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You can’t escape your culpability, Ted

The stench will be on you forever, Ted.

Not Ted Cruz

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has sharpened his criticism of President Donald Trump, saying the president’s rhetoric “certainly contributed to the violence that occurred” as Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol on Wednesday.

But the Texas Republican — who led an effort in the Senate to delay certifying Trump’s loss — is showing no signs of contrition amid growing calls for his resignation as many blame him for stoking the post-election strife that culminated with the attack on the Capitol.

Cruz objected to Arizona’s electoral votes less than an hour before demonstrators breached the building, pointing to “unprecedented” — and unproven — allegations of voter fraud. Even some of Cruz’s Republican colleagues said he should have been working to dispel those allegations, rather than airing them in Congress.

Asked in an interview with Hearst Newspapers on Friday whether he believes there was widespread fraud in the election, Cruz responded: “I don’t know if there was sufficient fraud to alter the outcome, I have never said that there was. What I said was there were serious allegations of fraud, and those allegations need to be examined carefully.”

In objecting to Arizona’s results, Cruz was pushing for an “emergency audit,” which he argues could have provided the final say Trump supporters needed. His objection was initially supported by 10 other senators, though two changed their minds after the riot.

“It would have been a much better solution, it would have helped bring this country together, it would have helped heal the divisions we have in this country and help reestablish trust in our democratic system,” Cruz said. “What I was working to do is find a way to reestablish widespread trust in the system.”

Critics accuse Cruz of doing the opposite by ignoring the fact that Trump’s claims had been thrown out of dozens of courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. They call his objection a craven attempt to appeal to Trump supporters and raise money for his own presidential bid.

[…]

Texas political experts and operatives say the blowback Cruz is facing now is unlikely to last as long as some expect.

“I’m not sure the criticism of some of his fellow Republicans, elites, or certainly Democrats, really make that much difference in the medium and long term,” said James Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin. “The only thing that’s ever really diluted the support of Republican voters in Texas for Cruz was when he was crosswise with Trump, and he knows that — and we’re seeing evidence he knows that.”

Cruz’s approval rating among Republicans in Texas hit its lowest point — 55 percent — in June 2016, at the height of his primary battle with Trump, Henson said. By October 2018 it had risen back to 86 percent and Henson said it hasn’t wavered much since.

“I think that as far as the voters go, the people who decide primary elections in Texas and elect Republicans in Texas … many of them are sticking with President Trump still and sticking with Ted Cruz still,” said Brendan Steinhauser, a GOP strategist in Texas.

Steinhauser, who is an outspoken critic of Trump but a supporter of Cruz, said in his conversations with family, friends and other Republicans in Texas over the last 48 hours, “there are still just a huge number of people who are just backing up Donald Trump’s line on this.”

Still, Steinhauser said, it’s significant that criticism of Trump is growing among Republicans, including Cruz.

“Everybody in Texas, whether it’s going to get my car fixed today, they’re talking about it. Going to get a drink with a friend last night, they’re talking about it,” Steinhauser said. “It’s not arguing about the ExIm Bank. Real people in Houston, Texas, are talking about this today.

“He probably does feel like he needs to explain himself.”

I think the thing about Cruz, and the reason why he is so widely despised, is that for as smart as he supposedly is, he treats everyone else like we’re stupid. It’s not just that he lies, it’s that he clearly doesn’t think anyone can see through his transparent bullshit. Maybe his approval rating among Republicans hasn’t moved much from the 86% he had in October of 2018, but that was right before he came very close to losing. That doesn’t seem like a solid place to be, if you ask me.

In the meantime, we know he’s not going to resign or be expelled, but we can enjoy the clamor for those things to happen.

Well, someone needs to make a motion for that to happen, I assume, so…

There’s not one but two Chron editorials calling on Cruz to resign – the second one also calls out Ken Paxton and the sixteen Texas members of Congress who supported the challenge to the electoral votes. Neither that nor the expulsion are going to happen, of course, but we can dream for a minute. And we can work like hell to make this happen, too.

“I think they should be just flat beaten the next time they run,” Biden said, when asked if Cruz and another Republican senator, Josh Hawley of Missouri, ought to step down. “I think the American public has a real good clear look at who they are. They’re part of the big lie, the big lie.”

From your lips to God’s ears, Mr. President. Please note the best thing you can do to help is have a great term and clean up the ginormous mess that Trump left behind, with Ted Cruz’s help. The better off we all are in four years’ time, the better the odds that Ted Cruz will become a private citizen again.

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41 Comments

  1. Lobo says:

    Re: “I think they should be just flat beaten the next time they run,” Biden said, when asked if Cruz and another Republican senator, Josh Hawley of Missouri, ought to step down. “I think the American public has a real good clear look at who they are.

    That’s an astute answer, although it would up to the Texas statewide electorate or (more likely) the Texas GOP primary voters, not the American public at large, to administer the remedy.

    Think again about the practicalities of the alternatives: It takes a 2/3 vote to expel a member from the Senate. Same supermajority as is needed to convict on articles of impeachment and removal from office. So, what are the chances?

    “Under Article I, Section 5, clause 2, of the Constitution, a Member of Congress may be removed from office before the normal expiration of his or her constitutional term by an “expulsion” from the Senate (if a Senator) or from the House of Representatives (if a Representative) upon a formal vote on a resolution agreed to by two-thirds of the Members of that body present and voting. While there are no specific grounds for an expulsion expressed in the Constitution, expulsion actions in both the House and the Senate have generally concerned cases of perceived disloyalty to the United States, or the conviction of a criminal statutory offense which involved abuse of one’s official position. Each house has broad authority as to the grounds, nature, timing, and procedure for an expulsion of a Member.”

    Source: https://www.everycrsreport.com/reports/RL30016.html

    CONSTITUITONAL TEXT VERBATIM

    Article I
    Section 5
    Clause 2

    “Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.”

    IMPEACHMENT “LIGHT”

    Note, however, that a vote to disqualify the President from ever again holding a federal office would only take a simple majority, and that punishment could be inflicted after he has been evicted from the White House.

  2. C.L. says:

    “I’m not sure the criticism of some of his fellow Republicans, elites, or certainly Democrats, really make that much difference in the medium and long term,” said James Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin.”

    I’m no Nostradamus, but I’m calling hold your horses/bullshit on this one. We’re living in an age of cancel culture where anything you said 6, 10, 20 years ago can now, in an instant, come back to haunt you, repeatedly, until you’re summarily dismissed by society. Good or bad, that’s what’s going on. Just ask Kevin Hart why he didn’t host that awards ceremony a couple years ago.

    This whole episode is akin to getting sprayed by a skunk. Immediate stink and outrage, repeated washings have little effect, and a forever branding of ‘that guy who got sprayed by a skunk, muttered in cocktail and Super Bowl parties for eternity.

  3. Flypusher says:

    Not confirmed because I’ve only seen it on Twitter, but word is that a 2nd Capitol Hill police officer has died as a result of this insurrection Cruz egged on.

  4. league city says:

    hi Charles.
    curious for your opinion on doing a find/replace on every instance of “riot” to “insurrection” and likewise rioters to insurrectionists? (of course only references to the activities of last week).
    thanks!

  5. Jules says:

    Fly, just now seeing reports that a police officer that was at the insurrection has apparently committed suicide. More blood on cruz’s hands.

  6. Flypusher says:

    I hear that only now has the WH flag been lowered to 1/2 mast in honor of Capitol police officer Sicknick. I’ve also hear rumors that the man was a Trump supporter; can’t assess to their veracity, but not unbelievable. Plenty of cops are Trumpers. But this is yet another bit of evidence to throw on top of the mountain of proof that Trump could not care less about “his people”. It’s really not crazy to think that he wanted the mob to kill Mike Pence for the effrontery of not doing something he had no power to do. Nobody showed Trump more loyalty than Pence. But that didn’t matter.

  7. Bill Daniels says:

    @ League City:

    Why not supplant the biased words with the words we’ve used with the blm/antifa/disrupt J-20 folks.

    ~activists

    ~mostly peaceful protests

    I mean, shouldn’t we strive for consistency?

    And why is it that blm activist John Sullivan, who just happened to be there when Ashli was gunned down, was questioned by the FBI and immediately released, no charges? Could it be that all he had to do was prove his blm bona fides, and then the FBI knew they were dealing with a fellow traveler, so they elbow bumped and parted as friends? Seems likely.

    And that leads to some interesting questions….if Sullivan, founder of ‘Insurgence USA’ was there, how many other Trump haters were there as well?

  8. Lobo says:

    Bill: Who or what is Antifa? Are they registered with the FEC?

  9. Jules says:

    When 5 people die within a few hours (or sustain injuries that lead to death), including a police officer, it is not mostly peaceful.

    When a police officer is dragged down stairs and beaten with a pole that has an American flag tied to it, it is not a peaceful protest.

    When people riot inside the Capitol to overturn a free and fair election it is insurgency committed by insurrectionists.

    Few arrests were made inside the Capitol, but the FBI has been arresting people since, the fur/horns guy many falsely claim is antifa has been arrested. Hopefully, many more arrests are forthcoming.

  10. Jason Hochman says:

    Jules, the news media created a new definition for “mostly peaceful” after they appeared on the scene of mostly peaceful demonstrations with burning buildings in the background during the summer of 2020.

  11. Manny says:

    Wrap more paper around your head Bill, tell me if I am wrong.

    You have been a loser all your life, you work every now and then, you rely on your mother’s social security to survive. Tell me I am wrong, because you fit the profile of many of Trump lovers that act like you.

  12. Jules says:

    Bless your little heart, Jason

  13. Lobo says:

    RE: “Hopefully, many more arrests are forthcoming.”

    Wouldn’t it be more efficient to focus on the big fish? — Like Rudy Guiliani

    Since he is no longer a public official, he can’t claim immunity, and since the unprotected speech (calling for combat against fellow-Americans, not to mention fellow Americans holding public office) occurred outside of Texas, the speech at issue won’t be protected by attorney immunity, bestowed on Texas attorneys by the Texas Supreme Court.

    Okay, so that’s on the civil-law side. But why not get a restraining order to impose a prior restraint on those who use speech to incite violence and insurrection? How ironic it is that we have to rely on big tech companies to silence the insurrectionist mass propaganda, and their corporate discretion!?

    The judicial muzzling of seditious speech by court order could be done immediately, and the SCOTUS can draw the contours of what is and is not permissible under the First Amendment by ruling on an emergency application for relief, whether on the “Shadow Docket” or otherwise. If the injunction stands and Rudy violates it, he can be put in detention for contempt of court.

    As for standing to bring such an action, perhaps members of Congress who had to take cover, and are still at risk of further political violence by Trump-cult followers.

    Same for Ken Paxton, though that may be dicier, given that he still holds state office.

  14. Jules says:

    Lobo, efficiency isn’t the goal. The US government has the capacity to go after many fishes.

    Looks like NY bar may go after Rudy. I hope he loses his law license very soon.

  15. Jason Hochman says:

    Rudy Giuliani used to be a hero, he was America’s mayor. The state of New York is very fickle about politicians. The people of Orchard Park don’t want Governor Cuomo to come to the Bills playoff games.

  16. Lobo says:

    Re: “The US government has the capacity to go after many fishes.”

    Jules: Sure, that’s true to the point of being a truism, and therefore undebatable. They could even put you and me on a watchlist (electronic surveillance) if we google “Antifa” to educate ourselves before responding to a post by Bill Daniels, whoever he may be. Such a search may flag you as a possible sympathizer, and therefore as a security threat. The government has immense capabilities these days, and it should worry you.

    But who is the US government in concrete terms? As of today, this organization is still headed by someone named Donald Trump as chief executive. To have a meaningful discussion as to how to deal with what happened at the Capital, we have to be specific as to who can and should do what.

    As for efficiency (and effectiveness, i.e. practicality in terms of what works and what doesn’t in achieving a defined objective), it’s an important consideration in all governmental action. You can’t run government — at least not good government — based on gut level feelings and impulse. See where that got us with Trump.

    And you can’t solve the current political crisis through mass repression of the opposing side of the political front line, and by mass incarceration of Trumpists, fueled by anger and a thirst to vanquish them. You be justified in regarding them as traitors — all who supported Trump — but there are just too many of them, with a large contingent sitting in the US Congress. That’s part of government too, and these anti-Democrats can go after you, too, especially in a State where they run the show, like Texas.

    Variation on the theme: The Texas government has the capacity to go after many fishes.

    What we need to do is chill. Not whip up passions even more. What we need is a restoration of reason, logic, and a commitment to the commonweal.

  17. Jules says:

    Lobo, no. Just no. In your logic why would trump go after rudy?

    I don’t think these domestic terrorists are done.

    Why does it have to be just rudy or all trump supporters?

    Many of the people who rioted at the Capitol should be arrested.

    cruz should resign or be expelled.

    Your kumbyya attitude is childish and premature.

  18. Lobo says:

    AFFECT VS. ARGUMENTS

    Jules: I don’t nurture the illusion that my attitudes/opinions matters much. The question, much rather, is whether my comments do more than just constitute a form of venting. I hope to make a meaningful contribution to elevate the public discourse in this forum, why would I otherwise bother to spend time commenting here? And, like KUFF, himself, I believe in civic education, and therefore post information and links to additional material that might be of interest to at least part of the readership of this blog. Alas, the Texas Tribune has opted to silence its readers and chosen to provide one-way communication-only. (That’s not a comment on the quality of their reporting, or of Ross Ramsey’s analyses, but its nevertheless a choice to restrict the flow of information germane to the stories that they cover, and to limit the scope of permitted discourse).

    This is not to say that expressing emotion-driven opinions and issuing moral condemnations is not a legitimate genre of public commentary, but that’s not so much my thing.

    I would prefer to focus on the merits of arguments, rather than the age (or other ascriptive attributes) of the person articulating them. That said, since I was a pretty smart kid back in the day, judging by the grades my secondary school teachers gave me, I won’t take offense if you call my “attitudes” childish.

    So, in that vein, let me elaborate on a couple of your issues:

    Re: Why would Trump go after Rudy?

    He would if he thought that Rudy deserved to be thrown under the bus, too, but that wasn’t my point. The suggestion was that parties with standing (individual Congress Critters who were under siege, and remain at risk of Trumped-fomented political violence) could perhaps file a civil action against Rudy and seek and a restraining order/preliminary injunction to restrain further incitement of violence through incendiary speech that is not protected by the First Amendment. Since Rudy is a private citizen, the problems inherent in suing a government official (such as various immunity doctrines) can be avoided, and the Trump constituency won’t be as enraged as they might be if you went after their “Save America” (anti)-messiah himself. Note that the latter is not a legal consideration, but a practical one (that would also be relevant to the exercise of prosecutorial discretion in a criminal prosecution of political “big fish”).

    This would be an alternative to criminal prosecution, but not necessarily a substitute for it. Imposition of criminal liability might be more difficult to accomplish, and also involves a higher standard of proof.

    Moreover, there are hundreds of Congress members (and staff!), any one of whom could take the initiative, rather than having to rely on a specific public prosecutor (or small number of them) having to make the decision to prosecute.

    It would seem that they would have legal standing even in their individual capacity as well as in their respective official capacities because their very lives and bodily integrity were threatened and those risks remain. What cause of action they would have to plead, I am not sure. Suffice it to point out that all states have laws that give courts the power to issue restraining orders and immediate injunctive relief to avert imminent harm, and some suitable statutory or equity-based legal basis can surely be found under these circumstances.

    If you go after a “big fish”, it will set an example and send a message. And there will be a good chance for the U.S. Supreme Court to get involved quickly, too, which would be desirable.

    Re: “Cruz should resign or be expelled.”

    Response: Sure, it would desirable for him to resign, but he has refused to, and seeks to profit politically and financially from the riot. So what is to be done? Correct me if I am wrong, but it takes a 2/3 vote of his peers to expel him. It would therefore require 17 Republicans to join the effort, assuming all Dems are on board.

    How can 17 Republicans be persuaded to join the good cause?

    Re: Kumbaya.

    PS: Nothing wrong with kumbaya. We need more of it.

    Thanks for motivating me to look it up (I had doubts regarding the spelling). Here is the definition I found:

    “Rooted in an American spiritual and folk song of the same name, kumbaya refers, often disparagingly, to moments of or efforts at harmony and unity.”

    Harmony may be a long-shot, but unity should be the watchword, even if not perfect. Especially now.

    “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

  19. C.L. says:

    Bravo, Lobo !

    We’re getting steeped in knee jerk reactions. This country is a slow moving tuna boat. Takes a long time to change course, and really only does when the majority of Congressional representatives grab the wheel and start a crankin’.

  20. Jules says:

    Lobo, not sure why you think people who murdered a cop should not even be arrested, but at least I won’t read your long boring posts anymore, no matter what name you use.

  21. Manny says:

    Lobo, I would be surprised if you were not some Republican paid troll, where were you months ago? Heck, even Dan Patrick is acting weird, after the attempted coup by your fella fascists brothers and sisters.

    From the Houston Chronicle;

    “Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is telling his supporters to stop blaming left-wing activists for the attack on the U.S. Capitol.

    Patrick, one of President Donald Trump’s most important allies in Texas, told supporters in a lengthy message over the weekend that the people involved in storming the Capitol were Trump supporters.”

  22. Jules says:

    Manny, I saw that, good for him.

    I just read that the horn/fur guy’s mom said he hasn’t eaten since Friday since the detention facility does not serve organic food.

  23. Jules says:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/police-capitol-injuires-trump/2021/01/11/ca68e3e2-5438-11eb-a08b-f1381ef3d207_story.html

    “ An officer was hit with a bat. Another was struck with a flagpole. A third was pinned against a statue. A fourth was clobbered with a wrench. One became stuck between two doors amid a frenzied mob. Many were hit with bear spray.”

    “ More than 58 D.C. police officers and an unknown number of U.S. Capitol Police officers were injured in the hours-long riot and assault on Wednesday as lawmakers were formalizing the election victory for Joe Biden as president. It was a battle in which police were outnumbered. One Capitol Police officer died in circumstances that remain unclear.”

    Lobo and CL would sing songs and make s’mores round the campfire with the fine people that caused these injuries and death. No doubt the pair of you will be happy to hear that fur/horns will be getting organic meals.

  24. C.L. says:

    Jules, I think Every Single Person who stormed the Capitol should be charged (in State or Federal Court) with whatever crimes he/she committed in doing so. Not sure how/why you believe my position is contrary to that.

  25. Jules says:

    CL, because you bravoed lobo for saying only rudy should be charged

  26. Lobo says:

    C.L.: It’s radicalization on the Left. You don’t agree 100% with them, and you get flamed for being a fascist, rather than being acknowledged as an armchair analyst with a different take on what is in theory a shared political and social reality.

    Then, they attribute to you a position you had not taken — indeed, contrary to what you have said — in a rhetorical move to support the false ad-hominem characterization, and to justify the accompanying deprecation of the speaker, rather than engaging with the pros and cons and strength and weakness of the proposition being made, such as on the issue how to respond to the rioters here, or what to do with the politicians who support the insurrectionists’ “cause”.

    — Sad. The state of our on-line discourse culture.

    Folks, nothing is gained by name-calling, except perhaps anger relief on the part of the person doing it. Nothing is gained by condemning other commentators for positions not taken.

    We need to rediscover the ability to engage in intelligent conversation, using our minds more, and reining in our raw gut feelings and passions.

  27. Jules says:

    Lobo, now who’s the name-caller?

    I tried to re-read your long, dense comments on this thread, but could only find you saying maybe rudy should be sued by elected officials, not that the cop killers should be arrested. Sorry if my short attention span missed you saying that even one of the rioters should be arrested.

  28. C.L. says:

    Thank you, Wolfie.

    Jules, I never said RG should be the only ass-hat charged for Wednesday’s fiasco.

    Listen, I get everyone is up-n-arms about what happened Wednesday. I for one don’t believe it was a coup d’etat attempt because there’s no indication the Trumpster knuckleheads had any plan outside of stealing a lectern, breaking shit, and shitting in Pelosi’s office. Who do you think they were going to install as a/the/our Leader – The guy straight out of Vikings or the Arkansas hillbilly with his feet on the Speaker’s desk ?

    Doesn’t mean they didn’t commit crimes, tho.

  29. Jules says:

    Sorry, CL, glad you are for arresting these people.

    I believe they wanted to install an asshat named trump as leader.

  30. Flypusher says:

    “ I for one don’t believe it was a coup d’etat attempt because there’s no indication the Trumpster knuckleheads had any plan outside of stealing a lectern, breaking shit, and shitting in Pelosi’s office. ”

    The FBI begs to differ with you:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/capitol-riot-fbi-intelligence/2021/01/12/30d12748-546b-11eb-a817-e5e7f8a406d6_story.html

    There were people there with an evil plan, and the mass of knuckleheads gave them cover, then and apparently even now.

  31. Manny says:

    Lobo, you came back with the typical Fascist/Republican response why am I not surprised. We need to discover how to work together, how convenient to come out in favor of such great things. Again where were you four years ago with such suggestions? I don’t recall Lobo posting here or even in other blogs I visit.

    Up until the Democrats won both senate seats in Georgia there was no talk coming from the fascists about working together. Yes, you are a fascist or at minimum a supporter of fascists. Where were you when the big lie of a stolen election was being pushed, it still is by some of your party? All of a sudden Fox and other pushers of lies want unity after they failed to take our country by force. You and the people that support the Trump/Republican party have lost the right to tell democracy loving Americans what is good for the country.

  32. Manny says:

    C.L. I think your head has been so deep in Trump’s behind that you have lost your bearing and or ability to think to even suggest that there were no other motives at work. They went to a peaceful protest with clubs, weapons, helmets, spears, bear spray, cuffs…. I have been to my share of protests in my youth, I did not arm myself for the protest. Those poles with the flags are weapons, they know it.

    They spent two years investigating Benghazi, the Democrats should spend at least that amount of time getting to the bottom of the attempted coup by Trump/Republican supporters.

  33. Jules says:

    “The hypocrisy of the Trump thuggery can be epitomized by a seditious rioter beating a police officer at the Capitol with an American flag. It was never about the flag, or “blue lives matter.” These were mere props in a movement fueled by power, injustice, and racism.” – Dan Rather

  34. Jules says:

    Manny, seriously. I have no idea why Lobo is clutching his pearls about being called a fascist, when I clearly said “Your kumbyya attitude is childish and premature.”

  35. Lobo says:

    LOL. Where is Waldo? Let’s look for Lobo. Anyone seen that fascist pig before?

    Manny: I commend you for providing a compelling reason to use a nom de plume in cyberspace (or a nom de guerre, rather).

    Recommended reading: Animal Farm, by George Orwell. (allegory)

    Also see George Orwell: ‘What is Fascism?’ (1944)
    Check it out here: https://orwell.ru/library/articles/As_I_Please/english/efasc

    PS: George Orwell is a pseudonym, too. His real name was Eric Blair (Political Writers’ Guild mind-morsel of the day)

  36. Manny says:

    Lobo it is interesting that you would suggest that book when 1984 is more to how the fascist party behaves. 2 + 2 = 5 in your world, don’t believe your eyes believe what we say, the big lie.

    Fascist come to power via lies and violence. Directing hate at minorities to blame for the problems. That is what America has witnessed this last four years. I remember the orange buffoon’s word when he came down the escalator and the violence he directed at black and brown people. Where were you wanting unity then. You are a fascist or a supporter of them.

  37. Jules says:

    Looks like there may be conspiracy and sedition charges in some of these people’s future. Misdemeanor charges they are being arrested on may just be placeholders.

    Also, mitch might be for impeachment.

    A lot we don’t know yet.

  38. C.L. says:

    Grab the pitchforks, Manny !

  39. Manny says:

    The difference between you, C.L., and Bill Daniels can be measured in millimeters.

  40. Jules says:

    Re: Why would Trump go after Rudy?

    I’m hearing that Trump isn’t going to pay Rudy for his fine work to overturn the election. HAHAHAHAHA!