More grist for the GOP conservative nomination mill……
NOTE: It’s all very, very interesting. Diana offers up a very well thought out piece which is par for the course for her. You just can’t slough this off with a pejorative. That said, changing one’s mind due to new information is a sign of intelligence and honesty.
Cruz v. Trump 2: The Post-Constitutional Election
Written by: Diana West
Sunday, January 24, 2016 10:53 AM
Part 1 is here.
A word cloud envelops the Ted Cruz campaign for president. “Consistent.” “Conservative.” “Reliable.” “Consistent conservative,” “reliable conservative.” “Trusted.” Or, as the tagline goes, “TrusTed.”
This branding does not serve Ted Cruz well. After all, he is a politician. In his short career as a senator and presidential candidate, Cruz has already flip-flopped on vital immigration and trade issues. There is a pattern to his political “evolution.” As a measure of the Trump effect, Cruz has moved from the globalist position to the nationalist position on Syrian refugess (for to against), Obamatrade (for to against), H1B visas (from calling for expansion to calling for a moratorium), birthright citizenship (from waste of conservative time to must end it). Now he even calls for a “wall that works.” In this way, Cruz has moved to occupy brand new political terrain that Donald Trump by himself opened up (which is why Trump has my vote).
Fine. Americans frequently forgive and forget flip flops. But dub Candidate A the Shining Knight of Consistency and don’t be suprised when A’s inconsistencies take centerstage, especially when Candidate A is all about branding Candidate B as … inconsistent.
Ted Cruz is also known to us as the “constitutional conservative,” a moniker I never thought to question until I watched Canada-born Cruz dismiss and, then, on national television, distort and mock what is widely perceived to be the constitutionally conservative, or “originalist” understanding of the Constitution’s “natural born” clause. (For the record, I commented on Cruz’s ineligibility on such grounds in a syndicated column in 2013.) Thus, Cruz dismisses legitimate constitutional concerns which a voter might have as a laughing matter, all without merit. This would be one thing for a constitutional liberal. But the Official 2016 Republican Constitutional Conservative? Again, the branding becomes a liability, if not also an irritant.
Cruz’s most vocal supporter on the natural-born-subject, Mark Levin, meanwhile — Mr. Hail the Founding Fathers’ Orginal Intent — has for weeks on the air substituted ad hominem rants for cogent discussion. One evening, Levin went so far as to castigate a Fordham law professor who wrote a well-reasoned op-ed in the Los Angeles Times on the subject for having gone to what Levin called a “third-tier” law school. (NB: The school ranked higher than Levin’s.)
All of this name-calling and noise is a color guard of red flags. What is it all about? “Any means necessary” to protect the constitutional principle from itself? Or something else? Hit the mute button and it does seem preposterous for an “originalist” to insist that in the run-up to, say, the 1816 presidential election, the Founding Fathers would have regarded a candidate born in the British colony of Canada to an American mother and a Spanish father to be a “natural born” American; however, that is exactly what constitutional conservatives out there are saying, with Mark Levin yelling into his mike: “Stop chasing liberal arguments! Don’t accept cults of personality! Be freedom-loving, Constitutional conservatives … and let’s beat the liberals!”
Re-education camp, anyone?
Back at the Cruz presidential campaign website, of course, all is serene on the page called “Our Standard: The Constitution.”
This image is what we see before we even get to the text, which states:
Ted Cruz has spent a lifetime fighting to defend the Constitution — our nation’s founding document and the supreme law of the land — which was crafted by our founding fathers to act as chains to bind the mischief of government and to protect the liberties endowed to us by our Creator.
A list of Cruz’s achievements in the legal arena follows — mainly defending religious liberties and second amendment cases.