The Wall Street Journal's Kimberley A. Strassel spreading the Gospel of Neocon Contempt for the Constitution...
* * * * *
The Paris attacks have put a lot of things into focus. Including a new focus on a particular trait of a particular up-and-coming presidential candidate: Ted Cruz.
* WE KNOW. WE GET IT. THE WSJ WAS BACKING BUSH AND IS NOW BACKING RUBIO. GOT IT!
The Texas senator has been the stealth contender. He has quietly built his donor base and erected an early-state infrastructure. He has identified his main opponents and deployed strategies to poach voters from each. He flatters Donald Trump and Ben Carson, waiting to scoop up support if they fade.
* OR COULD IT BE THAT HE SIMPLY AGREES WITH TRUMP AND CARSON WHEN THEY'RE RIGHT?
* FOLKS... THESE GOP ESTABLISHMENT TYPES ARE SHAMELESS!
He lambastes Marco Rubio, presenting himself as a purer pick for the conservative base.
* PERHAPS BECAUSE... er... HE IS?!
(*SNORTING WHILE LAUGHING*)
But more notable at the moment is Mr. Cruz’s calculated effort to peel off Rand Paul voters by pitching himself as Paul-lite on foreign policy.
* SOUNDS GOOD TO ME!
The strategy isn’t surprising to anyone who has watched Mr. Cruz’s career. A dictionary definition of “opportunistic” is to “exploit chances offered by immediate circumstances without reference to a general plan or moral principle.” And that helps explain why Mr. Cruz is both so loved and so disliked.
* WOW... (THE ESTABLISHMENT ISN'T HOLDING BACK!)
The senator’s supporters adore him because they see him in those moments when he has positioned himself as the hero. To them he is the stalwart forcing a government shutdown over ObamaCare. He’s the brave soul calling to filibuster in defense of gun rights. He’s the one keeping the Senate in lame-duck session to protest Mr. Obama’s unlawful immigration orders.
* Er... YEAH... PRETTY MUCH. (EVERYTHING BEING RELATIVE...)
Mr. Cruz’s detractors see a man who engineers moments to aggrandize himself at the expense of fellow conservatives. And they see the consequences. They wonder what, exactly, Mr. Cruz has accomplished.
* HMM... SOMEHOW I'M GUESSING WHEN STRASSEL WRITES "MR. CRUZ'S DETRACTORS" SHE'S SPEAKING OF... UM... HERSELF AND HER CLIQUE.
(*YET ANOTHER SMIRK*)
ObamaCare is still on the books.
* YEP. MITCH MCCONNELL IS SENATE MAJORITY LEADER. CRUZ HAS CONSISTENTLY BATTLED MCCONNELL. (UNFORTUNATELY, RAND PAUL HAS OFTEN SUPPORTED MCCONNELL.)
* OH... AND BACK TO STRASSEL... I'M GUESSING SHE'S FAR MORE OF A "MCCONNELL GAL" THAN SHE IS A CRUZ - OR A PAUL - GIRL!
(*JUST GOTTA SMIRK*)
It took the GOP a year to recover its approval ratings after the shutdown...
* HERE WE GO!
(*ROLLING MY EYES*)
* FOLKS... IT WAS THE CAVING - NOT THE SHUTDOWN - THAT WAS THE PROBLEM. APPARENTLY STRASSEL IS A "GO ALONG TO GET ALONG" KINDA GAL.
For months now, Mr. Cruz has been presenting himself in debates and national forums as hawkish, even as he panders to Mr. Paul’s voters at smaller events.
* IT'S CALLED "NUANCE," KIM.
Last month he attended the Republican Liberty Caucus in New Hampshire, where he boasted that the “liberty movement has been integral to our campaign since Day 1,” and touted the endorsement he received from (the isolationist) Ron Paul during his run for the Senate. He enjoyed a standing ovation.
* CALL ME CRAZY, BUT... er... DIDN'T THE "SONS OF LIBERTY" HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH THE VERY CREATION OF THE AMERICAN NATION?
* HMM... I SEEM TO RECALL SOME LINE ABOUT "LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL."
* WE GET IT, MS. STRASSEL - LIBERTY BAD! BAD, BAD LIBERTY...
Mr. Cruz regaled the crowd about how he had opposed a proposal to intervene in Syria and how he doesn’t support “nation building.”
* YET ANOTHER POINT IN CRUZ'S FAVOR!
To this he could add a few others: He has consistently voted against defense reauthorization bills that enable troop funding.
* OH, YES... UH-HUH... CRUZ IS AGAINST A STANDING ARMY. RIGHT. SURE. OK.
* FRIGGIN' LOSER, STRASSEL...
(*JUST SHAKING MY HEAD*)
* TYPICAL NEOCON FAUX CONSERVATIVE. "FOR THE CHILDREN" IS BAD; "FOR THE TROOPS" IS GOOD.
(*ROLLING MY EYES*)
* FOLKS... DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH WASTE THERE IS IN MILITARY SPENDING? IT'S PROBABLY AS MUCH AS IS IN WELFARE SPENDING!
* OH... AND BY THE WAY... I SUPPORT WITHHOLDING FUNDING FOR NATION-BUILDING AND FOR WARS WE ENGAGE IN WHILE HAVING NO INTENTION OF WINNING AND KEEPING THEM WON!
* SERIOUSLY, FOLKS... STRASSEL DISGUSTS ME. (CHECK OUT HER BIO. YOU'LL NOTE NO MILITARY SERVICE IN HER CV!)
And this spring Cruz ginned up support to pass a law that undercuts the National Security Agency’s ability to use metadata to root out terror plots. Mr. Cruz, citing “privacy rights,” co-sponsored the bill, along with Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin, Al Franken and Barbara Boxer.
* GUILT BY ASSOCIATION, HUH?
* HOW NUTTY... WANTING TO UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION... THE BILL OF RIGHTS...
It may have seemed like a good idea to Mr. Cruz at the time. But after Paris, he finds himself with a national security agenda that is increasingly at odds with the public will.
* NOT MY PUBLIC WILL!
* FOLKS... LET'S ALL CHANT IT ONE LETTER AT A TIME: C-O-N-S-T-I-T-U-T-I-O-N! (YOU KNOW... THAT DOCUMENT THESE CLOWNS IN WASHINGTON SWEAR AN OATH TO UPHOLD?!)
Florida’s Marco Rubio (who opposed the NSA bill) had fun this week reminding Americans of the stark foreign-policy differences between himself and the Texan...
* YES. CRUZ HAS CHARACTER AND BRAINS. RUBIO IS... SMOOTH.
(*SPITTING ON THE GROUND*)
Mr. Rubio, who has delivered at least 10 major foreign-policy addresses in the past few years...
* WOW! DELIVERED ADDRESSES, HUH?! IMPRESSIVE!
(*JUST SHAKING MY HEAD AT THE ABSURDITY OF STRASSEL'S ARGUMENT*)
Rubio is running as the unabashed hawk...
* ANOTHER ONE WITH NO MILITARY EXPERIENCE...
Mr. Cruz will certainly argue that he’s more hawkish than Mr. Paul.
* Er... BECAUSE HE IS...
Cruz has consistently criticized Mr. Obama for failing to demonstrate international leadership.
* AND RIGHTLY SO!
* FOLKS... CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS BLEEPING IDIOT GETS PAID TO MAKE A FOOL OF HERSELF?
(*JUST SHAKING MY HEAD*)
Many of his votes are accompanied by disclaimers. He says, for instance, that he opposed the defense reauthorization bills because they didn’t contain language prohibiting the indefinite detention of citizens. Yet after Paris, this approach risks looking feckless.
* IT DOES...?!?! Er... NOT TO ME IT DOESN'T. (SO... STRASSEL IS IN FAVOR OF INDEFINITE DETENTION OF CITIZENS - BASICALLY STRIPPING THEM OF THEIR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS? I MEAN... THAT'S SURE WHAT IT SOUNDS LIKE...)
Foreign policy requires guiding moral principles and consistency.
* YES. IT DOES.
* AND THE PRESIDENCY REQUIRES A PRESIDENT WHO RESPECTS AND ABIDES BY HIS OATH TO DEFEND AND PRESERVE THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES.