Third Party & Independents Archives

Trojan Arrows and Ted Cruz

Has it finally happened? Did he finally push it too far and will his campaign suffer, as many GOP members watch in glee? With Nevada and then the March surge coming quick and fast, it may be that Ted Cruz’s campaign will regret the tweeting of the notorious what-did-Rubio-say? video. Rubio’s team took that curve ball and swatted it hard and high. Whether out of the park is as of yet unclear. This is politics, not baseball. One game takes a few months if not years. The other a few hours.


Will it be Ted and not Donald who suffers from his own sometimes-nasty campaign tactics? It could, seeing that Donald Trump does not pretend to be holier than thou, and tends to finish rather than start fights. Ted Cruz is a conservative evangelical Christian. There is no doubt about that. But he is also a street fighter. And a constitutional lawyer with a razor sharp mind. It can be an awesome combination, until his lone ranger act wears thin. And pushing the truth, to be kind, does not resonate with who he claims to be, or who he is perceived to be by his supporters.

The Transom had a fascinating piece on why Trump won a much greater than expected percentage of the evangelical vote in South Carolina. If Ben Domenech is right, and Obama's administration has led America to a post-apocalyptical era - to put it in evangelical terms - then an effective fighting machine rather than a righteous soldier is what evangelicals feel is needed in the cultural wars. So Trump does not just get a pass with his big-city, 3-wives lifestyle. He gets a good part of their vote, because of his blunt attacks on political correctness and its suffocating effect on religious freedom.

Could Rubio play this stumble by Cruz's campaign for long-term gains? Can Rubio - with his Roman Catholicism - convince Cruz evangelicals that he understands and speaks to their concerns? Team Cruz - with the firing of Cruz's Communications Director Rick Tyler - is desperately trying to put this event behind them. They have to make sure that their candidate continues to appeal to evangelicals in both ways:

As a righteous man; as silly as non-evangelicals may find the term; and as someone who can make substantial gains in the battle for freedom of speech, of religion, and of the right to bear arms. If not, that pesky Floridian Senator may have opened up a wound on his Achilles tendon. And while Rubio may not wish to be associated with the war-mongering, philandering Paris whose arrow pierced Achilles heel and brought what must have been a slow and painful death, he would certainly enjoy the way the Iliad deals with Achilles: by keeping his death out of the epic poem, and letting him fade away in obscurity.

Posted by AllardK at February 24, 2016 12:43 PM
Comments
Comment #402945

When you lie down with dogs and wake up with fleas, you have no one to blame but yourself. As a pathological liar, Ted Cruz has been engaging in dangerous behavior for a long time. It is no surprise that many of his dirty tactics are now coming back to bite him.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 24, 2016 4:20 PM
Comment #402951

Cruz was famous for his dishonesty and lack of integrity, and it caught up with him, and he has no one to blame but himself. (He did fire a staff member, but everyone knows that guy was not the problem). There are plenty of scumbags out there. But why is it the guys who run around waving Bibles and talking the loudest about their faith turn out to be the biggest scumbags of all? Mark Twain got it right in “Huckleberry Finn.” Guess it is an American tradition.

Posted by: phx8 at February 24, 2016 8:22 PM
Comment #402965
If Ben Domenech is right, and Obama’s administration has led America to a post-apocalyptical era - to put it in evangelical terms -

If? If people actually believe this tripe then they are dumbed down to the point Trump makes sense is why IMHO he is whipping Cruz a** with evangelicals. That and Cruz himself, Cruz is a low life do anything say anything weasel. Perhaps these evangelicals aren’t as dumb as they act.


then an effective fighting machine rather than a righteous soldier is what evangelicals feel is needed in the cultural wars.

I don’t understand they have that already. Their propaganda machine has converted her weak minds of the evangelicals for many years. Trump doesn’t really pay these evangelicals much mind just some lip service.


So Trump does not just get a pass with his big-city, 3-wives lifestyle. He gets a good part of their vote, because of his blunt attacks on political correctness and its suffocating effect on religious freedom.

Kinda weak on this IMHO Allard. Kinda ironic as well in a “SO we vote for the anti Christ to save us from political correctness” way. As far as religious freedom it is pathetic to think political correctness interferes with it at all. The idea is silly and the definition of religious freedom is distorted by conservative religious leaders. I mean did Christ call people ni**ers or tell his followers to do so? Did Christ tell his followers to call homosexuals queers or fags? I didn’t see that in the bible nor has God spoke to me demanding such name calling. Did Christ tell his followers to wallow in hate and fear and to use insults to address others that are different from them?

Does religious freedom mean you force your beliefs upon others? Or does it give you the right to deny others based upon your government job and your religious beliefs?

This nonsensical religious freedom thing is BS and so is Mr.Domenech and his opinion, IMHO of course.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 25, 2016 11:49 AM
Comment #402967

Maybe just maybe these evangelicals are tired of fighting some phony culture war, their leaders have been selling them on for years, in favor of the economic issues that have been keeping many of them down the past 3 decades. Perhaps they have seen the light about their leaders, the phoniness of Ted Cruz, the many financial and moral scandals that have been inflicted upon these people by their leaders over the years has taken it’s toll on them.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 25, 2016 11:55 AM
Comment #403000

“Maybe just maybe these evangelicals are tired of fighting some phony culture war….”

Please! That would be rationale.

Posted by: Rich at February 25, 2016 9:05 PM
Comment #403004

The hate of Christians runs deep in this thread.

“But why is it the guys who run around waving Bibles and talking the loudest about their faith turn out to be the biggest scumbags of all?”

Because you don’t like their politics, and ignore the scumbags who’s politics you do like.

“If people actually believe this tripe then they are dumbed down”

As opposed to believing a racist Reverend using his God to damn America in his apocalyptical rantings on race?

“Does religious freedom mean you force your beliefs upon others?”

Like how they force us to contribute to welfare, social security, Medicare, ‘ObamaCare’ etc…? How they force us to support their beliefs and fear on guns? How they force people to support events they do not wish to support?

Yeah, I can’t believe how much they force their beliefs onto people.

Posted by: kctim at February 26, 2016 9:40 AM
Comment #403005

kctim,

Is the compulsory funding of our military an example of forcing one person’s beliefs on another?

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 26, 2016 10:28 AM
Comment #403007

Warren, only if a person does not believe the United States should have any military at all.

Posted by: kctim at February 26, 2016 12:07 PM
Comment #403008

Oh my kctim, why not think about a do over on this one. You confuse the argument with this silly comparison and then compound it with your answer to the military question. SO why not present a logical argument on the religious freedom issue separately from the nonsensical red herring and then we can move forward.

If not then think about how you have used the use of force when you discuss opinions instead of laws. Think about how you make the issue “only when I disagree with it”.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 26, 2016 12:32 PM
Comment #403010

j2t2 asks…”Does religious freedom mean you force your beliefs upon others?”

Nope! Under our Constitution we have the freedom to be religious or to be non-religious. Under the Constitution we have the freedom to own and carry arms or to not own and carry arms; along with many other “named” freedoms.

It is typical for many liberals and atheists and others to demand their non-religious rights which, if granted by law, denies religious persons their religious rights in conducting their business and in public spaces.

These hypocrites run squealing to government claiming their rights trump others rights simply because religion is practiced in a business transaction or conducted in a public space.

Point me to the “right” that gives some the power to force others to act in a certain way simply because it is business. My liberal friends are confusing “rights” with laws. Laws change on a regular basis. “Rights” are inalienable under our Constitution.

The Constitution as written, and explained by our Founders, is primarily a document protecting the individual from government encroachment of their freedom.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 26, 2016 1:01 PM
Comment #403011

J2, I apologize for confusing you by not framing things in a way to support your opinions, but there is not need for any do over on my part.

You are falsely claiming that a persons freedom to exercise their religion somehow forces their beliefs onto others. This is false and I provided examples of beliefs actually being forced upon others.

“Think about how you make the issue “only when I disagree with it”.”

Gladly, just as soon as you tell when I have done so.

Posted by: kctim at February 26, 2016 1:33 PM
Comment #403023

Royal public spaces are not required for one to practice their religious beliefs that is what churches and such are for. Trying to use property owned by the government, whether it be local state or federal, to promote ones religion has been deemed to be outside of the scope of the constitution which IMHO is a good thing. Can you imaging the pain those far right wing Christians would endure seeing a Muslim or Satanic symbol displayed at the courthouse or in a public school? Thank God the Constitution doesn’t extend religious rights as you seem to think they do. This strange definition of “beliefs” you have in order to make your case is quite the stretch IMHO.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 26, 2016 5:32 PM
Comment #403025

j2t2 incorrectly writes; “Trying to use property owned by the government, whether it be local state or federal, to promote ones religion has been deemed to be outside of the scope of the constitution which IMHO is a good thing.”

I have posted links on numerous occasions on the use of public buildings in the Capital for religious services attended by many of our Founders. They found no problem with this practice.

He writes; “Royal public spaces are not required for one to practice their religious beliefs…”

Of course not, and neither are public spaces denied for the practice of religious freedom.

Some hate religious tolerance in public spaces, I don’t.

“Jefferson issued calls for prayer and fasting as governor of Virginia, and in his revision of Virginia’s statutes, he drafted bills stipulating when the governor could appoint “days of public fasting and humiliation, or thanksgiving” and to punish “Disturbers of Religious Worship and Sabbath Breakers.”

As a member of the Continental Congress, he proposed that the nation adopt a seal containing the image of Moses “extending his hand over the sea, caus[ing] it to overwhelm Pharaoh,” and the motto “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.”

He closed his second inaugural address by encouraging all Americans to join him in seeking “the favor of that Being in whose hands we are, who led our forefathers, as Israel of old….” And two days after completing his letter to the Danbury Baptists, he attended church services in the U.S. Capitol, where he heard John Leland, the great Baptist minister and opponent of religious establishments, preach.

The point is not that Jefferson was a pious man who wanted a union between church and state. His private letters make it clear that he was not an orthodox Christian, and his public arguments and actions demonstrate that he favored a stricter separation between church and state than virtually any other Founder. Yet even Jefferson, at least in his actions, did not attempt to completely remove religion from the public square, and what Jefferson did not completely exclude, most Founders embraced.

America’s Founders did not want Congress to establish a national church, and many opposed establishments at the state level as well. Yet they believed, as George Washington declared in his Farewell Address, that of “all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports.” Moreover, almost without exception, they agreed that civic authorities could promote and encourage Christianity and that it was appropriate for elected officials to make religious arguments in the public square.

There was virtually no support for contemporary visions of a separation of church and state that would have political leaders avoid religious language and require public spaces to be stripped of religious symbols.

The Constitution does not mandate a secular polity, and we should be wary of jurists, politicians, and academics who would strip religion from the public square.”

http://www.heritage.org/research/lecture/2011/06/did-america-have-a-christian-founding

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 26, 2016 6:54 PM
Comment #403040
Warren, only if a person does not believe the United States should have any military at all.

Is this any different than the belief that the the United States should not have any welfare programs at all?

RF,

Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptists that the 1st Amendment establishes a wall of separation between Church & State and that is the interpretation that is accepted today by the Supreme Court. The fact that those Baptists lived in a state that violated the 1st Amendment by taxing those Baptists in order to support the official state church, Congregationalism. In short, there are plenty of examples from the early years of our nation where our government failed to uphold the ideals upon which it was founded. Slavery, the Alien & Sedition Acts and many other policies were as unconstitutional as those services held in the Capitol.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 28, 2016 10:24 AM
Comment #403041

Sorry, I got a little scrambled there:

The fact that those Baptists lived in a state that violated the 1st Amendment by taxing those Baptists in order to support the official state church, Congregationalism, does not abrogate that interpretation.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 28, 2016 10:43 AM
Comment #403044

Sorry Warren, your thinking remains scrambled.

I do not condone taxes to support religion. The “Wall” Jefferson wrote about is not what you believe it to be. Read my post again for better understanding of what our Founders intended. Thanks.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 28, 2016 2:43 PM
Comment #403049

Some of our founders intended to establish a theocracy, as can be witnessed by the status of Congregationalism in Connecticut in the early days of the Republic. Neither you nor I support that practice, so is is fair to say that we are nor primarily concerned with what the founders intended.

Instead, we have the 1st Amendment, whose words clearly prohibit the establishment of a religion. Scarcely anyone thinks a separation of church and state “would have political leaders avoid religious language and require public spaces to be stripped of religious symbols.” The problem is that the government cannot spend public resources to promote one religion over another. Compare the iconography used at the Supreme Court with the monument erected by Roy Moore. The former respects religious pluralism by depicting Moses and his law beside other great lawmakers of ancient times including Hammurabi, Muhammad, Solon and Confucius. The latter represents an unholy fusion of church and state, with the words “I am the LORD, thy God; thou shalt have no other gods before me” written prominently and legibly. The former merely acknowledges the shared heritage of lawmakers from many cultures while the latter implies that American law is derivative of ancient Hebrew law.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 28, 2016 4:47 PM
Comment #403051

Warren, I can’t tell by your comments what your position is on religion in public schools and in public spaces.

The Constitution forbids neither.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 28, 2016 6:54 PM
Comment #403072

“Is this any different than the belief that the the United States should not have any welfare programs at all?”

You mean other than the obvious difference between providing for our common defense and the forceful confiscation of ones private property to give to another? No, there really isn’t that much of a difference. Which is probably why the founders felt the need to be pretty specific on our defense.

Posted by: kctim at February 29, 2016 9:10 AM
Comment #403085

Royal Flush,

I do not view this issue in a binary manner like you do. Context is key. While mere expression of faith in a public space is protected under the 1st Amendment, anything that constitutes a governmental endorsement of any particular religion is prohibited.

kctim,

So, it is OK for the majority of people to impose their belief in a common defense upon the nation’s pacifists, but that it isn’t OK for a majority of people to impose their belief in general welfare to impose that belief on others? I am sure you are aware that taxing and spending clause of Article I Section 8 of the Constitution treats the common defense and general welfare in an identical manner.

I think it is clear that neither spending on the common defense nor spending on the general welfare constitutes the imposition of religious beliefs upon another in a manner prohibited by the 1st Amendment.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 29, 2016 1:33 PM
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