Saturday, January 09, 2016


A lot of people are talking about this story, from Karen Tumulty of The Washington Post:
Cruz: I spank my daughter when she lies -- voters can ‘administer...a spanking’ to Hillary Clinton
At a town hall meering in Iowa, Cruz was responding to a question about -- what else? -- Benghazi, and said this:
"We do know Hillary told her daughter Chelsea, well gosh, I knew it was a terrorist attack, while we were out telling the American people it wasn't. You know I'll tell you, in my house, if my daughter Catherine, the five-year-old, says something she knows to be false, she gets a spanking."

"Well, in America, the voters have a way of administering a spanking," Cruz said.
Cruz knows exactly what he's doing here, and the reaction, I'm sure, is exactly what he intended. There's outrage on the left. (Oliver Willis: "Weird: Ted Cruz Fantasizes About Spanking Hillary Clinton"; Gawker's Ashley Feinberg: "Who Told Ted Cruz It Was a Good Idea to Talk About Spanking Hillary Clinton?"). There's contempt from the GOP Establishment as well -- here's a top Romney strategist on Twitter:

But what's the next thing Cruz is going to say? My bet is that he's going to react with wounded faux-innocence: Spanking Hillary? I never proposed any such thing. It's a metaphor, for goodness sakes! What is wrong with the politically correct liberals and the GOP Establishment that they insist on taking offense at every little thing conservatives say?

He'd be technically correct. But he got us all thinking about Hillary Clinton and spanking. We know Cruz carefully crafts his one-liners, so it's unlikely that this was off the top of his head.

Oh, and it's in the context of Benghazi, so he can insist he was really talking about issues. (If you want to know what the hell he's talking about with regard to Chelsea, go here. I'm sure your Fox-obsessed grandfather would be shocked that you don't already know about this.)

This is the lite version of what Trump does. Click through here to see Trump linking Hillary not only to her husband's infidelities and not only to the sexual improprieties of Anthony Weiner (who is, yes, married to a top Clinton aide) but also to Bill Cosby, who presumably made a joint appearance with the Clintons at a time when the vast majority of Americans thought he was a great guy and not a sexual predator:

Meanwhile Fox Nation and are quoting former (current?) Trump adviser and scorched-earth aficionado Roger Stone, who claims that more women will soon claim to have been sexually assaulted by Bill Clinton:
Bombshell Claim: More Clinton Sexual Assault Victims Are About To Come Forward

... "I identified 24 women who’ve been assaulted by Bill Clinton," Stone said on The Sean Hannity Show. "Now some of these women are still terrified. Some of them have had IRS audits. Some of them have had their families threatened. But others have come forward."

... "Are we talking about affairs, or are we talking about assaults?" asked Hannity.

"We’re talking about assaults," declared Stone.
Stone could just be blowing smoke, as he often does. Or stories might emerge that won't pass the smell test. Or ... who knows?

In any case, making us feel icky about the Clintons, one way or another, is going to be a key Republican tactic this year. Her opponents assume the story is not played out -- and Republicans tend to have good instincts on this sort of thing. (We've mocked the Benghazi obsession, but look at what's happened to Clinton's ratings on favorability and honesty.) If Trump is the nominee, the attacks are going to be blunt and unsubtle. If it's Cruz, we'll get something subtler. But sexualized discomfort is the goal.


Victor said...

Just remember, Teddy Cruz-ader,

S/he who spanks last, spanks best!

Feud Turgidson said...

It's not as if just looking at Cruz' face doesn't give off the same sensory impression as whiffing extract of cat piss. His face reeks of repressed delight in torture.

Buford said...

so sayeth a Child abuser...

Glennis said...

I don;t know, more like "Who told Ted Cruz it was good idea to admit he beats his five-year-old?"

Professor Chaos said...

I'm guessing Stone's 24 women will be like Trump's investigators in Hawaii. Its just something to throw out there, make it seem like evidence exists when it does not, and eventually it will be "old news" that reporters are foolish to even ask about.