?

    1. Thing is, the whole Rafael thing is very weird.

      Some details here, for those interested.

    2. "During the Reagan era, anyway, the press simply never "got it"." Because they would not have it, being Dems with bylines.

    3. Well, that's still a long way from saying that Rafael was involved.

      It's certainly far from clear that that's he with Oswald in the first place.

      An anti-Castro activist assisting Oswald to distribute pro-Castro leaflets? I suppose if you want to assume that he was gathering intelligence on Oswald, you could make the case that he might have a reason to do that, but it seems like thin gruel.

      And even if that's Rafael assisting Oswald, that's STILL a stretch to suppose that he assisted Oswald to assassinate Kennedy. The New Orleans incident took place three months before Dallas so it wasn't "just before" Kennedy was assassinated as suggested by Trump's comments.

      Of course, he's going to need to get into the gutter with Hillary to match the Clintons and the Democratic attack machine at their own game so I suppose that you could call this a tune-up.

      But this isn't exactly how Trump should go about bringing party unity.

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    5. I've taken another look. I am not at all an expert on biometrics so my opinion is probably not worth the white space that it's written on.

      But I would say that that is NOT Ted Cruz's father assisting Oswald in passing out the leaflets.

      My non-expert opinion is based on earlobes. The earlobes of Rafael Cruz -- both as a young man and as an old one -- are detached.

      The earlobes of Oswald's assistant in New Orleans are attached.

  5. It really doesn't matter if he is or isn't.This is most likely his only chance at political Glory and he is not being successful. His future will be dim even if Trump loses. He is not very likeable.

  6. I am baffled by Trump supporters, of all people, questioning Cruz's conservatism. Regardless...

    What makes Cruz a conservative? Golly, if only he had a voting record we could look at!

    More recently, you may have heard that Boehner described Cruz as "Lucifer in the flesh". I guess if you're a Boehner supporter, that's an insult.

    If you wish to look further back:
    -- His senior thesis was about James Madison and limiting the power of the state.
    -- His work at the FTC focused on reducing government regulation.
    -- His stint as TX solicitor general conservative positions before the Supreme Court nine times.

    On the subject of arguing before the Supreme Court, possibly (just possibly) he has more than simply "memorizing the Constitution at age 13" to back up his credentials as an expert.

    But no, to a Trump supporter this is insufficient evidence of Constitutional knowledge.

    As for Trump's conservative credentials...
    -- When did Trump start caring about immigration? "[T]his month, one of his companies, the elite Mar-a-Lago Club resort in Florida, applied to import 70 foreign workers to serve as cooks, wait staff and cleaners." and "Trump owns companies that have sought to import at least 1,100 foreign workers on temporary visas since 2000, according to U.S. Department of Labor data reviewed by Reuters. Most of the applications were approved, the data show." Reuters, Aug 2, 2015. Jobs Americans won't do, I guess.
    -- Kelo? "So. If you have a road or highway, you gotta do it. If you have a factory where you have thousands of jobs, and you need eminent domain, it's called economic development." Trump on Fox News, Oct. 6, 2015. Yeah! Screw the little guy!
    -- Transgenders in bathrooms? "North Carolina did something that was very strong and they're paying a big price and there's a lot of problems," said Trump, who would have left things as they were. "There have been very few complaints the way it is. People go, they use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate, there has been so little trouble." Trump, on the Today Show, Apr. 21 2016

    Your argument against Cruz's conservatism is basically, you don't like his tactics in the primary. Frankly, following the rules seems exactly like the conservative position, and ignoring the rules and/or expecting them to be changed because you scream loud enough looks pretty liberal.

    Your argument in support of Trump's conservatism is "He says things I like and I refuse to acknowledge the things he's said or done that I don't like."

    1. I hope your underwear doesn't have as many holes as your arguments.

    2. Killer rebuttal! I do hope you can find the time to point out those holes.

    3. Take the time to examine your own comment and discover them for yourself. It will do you much more good than it would me.

    4. Sorry, my mistake for expecting actual analysis from a Trump supporter.

    5. Ken - you can't argue with kool aid drinking trumpites, they believe what they believe and no reason or truths will change that - Mulder would have a field day with them

    6. Teapartydoc - If you can't point out the holes in his comment, don't say there are holes. You lost this engagement. BTW, I'm a Trump supporter which is why I'm pointing out that you merely strengthened Ken's case.

    7. The holes in Ken’s arguments are blindingly obvious to me.
      If Trump is the only real conservative candidate who ran in the Republican primary, it seems to me that the proper conservative position is to use the power of the state to get good deals for the people, and to have effective government regulations that benefit the public.
      You sad that: “Cruz wrote a thesis about limiting the power of the state, worked at the FTC towards reducing government regulation, and made arguments that were conservative before the Supreme Court.”
      These are items are in direct opposition to the proper conservative positions that Trump holds and are therefore not actual conservative positions.
      If you attempt to argue that the positions that Trump holds are not conservative and the positions that Cruz holds are conservative, you are just trying to steal the word conservative from Trump who won it fair and square and are no better than Lyin’ Ted Cruz who tried to steal the delegates from Trump.
      Conservatism no longer stands for small, constitutional government with reduced regulations, but rather government that can get a good deal and has effective regulations.
      Those who are in favor of small, constitutional government and a reduced regulatory state are going to need to find a new word, because conservative has been taken fair and square by Trump.

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    9. Teapartydoc - That's how you point out holes in a comment. Good job Hal. If you make an assertion, support it. I saw a black dude on O'Reilly a few years back who said FNC was biased. O'Reilly asked for one example. The dude said he could give hundreds of examples. O'Reilly asked for one example. The guy kept saying he could give hundreds but somehow he couldn't give just one.

    10. Wait, what?

      From Hal:
      You sad that: “Cruz wrote a thesis about limiting the power of the state, worked at the FTC towards reducing government regulation, and made arguments that were conservative before the Supreme Court.”
      These are items are in direct opposition to the proper conservative positions that Trump holds and are therefore not actual conservative positions.

      and later: are just trying to steal the word conservative from Trump who won it fair and square

      Honestly, I had no idea that the meaning of words can be "stolen". Sure, meanings may morph over time, but now winning an election can change them?

      Further on, Hal states: "Conservatism no longer stands for small, constitutional government with reduced regulations, but rather government that can get a good deal and has effective regulations."

      I never even imagined this would be an argument someone would try to make. I can maybe see "conservatism didn't work for the Republican party, so now Trump will change what they stand for", but "Trump won so now the definition has changed"?

      If Don's still following the comments in this thread, I would really like to hear his take on this. Is it his contention as well that "Conservatism no longer stands for small, constitutional government with reduced regulations"?

    11. Just so everyone knows, I don't actually believe a thing I wrote. I supported Jindal until he dropped out, and then Cruz until he dropped out last night.

      That being said, everything I wrote logically follows from the assertion that Trump was the only true conservative in the race.

      I have read that the US is basically a center-right nation. Now that the Republican party has nominated a Jacksonian Democrat, and the Democrat is choosing between a Maoist and a Troskyite, I see no evidence to back up that assertion.

    12. This comment has been removed by the author.

    13. Oh, thank God. I thought I'd gone through the looking glass.

      Still a little disturbing that your original comment was cited as a good example of poking holes in an argument, though.

    14. And of course, Teapartyquack still doesn't respond. He's great throwing out second-grade level playground insults though.

      Speaking of "what makes Cruz a conservative." What now makes Surber a "conservative writer?"

    15. Ken said:
      Oh, thank God. I thought I'd gone through the looking glass.

      When I use a word,’ Trump said in rather a scornful tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

      `The question is,’ said I, `whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

      `The question is,’ said Trump, `which is to be master – – that’s all.’

  7. "His memorization of the Constitution at 13?"

    Rote learning is all very well, but a number of us recall Sunday School teachers saying to us, after our first successful recitation of the Creed, "Good! Now what do you LEARN by this?".

  8. "and has done more with his life than smoke choom and have Bill Ayers write his books." FIFY

  9. Sen Cruz is an opportunistic Conservative, i.e. it suits him politically to call himself a Conservative. At least it did until the GOP primary votrs saw thru him.