Another Unfortunate Week of Ted Cruz News

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More Ted Cruz news this week, of course.

Last Wednesday, Senator Cruz brought a gun grip and a enlarged picture of a Remington 750 gun with him to the Senate floor. When it was his turn to speak, he held the pistol grip up to the picture to argue that the proposed assault weapons ban focuses on “cosmetic” features of guns like the pistol grips – that the ban is misguided and ineffective. “What [the proposed assault weapons ban]bans, I would suggest to you, are scary looking guns,” he said.

…No. The ban would be on assault weapons. And that would clearly reduce the rate of gun violence in the country. And, of course, it has nothing to do with non-assault weapons (that you can damn well use to assault someone if you need to). Cruz distorted the language of the bill, falsely equating grips that may be on both assault and non-assault weapons with the different capabilities of guns.

This is the toe-high level of debate we have come to expect from Cruz. If there were Intrade odds for whether he will reduce any given debate to hollow, wholly partisan dribble, no one would bet against it. During the Chuck Hagel confirmation hearings, Cruz did nothing but berate the former Republican senator. He played clips from a radio interview in which Hagel didn't directly confront listeners who claimed that the U.S. acts as a bully in world affairs and that Israel has committed war crimes.

“The two briefly sparred over the semantics and context of the clip, with Cruz concluding that Hagel?'s actions in the interview were 'not the conduct one would expect of a secretary of defense,'” the Washington Post explained. Notice that Cruz asked nothing substantive. Nothing about what the United States' role should be in Syria, in Libya, in Iraq and Afghanistan, or even with Israel. Instead, Cruz metaphorically beat Hagel over the head with the flag, contributing nothing to the debate but demagoguery. And by the way, the U.S. often does act as a bully and Israel has verifiably, unquestionably, categorically committed war crimes.

Unsurprisingly, Ted Cruz has a 0-11 voting record in the Senate. Spokesman Sean Rushton deemed it a result of “principled stands when it comes to fiscal responsibility and protecting America's sovereignty…. He didn't come to Washington to make friends; he came to help save the country.” No, Cruz didn't come to Washington to get anything done for Americans.

Case in point: on Meet the Press this weekend, Cruz brought up his recent trip to Afghanistan while discussing the deficit. Cruz claimed that many soldiers “clasped his arm” and asked him to “do something about the deficit.” Which of course, to Cruz, means cutting Social Security and Medicare so only the rich get richer. And how fake of a story is that? I challenge Cruz to name one soldier who did that.

Watch Jimmy Dore of The Young Turks break down this preposterous claim:

Only…six more years of this stuff.

About Author

Ben Sherman

Ben Sherman has been a BOR staff writer since 2011. A graduate of the University of Texas, Ben has worked on campaigns, in political consulting, and has written for other news outlets like Think Progress. Ben considers campaign finance reform the fundamental challenge of our time because it affects every other issue in American politics. He is currently on leave for the election season.

2 Comments

  1. Quick point
    Not endorsing the Cruz antics but I think he is making the same point you are.  Both weapons are functionally the same.  They are semi-automatic, centerfire rifles with detachable magazines.

    Both can be fired rapidly.

    Both can accept 10 round magazines.

    The only difference between the Remington and the AR-15 is that the Remington fires much more powerful ammunition.

    The distinction he is making is the absurdity in the Feinstein bill that would ban the less-powerful AR-15 SOLELY because of the plastic grip, while the Remington would be completely legal.

    Oh and it's brown.

    The grip is the ONLY difference between the two, and all else being equal the Remington is a much more powerful and dangerous weapon in the hands of a criminal.  

  2. Text of Feinstein bill
    I had to search a bit, but here is the definition in Feinstein's bill:

    18 ''(36) The term 'semiautomatic assault weapon'

    19 means any of the following, regardless of country of manu-

    20 facture or caliber of ammunition accepted:

    21 ''(A) A semiautomatic rifle that has the capac-

    22 ity to accept a detachable magazine and any 1 of the

    23 following:

    24 ''(i) A pistol grip.

    25 ''(ii) A forward grip. 3

    OLL13052 S.L.C.

    1 ''(iii) A folding, telescoping, or detachable

    2 stock.

    3 ''(iv) A grenade launcher or rocket launch-

    4 er.

    5 ''(v) A barrel shroud.

    6 ''(vi) A threaded barrel.

    My point being that the distinction between the two rifles is that one has an “assault feature”.

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