Sens. Landrieu, Menendez Rip Into Ted Cruz Over Abortion Amendment
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is doing his job. He's fighting for conservative principles in the Senate, and driving liberals mad in the process. Similar to his recent exchange with Sen. Feinstein over the pending gun control bill, Sen. Cruz drew a strong condemnation from Sen. Mary Landrieu (D- Louisiana) over his amendment of not funding the United Nations over member states' policy of involuntary abortions.
Steven T. Dennis of Roll Call reported today that:
I suggested to him that a more direct and a more effective route might be for Texas to stop all exports to China or to stop any financial exchanges between Texas and China,” Landrieu told CQ Roll Call after she voted on the budget shortly before 5 a.m.
“That would have had a much more direct effect on what he was trying to do than take money from the U.N. ... I thought he might like the idea. He should try it next time,” Landrieu said.
After a cross-looking Landrieu left to return to her desk, a bemused Cruz smirked and chatted with Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who voted for the amendment.
The amendment had zero chance of passing — it was defeated 38-61 — but like many of the other amendments considered well after midnight, it appeared to be aimed at putting senators in a politically difficult position: either they go on record whacking the United Nations or they face the potential for attack ads saying they voted to protect forced abortions in China.
“I recognize that members of this body have differing views on the right to life, but surely all of us can be agreed that for a woman to be forced against her will to abort her child is a horrific evil,” Cruz said as he introduced his amendment.
Then, Sen. Bob Menendez (D- New Jersey), who is the subject of a grand jury investigation over ethics violations, said:
No one — no one in this body supports forced abortions. No one,” he said. “However, the United Nations has no authority to control the acts of any individual nation. Instead of punishing the country that maybe — that is carrying out the bad policy, this amendment would go after an entity that has no control over the policy and all the while negatively impacting our national interest.”
The hostility should be no surprise. The gentleman from Texas has made enemies with all the right people, including their allies in the media. Gail Collins' column, The Dread That Is Ted, touched upon Cruz's tense quarrel with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, and noted how seeing a dead body somehow makes her an expert on gun violence. It doesn't. Collins added:
Cruz said he had a question for the senator from California. “It seems to me that all of us should begin, as our foundational document, with the Constitution,” he began, in a tone that combined sublime pomposity with a total lack of actual curiosity. “And the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights provides that. ...”
He delivered an extensive lecture to the 79-year-old Feinstein. The question buried in the harangue was whether she could imagine listing exceptions to other parts of the Bill of Rights. He could not have asked it in a more patronizing way if he had illustrated his remarks with pictures of large, brightly colored stick figures.
“I’m not a sixth grader,” said Feinstein, before launching into a fiery defense. The bill, she noted, includes a list of 2,271 types of weapons specifically exempted from its scope: “Isn’t that enough for the people in the United States? Do they need a bazooka?”
“She gave a new meaning to the phrase ‘Leaning In,’ ” said her fellow committee member Senator Amy Klobuchar.
Later, Feinstein would tell CNN that she felt Cruz was being “somewhat arrogant,” which seemed like an understatement. Even in an age of political polarization, there apparently is still an unwritten rule against calling someone “a stupendously irritating twit” on national TV.
The best is Collins closing paragraph.
Do you think, people, that this is a key to the stupendous impact the Tea Party continues to have on Congress, even now that it’s proved itself to be a loser when it comes to elections? If you combine a lack of a sense of humor with an absence of humility and then stir in a cup of self-righteousness, you are definitely not working on a recipe for cooperative achievement.
Sen. Ted Cruz is Tea Party. Sen. Deb Fischer is Tea Party. Sen. Mike Lee is Tea Party. Sen. Rand Paul is Tea Party. I guess Gail doesn't see the idiocy in her piece since the Tea Party has proven it can win elections, and has rightfully been a thorn in Obama's side since 2010. I guess she ignored Sen. Rand Paul's 13-hour filibuster of John Brennan's nomination to be CIA Director, where he vociferously defended the Bill of Rights and due process under the law. Sen. Feinstein – and most of her liberal colleagues – didn't even bother to show up, except for Sen. Ron Wyden (D- Oregon).
In fact, Sen. Rand Paul may be the future of the Republican Party – and the conservative movement – with the fusing conservative and libertarian ideals. Then again, Collins could've written this piece under a hate-induced haze over her dislike of Texas. Nevertheless, keep doing what you're doing, Sen. Cruz. It's refreshing to find some Republicans with a backbone of steel.