Thursday, October 30, 2014


So Ted Cruz isn't going Android, even though Apple CEO Tim Cook has now come out as gay. On the other hand, Cruz does want to remind you that he's smarter than you are, and he knows that the states are supposed to be allowed to ban same-sex marriage:
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Thursday responded to Apple CEO Tim Cook coming out as gay by saying that was Cook's "personal decision."

Cruz, who opposes gay marriage, switched to the larger issue when asked on CNBC on Thursday about a piece by Cook in Bloomberg Businessweek in which Cook came out.

"Those are his personal choices. I’ll tell you, I love my iPhone," Cruz said....

Cruz said that marriage is a "question for the states" because of the country's federalist system.

"This is something we’ve seen over and over again, which is the federal government and federal courts deciding they don’t trust the people," Cruz said. "They look down on the people, they don’t trust us to make judgments about our own lives, so the federal government and federal courts are going to step in and impose their own policy preferences."
Cruz has called the Supreme Court's recent refusal to review same-sex marriage cases "judicial activism at its worst" and vowed to introduce a constitutional amendment to ban the federal government and the courts from overturning state marriage laws.

CNBC's Rebecca Quick pressed Cruz to explain that position.

"You yourself have talked about introducing anti-gay marriage legislation, trying to protect the rights of the states," she said. "But at the same time, you've also said that what the Supreme Court did by not ruling on the states who have allowed gay marriage, that that was tragic and indefensible?"

"You're exactly right," Cruz responded. "Look, I believe in the Constitution. I think we need to follow the Constitution. What the Supreme Court did, effectively striking down the laws of 30 states, was wrong and it was judicial activism."

"But if a state chooses to allow people of the same sex to marry, shouldn't they be allowed to do that?" Quick asked.

"Yes. No, no, I agree," Cruz said. "Perhaps you are not understanding my position. Marriage is a question for the states ... the issue is, constitutionally, should the federal government or federal courts impose their policy views in the place of the policy views of citizens of states."
Cruz doesn't seem to be saying that same-sex marriage is a special case -- he's saying flatly that "Marriage is a question for the states." As you'll see in the clip embedded below, he adds, "Marriage has been a question for the states since the beginning of this country." He says that what he regards as the usurpation of states' rights on marriage "is something we've seen over and over again."

When exactly? Maybe -- to give him the benefit of the doubt -- he just means in repeated recent court decisions clearing the way for gay marriage. But he's invoking the more distant past.

in 1967, in Loving v. Virginia, the Supreme Court overturned many states' laws banning interracial marriage. If Ted Cruz, in his infinite constitutional wisdom, thinks "Marriage is a question for the states" without qualification, and "has been a question for the states since the beginning of this country," does he think Loving was improperly decided? Does he thinks states had the inalienable right to ban interracial marriage in 1967? Does he think they have that right today?

It would have been nice if somebody on CNBC had asked him.

Ted Olson, the Republican superlawyer who's now working for the legalization of gay marriage, talked about this when Cruz began throwing around the phrase "judicial activism" in this context:
It's the same sort of thing that people said forty-some years ago when the Supreme Court overturned the laws of 17 states, supported by two-thirds of the population of the United States, that made it a felony to marry someone of a different race. That case, called Loving v. Virginia, is a landmark in the jurisprudence of the SC, striking down as unconstitutional a law that would have prevented the president's mother and father from getting married and being in Virginia at the time that he was born. It's a sad thing when people don't understand that the people cannot vote away the rights of minorities, that people cannot engraft into their constitution provisions that discriminate against a segment of our society -- whether that be persons of a particular race or nationality, or laws that discriminate against women.
Here's the Cruz clip:

On an unrelated note, watch the way Rebecca Quick asks Cruz about the right of the states to permit gay marriage, and watch, in particular, the way Cruz strains to avoid appearing superior and arrogant as he says, "Perhaps you are not understanding my position." Cruz thinks he's the smartest person in the room. Cruz struggles to conceal that sense of himself. He comes off as the annoying grind who has all the answers in class and thinks he's better than you as a result. That's not the style of someone who can get elected president in this country. That's why I fear a Ted Cruz presidential candidacy a lot less than many on the left.


Victor said...

'Cruz said. "They look down on the people, they don’t trust us to make judgments about our own lives, so the federal government and federal courts are going to step in and impose their own policy preferences."'

Well, Teddy Cruz-ader, considering some states have major issues with all sorts of bigotry - be it race, religion, country of origin, gender, sexual orientation, etc. - then yes, we shouldn't trust other innocent people's lives to people who want to make judgments on their own lives, by passing judgment on others.

He has to be one of the least empathetic people in a Congress full of un-empathetic people. And THAT'S saying something!

I think the word you're looking for btw, Steve, is "smarmy."

Philo Vaihinger said...

Loving was improperly decided. Nearly everything based on equal protection is nonsense.

But it's mostly good nonsense.

As are most improper decisions.

Constitutional Disobedience, remember?

Dark Avenger said...

14th Amendment, Philo.

The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Lovings' convictions in a unanimous decision (dated June 12, 1967), dismissing the Commonwealth of Virginia's argument that a law forbidding both white and black persons from marrying persons of another race—and providing identical penalties to white and black violators—could not be construed as racially discriminatory. The court ruled that Virginia's anti-miscegenation statute violated both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Chief Justice Earl Warren's opinion for the unanimous court held that:

“ Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival.... To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discrimination. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State. ”
The court concluded that anti-miscegenation laws were racist and had been enacted to perpetuate white supremacy:

“ There is patently no legitimate overriding purpose independent of invidious racial discrimination which justifies this classification. The fact that Virginia prohibits only interracial marriages involving white persons demonstrates that the racial classifications must stand on their own justification, as measures designed to maintain White Supremacy.

nestor said...

I have zero worry about a Cruz candidacy for similar reasons, I can't help seeing Jimmy Swaggart mixed with Joe Isuzu whenever he starts a'stumping. SC Chief Justice Cruz is a different story.

Victor said...

THAT, is perfect!

So perfect - fair warning - that I'm going to steal that from you!!!

Ken_L said...

"I believe in the Constitution."

What does this even mean? Does Cruz think the Constitution is some kind of holy writ like the Bible?

It's a law, Rafe, just like any other law. It was made by a bunch of politicians just like the mob you hang out with in Washington. If it produces outcomes that the citizenry doesn't like, it ought to be changed. Because the people are the ultimate source of political authority Rafe, not some anachronistic bit of parchment.

BTW I'm equally unconcerned about the prospect of a Cruz presidential run. From all accounts, he was universally loathed by all his fellow Harvard students as a prize arsehole. Half his Senate colleagues have already made it clear they can't stand him at any price. You don't get to be president when half your own party detests you, at least not when you've accomplished virtually nothing of consequence apart from being a media performer.

flipyrwhig said...

I've said this many times on many blogs before, but one of my better friends from high school was Ted Cruz's freshman roommate at Princeton. He loathes him and thinks he's irritating, deranged, and absolutely convinced of his superiority in every sphere of human achievement, and he's been exactly the same way since 1988.

Roger said...

You say you don't fear Cruz getting elected as much as some other people do, and I find that somewhat comforting. The problem is, there are dozens of people who have actually met this guy in person, talked with him many times, known him for years, who say he's really a nice guy and really, really smart. This does not compute. How can people hear about him spouting this garbage and not revise their opinion of him? It's like the people who worked in the Bush White House, who got to know the President on a daily basis, who said he was a really smart guy, who was really sympathetic to people. This does not compute. I do not grok. I really wish somebody could delve into this disconnect and explain it to me.

Steve M. said...

The debunking of right-wing nonsense takes place in a very small segment of the press/blogosphere/cable TV (Krugman, Maddow, TPM) that has zero penetration into the non-liberal public. Dem politicians do little or nothing to debunk the nonsense. So it's no surprise if reasonable-seeming people believe it.

Philo Vaihinger said...

Warren just blathered his way thru his career and thru the constitution.

All to the good, mind you.

But poppycock, all the way.