The intellectual origins of Ted Cruz?

by on January 19, 2016 at 12:44 am in Books, Current Affairs, Economics, History, Law, Philosophy, Political Science | Permalink

When Cruz was thirteen his father brought him to Rolland Storey, a kindly and charismatic septuagenarian who ran a conservative foundation aimed at teaching youth about economics and government.  Storey educated his pupils about the brightest minds of free market economics: they pored over Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman, and marveled at Frederic Bastiat’s denunciations of socialism as legal plunder.  A veteran of vaudeville, Storey liked to re-create constitutional conventions and assign students to play delegates in mock debates.  Many of his students were gifted, but none could keep up with Cruz in terms of passion and inherent ability.  Thrust into some of the momentous scenes from world history, the thirteen-year-old was perfectly at home.

That anecdote is from McKay Coppins, The Wilderness: Deep Inside the Republican Party’s Combative, Contentious, Chaotic Quest to Take Back the White House, a fun read with lots of background information I did not know.

I will never forget the time Gregory Rehmke took me to meet Rolland Storey in Houston.  But that is a story for another place and time…

1 Ryan January 19, 2016 at 1:04 am

Cruz is not a natural born citizen, so all this is irrelevant.

2 prior_test January 19, 2016 at 1:54 am

McCain was not a natural born citizen either, at least by the definition seemingly used by those denouncing Cruz’s unfitness, being born in Panama while his father served in the U.S. Navy.

Why do Republicans hate America so much that they nominate, or potentially nominate, presidential candidates who aren’t natural born citizens? It is likely that hundreds of thousands of Americans were born to American military members serving outside the U.S. in the last 7 decades, and it is fascinating to see that the patriotism of those people defending the U.S. is apparently trumped by some of their fellow citizens, who did not serve, saying children born outside of the U.S. are not natural born citizens.

3 Peter January 19, 2016 at 1:59 am


“Americans are fair. They would understand his position if it mirrored that of Sen. John McCain of Arizona. But Cruz was not born on a U.S. territory like the Canal Zone, Guam or Puerto Rico. Canada is a foreign country. When Cruz was born there, his parents were neither soldiers nor diplomats.

Fact is, any fair-minded American, using logic and common sense, will conclude that Cruz’s situation is exactly the opposite of what our Founding Fathers envisioned when they described who should or should not be allowed to be president.”

4 prior_approval January 19, 2016 at 3:56 am

‘was not born on a U.S. territory like the Canal Zone’

Well, in the same sense that Guantanamo is American territory.

So, was occupied Germany American territory from 1945 until 1991? And are the children of American service members born to German mothers during that time frame not natural born American citizens? Particularly as there is no extra legal status in terms of being a service member when talking about ‘natural born’ citizenship.

‘Fact is, any fair-minded American, using logic and common sense, will conclude that Cruz’s situation is exactly the opposite of what our Founding Fathers envisioned when they described who should or should not be allowed to be president.’

Strangely enough, the law is something that does not rely on someone’s fair minded opinion. While it might be the case that the Founding Fathers, worried about the U.S. falling into the hands of a royal house, would possibly not approve of Cruz, the 14th Amendment creates a different situation than that existing in the 1790s. –

Nonetheless, it is always sad to watch people attack someone as being less than a true American because of their origin.

5 Art Deco January 19, 2016 at 9:17 am

So, was occupied Germany American territory from 1945 until 1991? –

American troops were not engaged in civil affairs after 1949 or patrolling the streets of Dusseldorf; they were facing off against Soviet troops. That aside, the American troop force averaged about 250,000 over the period running from 1949 to 1990. That would suffice to subdue a recalcitrant population of about 28,000,000. Germany’s population was 78,000,000.

6 chuck martel January 19, 2016 at 7:21 am

It’s the slippery slope theory. If alien Cruz can be president then Canadian-born Jennifer Granholm is a likely choice for the spot, being orders of magnitude more charismatic than Mrs. Bill Clinton. Even now there’s probably a youth in Indonesia, barely able to speak intelligible English, that dreams of controlling the most powerful nation in world history. Or, there could be a circumstance similar to that of George III in the UK, where a US president doesn’t speak English at all.

7 RoyL January 19, 2016 at 8:08 am

Did Ms, Granholm have to apply for citizenship when she turned 18? Did Ted Cruz? Did he have to take an exam, exhibit good moral character? I think not.

The US government could not deny Texas’s junior senator his citizenship even if he was a terrorist, a felon, and had been a member of the Nazi party or SAVAK the only way he can lose his citizenship is to actively declare his desire to do so. Ms Granholm could be summoned before Congresss tomorrow to answer for subversion and if she refused to testify she could be stripped of citizenship and deported to Burnaby or wherever. If it turned out that she had been arrested for shoplifting in 1978 after her appearance on the dating game and had not declared it on her application she could be stripped of her citizenship and sent back to Burnaby.

Mr. Cruz however could turn out to be the head of Al Qaeda and That would not be on the table.

That is what being a natural born citizen is about.

8 Art Deco January 19, 2016 at 9:43 am

It’s the slippery slope theory. If alien Cruz can be president then Canadian-born Jennifer Granholm is a likely choice for the spot, –

Granholm says her mother’s from Newfoundland. Her father was born just before or just after his parents arrived in Vancouver from Sweden. She had no claim to American citizenship at birth and would have had to have been naturalized. Cruz’ mother grew up around Philadelphia and she and her parents were born in the United States, so Cruz had citizenship from birth. The marriage certificate of Cruz maternal grandparents, issued in Delaware and dated 1931, is available online and they and their daughters were recorded as residents of Wilmington, Del. in the 1940 census.

9 msgkings January 19, 2016 at 2:23 pm

Obviously the ‘Cruz isn’t eligible to be president’ meme is a direct response to the same meme about Obama. Both are incorrect of course. But I really don’t see any Reps saying ‘ok we get it, we went overboard on this crap with Obama’. I still don’t know why Obama had to provide a birth certificate and all that nonsense. His mom was an American citizen, he could have been born in Moscow (or Kenya, or Canada, like Cruz) to her and he’d still be ok to be president.

10 Art Deco January 19, 2016 at 3:41 pm

The Obama birthers were a collection of hobbyists who had little in the way of elite connections (and the most prominent thereof, Orly Taitz, packed up and went home when his long-form certificate was finally released, something he’d refused to do until the Gov. of Hawaii suggested he knock it off). The Cruz birthers include Laurence Tribe, who is part of the elite bar and has connections to politicians.

Many of the Obama birthers have a similar mentality to 9/11 truthers and most Kennedy assassination aficionados. They manufacture ever more rococo hypotheses to fit what’s in front of their eyes into a preconceived scenario, trade in memes and factoids and trash talk, and engage in the whole mess for reasons of self-aggrandizement.

11 Ricardo January 19, 2016 at 7:27 am

The Canal Zone is unincorporated U.S. territory as defined by the Insular Cases. People born there did not acquire citizenship at birth unless at least one parent was a U.S. citizen. For those with citizen parents, they acquired citizenship pursuant to laws passed by Congress. In other words, they had the exact same legal status as Ted Cruz did when he was born. American Somoa falls into a somewhat similar category today: people born there are granted “nationality” and not “citizenship” at birth and so, despite the fact that it is [uncorporated] U.S. territory, most of its inhabitants are almost certainly not eligible to become President. The exception is for those who have a parent who is a U.S. citizen, again, just like Ted Cruz and John McCain.

12 Ricardo January 19, 2016 at 7:28 am

Sorry, meant “was unincorporated U.S. territory” obviously.

13 Art Deco January 19, 2016 at 9:49 am

Fact is, any fair-minded American, using logic and common sense, will conclude that Cruz’s situation is exactly the opposite of what our Founding Fathers envisioned when they described who should or should not be allowed to be president.”

The 1st Congress passed statutory legislation in 1790 clarifying the status of those born abroad to American citizens, which is that they had American citizenship from birth. A fair minded American using logic and common sense would understand that the contemporaneous understanding of the term ‘natural born’ included the children of American citizens without regard to where these children were born.

14 msgkings January 19, 2016 at 2:24 pm

So why all the kerfuffle about Obama’s birth certificate? Even if he was born in Kenya (which he wasn’t) it didn’t matter one bit.

15 Art Deco January 19, 2016 at 9:51 am

McCain was the child of American parents born in an American possession. No clue what citizenship his critics fancy he had at birth.

16 prior_test January 19, 2016 at 10:39 am

Well, the outrageously partisan Snopes web site, responding in July 2008 still finds this ‘undetermined’ –

‘As much we’d like to dismiss this one as just another frivolous election season rumor, it’s impossible to make any definitive statement about Senator McCain’s presidential eligibility because the issue is a matter of law rather than a matter of fact, and the law is ambiguous. There is no disputing that, under the U.S. statutes and laws applicable to the offspring of Americans living abroad and to the Canal Zone, John McCain is a citizen of the United States. However, the difference between “citizen” and “natural-born citizen” is an important one in this case, and some of the legal distinctions between the two are still murky. (The particular sticking points in Senator McCain’s case are whether the Panama Canal Zone was covered by existing citizenship laws at the time of his birth, and whether someone who was born outside the U.S. and holds U.S. citizenship status by virtue of a law passed after his birth and applied retroactively qualifies as a natural-born citizen.)

Is McCain a U.S. citizen? Sure. Is he eligible to be president? Well, the question is moot in 2016, of course, but notice the interesting distinctions possible to draw in such murky realms.

17 Art Deco January 19, 2016 at 10:53 am

They’re ignorant on the subject. This is of interest why?

18 Harun January 19, 2016 at 11:28 am

I love how birthers were reviled when it was about Obama, but now that its a Republican, people take up the topic with great interest.

Its really not that interesting. You can be a non-citizen, a naturalized citizen, or a natural-born citizen.

Cruz was not naturalized and neither was McCain, so they must be natural born.

Its only murky because no one has standing to sue and get a decision.

And its only talked about because it might sway a few percent of imbeciles.

19 TMC January 19, 2016 at 11:45 am

Harun: Yes, silly on both sides, but it was Hillary who accuse Obama of not being a natural born citizen and from what I see, Ted Cruz is not fighting having his birth certificate being released.

20 msgkings January 19, 2016 at 2:26 pm

@Harun: quite the opposite. Cruz isn’t even contesting he wasn’t born in the US, why did Obama have to prove it?

21 TMC January 19, 2016 at 6:01 pm

“why did Obama have to prove it” It is a requirement for the job.

22 msgkings January 19, 2016 at 6:21 pm

No, TMC, try to keep up. Obama’s status as a natural-born citizen is EXACTLY the same as Ted Cruz’s

Both were born to American citizens. Apparently it doesn’t matter where in the world that occurs, whether Hawaii, Panama, Canada, or Kenya. Obama was born in Hawaii, but even if he wasn’t he would be just as qualified to be president as Cruz or McCain. Like them, Obama was not naturalized so he must be natural born.

This one is so obvious….it was stupid when Obama had to deal with it, and it’s just as stupid Cruz has to. But in our hyper-partisan world it was inevitable.

23 Cahokia January 19, 2016 at 1:47 am

Trump wants to protect America’s borders and American manufacturing, hence he’s dead in Tyler’s eyes. No need for esoteric Straussian exegesis to figure this one out folks.

24 prior_test January 19, 2016 at 1:47 am

‘But that is a story for another place and time…’

Perhaps when chatting with Fink, about the good old days in Robinson Hall?

25 Gochujang January 19, 2016 at 8:13 am

I give Trump points for consistency when he said yesterday that he would “make” Apple manufacture in the US. Crazy, but consistent on trade.

26 Gochujang January 19, 2016 at 8:17 am

Sorry, missed on the reply to a comment above.

27 Peter January 19, 2016 at 1:56 am

Ted Cruz isn’t a natural-born citizen. He’s a natural-born greaseball.

28 prior_test January 19, 2016 at 8:29 am

What, no etymology allowed? (Safire is weeping about that, by the way) The term used referring to Cruz is inaccurate, as Cruz has no ancestry connected to that group –

Normally, this comment sections is the sort of place to reliably find people apply precision when making such distinctions in grouping people into categories.

29 charlie January 19, 2016 at 11:20 am

No, he is Ricky Ricardo.

30 Red January 19, 2016 at 4:00 pm

Close enough. He’s a wog and looks the part.

31 mkbarch January 19, 2016 at 2:32 am

And probably morally inferior too. Really now; it seems so clear. Nailed on Jan 12 by David Brooks. Several of the comments below are entirely understandable too. Maybe someone could explain why they think the libertarian image or cause could be helped by sticking up for this guy.

32 Aaron January 19, 2016 at 3:37 am

There’s lots of smart politicians who try to peddle smart nuanced policy and dumb politicians trying to peddle stupid policy.

A smart politician peddling stupid policy has a comparative advantage.

Considering Cruz’s reputation for being hated (and the likely sources of such hatred) I have little doubt it’s largely a game designed to further his political career .

33 prior_test January 19, 2016 at 4:07 am

So, prior_approval is active again – fascinating. Not using javascript, the name and address are always typed in individually for each comment, and for a while, that user name was not functional. Likely as ever so unintended collateral damage in the ongoing spamming war.

34 JWatts January 19, 2016 at 12:13 pm

Maybe it was a hint?

35 rayward January 19, 2016 at 6:10 am

David Brooks: “Very few presidents are so terrible that they genuinely endanger their own nation, but Trump and Cruz would go there and beyond.”

36 RoyL January 19, 2016 at 8:11 am

Cruz has very nice pant creases too. I don’t see what the problem is.

37 Jeff R. January 19, 2016 at 9:18 am

He doesn’t quote Locke often enough.

38 Jan January 19, 2016 at 6:17 am

It makes one wonder how early indoctrination should start. I can’t imagine taking my daughter to visit a liberal guru every day after school as a thirteen year old. If a kid is truly very interested in these things and asks to do it, that is a somewhat different situation, but Rafael Cruz would have to have been quite precocious to have kickstarted this all on his own. At least his parents weren’t enrolling him in beauty pageants, I guess.

39 Jan January 19, 2016 at 6:17 am

*Rafael E Cruz

40 PV van der Byl January 19, 2016 at 7:11 am


If your child goes to school in North America or Europe you don’t need to take your child anywhere else for liberal indoctrination. That’s simply what they get in virtually all schools, even private ones.

There are a number of religious schools that depart from educational orthodoxy but they are very few.

41 prior_test January 19, 2016 at 8:24 am

‘There are a number of religious schools that depart from educational orthodoxy but they are very few.’

Not in the U.S. – religious schools are quite common, and apart from the Catholic ones, generally exist to explicitly resist educational orthodoxy. For example, the idea that the age of the Earth is measured in billions of years is clearly ridiculous in the eyes of many in charge of such schools. Or the idea that the United States is a secular state according to its founding documents, an idea that is clearly against the correct orthodoxy of America being an explicitly Christian nation.

42 A Definite Beta Guy January 19, 2016 at 9:19 am

10% of students? The plurality attend Catholic schools, suggesting about 6% of students, at most, attend private schools that are not Catholic. Numbers right? Wrong? Not sure.

43 Michael January 19, 2016 at 9:39 am


44 PV van der Byl January 19, 2016 at 10:12 am

You are astonishingly clueless.
It should have been obvious from context that I was referring to schools that introduce thirteen year-olds to thinkers like Hayek, Friedman, and Bastiat and not to biblical literalists who spend little or no time on economics.
What exposure American thirteen year-olds (including most of those in Catholic parochial schools, alas) get to history and economics is much closer to Howard Zinn than to Hayek, Friedman, and Bastiat.
Moreover, you appear to believe that Catholics are biblical fundamentalists who deny evolution and believe the earth is less than 5000 years old. Do you really not understand that, for example, Teilhard de Chardin was Catholic and that Pat Robertson is anything but?

45 Gochujang January 19, 2016 at 8:55 am

As an aside, my dad worked in L.A. City Schools. I grew up with dinner table review of internal politics. It left me trusting the organization, even if aware of its flaws. Competing interests, but pretty much pro-student.

It left me thinking public school is good for kids, but families should support interests beyond. Chemistry sets, power tools, whatever.

46 Jan January 19, 2016 at 9:29 am

Are you referring to the growing trend of teaching of creationism in public schools and in charter schools that take taxpayer dollars? Or were you talking about something even more ridiculous that makes you wrong?

47 Rich Berger January 19, 2016 at 12:40 pm

Obvious point, but will be denied by most of the regular commenters.

48 Bob from Ohio January 19, 2016 at 10:12 am

“Rafael E Cruz”

Any one else notice the fixation of liberals with pointing out the “real names” of ethnic minority conservatives? Jindal and now Cruz. Nikki Haley gets her maiden name pointed out a lot too.

Is it because they think conservatives will turn on them or is it to send a signal to ethnic voters that they are ashamed of their ethnicity?

BTW, in 2008, using Obama’s middle name was rank bigotry.

49 Alain January 19, 2016 at 11:27 am

Liberals attempt to smear at every opportunity. They always attack the person not their idea, it is this MO.

50 Alain January 19, 2016 at 11:28 am

Argghhh early submit.

It is this MO which has driven me from disagreeing with some of their policies, to a belief that they are actually quite dangerous and must be opposed at every turn.

51 msgkings January 19, 2016 at 2:34 pm

But a shitload of your buddies used the ‘Hussein’ thing, why are you so butthurt the other side does it? Same as the Cruz natural-born citizen thing, it’s the exact same. Like you I think it’s all lame, but this is the state of partisanship now. The loudest voices, on both sides, are the hyperpartisan idiots. The Bush is a monster/Obama is a monster stuff is so stupid.

52 JWatts January 19, 2016 at 4:08 pm

“But a shitload of your buddies used the ‘Hussein’ thing, ”

Wasn’t the explanation from the Left that using Hussein was a sign of racism or xenophobia?

53 msgkings January 19, 2016 at 4:36 pm

Yes exactly, and that’s what it was. I just chuckle when it happens to the other side and they are baffled, “why would people do that sort of thing?” Or rather how they describe it as a ‘fixation of liberals’.

No, it’s par for the course of our current twittery hyperpartisan age

54 JWatts January 19, 2016 at 5:06 pm

“Or rather how they describe it as a ‘fixation of liberals’.”

The post you were replying to started with:
“Any one else notice the fixation of liberals with pointing out the “real names” of ethnic minority conservatives?

And then ended with:
“BTW, in 2008, using Obama’s middle name was rank bigotry. ”

So, no one was baffled. Bob from Ohio was just pointing out the hypocrisy of the Left for decrying certain behavior as xenophobic when the Right does it, but then later exhibiting the same behavior.

55 msgkings January 19, 2016 at 5:16 pm

I get that JWatts, but the right ‘started it’. It’s not a ‘fixation of liberals’. Both sides do it, and the right did it first. It’s lame, from both sides.

56 Agra Brum January 20, 2016 at 2:01 pm

It all depends on why you are calling someone a ‘monster.’ If it is for conspiracy theories or for minor executive branch adjustments (Obama is a monster because he slightly expanded existing federal background check regulations!!) then it is silly. If it si for things they’ve actually done and are objectively a problem that caused human suffering, rather than a subjective policy disagreement, they have some weight. If someone attacks Obama as a monster for expanding the drone war, and causing a lot of civilian casualties, it at least has some weight as an argument: He is a monster for the bombing of civilians. There are obvious rejoinders, such as the prior history of air attacks in war and the limited ability to attack terrorists in other ways. For Bush, if he was labeled a monster for making the US a torture state and exporting that torture to Iraq, as well as for starting a war of choice, that also makes sense.

57 Jeff R. January 19, 2016 at 10:45 am

It isn’t necessarily “indoctrination” to be exposed to the writings of people like Bastiat, Friedman, Hayek, etc. My impression is that standard economics education in US secondary schools is basically the standard Keynesian story; in a sane world, kids would also learn about the flaws in that story from, again, Friedman, Hayek, etc.

58 Urstoff January 19, 2016 at 4:56 pm

The standard economics education in US secondary schools is nothing whatsoever. Large high schools may have economics as an elective, but it’s not taught in the core curriculum in most places.

59 rayward January 19, 2016 at 6:48 am

Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice; moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue. Most are familiar with the first clause, but I’ll guess few recognize the second clause. Both are from Barry Goldwater’s 1964 acceptance speech. In late 1964, Malcolm X participated in a debate at the Oxford Union. The topic of the debate was the quote from Goldwater’s speech. Malcolm X argued the affirmative. Surprised? Of course, Goldwater and Malcolm X could agree but only because they applied differing meanings of “liberty” and “justice”. That’s the problem with extremists: they can agree on the means even though they have opposite ends.

60 dan1111 January 19, 2016 at 9:32 am

Ummm…I don’t think Goldwater and Malcolm X agreed on “the means”.

61 RoyL January 19, 2016 at 8:13 am

I for one am eager to hear your Rolland Storey story. Don’t hold out on us.

62 Gochujang January 19, 2016 at 8:45 am

I like it when 13 year olds find a passion, but yes I am disquieted when it is politics.

I am more comfortable with politics as a second career.

63 Harun January 19, 2016 at 11:46 am

How about history? I loved learning about history. Still do.

But politics is a big part of history. Hard to avoid that.

Learning about the founding documents of your country seems okay to me.

Its not like he was learning how to give walking around money or cigarettes to voters in poor neighborhoods, or how to unseal divorce records, or run for class president by offering free ice cream at recess.

64 Agra Brum January 20, 2016 at 2:03 pm

Agreed; they need to develop as a human first and take in and consider all kinds of information organically, rather than to try and feed all new info through an ideological or political sieve first. You do not want to imprint rigid ideological certainty on a teenager…

65 Art Deco January 19, 2016 at 9:10 am

That anecdote is from McKay Coppins, The Wilderness: Deep Inside the Republican Party’s Combative, Contentious, Chaotic Quest to Take Back the White House, a fun read with lots of background information I did not know.

An examination of the introductory material in Coppins’ book would persuade a prospective reader that the author does not care if he is mistaken for a dopey Democratic Party shill, something manifest further in the vulgarity of the publications which have employed him the last five years. Why does it not surprise me that you’re recommending him?

66 Rich Berger January 19, 2016 at 9:30 am

Tyler is believed to be a free-market type, but in world outlook he is much closer to the New York Times (i.e., his admiration for David Brooks). As far as Republicans go, his attitude is one of condescension and amusement. How many times has he poked fun at Hillary!, Obama or Bernie!?

67 Art Deco January 19, 2016 at 10:50 am

Well, the moderators quote Gregory Mankiw frequently, and have done so scores of times over a period of 13 years. References to Martin Feldstein number about 30. Those to Thomas Sowell and Douglas Holtz-Eakin number about a dozen each. Arthur Brooks, 8x. Irwin Stelzer has appeared once. Herbert Stein, once. Michael Boskin, never. Lawrence Lindsey, never. As for financial sector employees, Yves Smith has received 18 references, Donald Luskin about 4, “Mindles Dreck” 1. As for journalists with an economic and financial book, Megan McArdle has been quoted over 200x, Bruce Bartlett about 40x, and Lawrence Kudlow (who once worked for Bear, Stearns) nil. As for miscellaneous opinion journalists, David Frum has received 14 references; Jonah Goldberg, 2; George Will, one; Heather MacDonald, nil. Mark Thoma has received over 80 references (and more than Mankiw).

68 Urstoff January 19, 2016 at 4:58 pm

Mark Thoma is just a link factory, so his mentions probably don’t count.

69 dearieme January 19, 2016 at 10:07 am

Why are people so stupid as to believe that it’s axiomatic that “natural born citizen” must mean someone born in the USA? If the writers of the Constitution had meant that they’d presumably have said it. But they didn’t.

70 Bob from Ohio January 19, 2016 at 10:14 am

They are not serious about the issue, its just payback for the Obama Birther non-issue.

71 Art Deco January 19, 2016 at 10:31 am

Democratic Party lawfare artists like Laurence Tribe are quite serious about this and will attempt to use it as a weapon. It’s also of interest to cranks who tend to have alt-right sympathies if they have any coherent political viewpoint. They cannot use it as a weapon because no one in officialdom pays them any mind.

72 Ethan Bernard January 19, 2016 at 1:06 pm

Which has a certain irony, since Ted Cruz started his political career as a Republican lawfare artist.

73 Art Deco January 19, 2016 at 2:13 pm

He was solicitor-general of Texas. Strange as it may seem to you, there is nothing nefarious about the State of Texas appealing court decisions or responding to appeals.

74 prior_test January 19, 2016 at 10:33 am


I think Trump has the advantage of birtherism consistency here. And even if Trump just has too much in the way of big apple values for mainstream Americans like Cruz, it is safe to say that no one considers a candidate voicing the wish to ban American citizens from entering the U.S. based on a religious test a liberal.

75 byomtov January 21, 2016 at 1:43 pm

Actually, a lot of the questioning of Cruz’ eligibility is coming from the right. There are many more Republican Obama birthers than Democratic Cruz birthers.

And I think some from the left, possibly including that from Tribe, is more pointing out that in defending his eligibility Cruz is interpreting the Constitution in a manner that he is normally harshly critical of.

76 sym January 19, 2016 at 12:42 pm


I read it as a genuine sign of desperation. Cruz, I think, is likely to win the nomination – after all, Trump is a buffoon who’d feel equally or even more at home with the Democrats, given his general beliefs, so in the end I doubt he’ll win.

The citizenship issue is moot. Being a “natural-born citizen” surely means that one is an US citizen by birthright, and doesn’t require “naturalisation”. Interestingly, as an Irish friend of mine discovered, because his wife is an US citizen, they cannot even opt-out of their kids having US citizenship. It’s mandatory and automatic. A world of FATCA compliance is awaiting them. Clearly, Cruz is a “naturally-born” US citizen.

And if it comes to Cruz vs Hillary Clinton, or Bernie Sanders, I think he’ll win. Hillary is utterly corrupt, and this is clear to almost everyone but the blindest, while Sanders is a Marxist, i.e. crazy or a sociopath and this is clear to everyone except for his fellow loonies. They’ll lose to almost anyone but their own scrape-the-bottom-of-the-barrel calibre candidates, and Cruz is much, much better than either.

77 rayward January 19, 2016 at 11:25 am

The harshest criticism of Cruz in the Senate comes from members of his own party, mainly because he doesn’t respect the Senate as an institution. Indeed, Cruz doesn’t seem to have much respect for any branch of our national government, which is reflected in his campaign platform, which mostly consists of programs and agencies he would abolish if elected. The greatest influences on Cruz have been his father, a Cuban, and several Austrians; no Washington or Lincoln on his list. Of course, Cruz is a Canadian by birth, not an American, so perhaps it isn’t surprising that Cruz lacks respect for our government and its institutions. And perhaps that’s why the founders only wanted a natural born citizen to serve as president.

78 TMC January 19, 2016 at 11:54 am

“which is reflected in his campaign platform, which mostly consists of programs and agencies he would abolish if elected. ”

So it’s the Constitution he respects then.

79 rayward January 19, 2016 at 1:17 pm

Cruz worships at the alter of the 10th Amendment; it’s the national government he wishes to abolish, not government. Our history is mostly one of a weak national government, and an inability to respond to national crises (military and economic). Washington, having commanded an under-armed, under-clothed, and under-fed army, understood the need for a strong national government, Washington (and his subordinate Alexander Hamilton) not having the luxury of many of his contemporaries who sat out the war; Lincoln, having the near impossible task of holding together the national government as many of his contemporaries chose allegiance to their states over allegiance to the national government; and FDR, first facing a financial and economic crisis without the necessary tools to avoid a great depression, and then facing an existential threat from Germany and Japan and a Congress and many leaders around the country opposed to raising an army, navy, and air force that would be up to the challenge. Today, many, ignorant of our history and complacent about the threats that can only be addressed with a strong national government, profess commitment to liberty and justice by dismantling the national government, when what they would do is weaken both the national government and our nation.

80 JWatts January 19, 2016 at 1:56 pm

That’s absurd rhetoric. Ted Cruz doesn’t want to abolish the Federal government anymore than Barack Obama is a Marxist.

81 Urstoff January 19, 2016 at 5:00 pm

Ted Cruz wants to go back to the Articles of Confederation. Ted Cruz wants states to each have their own currency. Ted Cruz wants state militias, not a standing national army.

82 byomtov January 21, 2016 at 1:44 pm

Then maybe he should shut up about it.

83 Jeff January 20, 2016 at 8:24 am

This is very sad, as it means that when Ted Cruz takes anti-libertarian positions he does so not out of ignorance but out of political calculation. He is as dishonest as the rest of the political class.

84 M January 20, 2016 at 5:40 pm

Cruz seems nothing more or less than some Boomtown Huckster. (The boomtown in question being Houston, Texas). Status striving family background with parents who move around to wherever the money and prosperity and opportunity is, no understanding of people who just try to get by and stick with their community, populist only boutique-y, empty social issues, destructive “Throw the book at ’em” criminal justice policies.

85 DavidC January 25, 2016 at 9:43 pm

Natural born citizen or not (I’d be stunned if the courts saw it otherwise, BTW) he rejects the overwhelming consensus of climate scientists with respect to man-made global warming, and he does so based on logic that a high school freshman could shred. For me that is disqualifying.

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