In which Ted Cruz grinds Dick Durbin under his heel

September 27, 2013

I’ve been critical of the Cruz-Lee strategy to defeat Obamacare, but there’s no denying that Senator Cruz’s 21-hour speech in opposition was, quite simply, marvelous. A tour de force of constitutionalism, wit, grace, and stamina. Like Rand Paul, Cruz is someone I can disagree with, while still greatly admiring him.

But somehow I missed what would have been my favorite part, in which Ted Cruz made the loathsome Dick Durbin look like the fool he is:

In the last hour, even as he said he grew “weary” as his time arguing against ObamaCare was coming to a close, he found himself in a debate with the able and smart Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin on the Congress’s generous health-care plan.

Durbin complained that Cruz wanted to deny health care to the uninsured; did he not, Durbin asked, enjoy the benefits of the generous congressional health-care package himself?

Cruz said he wouldn’t answer Durbin until Durbin first replied to three questions Cruz had posed. Durbin, with an “a-ha” gesture, responded by saying it was clear Cruz was simply refusing to answer his embarrassing question.

He’d walked into Cruz’s trap. For then Cruz said, no, Senator, I’m eligible for the congressional plan — but I’m not enrolled in it.

Durbin thought he had Cruz cornered by bringing up his reliance on the absurdly generous health package for Congress. But since Cruz doesn’t rely on it, Durbin humiliated himself in what was supposed to be his gotcha moment.

Despite his marathon of speaking and standing and arguing, after nearly a day on his feet, Cruz — there is no other term for it — squashed Durbin like a bug.

In the last hour of this marathon, Ted Cruz was still sharp enough to set a trap for Durbin and snap it shut.

Well played, Senator. Well played. smiley cheering

via The Morning Jolt

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

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Tweet of the Day, It hurts @BarackObama because it’s true edition

September 25, 2013

From my friend Biased Girl, on Senator Ted Cruz’s marathon speech (1) before the Senate and how a certain other politician’s performance compares:

That, my friends, is how to leave a mark that will last for days.

A wholly deserved one, at that.

Footnote: 21 hours? Dude…


Dear Donald Trump: Shut up and go away

August 10, 2013

Really, you’re not helping with ignorant crap like this:

The original intent of the natural-born clause was to stop some European leftover prince from coming here, getting himself elected, and turning this into a monarchy. Really, that was a large fear back then, as Europe had (and still has) a surfeit of useless royals. In Senator Cruz’s case, he was born to an American mother in a foreign country, and that’s good enough. He’s more of a “natural American” than most of the people I know, and I suspect he’d make a damn fine president.

I’m sick of birtherism, whichever direction it comes from, and I’m sick of useless showboating attention whores — such as Donald Trump.

Go away, Donald.

GMTA: Moe Lane also has no patience for this nonsense.

UPDATE: From a couple of years ago, a column by Tom Rogan on the constitutional illiteracy of the birthers.


Cruz vs. Feinstein, Texas vs. California, Liberty vs. …???

March 14, 2013

The following fascinating exchange occurred between Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing today on gun control, presumably including Feinstein’s pet legislation to outlaw scary weapons. First, Ted Cruz:

“The question that I would pose to the senior senator from California is,” said Cruz to Feinstein, “Would she deem it consistent with the Bill of Rights for Congress to engage in the same endeavor that we are contemplating doing with the Second Amendment in the context of the First or Fourth Amendment, namely, would she consider it constitutional for Congress to specify that the First Amendment shall apply only to the following books and shall not apply to the books that Congress has deemed outside the protection of the Bill of Rights? Likewise, would she think that the Fourth Amendment’s protection against searches and seizures could properly apply only to the following specified individuals and not to the individuals that Congress has deemed outside the protection of the Bill of Rights?

Notice how Cruz approaches the question of the legislation before them: as a Senator of the United States, whose oath binds him to protect and defend the Constitution. His first concern, therefore, is where it should be — on how the legislation jibes with the Constitution, the rights it enshrines and the limits it imposes on government. Hence the questions about the First and Fourth amendments and the attempt to draw a logical parallel in order to test whether gun control legislation meets constitutional muster.

Call me naive, but isn’t this how the Senate is supposed to operate?

Apparently the whole thing was just too much for Senator Feinstein to bear:

“I’m not a sixth grader,” said Feinstein. “Senator, I’ve been on this committee for 20 years. I was a mayor for nine years. I walked in, I saw people shot. I’ve looked at bodies that have been shot with these weapons. I’ve seen the bullets that implode. In Sandy Hook, youngsters were dismembered. Look, there are other weapons. I’ve been up — I’m not a lawyer, but after 20 years I’ve been up close and personal to the Constitution. I have great respect for it. This doesn’t mean that weapons of war and the Heller decision clearly points out three exceptions, two of which are pertinent here. And so I — you know, it’s fine you want to lecture me on the Constitution. I appreciate it. Just know I’ve been here for a long time. I’ve passed on a number of bills. I’ve studied the Constitution myself. I am reasonably well educated, and I thank you for the lecture.”

In other words, “Don’t you dare presume to question me, boy!”

Note how Feinstein replies: outrage at supposed disrespect (“I’ve been here for 20 years! I’ve passed bills!”); an emotional appeal (“I’ve seen dead people! Think of the children!”); and confusing the issue through ignorance (cosmetic features do not a “weapon of war” make, no matter how scary looking). But only once does she touch upon the Constitution, referring to Heller, and she never answers Cruz’s questions.

Memo to Senator Feinstein: You may have been in Washington for a lot of years (too many, if you ask me), you may have sat at one of the constitutional seats of power, maybe even read the Constitution, but you clearly don’t “get it,” and I doubt you’ve ever really thought about it. Your smokescreen reply to your colleague from Texas betrayed the emptiness of your position, its lack of any constitutional legitimacy. It was the bluster of an oligarch unaccustomed to being truly challenged. Senator Cruz was doing exactly what he should be doing, and what you should have been doing for those 20 years you’re so proud of.

I may be, like you, a child of the Golden State, but, right now?

I side with the Lone Star.

via The Weekly Standard, which has video

UPDATE/FLASHBACK: Don’t bother Senator Feinstein with facts, either.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)