The “Lyin’ Ted” Lie and Its Purveyors… or The Real Jack Kerwick

The recent Jack Kerwick column dismissing Cruz’s challenge to the DC establishment is fascinating for its incoherence.

I don’t know Jack Kerwick, and I know precious little of him. His Townhall byline volunteers that he teaches Philsophy and Political Science in some combination of campuses throughout the New Jersey area. In the Ivory Tower biz, that translates to his being an adjunct professor terminally stuck on the professional ladder’s lower rungs. In that regard, he and I have a lot in common. You don’t get a tenure-track gig in our disciplines by championing conservative causes.

I have usually found Dr. Kerwick’s column to be worth reading, but I was tempted to pass over yesterday’s post, “An ‘anti-Establishment Candidate?’: The Real Ted Cruz” (punctuation as in original: my grammar hound is muzzled for this exercise). Then I thought to myself, “No, that’s exactly what I accuse Trump supporters of doing to opponents of their guy. I need to read this.” And I did.

The heart of Kerwick’s charge that Cruz is a pro-establishment wolf in sheep’s clothing resides in the immigration issue. I cite at length:

It is doubtless because Cruz wanted as badly as anyone to bring illegals “out of the shadows” that accounts [sic] for why, in spite of his self-styling to the contrary, he left it to Jeff Sessions (who, not incidentally, has endorsed Trump) to lead the fight against the Gang of Eight.

In the early 2000s, Cruz joined the board of HAPI, an organization comprised of “conservative” Hispanics interested in advancing a “pro-immigration” agenda. HAPI worked closely with the Bush administration. Every proposal included legalization. In fact, among the policies that Cruz and his colleagues at HAPI supported was John McCain’s and Ted Kennedy’s “immigration reform” act of 2006!

Robert De Posada, a former Director of Hispanic Affairs for the RNC and a founder of the “Latino Coalition,” meets Cruz’s current protestations that he never supported legalization in principle, but only as a strategy to derail the Gang of Eight’s plans, with incredulity. “It’s just a flat out lie. Period. There’s just no truth behind it.”

Cruz witnessed Trump’s meteoric rise over his stance on this issue and recalibrated accordingly.

Okay. In the first place, allow me to stick my head far enough out of the trench to say that illegal immigration used to be a somewhat nuanced issue before the Obama Administration staged an all-out assault on our borders and has lately even threatened to import thousands of ill-screened Muslims from ISIS country into our midst. I confess that I’ve always felt sympathy for a college student I recall who was smuggled over the Bravo at the ripe age of three and has since grown up in a purely American setting. Unless this girl has been throwing bombs or distributing crack, I don’t see why she (as opposed to her parents) shouldn’t receive special consideration. Newt Gingrich strayed farther—and fatally, for his campaign—into No Man’s Land during the 2008 election cycle when he described a mythical grandfather who had resided here, illegally but peacefully and gainfully, for twenty-five years. Abuelito is still a lawbreaker (and quite likely an identity thief at some stage); little Megan, with her American name and American tastes and accent, is not. We could still talk about things like that in the early 2000’s… barely. Care to guess where Donald Trump was on such issues at that time? Dr. Kerwick remains mum.

Jeff Sessions, by the way, seemed fully satisfied with Cruz’s stance as of late December in 2015. Speaking in Daphne, Alabama, he declared, “It [the Gang of Eight bill] was that close to being passed… and I think I can say this with integrity. Without the vigorous opposition of Ted Cruz, this bill likely would have passed.” Was Senator Sessions, then, lying about finding Cruz’s position sincere, Dr. Kerwick?

And the Gang of Eight bill is, indeed, my second point. The mysterious Mr. De Posada, often quoted by Kerwick (as in a previous post that presumes to explain Sessions’ Trump endorsement), must be a credentialed and experienced mind-reader—and Cruz himself must be a downright fool—if the Senator’s strategy in that instance was not, in fact, to derail the bill while exposing the true motives of its architects. For Cruz essentially blew up the bill. The Democrats wouldn’t pass it with the proviso that no legalized immigrant would ever receive the right to vote. If Cruz were pro-amnesty, why not simply support the bill as it stood?

(Possibly, the De Posada “it’s a flat-out lie” remark above was meant to cover political activity well before the 2013 bill. I’ve reread the murky passage several times and can’t reach a decision.)

In the third place… why is Cruz’s smoking out of the Gang’s duplicity a pro-amnesty act, but Trump’s “touchback amnesty”—enunciated scarcely half a year ago—is a genuinely tough secure-the-border position?

Kerwick continues:

As The National Interest notes, Cruz’s speeches on foreign policy are replete with exactly the kind of abstract idealistic generalities—“human rights,” “fundamental values,” “the hope that every person may have to live in freedom,” etc.—that “conservatives have been fighting for centuries.”

Nor is this just rhetoric, for Cruz would refuse to communicate at all with Iran until it unequivocally affirms “Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state”—a standard of which even our Arab allies “expressed rejection.” And he argued for drawing Ukraine into an equal alliance with the Western powers of NATO—even though a country as poor and corrupt as Ukraine couldn’t possibly carry its share of the burdens and responsibilities that member states are expected to assume.

Hmm. So Cruz is a turncoat to the movement because he speaks in “abstract idealistic generalities” (as opposed, I guess, to shouting “loser” and “liar”)? The supposed quotation becomes incoherent after the dash, as you will have noticed. Surely Cruz wasn’t arguing that conservatives have fought human rights for centuries, although Kerwick’s butchered citation presents him as saying precisely this; for if he were, then who would accuse him of being idealistic? The ensuing stances emphasized by Kerwick also reflect a strong belief in the universal dignity of man as a being of free will created to pursue a high calling (viz. “fundamental values”)… so what, Dr. Kerwick, are you trying to say? That Cruz advocates bourbonism? Or that Cruz is a bleeding-heart idealist who upholds the Declaration of Independence? Or is it just that you don’t proofread your stuff?

And there’s more:

Cruz decries “New York values,” which he identifies with support for abortion, “gay marriage,” and “focus on money and the media.” All the while, some of his biggest backers are Wall Street financiers. The chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs, which spotted Cruz and his wife a considerable loan, had won an award from the “Human Rights Campaign” for his tireless work in advancing “marriage equality.”

Goldman Sachs, in the words of one left-leaning publication, had been a “driving force on influential Wall Street for LGBT equality.”

Evidently, Cruz’s conscience was no more conflicted over accepting resources from this embodiment of New York values than it was conflicted over accepting resources from two billionaire gay hoteliers—and proponents of marijuana legalization—who held a reception for him last spring. During the event, Cruz not once expressed his opposition to “gay marriage.” Moreover, he borrowed a move from the old tried and true GOP playbook and bucked the issue altogether by invoking “states’ rights:” marriage, he said, is a thing best left to the states to resolve on their own terms.

As for abortion, even as Cruz blasts Donald Trump for the latter’s assertion that Planned Parenthood does some good, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that Cruz, who has been in the US senate for six years, only began calling for the defunding of Planned Parenthood after it came to light that the country’s largest abortion provider traded in baby parts.

In other words, Cruz said nothing all of this time as the taxpayer was forced to subsidize PP’s abortion services. Yet what’s worse, the trading of the bodily members of deceased human beings or the killing of those humans?

Again, let’s come up for air. I don’t honestly know what to say about the infamous Goldman Sachs connections that always burst forth like firecrackers when Trumpsters inveigh against Cruz. I know that Google contributes to leftwing causes, but I still Google topics like Kerwick’s obscure allegations. I know that Armand Hammer was a virtual Bolshevik, but we still buy baking soda. Did you know that the Pledge of Allegiance was composed by a defrocked Baptist minister-cum-socialist with the intent of infusing statist notions into the malleable minds of children? How many times have you repeated those words, you Commie!

Yes, Heidi once worked for the Wall Street firm in question, and the Cruzes took out a loan to buy their house… not sure I’m at my boiling point yet. Of course, if you could present me, Dr. Kerwick, with a candidate who was completely clean of sleezy deals with Wall Street bankers and speculators, whose business practices had always been scrupulously above-board, whose investors were always happy with how their savings had been preserved and their interests considered… but I don’t think you’ve found that guy.

Frankly, I say without shame that my own position on gay marriage is to get the state out of it and let individual denominations determine whether they wish to extend their sacramental blessing to the sacrifices involved in rearing a family or, instead, to great sex. And in any case—this is just a rhetorical matter, Dr. Kerwick, but you’re the one who’s torturing words—the establishment view on marriage really ought to be, even now, that it’s heterosexual; so if Cruz had endorsed gay marriage as vigorously as, say, Donald Trump has been known to do, then he would actually be anti-establishment in that instance.

But you’re right: the conservative position is that gay money should not be accepted and gay people publicly humiliated whenever the occasion presents itself, because conservatives have been fighting for centuries against the fundamental right of individuals to go astray and learn their lessons for themselves. If Cruz were a true conservative, he should be advocating… I don’t know: maybe exiling all gays from our shores, or telling his crowds to beat them up and chase them off.

Similarly, Cruz should have been demanding that federal funds be cut off to Planned Parenthood from the day of his swearing in. He had nothing better to do—for what could be more holy work than saving little babies? Why wait for a scandal to raise the issue to national consciousness and place it on the Senate’s agenda? Of course, killing babies probably isn’t really that big a deal, after all, or Donald Trump wouldn’t be downgrading its importance relative to all the good work that PP does… but the point is that it should be a big deal if you’re anti-establishment, like Trump. Er… no, the point is that Cruz is not a true conservative because he didn’t go down in flames railing against abortion from Day One before every camera pointed his way, like the late great Alan Keyes. I think I’m getting warm now.

I will say this much for Professor Jack Kerwick. He is the one Trump advocate that I have found attempting something like a reasoned, multi-faceted argument for his man. What he emerges with, however, is an indictment of the human condition’s political realities. None of us can be 100 percent faithful to every cause all of the time, and none of us always judges correctly the motives of his collaborators or the full consequences of a new project. We’re not gods. Even as I write, Ted Cruz is in the somewhat awkward position of having to accept the endorsement of people like Lindsey Graham and Jeb Bush—just as Trump has scarcely refused the thumbs-up of Chris Christie and McCain running-mate Sarah Palin (who, unlike Graham and Bush, needs to find a job). To brand everybody with the establishment E who cuts deals of any kind is to reduce our choices to a handful of living saints like Michelle Bachmann. Remember how she ended up? One must, rather, look at the frequency and quality of deals being struck. Who told Iowa voters to their face, “No, I’m sorry—but your ethanol subsidies will have to go”… and who told FOX News on the subject of immigration, “Everything is negotiable”?

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