Smearing Ted Cruz
By Matthew Vadum
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is not disappointing his conservative supporters.
In his first few weeks in the world’s most sclerotic deliberative body, Cruz has already come under intense fire from the Left, and surprisingly, from a few corners in the GOP.
Leftist Obama sycophant Greg Sargent, the Washington Post‘s in-house ideological purity enforcer, confers a kind of credibility on Cruz and those like him by calling them crazy.
Cruz “keeps untold numbers of base voters in a state of perpetual delusion,” Sargent writes. He does this with “the hints about creeping socialism, the suggestions that Dems are anti-American, the notion that Obama’s modest executive actions reveal him as an enemy of the Constitution, etc.”
This tedious hazing of conservatives has become an ingrained ritual in the Senate in recent years. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), and Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) have all been targets of smear campaigns as they took their seats.
But the fact that the denunciations of Cruz from both inside and outside the Senate have been so sweeping, so bitter, and so quick to arrive, suggests that the freshman senator is off to an excellent start.
Cruz himself welcomes the Left’s enmity.
“The reason I’m running is not merely to vote right,” Cruz said during the 2012 campaign. “What we have a desperate need for is real leadership to stand up and defend free market principles. And if I am not helping lead the fight, standing there with arrows in my torso, I will not be doing my job.”
Holding Chuck Hagel Accountable
Cruz’s dogged criticism of Chuck Hagel, President Obama’s choice to dismantle the Pentagon, is a case in point.
With his suspicious ties to theocratic Iran, Hagel is part of President Obama’s Islamist-appeasement dream team, alongside CIA director nominee John Brennan, and John Kerry, the pathologically anti-American secretary of state.
It is every senator’s duty to investigate and assess Hagel’s fitness for office. But Republican senators’ resolve to oppose their manifestly unqualified former colleague is weakening as key figures such as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) signal that the GOP’s filibuster of the nominee should end. The Senate is expected to take up the nomination again today.
Not Ted Cruz.
During Hagel’s recent confirmation hearing, Cruz produced video clips of Hagel being interviewed by Al-Jazeera to show the nominee’s hostility to Israel. Cruz savaged Hagel for refusing to provide details of his personal compensation from 2008 to 2010, inquiring whether North Korean sources may have paid him $200,000. Cruz said Hagel may have been compensated by “extreme or radical groups,” which is not unheard of among Obama nominees.
Hagel could have ended the controversy quickly by handing over the appropriate paperwork, but he wouldn’t do it.
Although Cruz is conducting due diligence on behalf of the public, not witch-hunting, senators from both parties condemn him for taking on Hagel so aggressively.
Cruz is doing to Hagel essentially what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid did — with far less justification — to Mitt Romney when the Nevada senator accused the then-presidential candidate of evading taxes because he wouldn’t publicly disclose decades-old tax returns. The Left, of course, applauded Reid even though it criticizes Cruz.
Normally Cruz’s scorched-earth tactics against a cabinet nominee might be considered a bit much, but in Hagel’s case they’re justified because the man is so dangerous and so glaringly incompetent, as his confirmation hearing demonstrated. Hagel and the Obama administration have to be held to account.
But for pressing Hagel to do the right thing, Cruz was accused by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) of conducting a McCarthyite witch hunt. Boxer said she was reminded of “a different time and place, when you said, ‘I have here in my pocket a speech you made on such-and-such a date,’ and of course there was nothing in the pocket.”
(Of course, the late Sen. Joe McCarthy had nothing to do with much of what has come to be known as McCarthyism. Moreover, he was correct about the presence of real, live Communist agents in the U.S. government, as M. Stanton Evans proved in his exhaustively researched book, Blacklisted By History.)
The Left Smears Cruz
The mainstream media has joined in the attack on Cruz, hoping to use the smear to permanently define and cripple the new senator.
In a New Yorker hit piece, Jane Mayer unearthed a three-year-old speech Cruz made in which he mocked his alma mater, Harvard Law. Mayer notes that Cruz, who attended the Cambridge, Mass., law school from 1992 to 1995, gave the speech at a “Defending the American Dream” conference sponsored by Americans for Prosperity.
In the speech Cruz attacked Barack Obama (quite correctly) as “the most radical” president “ever to occupy the Oval Office.”
Cruz said Barack Obama “would have made a perfect president of Harvard Law School” because “there were fewer declared Republicans in the faculty when we were there than Communists! There was one Republican. But there were 12 who would say they were Marxists who believed in the Communists’ overthrowing the United States government.”
For this seemingly innocuous statement, Mayer slams Cruz as a practitioner of “McCarthyism.”
Of course, anyone who knows anything about the Ivy League knows the question shouldn’t be, “Who at Harvard Law is Marxist?” but “Who at Harvard Law isn’t Marxist?”
The academy has long been in the clutches of the Marxist Left which used to grant radicals tenure by telex. These anti-American professors eagerly welcome neo-Communist terrorists such as Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, while they roll out the red carpet for assorted freaks and frauds such as Ward Churchill, Anita Hill, Lani Guinier, Cass Sunstein, Marc Lamont Hill, Michael Eric Dyson, Catherine MacKinnon, Peter Singer, and Cornel West.
As a Cruz spokeswoman explained, the senator’s “substantive point was absolutely correct: in the mid-1990s, the Harvard Law School faculty included numerous self-described proponents of ‘critical legal studies’ — a school of thought explicitly derived from Marxism – and they far outnumbered Republicans.”
The Washington Post’s Sargent predictably described the straightforward explanation of the entrenched legal Left as the “latest blast of unhinged nonsense from Cruz’s office.”
As usual, Sargent is wrong.
Critical legal theory takes the neo-Marxist perspective that the law is concerned with power, not justice. In other words, the law is an oppressive tool of capitalism, imperialism, sexism, racism, and whatever other ism it is currently fashionable to attack.
A few minutes of searching on Google easily yields five Harvard Law academics associated with critical legal studies (CLS).
Harvard has been a hotbed of critical legal studies for decades, a fact Time magazine acknowledged in 2005, naming Harvard law professors Roberto Mangabeira Unger, Morton Horwitz, and Duncan M. Kennedy as “three of the best-known” CLS adherents. (Kennedy is also a member of the far-left Democratic Socialists of America and National Lawyers Guild.)
Other “Crits” on the Harvard faculty are Mark Tushnet and David W. Kennedy. In a 1981 law review article titled “The Dilemmas of Liberal Constitutionalism,” Tushnet wrote that if he were a judge he “would decide what decision in a case was most likely to advance the cause of socialism.”
CLS-friendly law professors with ties to Harvard are easy to find. Yale’s Jack Balkin and Georgetown’s Gary Peller and Louis Michael Seidman (author of the infamous column “Let’s Give Up on the Constitution”) all received their law degrees from Harvard. So did academic Peter Gabel (who is also associate editor at Tikkun).
While a law student at Harvard, Barack Obama studied under Unger, a leading exponent of critical legal theory who is Roscoe Pound Professor of Law at Harvard. And don’t forget that Derrick Bell, Obama’s racist, Marxist mentor at Harvard Law, was a proponent of critical race theory, the multiculturalist Left’s race-obsessed answer to critical legal theory.
Judge Richard Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has described critical race theorists as the “lunatic core” of “radical legal egalitarianism.” Posner generously calls critical legal theorists people who “have plenty of goofy ideas and irresponsible dicta.”
Meanwhile, Cruz is willing to buck members of his own party when his conservative principles require it.
He says he has “deep concerns” about plans for an immigration amnesty for the 11 million illegal aliens already inside the country. Doing so would be “profoundly unfair” to those who followed the law to become legal immigrants to the U.S.
Cruz also took the highly unusual step of confronting Chicago’s Alinskyite mayor Rahm Emanuel for his aggressive continuing assaults on the Second Amendment. The senator urged major banks and gun makers to move to Texas after Emanuel, who used to be President Obama’s White House Chief of Staff, vowed a new wave of anti-gun rights repression.
“Your continued anti-gun crusade may well cause some to wonder if the interests of the citizens of Chicago are being sacrificed in pursuit of a partisan agenda,” Cruz lectured Emanuel in a letter, appropriately labeling the mayor’s threats a “bullying campaign.”
Conservative lawmakers give Cruz a big thumbs-up.
“I love the guy,” said Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), who like Cruz voted against Kerry’s nomination and who also opposes Hagel. “And he’s got the tenacity to stand for something and not back down. That means he’s my kind of guy.”
“I think he’s going to be a superstar,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), a fellow Cuban-American and conservative rising star. “You’re already starting to see some of that. He’s just smart as a whip.”
Under withering attack by the Left, Cruz defends his performance in the Senate.
“I made promises to the people of Texas that I would come to Washington to shake up the status quo, to fight for conservative principles and to lead a concerted and meaningful effort to end the unsustainable spending, deficits and debt that have been propagated, unfortunately, by members of both parties,” Cruz said.
In the end Cruz may have the last laugh.
Before he was sworn in, Republican senators chose him in November as vice chairman-grassroots of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) serving under chairman Jerry Moran (R-Kan.). At the NRSC Cruz may participate in the selection of candidates in an effort to reclaim a majority in the Senate. In the 2014 election cycle, Democrats will have to defend 20 seats, many of which are in deep-red states such as South Dakota and Alaska.
Some of those Cruz-approved candidates may help restore economic and political sanity to the United States Senate.