Point of View Columns

Canadian Sunrise – The Saga of Ted Cruz

Much has been written about the immutable Law of Unintended Consequences. Prodigious effort can result in unexpected results, sometimes good, sometimes not so good. As the 2016 campaign season goes into full swing it is clear that a leading Teapublican prince and heir apparent to the Crown of Reagan, is being caught up in birther blight, a political tar baby that the right wing of the right wing used in a vain attempt to discredit Barack Obama. But look who is getting discredited now.

When trying to understanding Teapublican strategies it is useful to check your logic and common sense at the door. Once down the rabbit hole, it is easier to understand how otherwise intelligent men and women seriously believed that if the issue of his birthplace and citizenship could be incessantly challenged in an off the wall fact free fashion, Barack Obama could be driven from office.

The inevitable outcome of this farcical impossible dream never was a problem for Teapublicans. After all, over 40% of them still believe that President Obama is a Muslim and over 25% are certain that he is the anti-Christ. The politics of character demolition have become an art form on the right wing of the right wing.

The problem for Teapublicans is that once these bizarre tactics are put into play they can be used by anybody against anybody. And so, the Grand Birther of All Time, the serially discredited Donald Trump is now playing the birther card against a Teapublican golden boy, Ted Cruz.
Ted Cruz managed to get elected as Attorney General and United States Senator in the state of Texas without the bona fides of his citizenship ever being called into question. Presumably it was not too hard to find out that Senator Cruz was born in Canada and that while his father was not a U.S. citizen, his mother (who was born in Delaware) certainly was a “natural born citizen”.

But now, residents of the right wing of the right wing who delighted in the almost daily citizenship hoots and birther catcalls directed against Barack Obama now find themselves on the receiving end of these salvos, courtesy of Donald Trump. Supporters of President Obama probably have to restrain themselves from savoring the irony of a Teapublican candidate trying to prove that he is indeed a citizen and eligible to be President of the United States even though he was born in Canada – because his mother was a natural born citizen.

The irony is all the more delicious since the birther narrative directed against President Obama did not call into question the citizenship of his mother (who was a natural born citizen and a native of Kansas). Instead the attack was based upon the contention that he wasn’t born in Hawaii but instead was born in Kenya, Indonesia or Mars.

But following the Cruz Birther Defense, where Barack Obama was born should never have been an issue as long as his mother, Ann Dunham Obama was born in Kansas. But, of course, neither Ted Cruz nor any of his defender/supporters ever raised this defense of President Obama and true to form, Donald Trump never even thought about Mrs. Obama being a “natural born citizen”.

So now we are witness to more confusion and controversy on the right wing of the right wing, much of it instigated by Donald Trump. Donald Trump’s goal has always been to distract and confuse his opposition while he sucks the media oxygen out of the Teapublican room. His rivals are left gasping for attention while the serious issues of the day are reduced to slogans, mottos, logos and catch phrases, without a serious policy or plan in sight.

Ted Cruz has said that he never had a Canadian passport. However, after he gets fully Trumped by Trump he may want to retreat north of the border to watch a few Canadian sunsets. His U.S. passport should still be valid when he returns, even if he never manages to become President of the United States.

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