Friday, April 20, 2018

More Than Ted Cruz

It's obscured, arguably concealed, yet potentially extremely important.

TIME annually publishes a list of the 100 most influential people in the world and the blurb recognizing Donald Trump was written by Texas senator Cruz, who (in full) remarked

President Trump is a flash-bang grenade thrown into Washington by the forgotten men and women of America. The fact that his first year as Commander in Chief disoriented and distressed members of the media and political establishment is not a bug but a feature.

The same cultural safe spaces that blinkered coastal elites to candidate Trump’s popularity have rendered them blind to President Trump’s achievements on behalf of ordinary Americans. While pundits obsessed over tweets, he worked with Congress to cut taxes for struggling families. While wealthy celebrities announced that they would flee the country, he fought to bring back jobs and industries to our shores. While talking heads predicted Armageddon, President Trump’s strong stand against North Korea put Kim Jong Un back on his heels.

President Trump is doing what he was elected to do: disrupt the status quo. That scares the heck out of those who have controlled Washington for decades, but for millions of Americans, their confusion is great fun to watch.

It's hard to imagine so much minsinformation in seven sentences, but most reaction- understandably- has been on the effusive praise given freely to a man who has so insulted (first video from 3/16; the latter from 5/16)the Senator's family. Typical was one from a Matt Fuller:

Cruz will be easily renominated but is in very serious danger of losing his November re-election bid to Democrat Beta O'Rourke. Therefore, it's counter-intuitive that he would strive to endear himself to Trumpists while risking support among independents and right-leaning Democrats. Steve M, however, suggests the possiblility "he grovels because he thinks he's going to lose in November. Hey, there are sure to be some openings in the Trump administration in 2019, right?"

Not only will there be openings in the Trump administration in 2019, but even more in the unlikely event of a second Trump term.

Rafael Edward "Ted" Cruz has argued nine times before the US Supreme Court and is seemingly unaware that the US Constitution establishes the President as Commander in Chief only "of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several states, when called into the actual Service of the United States."

But of course he does know that because he is the same Rafael Edward Cruz of whom Al Franken once said "I like Ted Cruz more than my colleagues like Ted Cruz, and I hate Ted Cruz." Veiled and obscured in fulsome praise in TIME, the message is: do not question Donald Trump- he is our Commander in Chief, to whom full obedience is due.

Ted Cruz was, is, and evermore shall be a con man. However, this goes well beyond Ted Cruz.  If the President is re-elected, he will need the cooperation of his minions to get out the messages that dissent is unpatriotic and all resistance is futile.  Fulfilling the latter aim would be law enforcement agencies which would be called into service at each level of government- perhaps assuming credibility by acting on behalf of the "Commander in Chief."

But there will be individuals tasked with the first aim and expected to undermine the First Amendment's protections of a free press and freedom of speech.  It would be too important to leave to the President, who on his own cannot destroy the fabric of society. In this first term, congressional Republicans offer no resistance to the President, and often serve as his attack dog.  In a second term, the stakes would be much higher, and Ted Cruz has performed very well indeed in his first audition.

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