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article imageOp-Ed: Presidential candidate Ted Cruz and the art of being pathetic

By Megan Hamilton     Feb 19, 2016 in Politics
The nutballs on the GOP side of the 2016 race for the presidency do not fill me with hope.
That's especially true for Rafael "Ted" Cruz who seems so disconnected from reality that someone has to grab him out of the air.
I don't particularly like Donald Trump, but he does say whatever is on his mind (what little there is of one) and openly admits he's racist and misogynistic. Hey, truth in advertising, you know. He's a blathering, corrupt idiot, but anyone with a brain in their head knows that after listening to him for 20 minutes.
Cruz is also a blathering, corrupt idiot. But he's even worse than that. He has proven on numerous occasions that he'll stop at nothing in his ill-fated attempt to become president.
Why do I say this?
Because of things that he and his campaign staff do.
Alternet recently reported that Texas voters have been receiving checks in the mail from his campaign. But the check isn't for the Texans who receive this mail, which looks quite official on the outside. No, it's written out to Cruz for President. To the tune of $45 dollars. Accompanying the check is a letter explaining that the campaign has a bunch of brand-new donors, and if you contribute, they'll match your contribution. Alternet mentions "if you already found the idea of giving Ted Cruz money distasteful, now it's going to be twice as much money." Which sets my level of conniption fit on "high."
Cruz's campaign has been heavily criticized over mailings it sent out in Iowa prior to the caucus. The mailings suggested that fellow GOP nutball Ben Carson was dropping out of the race. As we all unfortunately know, Carson has not done that yet.
But Cruz has done other nefarious things as well.
In Sept. 2014, Cruz wedged his foot in the door as the Senate debated a constitutional amendment to over turn Citizen's United, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) reported.
Cruz decided to float the weird possibility that the amendment would allow the government to imprison the producers of Saturday Night Live. I have no idea why Cruz came up with this peculiar idea, but what the amendment would have done is allow the government to regulate money raised for and spent on elections. It fired up a lively debate in the Senate regarding the role of money in politics. CREW notes that it's a subject that, unsurprisingly, has received little attention in the hall of Congress, despite public uproar over recent Supreme Court decisions on the subject.
But Cruz deflected attention away from the debate by allegedly dishonestly accusing proponents of the amendment of favoring censorship. He did this while standing beside a poster that depicted past Saturday Night Live sketches that spoofed politicians. He warned that the show's executive producer, "Lorne Michaels could be put in jail under this amendment for making fun of any politician."
"Given how far out of step their position is with the American people, perhaps it's no surprise that those like Sen. Cruz who support unlimited money in politics prefer to debate the straw man of censorship," said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan. "Just as Sen. Cruz's antics shut down the government, his participation in debates tends to shut down thoughtful discussion."
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called Cruz on the carpet, calling his claim "as far from the truth as it could be," while Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) remarked "Sounds like he is on Saturday Night Live. It's a very funny skit."
Yet for all of that, CREW notes, Cruz missed the final vote on the amendment's passage.
Why he chose Saturday Night Live and Lorne Michaels as subjects for fear-mongering is beyond me, but CREW's voters gave him the Scoundrel of The Month Award. Which seems quite fitting.
CREW also gave him that award in Feb. 2014 for staging the filibuster that shut down the government for 16 days and cost the economy $24 billion.
Cruz is deeply religious, wrecking the economy and shutting down the government notwithstanding. But he's religious in a way that's rather creepy. His campaign insists that "separation of church and state" is a myth, Mediaite notes.
In an interview with Joy Reid on MSNBC, the Cruz campaign's South Carolina Evangelical Chairman, Pastor Mike Gonzalez said that if Cruz became president, he would be guided by faith, yet at the same time, uphold the constitution, where, Gonzalez said, the "myth" originates.
Gonzalez said:
"Well, the reality is that this idea of the separation of church and state is a myth. I mean, you bring your faith into the marketplace like you do anything else. So Ted Cruz is a — will be a president not just, you know who is a preacher and pastor in the White House, that's not the idea. I believe all Americans can rally around Ted Cruz because he upholds the constitution. I believe all Americans want to truly uphold the law."
Reid reminded him that the separation of church and state is not in any way a myth.
"It's a fact on the ground," she said. "It's a part of our constitutional makeup. The founding fathers were explicit that they did not want to have a national church."
Cruz has specifically stated that he will choose his Christian beliefs over his duties as an American.
"I'm a Christian first, I'm an American second, I'm a conservative third, and I'm a Republican fourth, and that's part of the problem, is that there are too many people who don't have that ordering correct."
His views are worrisome to me. It's no big deal to me if a president is religious, but we do not need a "preacher and a pastor" in the White House. There are people of many religions in the U.S. and some of us with no religion at all. We do not need someone who's going to smother us in 'their' religion.
I don't think his chances of becoming President are very good, and I'm glad for that. Being pathetic is an art form for this guy. None of the GOP nutballs currently running have any redeeming qualities that I can see.
I'm holding the door open for Bernie and Hillary. Preferably Bernie.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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