Tuesday, December 02, 2014


Today Ted Cruz delivered what he wants us to regard as a major foreign policy speech. Among other things, he discussed turnover at the Defense Department:
Touching on the morning's news that former Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter would replace Chuck Hagel in the top job at the Pentagon, Cruz implied that the string of Defense secretaries -- soon to be four in six years -- stems from the Obama administration's "unwillingness" to defend the country's national security.

"What a failure of leadership at a time when the world is on fire, when the national security threats are manifest, and it seems what the administration is looking for is a Defense secretary who will follow the orders of a political White House rather than focus on defending the national security interests of this country," he said.
So wait -- that's an either-or choice? The defense secretary can either "focus on defending the national security interests of this country" or carry out the policies of the president, but not both? Both is impossible? Or are both impossible only if we have "a political White House"? So when have we not had "a political White House," Senator?

But I'm puzzled by Cruz's apparent problems with having a defense secretary "who will follow the orders" of the president. Doesn't Senator Cruz revere the Constitution? Doesn't he say he doesat every possible opportunity?

In that case, does his copy of the Constitution somehow not contain Article II, Section II, which says that the president is the commander in chief of the armed forces? Therefore, isn't the secretary of defense supposed to follow the president's orders? Does Cruz have a problem with that? And if so, shouldn't he take it up with the Framers?

Well, this is the same Ted Cruz who argued in September that conducting any business in the Senate in this year's lame-duck session would be an "abuse of power" on the Democrats' part. Does the Constitution automatically end congressional terms on Election Day? No, it doesn't. If you were sworn in as a senator in January 2009, after the 2008 elections, you're a senator until the swearing-in of the next Senate, which isn't until January of next year. But Ted's reverence for the Constitution doesn't extend to the parts he doesn't like.


Unknown said...

It should always be noted that Tailgunner Ted very likely knows full well what he says is BS. It's not about convincing, it's about inflaming.

Ten Bears said...

I doubt the racist asshole can actually read.

No fear.

Ken_L said...

When will the MSM start to call conservatives on this "world on fire" rubbish? The world is actually enjoying one of its most sustained periods of comparative tranquility since the 19th century, if "world" means "all the nations on the planet" as opposed to "places where the USA has chosen to engage in military adventures".

Victor said...

If the requirement for POTUS was being a smug, repugnant, and self-important and self-satisfied preening prick, Teddy Cruz-ader would win in a landslide!

BKT said...

Ken_L makes a very good point. As a species, we have never been less at risk of dying from violence-- be it through state-level war or tribal conflicts or localized violent crime-- than we are right now. Why doesn't the media denounce obvious bullshit fearmongering when it happens?

Never Ben Better said...

Because, BKT, fearmongering is exciting; it sells papers and site clicks. Peace is boring. "If it bleeds, it leads" rules the news media, as it ever has.

It's also a great tool of the 1 percent to keep the disgruntled masses aiming their anger at the right distractions.

Frank Wilhoit said...

You just don't get it. You're missing the words between the lines in the Constitution.

They are just like the words between the lines in the Bible.
Here's a simple example: "Thou shalt not steal (except from non-Christians)"; most of the other nine Commandments contain parallel provisos that do not appear in the printed text, because written traditions are never complete.

The missing words in the Constitution clarify that it only applies as long as the original assumptions remain valid. If any of those assumptions are violated, then all bets are off. When Senator Cruz or any of his colleagues pose holding copies of the Constitution and reading aloud from it, what they are actually doing is pointing out that some tacit assumption has been falsified and therefore extra-Constitutional action is required.

So to take this particular example, the Constitution says that the President would be the Commander-in-Chief, provided that he were a member of the community; but as he clearly is not, then some improvisation is in order.

Ten Bears said...

Did you see Cenk Uygur hit the truth regarding conservatives today? They're pussies, squaws.

No fear.