Ted Cruz is unserious…

Nob Akimoto

Nob Akimoto is a policy analyst and part-time dungeon master. When not talking endlessly about matters of public policy, he is a dungeon master on the NWN World of Avlis

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16 Responses

  1. T. Greer says:

    “Instead it’s a bald publicity stunt meant to work on the worst fears of their fringe survivalist supporters.”

    A publicity stunt “designed to rev up fears of a survivalist fringe” or bring attention to a national issue that isn’t?

    Senator Paul’s stunts, these bills – they are not about having a nuanced discussion. That never was the point. Nor should it be, because before Rand got up for 13 hours nobody outside of foreign policy and civil rights circles cared about any of this. Now that the administration’s duplicity has been openly paraded and this has been turned into a national issue you can have all of the “serious” debates that you want. When you are done please thank Mr. Paul for making people care about what you and the other serious folks have to say.Report

    • BlaiseP in reply to T. Greer says:

      Duplicity? You need to point out where before you use that adjective again. There is no defence for Rand Paul’s crap. He was given thirteen hours of spotlight and didn’t have one useful thing to say about a serious problem. He did, however, have a great many stupid things to say.

      We don’t matter, out here, a minor M-class planet circling a star on the rim of the Galaxy of Blog, under our little bowler hats. Ted Cruz and his tendentious blathering, he matters. Rand Paul gets to break wind in front of the cameras and break bread in the White House. He matters. Simple, stupid shit always wins arguments, not by virtue of the facts which support it but by being louder. President Obama has not been duplicitous. He’s used the powers granted to his predecessors and the GOP doesn’t like that one bit.

      When a stupid man does something he knows to be stupid, he always defends it by calling it his duty. Now comes a troop of would-be Wise Persons, sagely stroking the goatees aboard their weak little chins, worried souls, staggering to the overstuffed fainting couches at the Wireless Wonderland Cafe, pondering the possibility of Dreadful Drones striking them down as they sip at their goat’s milk cappuccino. They encumber the planet with their idiocy and well they know it. If an original thought entered their minds, their skulls would detonate. Now that’s what they should be fearing, not a Hellfire missile but that last blinding vision of a fellow cappuccino-sipper raising his finger and saying “I never thought of that!”

      The odds on either event are very long. Jesus will return in power and glory before these people have an original thought.

      The Ted Cruz-es, them I understand. They’re just doctrinaire hokum artistes. I’ve met a zillion of them: they’re found behind the pulpits of half the churches in this nation. Elmer Gantry types, smarter than they seem at first glance. Fear sells. Fear of Hell, fear of Hellfire missiles. Just a few more syllables.Report

      • T. Greer in reply to BlaiseP says:

        “Duplicity? You need to point out where before you use that adjective again. ”

        —> Glenn Greenwald neatly summarized this last week. See:

        “Obama Officials Refuse to Say if Assassination Power Extends to U.S. Soil”
        Glenn Greenwald. The Guardian. 22 Feb 2013.

        “We don’t matter, out here, a minor M-class planet circling a star on the rim of the Galaxy of Blog, under our little bowler hats. Ted Cruz and his tendentious blathering, he matters.”

        —> You’re right, what it is said here on this blog matters much less than what Ted Cruz says. But what Ted Cruz says really doesn’t matter as much as what Jon Stewart says.

        Look, this is an issue that most people don’t care about. Heck, on the basis of personal interaction with people here in Small-town USA it is an issue that most people do not even know about. Senator Paul could have stood up there are and presented the most nuanced, persuasive, and scholarly 13 hour filibuster the world has ever seen and outcome would have been the same. Only so much would filter down.

        I highlighted Jon Stewart (meant to represent mass media coverage as a whole) because his daily show piece captures the main points that will filter their way down to the popular level. “We have an executive branch that dodges accountability until forced into by a 13 hour filibuster. Our President would never come out and say that drones couldn’t be use on American soil until forced into it by a 13 hour filibuster. Maybe we should think harder about these drones. That is how the headlines have played it, it is how the cable news shows have played it. That is the narrative. It is a tweetable one. I struggle to come up with a situation where Mr. Paul and his cohorts could say or do anything that mass media outlets would not soon simplify into a series of ‘unserious’ tweets. This is a problem with our entire political system, not with Rand Paul specifically.

        So what is a guy like Rand Paul to do? He could put a lot of work into making a ‘serious’ 13 hour essay to win the accolades of the thinking class, or he could direct his remarks to the politically apathetic, attention-defecit disordered American populace in a hope to give the issue national attention. Publicity stunt it may have been, but he accomplished two very real things: 1) For the first time in a long time the Senate floor has been used as a bully pulpit. 2) Senator Paul has proven than a rising politician can publicly declare his opposition to the establishment consensus and not be marginalized by doing so.Report

        • BlaiseP in reply to T. Greer says:

          Glenn Greenwald is one of the aforementioned cappuccino sippin’ goatee-strokers — and that’s not the only bodily appendage he’s been stroking. Jon Stewart is a comedian, not a US Senator. I don’t think he does much more than stroke people’s funny bones.

          Now here it is for you, set in small town prose, that you may read and understand. A begged question was given a lawyer’s answer. A man far from home has no neighbours and a recent immigrant to a small town has no friends. I have lived in small towns. They’re not trusting people. Mostly they’re closed-minded, insular, fearful of outsiders and completely resistant to anything said by them, truth be told. I know small towns. Don’t come around here to hold them up as as Paragons of American Virtue. It’s no accident Stephen King sets so many of his horror stories in small towns.

          Ted Cruz is a fear monger. That’s all he is. Obtuse, paranoid, completely unable to comprehend the obvious: he’s a US Senator with the mandate and capability to write a bill to prevent the President from Bombing the Wireless Wonderland Cafe. And there are a host of stupid people who weren’t awake in Civics Class (if they even offered it down at the Central High School) when that little fact was presented to them.Report

  2. Jaybird says:

    What is the adjective we use to describe the policy that Ted Cruz is opposing in this case?


    If so, I’m not sure that “serious” contains the moral stature that you’re hoping for, here.Report

    • Nob Akimoto in reply to Jaybird says:

      The policy that Ted Cruz is “opposing” would have this adjective:

      • Jaybird in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

        Well, I know that Obama would never, never, never ever use this power for evil.

        But what if Jeb gets elected?

        Isn’t it better to nip some of this stuff in the bud *NOW*?

        Heck, we could even have some of the serious Democrats come up with some other stuff that they wouldn’t want Jeb to do.Report

        • Nob Akimoto in reply to Jaybird says:

          The point about unseriousness is that this bill doesn’t fix anything, and arguably makes things WORSE by being a complete distraction (and possibly a soothing piece of distraction) from the actual issue.Report

  3. M.A. says:

    Historically, the general consensus from anyone outside the right-wing bubble (and even from many inside it) has been that the Tea Party are an unserious crowd, or at least not worth taking seriously, because they are more interested in setting their hair on fire, demanding the moon, demanding “our way or the highway”, and/or declaring that anyone who is not willing to jump with them off a cliff without a bungee cord is not a “Real Murkin.”

    That they have grown as far as they have is a testament not to the fact that they have anything worthwhile to say, but that they have a few charismatic leaders who can put together short-term cults of personality that uninformed inhabitants of the right-wing media bubble will get behind.Report

  4. KatherineMW says:

    Extended policy essays are not something that’s going to get the general American public’s attention. Bringing the matter to public attention is a step forward, regardless of how it’s done.Report

  5. Jim Heffman says:

    You can practically hear the Internet’s collective sigh: “Oh thank God! I don’t have to agree with Rand Paul after all. What a relief!”Report